National treasure Stephen Fry bringing his own inimitable style of delivery again to the BAFTA awards on Sunday night.

Will Win/Should Win/DID Win

It’s that weekend again and time for the BAFTA Film awards 2017, taking place on Sunday February 12th in London and compered again by the inimitable national treasure Stephen Fry.  Once again, I will stick my cinematic neck out and declare who I think WILL win; the nominee that I would personally LIKE to win and – after Sunday – I will update the post to document who DID win.

Updates made after 9pm on Feb 12th are in red.

My score was 9/17 (of those I went for) – so better than 50:50 at least!  But not as good as last year… onwards to the Oscars!


Before I get into the categories though, let me start with a rant aimed at BAFTA. WHY OH WHY OH WHY (getting quite red in the face) does the Academy insist on nominating films that have not yet had (or barely had) any release in the UK?  It is normally bad, but this year seems to have been the worst on record. It has been impossible (unless you have pre-release access to the films) to get to see all the key nominees before the award night itself which significantly reduces the pleasure of the event for UK film lovers. The key cases in point are “Fences” (UK release February 10th) and “Hidden Figures” (UK release February 17th)

My view (a free suggestion BAFTA, for your consideration) is that you should ONLY allow nominations for the awards where the films have had a UK release during the year to December 31st. That would give time for everyone to actually see the films before the awards themselves.

It must be so important to film producers for their Oscar chances to have success at the BAFTAs that they would pretty quickly bring their release dates forwards to suit YOUR dates – not having the piper call the tune! 



As for last year, I can only comment on the films I’ve seen (those I haven’t seen I’ve marked with asterisks) – – sorry “Hidden Figures”. And this is not going to be easy, since the films released this year are more diverse than ever:  how do you compare which is “better” between “La La Land” and “Manchester by the Sea”? 

Note that the category pictures used are lifted from the BAFTA site (so are all copyright BAFTA). Each picture is a hotlink back to the relevant BAFTA nomination page where you can go for more information. There are links to my review of each film from the textual lists, where applicable.

Best Film



I, Daniel Blake*

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea


Will Win:  La La Land.  Should Win:  Arrival.

Did Win:  La La Land.

Wow, what a diverse bunch.  Will “La La Land” win the day? I think it will at the Oscars, but here I am less sure. My personal favourite of this bunch is “Arrival”, my Film of the Year 2016, with “Manchester by the Sea” a very close second.

No surprise there I think, given director went with Chazelle as well.

Outstanding British Film


American Honey*


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I, Daniel Blake*

Notes on Blindness*

Under the Shadow*

Will Win:  No idea.  Should Win:  No idea.

Did Win:  I Daniel Blake.

Sigh… After seeing five out of the six British films last year, I have seen so few of this year’s bunch (I must give up the day job) I can’t make a judgement. My only thought would be that I wouldn’t choose to give this award to either “Denial” or “Fantastic Beasts”.  I have heard good things about “Notes on Blindness” and “Under the Shadow” but have unfortunately not got to either yet.

Just further cemented my need to see this film.



 Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Ken Loach – I, Daniel Blake*

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

Will Win:  Damien Chazelle.  Should Win:  Damien Chazelle.

Did Win:  Damien Chazelle.

There can be no denying that Damien Chazelle has helped reshape the cinema landscape in 2016/17 with “La La Land”. It’s a brilliant concoction.  But I have a lot of love for Tom Ford and Kenneth Lonergan in that list too.

As expected.

Leading Actress


 Amy Adams – Arrival

Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train

Emma Stone – La La Land

Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins

Natalie Portman – Jackie

Will Win:  Natalie Portman.  Should Win:  Natalie Portman.

Did Win:  Emma Stone.

It’s great to see Amy Adams at least given a nod for a BAFTA after being overlooked in the Oscar nominations. And while my heart would go with Emma Stone for this award, I think Natalie Portman’s is the performance of the year as Jackie Kennedy.

Well – that’s quite a surprise.  But my heart is happy at least!

Leading Actor


 Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

Jake Gyllenhaal – Nocturnal Animals

Ryan Gosling – La La Land

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic*

Will Win:  Casey Affleck.  Should Win:  Casey Affleck.

Did Win:  Casey Affleck.

Before this week, I wouldn’t have rated Andrew Garfield in this list, but his was an impressive performance. But this should be Casey Affleck’s year for his riveting performance as the damaged and grieving brother and uncle.

Excellent.  Well deserved Mr Affleck.

Supporting Actress


 Hayley Squires – I, Daniel Blake*

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea

Naomie Harris – Moonlight

Nicole Kidman – Lion

Viola Davis – Fences*

Will Win:  Viola Davis.  Should Win:  Naomie Harris.

Did Win:  Viola Davis.

Viola Davis seems to be the bookie’s favourite which makes it a shame I haven’t seen the film (damn you flu!). Michelle Williams was brilliant in “Manchester by the Sea”, but her appearance was fairly fleeting.  My personal favourite was Naomie Harris, just brilliant as the crack-addicted and tragic mother in “Moonlight”.

Should be seeing “Fences” some time this week, so watch out for my review.

Supporting Actor


Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals

Dev Patel – Lion

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water*

Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Will Win:  Mahershala Ali.  Should Win: Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Did Win:  Dev Patel.

Undoubtedly Mahershala Ali’s performance in “Moonlight” was impressive (before his magical and unexplained disappearance!) but the most alien performance of the year for me was the unrecognisable presence of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the vicious Texan hoodlum from “Nocturnal Animals”. Simply chilling.

Wow – didn’t expect that, but well done Dev… delighted he won it.

Adapted Screenplay



Hacksaw Ridge

Hidden Figures*


Nocturnal Animals

Will Win:  Arrival.  Should Win: Arrival.

Did Win:  Lion.

I’ve never been more surprised by the twist of a film in 2016.  The screenplay of “Arrival” zings with intelligence and verve.  I don’t see it doing particularly well overall, but I’d love to see it win this award.

Well, that was a bit of a surprise.  Great film, can’t deny it.

Original Screenplay


Hell or High Water*

I, Daniel Blake*

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea


Will Win: Manchester by the Sea.  Should Win: Manchester by the Sea.

Did Win:  Manchester by the Sea.

Again, I’m two short in this category, but the standout screenplay for me in absolute terms was “Manchester by the Sea”. Again a film with an astonishing twist of gut-wrenching proportions but supported by great dialogue and – just as importantly – great moments of stillness in between.

Yes… result!

Outstanding Debut


Mike Carey (Writer), Camille Gatin (Producer) – The Girl With All The Gifts

George Amponsah (Writer/Director/Producer), Dionne Walker (Writer/Producer) – The Hard Stop*

Pete Middleton (Writer/Director/Producer), James Spinney (Writer/Director/Producer), Jo-Jo Ellison (Producer) – Notes on Blindness*

John Donnelly (Writer), Ben Williams (Director) – The Pass*

Babak Anvari (Writer/Director), Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh (Producers) – Under the Shadow*

Will Win: No idea.  Should Win: The Girl with all the Gifts.

Did Win:  Under the Shadow.

I’m so short on visibility again on this one it would be wrong to try to call who will win. However, with “The Girl with all the Gifts” making my Number 2 slot for Films of the Year 2016 then I’ll be cheering for this one on the night:  a superb low-budget shocker.

Another one promoted up the “must watch” list.




Hell or High Water*

La La Land


Nocturnal Animals

Will Win: La La Land.  Should Win: Nocturnal Animals.

Did Win: La La Land.

A tough category to call.  I loved the cinematography in all these films that I saw. However, my choice would be “Nocturnal Animals” for the clever use of colour pallette between the different sections of the film.




Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Nocturnal Animals

Manchester by the Sea

Will Win: La La Land.  Should Win: La La Land.

Did Win:  Hacksaw Ridge.

“La La Land” is the obvious choice for this, but I was also greatly impressed by the editing of “Hacksaw Ridge”. #tension.

Arrgh – should have gone with my convictions!

Make Up and Hair


Florence Foster Jenkins

Doctor Strange

Hacksaw Ridge

Nocturnal Animals

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Will Win: Florence Foster Jenkins.  Should Win: Hacksaw Ridge.

Did Win:  Florence Foster Jenkins.

Like I’m a make-up and hair expert!  “Florence Foster Jenkins” is flamboyant and filmed in Britain, so might get the nod. But then so is “Rogue One”. I think it likely the award will go to one or the other. After seeing the impressive make-up effects used on “Hacksaw Ridge” though, my personal vote would go that way.

Costume Design



Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins


La La Land

Will Win: La La Land.  Should Win: La La Land.

Did Win:  Jackie.

Stylish. Gorgeous. Colourful. Simple. “La La Land”.

Thought the costumes of Jackie might be too much like the originals to win… wrong!

Production Design


Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail Caesar!

La La Land

Nocturnal Animals

Will Win: La La Land.  Should Win: Nocturnal Animals.

Did Win:  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

I was a little surprised that “Hacksaw Ridge” wasn’t a nominee for this. Whilst I fully expect “La La Land” to rule again, its “Nocturnal Animals” that I thought was the most visually stylish film of the year.

Special Visual Effects



Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Jungle Book*

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Will Win: The Jungle Book.  Should Win: Rogue One.

Did Win:  The Jungle Book.

All of the buzz seems to be about the CGI in the “Jungle Book”, the only one I haven’t seen! But my money would go to “Rogue One” for the impressive closing battle scenes.

Original Music




La La Land


Nocturnal Animals

Will Win: La La Land.  Should Win: La La Land.

Did Win:  La La Land.

Damn that ear worm!  I also have a lot of love for the piano soundtrack to “Lion”. (A bit of a surprise perhaps that Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack to “Rogue One” wasn’t nominated).




Deepwater Horizon

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Will Win: La La Land.  Should Win: Arrival.

Did Win:  Arrival.

Whilst I suspect “La La Land” may romp away with many of these awards, “Arrival” was the film in this list that stood out to me for Sound Design.  A movie of such calmness and quiet, but when sound was used it was used with electric effect.

Arggh again – should have gone with my convictions (again!).  Great decision though.

EE Rising Star


Anya Taylor-Joy

Laia Costa

Lucas Hedges

Tom Holland

Ruth Negga

Will Win: Ruth Negga.  Should Win: Lucas Hedges

Did Win:  Tom Holland.

I’m afraid I haven’t seen enough of all these young people’s work to be definitive. But with a Oscar nomination for “Loving”, Ruth Negga might be the obvious choice.  For me, Lucas Hedges remarkably assured performance in “Manchester by the Sea” spoke to me so that’s where I cast my vote.

Tom Holland – Marvel fans. Populist vote.  Never let the public decide!

And the rest….

I’ve seen so few of these films in the remaining categories that I will exclude them from my predictions, but for completeness they are…




The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years

The Eagle Huntress

Notes on Blindness


Did Win:  13th.

Film not in the English Language





Son of Saul

Toni Erdmann

Did Win:  Son of Saul.

Animated Film


Finding Dory

Kubo and the Two Strings



Did Win:  Kubo and the Two Strings.

British Short Film




Mouth of Hell

The Party


Did Win:  Home.

British Short Animation


 The Alan Dimension

A Love Story


Did Win:  A Love Story.