Opening 2020 BAFTA Odds: 1917 Heavily Favored to Win Best Film

Death in Me
Can Sam Mendes' epic war drama Death in Me? win a 2020 BAFTA? Photo by DreamWorks Pictures [CC License].”
  • Nominations for the British Academy Film Awards were announced on January 7, 2020
  • The most nominations went to Joker, followed by The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • The awards will be handed out on February 2, 2020, with host Graham Norton at Royal Albert Hall in London, England

Awards season is upon us in a big way. Nominees are now announced for essentially every acting awards ceremony, and the BAFTAs are no exception.

This year, the BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards) committee has mirrored the Oscar nominees in some ways while also including some contenders who were snubbed by the American Academy.

This February 2, the BAFTAs will be handed out honoring the best of film both within England as well as international films who impressed their panel.

Each category sees an impressive smattering of stars and their work. With the ceremony taking place only days before The Academy Awards in America, all eyes will be on this list of winners.

Odds on British Academy Film Award for Best Film

Film Odds
1917 -140
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood +300
Parasite +350
The Irishman +800

Odds taken Jan. 13th

A 100-Year-Old Landslide?

Sam Mendes’ 1917 is expected to take home Best Film, and the odds are ever in the film’s favor. The incredible war epic has captivated audiences and, clearly, is doing the same for critics.

Given how stacked odds are for 1917 it’s likely this film is going to take this award to the bank. Looking at the other nominees, nobody else is even close to 1917‘s potential. There is a massive divide in likelihood, even, with the next leading competitor, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Pick: 1917 (-140)

Odds on British Academy Film Award for Best Leading Actor

Actor Odds
Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) -1500
Taron Egerton (Rocketman) +500
Adam Driver (Marriage Story) +1000
Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) +1600

Much like the Oscars race, Joaquin Phoenix’s performance of the titular title character in Joker has seemed to charm voters. Phoenix’s Joker is miles ahead of its competition and slated to be victorious.

Even British icon Elton John’s biopic Rocketman cannot unseat a performance as bold and splashy as Phoenix’s. Many loved Taron Egerton’s accurate portrayal and showstopping performance in Rocketman. The award is going to go to Joaquin, though, hands down.

Pick: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) (-1500)

Odds on British Academy Film Award for Best Leading Actress

Actress Odds
Renee Zellweger (Judy) -1200
Charlize Theron (Bombshell) +650
Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story) +700
Saoirse Ronan (Little Women) +1400

Over the Rainbow

You can’t deny the power of a breathtaking musical biopic. Renee Zellweger’s killer comeback as Judy Garland in Judy is one for the books. The performance was downright transformative– you really lost Zellweger in her portrayal of the struggling star.

Films like this are essentially character studies that rely upon the brilliance of one performer. Zellweger was absolutely show-stopping in Judy, winning over audiences and even naysayers. She carried the entire film herself and made it into something truly special and impressive.

Pick: Renee Zellweger (Judy) (-1200)

Odds on British Academy Film Award for Best Director

Film Odds
Sam Mendes (1917) -700
 Bong Joon-ho (Parasite) +180
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) +850
Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) +1000

Best Director is a tricky category to guess but given 1917 is slated to sweep most of this ceremony altogether, it seems Sam Mendes will have his chance in the sun without any problem with Best Director.

Career filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino may seem on paper like better or more likely choices to win. But Mendes’ 1917 shows a director at the peak of his craft, combining so many forces and components into one extremely smooth, cohesive cinematic experience.

While the other films in this category also seemed poised for greatness, they cannot match the impressive cohesion Mendes brought to the table in 1917.

Pick: Sam Mendes (1917)

Odds on British Academy Film Award for Outstanding British Film

Film Odds
1917 -700
Rocketman +600
The Two Popes +700
Sorry We Missed You +1500
Bait +2000
For Sama +2300

Judging by recent winners such as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Brooklyn, The Theory of Everything, and I, Daniel Blake, the winners for Outstanding British Film have trended as serious dramas for the most part.

Last year’s winner, The Favourite, saw a bit of a comedic reprieve in the Outstanding British Film category. Because of that, it’s hard to pin down exactly how this year’s winner will be decided. Will they go back to heavy dramas or continue with something cute and fluffy?

Outstanding British Film sees a larger influx of nominees than other categories. But even so, the competition is nothing to be worried about for 1917 when you consider just how beloved this film already has become.

1917 is the most discussed and the hottest topic at the moment, so taking a win seems like a surefire lock.

Pick: 1917 (-700)

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