Bafta wins may change odds on Os­cars

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

In­so­far as any­body cares, it looks as if we might ac­tu­ally have a de­cent con­test for the best pic­ture Os­car this year. A month ago it seemed as if Avatar had the stat­uette in the bag, but, af­ter tri­umph­ing at last Sun­day’s Baf­tas, The Hurt Locker now comes across like a gen­uine chal­lenger.

The Baf­tas of­fer def­i­nite point­ers to the Os­cars for the sim­ple rea­son that the two elec­torates share a great many mem­bers. Ob­vi­ously, the Bri­tish Academy skews some­what to­wards UK ac­tors, so we shouldn’t read too much in the vic­to­ries for Carey Mul­li­gan (in­can­des­cent in An Ed­u­ca­tion) and Colin Firth (heart­break­ing in A Sin­gle Man) in the main act­ing cat­e­gories. Jeff Bridges and San­dra Bul­lock re­main favourites for the Amer­i­can awards. Christoph Walz and Mo’Nique are, how­ever, nearly cer­tain to con­vert their sup­port­ing Baf­tas into the equiv­a­lent Os­cars.

Whither the Ir­ish? Well, the crit­i­cal ham­mer­ing that fell upon The Lovely Bones rather scup­pered the fine Saoirse Ro­nan’s chances of a prize. But men­tion should be made of Richard Bane­ham’s achieve­ment in pick­ing up a Bafta for best vis­ual ef­fects on Avatar.

Just 35 years old, Richie, a grad­u­ate of Bal­lyfer­mot Col­lege of Fur­ther Ed­u­ca­tion’s an­i­ma­tion school, has al­ready worked on two Lord of the Rings pic­tures and the first Nar­nia film. Now a big favourite for an Os­car, Richie al­ready counts as dig­i­tal royalty.

Ir­ish Os­car favourite Richard Bane­ham has al­ready picked up a Bafta mask for best vis­ual ef­fects on Jim Cameron’s Avatar

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