Baftas 2023: Stars gather for ceremony as awards season intensifieson February 19, 2023 at 1:30 am

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Richard E Grant will host this year’s ceremony on BBC One from London’s Royal Festival Hall.

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The Bafta Film Awards take place later, with Netflix’s All Quiet On The Western Front leading the nominations.

The critically-acclaimed World War One epic is a new screen adaptation of the 1928 novel by Erich Maria Remarque.

The Banshees of Inisherin and Everything Everywhere All At Once have 10 nominations each, with Elvis following closely behind with nine.

The ceremony, hosted by Richard E Grant, will air on BBC One from 19:00 GMT.

Nominees such as Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Ana de Armas, Paul Mescal and Cate Blanchett will be among the attendees at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Alongside the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, the Baftas is one of the most high-profile events of the film awards season, which culminates with the Oscars in March.

In the UK, the Baftas are the most prestigious film awards ceremony and can often provide the most reliable pointer to who might ultimately triumph at the Oscars.

Last year, the Oscars for best actor, best supporting actor and best supporting actress went to Will Smith, Troy Kotsur and Ariana DeBose respectively, just two weeks after they had collected the same accolades in the UK. Even though the Golden Globes is heralded as a solid guide of what is to come on Hollywood’s biggest night it only rewarded Smith and DeBose.

Viola Davis

Image source, Reuters

The top Bafta nominees

  • 14 – All Quiet On The Western Front
  • 10 – Everything Everywhere All At Once and The Banshees of Inisherin
  • 9 – Elvis
  • 5 – Tár
  • 4 – Aftersun, The Batman, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande

One winner has already been announced – Sandy Powell will become the first costume designer to be awarded the fellowship, Bafta’s highest honour.

The fellowship was scrapped last year following a scandal surrounding 2021’s recipient Noel Clarke, who was accused of sexual harassment shortly after receiving the prize. Clarke said he vehemently denied the allegations.

It will again be a royal night as the Prince and Princess of Wales have confirmed they will be attending. Prince William has been the president of the Baftas since 2010,

The ceremony will also see Dame Helen Mirren lead a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, whom she memorably portrayed on screen. Dame Helen won both the Bafta and the Oscar best actress prizes in 2007 for The Queen.

Film frontrunners

Colin Farrell and Martin McDonagh

Image source, Reuters

All Quiet on the Western Front, which leads this year’s Bafta nominations with 14, is a brutally violent but critically adored film which looks at World War One from the point of view of a young and idealistic German soldier.

It faces competition in the major categories from Everything Everywhere All At Once, which follows a laundrette owner who discovers alternative versions of herself in the multiverse.

The inventive sci-fi adventure has 10 nominations at the Baftas, as does The Banshees of Inisherin, which tells the story of two best friends living on a remote island who fall out with each other.

Close behind with nine nominations is Elvis, a cradle-to-grave biopic of the singer Elvis Presley, and Tár, which scored five nominations with its depiction of a renowned orchestra conductor who is accused of abuse.

Aftersun, The Batman, Top Gun: Maverick, The Whale and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande all have four nominations each.

Who is attending the Baftas?

A staff member uses "heads on sticks" to check camera blocking at the Royal Albert Hall, London, ahead of the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 19 February

Image source, PA Media

Ana De Armas, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Cate Blanchett, Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell, Eddie Redmayne, Michelle Yeoh and Paul Mescal are among the nominees who are scheduled to attend in person.

Other nominated stars set to be there include Angela Bassett, Danielle Deadwyler, Brendan Gleeson, Guillermo Del Toro, Ke Huy Quan, Micheal Ward, Carey Mulligan, Austin Butler, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan.

But it’s not just nominees who will be descending on the South Bank. Other special guests will be invited to present certain categories and ultimately hand the trophies to the winners.

Category presenters will include Anya Taylor-Joy, Rami Malek, Brian Cox, Eugene Levy, Jamie Dornan, Regé Jean Page and Taron Egerton.

They will be joined by Catherine-Zeta-Jones, Gwendoline Christie, Lily James, Sir Patrick Stewart, Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur – the latter two maintaining the tradition of returning as awards presenters a year after being collecting prizes themselves.

Acting awards

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Image source, Orion Pictures

Two black actresses whose absence from the Oscar nominations prompted a debate about racism in Hollywood are nominated at the Baftas.

Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler are two of the six stars nominated for best actress, for their performances in The Woman King and Till respectively.

They are joined in the category by Emma Thompson and Ana De Armas, as well as the frontrunners for the Oscar, Michelle Yeoh and Cate Blanchett.

Bafta’s leading actor category recognises all three frontrunners this awards season – Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell and Austin Butler.

The category is rounded out by Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy, who also have Oscar nominations, plus Good Luck To You, Leo Grande star Daryl McCormack.

And in the supporting categories, both Oscar frontrunners, Angela Bassett and Ke Huy Quan, are among the Bafta nominees.

British talent

Toby Jones and Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Image source, Searchlight Pictures

The Baftas have most of the same award categories as other ceremonies, including the most high-profile prizes such as best film, actor, actress and director, as well as a whole host of technical categories.

But the UK ceremony also has additional categories specifically intended to recognise British talent.

Only one film – The Banshees of Inisherin – is up for both best film and outstanding British film.

The other nominees in the latter category include Aftersun, which stars Paul Mescal as a young man grappling with fatherhood while on a summer holiday with his daughter, and Empire of Light, Sir Sam Mendes’ autobiographical tribute to cinema.

Living, which stars Bill Nighy as an ageing civil servant who changes his lifestyle after receiving a terminal diagnosis, is also nominated, alongside the AI robot drama Brian And Charles and the screen adaptation of Matilda The Musical.

A still from Blue Jean with Jean (Rosy McEwen) looking in the mirror

Image source, Altitude FIlm Distribution

The enjoyable whodunit See How They Run and the psychological period drama The Wonder are also in contention for the British prize.

The category is completed by Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, which stars Emma Thompson as an older woman paying a younger man for sex, and The Swimmers, which depicts the true story of a migrant who swam to British shores after the motor of the boat she was travelling on broke down.

Aftersun and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande are also nominated for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer, along with Electric Malady, Rebellion and Blue Jean.

A new host

Richard E Grant

Image source, PA Media

Actor Richard E Grant will host this year’s ceremony, stepping into the shoes of last year’s presenter Rebel Wilson.

Grant was most recently nominated for a Bafta himself in 2019, for his performance opposite Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Since then, he has appeared in the screen adaptation of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and last year he released a memoir about the last year of his late wife Joan Washington’s life.

Meanwhile, This Morning presenter Alison Hammond will host the Bafta Studio, described as an “immersive and access-all-areas experience”, as part of the BBC One show.

The Baftas are sandwiched between the Golden Globes, which took place last month, and the Oscars, which will be held on 12 March, marking the conclusion of film awards season.

The Bafta Film Awards are broadcast on Sunday from 19:00 GMT on BBC One.

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