Film fans across the world are settling down on their sofas with popcorn to watch the EE BAFTA Film Awards 2022 – eager to find out who will take home the coveted trophies.
I, like many others, am eager to find out who the winners could be – but the truth is, it could be anyone’s night.
This year’s shortlist is as strong as ever, as blockbuster films go head to head with independent pictures – while music icons and Marvel stars go head to head with rising stars from the worlds of TV and film.
All eyes will certainly be on the Best Film category tonight, with five outstanding pictures in the running this evening.
From sci-fi epic Dune to the brilliant independent film Licorice Pizza, each should be commended for their outstanding production – making the Best Film winner too close to call.
However, while I personally think that each of the films is a deserving winner and that the overall winner is too close to call, it seems that two films in particular could win the award tonight – Belfast and The Power Of The Dog.
Along with critical acclaim in reviews, early bookmakers odds have shown that they are both favourites in the running to potentially grab the iconic golden drama mask trophy too.
They have also gained multiple nominations on the night, with The Power Of The Dog gaining eight nominations at the ceremony, while Belfast gained six – with both only pipped to the post by Dune and its record 11 nods.
Though both are favourites to win, there can only be one on the night – but who will it be?
Looking at The Power Of The Dog, reviews have praised the film as one of Jane Campions best, and as made with “artistry and command” as stated by The Guardian.
It is highly expected to do well as the BAFTA awards by many – and could indeed be the winner of Best Film tonight.
It could also be one of the big winners across the board too, with Jane Campion’s excellent direction and screenplay recognised in the categories for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Director, while bookmakers say it is leading the way in the odds in other categories such as Best Actor.
Benedict Cumberbatch has consistently remained in the lead for Best Actor for his role as ranch owner Phil Burbank too, with many bookmakers stating that he is the odds-on favorite to take the award – so could this be his night? And indeed The Power Of The Dog’s night?
We will have to wait and see – but it is a good possibility that the film will do well.
Despite the high odds for The Power Of The Dog in many categories, it is not the only critically acclaimed picture in the running for Best Film – it also has strong competition from Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast.
Belfast’s cast, including supporting actress and actor nominees Caitriona Balfe and Ciaran Hinds, have been described as “irresistible” in one review, while others such as The Independent have described the film as “rigorously fashioned to be an Oscar frontrunner.”
While it is currently second behind The Power Of The Dog in the bookmaker’s odds, with reviews like these from both critics and audiences, it is certainly a strong contender to win Best Film on the night – and maybe, just possibly, be the winner overall.
Growing up I have always found that the films Kenneth Branagh directed made me feel emotionally connected to the characters, and told a story unlike anything else that I had watched – whether that was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or his interpretation of Hamlet.
Hamlet in particular has always held a weak spot for me, with memories of myself and my friends in sixth form college re-watching our old VHS tape of the film while we studied the bard’s original text.
Belfast of course was no different, and it was a film that stayed with me long after the credits rolled, continuing my admiration for both Branagh’s writing and direction.
While Kenneth Branagh may not be nominated for Best Director tonight (an accolade he last won at the BAFTA’s with 1990’s Henry V), it will be the first time a film he has directed is up for BAFTA Best Film – could he do it? Maybe so.
Between the rave reviews and favourable odds for both The Power Of The Dog and Belfast, it seems that one of these two pictures may indeed take home Best Film.
Then again, the result could be quite different and we cannot say that is it just these two films that are in the running for the win.
We need not forget that they face great competition from the beautifully produced Dune – heralded as “The Sci-fi epic of a generation” by The Daily Mirror, and is also the film to gain the most awards at the BAFTAs 2022.
However, could the brilliant independent picture Licorice Pizza, which has received praise from critics and fans alike, take the victory?
Having gained five star reviews and with director Paul Thomas Anderson, again nominated in the Best Director category, being hailed a “master at work” in one review by Empire Magazine, Licorice Pizza is certainly a strong contender to take the award instead.
Or will Netflix’s smash hit Don’t Look Up win Best Film? As I said, with such strong competition in the category, the winner is too close to call – and despite favourable odds for films such as The Power Of The Dog and Belfast, any film in this category could win.
I started this piece by saying it could be anyone’s night, and in truth, having looked back on each film, it is too difficult to choose who should win, because each film has its own appeal and stand out moments.
However the truth is – every film, actor, actress and behind the scenes crew members who is nominated for an award tonight is worthy of that accolade.
The films nominated this evening are a true testament to the hard work that thousands of people in the media industry complete to bring these productions to our screens, and who continue to bring these incredible stories to life.
It is a joy to see their hard work celebrated at events such as the BAFTA Film Awards too.
Whoever wins this evening, everyone nominated should be proud of the masterpieces and the stellar performances they have brought to our screens.
To me, every nominee is a winner tonight.
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