BAFTAs 2019 (2019) Poster

(2019 TV Special)

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Not a bad awards show, but still some weaknesses overall
Horst_In_Translation15 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Here we have the BAFTAs 2019 edition that ran for roughly 2 hours, slightly under and just aired a few days ago. Joanna Lumley returned as host and well what can I say about her. She is not Stephen Fry and I cannot see anybody except very big AbFab fans appreciate her. Admittedly her comedy material was also far from good that night, so you cannot really blame her. She tried her best, but it wasn't much. Now as for the winners, it is of course entirely subjective how much you like them and if all your favorites win then you will think it was an amazing awards show. I personally didn't mind most of the categories and who took the trophies. Great to see Malek beat Bale again and the Oscar for his Freddie Mercury portrayal should almost be safe now. The two girls from The Favourite, Weisz and Colman, did what they could by winning their categories and this keeps them in the race with an upset shot against Glenn Close and Regina King at the Oscars, but honestly even only one of them winning would be a big surprise. I am okay with their wins, they were both good, Weisz more so than Colman I'd say. The latter's reference about getting heavily drunk afterwards was not to my liking. Oh yeah, good news for everybody who disliked A Star is Born as strongly as I did: Lady Gaga was at the Grammys that night and not in the audience, even if she was a nominee. Mahershala Ali took another huge win and his second Oscar seems to be safe now, who'd have guessed 5 years ago he's pulling a Waltz now. But the big winner with the exception of Screenplay was Roma and I like it. Cuaron is really one of the greatest visionaries in filmmaking these days and with Oscar ins for Cinematography and Directing basically 100% safe now, it will be interesting if he can also get the trophy for editing (didn't at the BAFTAs) and of course Best Picture (which he did). Roma sure is the frontrunner now and it may be a rare occurence we once again see the Best Foreign Language Feature Film winner also succeed for the big prize like Gandhi did among others I think. Oh no I see I am mistaken. Actually it would be a first-timer if it happens. So Cuarón could make Oscar history that night? We will see how it goes. Now back to the BAFTAs 2019, they of course took their own approach again honoring young upcoming British actors, which did feel a bit strange as most of them had their defining career performances really not in the last 12 months. Surely better choices would have been possible. It was especially one of them was basically nominated for Lanthimos' previous work. And Dunkirk, which is also not 2018. The acrobats early on, well typical BAFTA stuff, not bad, but not necessary either. I also still find it weird they hand their lifetime achievement award out at the very end. Sure becoming a member of the royal order or whatever it is called is a truly special achievement, but more important than the Best Picture win at a film-related awards show? I don't know. Just my opinion though. The award announcers could have been better choices too. Why not keep it British most of the time? Marsan and Ejiofor were there, the latter is British right? And probably some other Brits, but it felt they were just going so much for diversity these days instead of theirs. No idea about Selma Hayek for example. Why not pick costume designers, editors etc. to present these awards. Sandy Powell could have been fun. If they can give good acceptance speeches, they can also give good category presentations. Certainly better ones than the always-the-same pretentious self important crap Viola Davis is talking about. We should really ask yourselves what went wrong if we live in an era in which she is considered top100 most influential people on the planet. She is basically an acting Michelle Obama (and that is not meant as a compliment) who plays the same character with the same body language and same over-the-topness in every movie she is in. Okay, enough ranting. The final award of the night was a really inspired choice, even if she isn't British either Schoonmaker I mean. Nice to see one of Scorsese's closest collaborators have her moment in the spotlight. Well deserved! Worst moments of the night? Some. Black Panther winning visual effects over Avengers. Bad joke really and all politics. Same can be said about Andy Serkis Brexit commentary, but oh well what can you expect, the BAFTAs aren't less liberal than the Oscars. How about accepting the democratic decision by millions of Brits and what they want for their country. By the way, they made the right choice I believe. And finally, the outro was weaker than in other years. First of all, it is not a wise decision to show some awards that "happened earlier that night". Include them all in the ceremony. Everybody deserves their category to be included and they aren't less worth than the actors for example only because less people know them. Their craft is as challenging as everybody else's. Of course, against that, you could ask yourself if Best British Animated Short should really be a category. I kinda struggle with it as a competitive category if only British productions are allowed in. Just as bad as the Black Reel Awards only letting people of a certain skin color and ethnicity in and refusing everybody else to be nominated. But why oh why were some "earlier that night" segments about categories that were in fact included in the show early on like Roma winning Best Foreign Language Film??? Now that was truly amateurish and guys, there were millions of people watching. Something like this really should not happen. So the more I think about it, the weaker the awards show that night becomes I guess. So I shall stop now before I end up reducing the amount of stars I give this one here. Overall, I recommend checking it out, but it is just a cautious recommendation.
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