Bafta wins may change odds on Oscars
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