Bafta 2020: triumph for “1917” by Sam Mendes, disappointment for “Joker” by Todd Phillips

It’s a true triumph: one week before the American Oscars, the historic action film 1917 by Sam Mendes shone on Sunday night in London during the Bafta, the British cinema awards, beating flat Joker, a huge box office success that was the favorite.

Already awarded at the Golden Globes, nominated ten times for the Oscars of February 9, the war film has won seven Baftas, including those for best film and best director. In these two queen categories, he won against The irishman by Martin Scorsese, Joker by Todd Phillips, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino and Parasite by Bong Joon-Ho.

“Excited” by the success of his very personal film inspired by the stories of his grandfather, Sam Mendes said he felt “obviously a personal pleasure” that “a story close to (his) family has developed and amplified” That much.

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Disappointment for Joker and The irishman

On the contrary, it is the disappointment for the Joker, given big favorite with 11 nominations but which is satisfied with three prizes, a bad omen for the Hollywood rewards (11 nominations also). Same for The irishman : Martin Scorcese’s thriller leaves empty-handed with this film produced by Netflix, while the platform demonstrated its essential place last year by winning the main prizes for Roma by Alfonso Cuaron.

Joaquin Phoenix, impressive in his disturbing incarnation of the future enemy of Batman, was nevertheless crowned with the title of best actor by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta), against Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Taron Egerton and Jonathan Pryce.

READ ALSO >> Joker: when the cinema treats the evil at the root

On the women’s side, Renée Zellweger won the Bafta for Best Actress for her portrayal of legendary actress Judy Garland in the biopic Judy. She won against Jessie Buckley, Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan and Charlize Theron.

Party with ten nominations, an ode to 1960s Hollywood Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, by Quentin Tarantino, ultimately won only one award, that of the best supporting actor for Brad Pitt. South Korean Bong Joon-Ho is doing well, winning the Bafta for best foreign language film and best screenplay for Parasite, a family and social drama mixed with a thriller recounting the tragic cycle of a poor family inviting itself into a rich family.

“Exasperating” lack of diversity

The Baftas have shown their concern for the climate crisis by giving up gift bags that are not environmentally friendly and by rolling out a red carpet made from recycled materials. The guests had been asked to put on outfits already worn. But the selection, made for most categories by the some 6,500 members of the Bafta, including professionals from the film industry, has been strongly criticized for its lack of diversity.

Before the ceremony, the president of Bafta, Pippa Harris, herself lamented the absence of nominations of women in the category of best director, while they “represent the future of the industry”, deeming also “exasperating “and” disappointing “that no black actor was nominated in the major categories. She promised a “wide-ranging review,” which “will look at everything related to the award process,” however, deeming it to be a “whole-of-the-world problem. industry “of the cinema, of which the rewards are only the last rung.

READ ALSO >> For the director Steve McQueen, the Bafta neglect the “black talents”

Laureate Joaquin Phoenix also took advantage of his speech to recall his status as “privileged” compared to his black colleagues: “We send a very clear message to people of color, namely that you are not welcome here”, he denounced, calling for “to do the hard work to really understand systemic racism”.

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Critics had started to flourish in early January on social media, in part under the hashtag #BaftaSoWhite (“Bafta so white”). They then found an important spokesperson in the person of Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, denouncing “far too neglected black talents” in the newspaper. The Guardian.



Economist and essayist, Nicolas Bouzou is the founder and director of the Asterès consulting firm.Nicolas bouzou


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Chronicle Donner.Christophe Donner


Opinion specialist at the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, Chloé Morin warns of the extent of the democratic crisis in her latest essay.By Chloé Morin

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Bafta 2020: triumph for “1917” by Sam Mendes, disappointment for “Joker” by Todd Phillips

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