Jonathan Melville: Oscars follow the Bafta trail to victory

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THE BAFTAs came and went at the weekend, bringing awards to an impressive crop of nominees and potentially pointing us in the direction of 2014’s Oscar winners.

This year’s biggest winner was space-set Gravity, directed by a Mexican, starring two Americans but filmed in the UK, leading to it being labelled a British film by the judges. Alfonso Cuaron’s drama, which found Sandra Bullock and George Clooney lost in space, won outstanding British film, best visual effects, director, cinematography, sound and original music.

Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Pic: Comp

Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Pic: Comp

Best actor and actress awards went to Chiwetel Ejiofor and Cate Blanchett for 12 Years A Slave and Blue Jasmine respectively, while Barkhad Abdi won best supporting actor for Captain Phillips and Jennifer Lawrence was named best supporting actress for American Hustle.

Other winners on the night included Frozen for best animated film, The Act of Killing for best documentary and The Great Beauty for film not in the English language, while Steve Coogan won the award for best adapted screenplay for Philomena.

So what does this mean for next month’s Oscar ceremony?

It’s worth noting that the Oscar shortlist for the best picture category contains nine films rather than the BAFTA’s five, meaning titles such as Her, The Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska and Dallas Buyers Club become eligible.

However, it’s possible that the Academy voters will follow the pattern of the last five years, which has seen the best picture Oscar going to the winner of the BAFTA in the same category. Could 12 Years A Slave be the big winner in Hollywood as well as London?

I’ve a feeling the Academy could side with Martin Scorsese in more categories, meaning The Wolf of Wall Street might take home more gongs on 2 March.

We don’t have to wait much longer to find out.

@jon_melville

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