73rd British Academy Film Awards
|73rd British Academy Film Awards|
|Date||2 February 2020|
|Site||Royal Albert Hall, London|
|Hosted by||Graham Norton|
|Best British Film||1917|
|Best Actor||Joaquin Phoenix|
|Best Actress||Renée Zellweger|
|Most awards||1917 (7)|
|Most nominations||Joker (11)|
The 73rd British Academy Film Awards was held on 2 February 2020 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honouring the best national and foreign films of 2019. Presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, accolades were handed out for the best feature-length film and documentaries of any nationality that were screened at British cinemas in 2019.
The nominees were announced on 7 January 2020. The psychological thriller Joker received the most nominations in eleven categories. A new award category was introduced, Best Casting. 1917 won the most awards — seven — including Best Film, Best British Film and Best Director.
Winners and nominees
Films with multiple nominations and awards
|Once Upon a Time in Hollywood|
|The Two Popes|
|Le Mans '66|
|Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker|
The ceremony took place in the Royal Albert Hall and was hosted by Irish chat show host Graham Norton, who had previously hosted the Television Awards. Viewing ratings for the ceremony fell to a twelve-year low, peaking at 3.5 million, though being the most-viewed show in the UK after 22:00. The ratings drop may be a result of the broadcast delay, with many live news outlets publishing the results before the they are revealed on television.
With his fifth win for Best Cinematography for 1917, Roger Deakins becomes the most highly-decorated person in that category. Andy Serkis, the recipient of the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema award, was injured in a skiing accident on New Year's Day, but still attended the awards, collecting his award on crutches.
Discussions about the lack of diversity within the award nominations surrounded the ceremony, with the host referring to it as "the year when white men finally broke through", and Best Director award presenter (a category of all-male nominees) Rebel Wilson humorously saying that she "didn’t have the balls" to do what the nominees did. Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix used his awards speech to comment on the "systemic racism" of the BAFTAs and acting industry in general; the host had previously described Phoenix' film as "the story of a white man who makes himself even whiter". However, the chair of BAFTA, Pippa Harris, opened the ceremony by expressing her frustration in the lack of diversity, and, in his closing speech to the ceremony, BAFTA president Prince William had prepared a speech discussing the issue, saying that "a wide-ranging review of the whole awards process" was underway and that lack of diversity "simply cannot be right in this day and age".
The recent Brexit was also mentioned, appearing in Brad Pitt's acceptance speech delivered by co-star Margot Robbie; Pitt's speech also noted that he would name his BAFTA mask "Harry" because he's going to take it to the US.
Screen Daily wrote that after the ceremony, held two days before Academy Awards votes must be registered, Mendes' 1917 became a favourite for multiple wins at Oscars, having taken seven BAFTA awards of its nine nominations. They also noted that it would be a safe choice for Academy members who are averse to films for streaming, based on its marketing as a "must-see on the big screen". This compares to the Netflix film The Irishman being the night's biggest loser, taking no awards despite ten nominations; Netflix productions in total received 23 nominations, winning in two (Best Supporting Actress and Best Animated Film). Screen Daily suggests there is anecdotal evidence of Netflix not supporting its awards nominees as much as it did Roma.
Some "unexpected" wins of the night include Netflix' Klaus as Best Animated Film, but also those marking diversity: Best British Debut for Bait, a film described by its writer-director as "a black and white, 16-millimetre, hand-processed, post-synced film in Academy ratio about Cornish fishing people"; Best Documentary for For Sama, a personal story of bombings at a Syrian hospital made by the family involved, with them using their speech to "implore the UK not to ignore the ongoing plight of the people of the Syrian city of Idlib"; and the Rising Star Award for Micheal Ward, star of Rapman's Blue Story (which received no nominations), who used his speech to say that he "feels like we're going in the right direction" in terms of diversity.
The writers of Screen Daily also suggest there was some controversy surrounding the British identity of some films nominated in the 'British film' categories; 1917 was financed by the US, and Retablo is a Peruvian film co-produced with Norway and Germany whose Peruvian director only lives in London. This ceremony marked the first year since 1977 in which there were no British acting winners. The Best Film winner also did not having any acting nominees, seen as unusual. Mendes became the first British winner of Best Director for eleven years.
American actress Renée Zellweger did note in the press room that she felt like part of "the British gang"; after accepting her Best Actress award, Hugh Grant had taken to the stage to present, quipping "well done Jones" as Zellweger left, a reference to their parts in the British film Bridget Jones's Diary. Later in the press room, the young Sama Al-Kateab, who had been held by her parents on stage while accepting their Best Documentary award, was allowed to roam and took to running the length of the stage and playing with microphones.
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- "Bafta film awards 2020: Joker leads nominations amid diversity row". BBC News. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
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- Loughrey, Clarisse (2 February 2020). "Graham Norton jokes about Baftas diversity controversy in opening monologue". The Independent. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
- Shoard, Catherine (2 February 2020). "Joaquin Phoenix's attack on Baftas for 'systemic racism' applauded". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
- "Joaquin Phoenix praised for Baftas racism speech". BBC News. 3 February 2020. Retrieved 3 February 2020.