April 24, 2014

Oscars: “The Artist” appears dominant after multiple BAFTA wins – ANALYSIS


By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: “Ain’t no stopping us now!”

That’s likely what “The Artist” producers (and awards backer) are singing behind the scenes as they wait for the Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26. Michel Hazanavicius’ black-and-white ode to the silent film era has picked up virtually every major award leading up to this year’s Oscar telecast, and the chances for a rival contender to chip away at the film’s awards momentum are slipping away with each passing day.

The latest trophy added to “The Artist” shelf, as we reported Sunday evening, was the BAFTA, which handed its Best Film award to the beloved film. The film collected seven BAFTAs overall, including Leading Actor for Jean Dujardin and Director and Original Screenplay for Michel Hazanavicius.

So that’s it, right? The race officially is over? Well, not quite. So long as there’s time to fight, you know contenders like “The Help,” “Hugo” or “The Descendants” will do what they can to triumph over Hazanavicius’ romantic comedy.

THR awards analyst Scott Feinberg admits that the BAFTAs must be taken seriously, though he cautions that “it is equally important to familiarize oneself with its history, which quite clearly reveals certain biases on the part of BAFTA voters that manifest themselves time after time, and in so doing keep them from having an even closer stronger correlation with the Academy.”

Meryl Streep’s win for playing Margaret Thatcher appears to be one of those pre-determined biases. Not that she doesn’t deserve recognition, but the Academy – by all accounts – is leaning toward Viola Davis of “The Help” for the Best Actress category.

Feinberg also notes, “I also doubt that Peter Straughan and his late wife Bridget O’Connor, who won the best adapted screenplay BAFTA Award … for ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,’ will be even remotely as competitive at the Oscars.”

But the BAFTA win, without question, keeps the ball bouncing in the court of “The Artist.” Can someone steal the ball away and slam dunk a win on Oscar Sunday? It’s possible. But time is running out.

Awards Alley brings you the best Oscar coverage. Click below to read our exclusive interviews with:
- Harvey Weinstein
- The cast of “The Artist.”
- Kenneth Branagh for “My Week With Marilyn.”
- Bennett Miller talks “Moneyball.”
- Producer Jim Burke for “The Descendants.”
- Sir Ben Kingsley and Chloe Grace Moretz for “Hugo.”
- Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin.”
- David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
- Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for “The Help.”
- Tate Taylor for “The Help.”
- Woody Harrelson for “Rampart.”
- Gavin O’Connor for “Warrior.”
- Gary Oldman and Colin Firth for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”
- Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody for “Young Adult.”
- Steve McQueen for “Shame.”
- Glenn Close for “Albert Nobbs.”
- Seth Rogen and Will Reiser for “50/50.”
- Producer Grant Heslov for “The Ides of March.”

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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