Culture Film Reviews

The BAFTAs 2022 Breakdown

This article was originally published in print on the 23rd March

The BAFTAs 2022 took place on the 13th of March. Here’s a run-down of everything you need to know about the UK’s most prestigious film awards ceremony.

Throughout this awards season it has been Jane Campions’ The Power of the Dog vying with Denis Villeneuve’s Dune for the holy trinity of Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture. Whilst Dune went into the BAFTAs with the highest number of nominations, it was The Power of the Dog that won the coveted Best Director and Best Film awards, making Campion’s film a firm favourite for Best Picture at the Oscars later in the award season. Dune still managed to take home 5 awards, proving its superiority in technical categories such as cinematography, product design, and sound. 

It was to nobody’s surprise that Encanto scooped the prize for Best Animated Film. Disney films are normally a sure-fire winner in this category but coupled with the film’s earworm songs concocted by Lin-Manuel Miranda and endearing story, it has been one of Disney’s biggest successes. 

The acting categories were much harder to call this year. For Best Actress Lady Gaga was a possibility for her role in House of Gucci, and another musician turned actress- Alana Haim –  was also in for a chance for her role in Licorice Pizza. In the end, the award went to Joanna Scanlan for her role as a convert Muslim in After Love. Known for starring in The Thick of It, this could be the opportunity for the Welshwoman to move from the small to the big screen. Best Actor was also a tough competition and Benedict Cumberbatch narrowly missed out to Will Smith for King Richard. Best Supporting Actress went to Ariana Debose for West Side Story and Best Supporting Actor was won by a deaf actor, for the first time, when Troy Kotsur was presented the award for his work in CODA.

I was delighted that Belfast by Kenneth Branagh won Outstanding British Film as it is my favourite film from the past year. Branagh used his speech to thank audiences for returning to the cinema after two years of mostly streaming: “all hail the big screen too! It’s alive! And long may they live together!”

Rebel Wilson took over as host this year, replacing Joanna Lumley who had hosted the last two times the award show was in person. She did a very admirable job, proving to make the crowd laugh with her trademark wit and jokes just clean enough to be shown before the watershed: “You guys might be like ‘why is Rebel Wilson hosting the BAFTAs, isn’t she Australian?’ Yeah, I come from the bush, but if you think about it, don’t we all?” She kept the ceremony light, not mentioning much about the pandemic, however she did reflect on the war on Ukraine and even demonstrated “the international sign for Putin” – her middle finger. 

Some celebrities showed their support for Ukraine with badges or ribbons pinned to their formal attire. Benedict Cumberbatch was one and was quoted saying: we should “continue to help in any which way we can – whether that’s through donations or housing refugees, all of which I’m looking to do and have done.” 

The next stop for awards season is, of course, the Oscars on the 28th of March. With the BAFTAs often seen as a good predictor of who will get to take home an Academy Award, Campion will surely be optimistic. However, with a vastly different voting panel Villeneuve is definitely still in with a shot.

Image courtesy of Hraybould Via Flickr

By Alexa Sambrook

Alexa Sambrook is a second year French and German student. After joining The Student at the start of Semester 2 of her first year, she wrote for the Features and TV and Film section. She was made TV and Film editor in May 2020 and works alongside Aron Rosenthal. She is passionate about building community in the section at this time.