One week before the Oscars, the film “1917” triumphs at the Bafta

1917 won the Bafta for Best Picture and Best Director for Sam Mendes on Sunday. This historic action film closely follows the journey of two British soldiers during the First World War by giving the illusion of a long sequence shot. Already awarded at the Golden Globes and nominated at the Oscars, 1917 won in these two queen categories against The irishman by Martin Scorsese, Joker by Todd Philipps, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino and Parasite by Bong Joon-Ho.

On the contrary, it is the disappointment for Joker, given big favorite with eleven nominations but which is satisfied with three prizes, or for The irishman, empty-handed, produced by Netflix, while the platform had demonstrated its essential place last year by winning the main awards for Roma by Alfonso Cuaron.

Joaquin Phoenix, impressive and disturbing in his incarnation of the Joker, was nevertheless crowned with the title of best actor by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta), against Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage story), Taron Egerton (Rocketman) and Jonathan Pryce (The two Popes).

The star of Todd Phillips’ film arrived on the red carpet at the Royal Albert Hall in a tuxedo and sunglasses, followed by Hugh Grant, Al Pacino, Scarlett Johansson and Prince William, honorary president of the institution. Environmental concern requires, all were asked to recycle outfits already worn.

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“1917” and “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”, big winners of the Golden Globes

Renée Zellweger wins the Bafta for best actress

On the women’s side, the American Renée Zellweger won the Bafta for best actress for her portrayal of legendary actress Judy Garland, deeply moving at the end of her career, in the biopic Judy. She won in particular against Jessie Buckley (Wild rose), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage story), Saoirse Ronan (The Daughters of Doctor March) and Charlize Theron (Scandal).

Party with ten nominations, an ode to 1960s Hollywood Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, ultimately won only one award, that of the best supporting actor for Brad Pitt. Martin Scorsese’s politico-mafia thriller The irishman, produced by Netflix and also nominated ten times, leaves without having obtained anything.

South Korean director Bong Joon-Ho is doing well, winning the Bafta for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Screenplay for Parasite, a family drama, mixed with a thriller with also a social dimension, telling how an idle family invites itself into the daily life of a rich family, in an uncontrollable spiral.

Also read: “Parasite”, come to my house I live with the bourgeois

A ranking criticized for its lack of diversity

The Bafta have shown their concern for the climate crisis by giving up small gift bags that are not very environmentally friendly and by rolling out a red carpet made from recycled materials. But this selection, made for most of the 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.

Shortly before the ceremony, Bafta President Pippa Harris herself lamented the absence of nominations for women in the best director category, even though they “represent the future of the industry”. She also found it “exasperating” and “disappointing” that no black actor was named in the main 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 more: The Oscar should be called “Anna”, pleads a filmmaker

Critics had started to flourish in early January on social networks, in part under the hashtag #BaftaSoWhite (“Bafta so white”). They then found an important spokesperson in the person of director Steve McQueen. “Black talent is much too neglected,” stormed the Oscar-winning director of 12 years a slave in the newspaper The Guardian.

The British branch of the Time’s up foundation, a movement born in the wake of #MeToo, “recalled the performances of Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lopez, Cynthia Erivo, Jodie Turner-Smith and Marianne Jean-Baptiste”, denouncing a “ invisibility all the more shocking given the choice ”and the“ power ”of films with black or Asian actors this year.

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One week before the Oscars, the film “1917” triumphs at the Bafta

Hank Gilbert