It was a great night for British war movie, 1917 at the BAFTA’s winning seven awards including Best Film, Outstanding British Film and Sam Mendes picked up Best Director.
However, the ceremony itself was an utterly dull two hours as we knew by large who was going to win. All the acting awards have been going to the same four people throughout the whole awards season.
Meanwhile, the “comedy” was utterly awful. The only genuinely funny speech was by Brad Pitt, who wasn’t there, making jokes about Britain being single and calling his award Harry.
The only highlight was Jessie Buckley’s beautiful performance of Glasgow from Wild Rose showing why the Academy was wrong not to include it for the Best Original Song Oscar.
Then you’ve got Joaquin Pheniox’s acceptance speech calling out the lack of diversity in nominees in these awards.
This dullness has been around for a while now, especially in the past three years. It’s not the fault of the hosts Jonna Lumley was the ideal choice to replace Stephen Fry, and Graham Norton did a decent job hosting this year.
I felt like I’ve written this before, but here are some ways BAFTA awards can make it fresh.
Please Make This Show Live!!
This is the biggest issue as it’s mental to think the biggest UK film awards BAFTA aren’t aired live after all these years.
Because I was contemplating about not even watching the show and stick to catching up on Magnum P.I. until the last minute and decided to check it out.
The show started live at 7pm, and I learnt about Mendes’ Best Director win at 8pm. So it must’ve finished at 9pm at the latest, you have to wonder why isn’t it possible to air it live?
If it’s the BBC, then move to either Sky and air it on Sky One or Channel 4. If BAFTA is worried about the ad breaks, then have the whole event on Twitter or Youtube making a massive event of the entire thing.
BAFTA can continue their red carpet pre-show via their official account where they can embed all the technical awards. Continue to stream live throughout the two hours focusing on the main awards (including Score and Cinematography) and wrap up the night with post-show interviews.
This isn’t a dig at Norton. I think he’s fantastic and is the reason why the Irishman is the best and only late-night chat show host in this country.
However, he did understandably play it safe considering he’ll want these stars to come on his show. Additionally, I think he’ll get a second run before changing hands again.
On the other hand, that change should come for next year and the first person to come to mind is Mo Gilligan.
Gilligan is one the best comedians coming out of the UK who had easily the best Netflix stand-up special of last year. If you haven’t seen it check it out, it’s fantastically hilarious.
His Garage song routine brings smiles to any face and a genre that was developed in the UK and could work as an opening of the show gag. Plus, I would love to see all the British stars in attendance vibing hard.
The other that came to mind and Norton’s fellow countrywoman Aisling Bea.
Bea has hosted a film award ceremony just last year in the form of the British Independent Film Awards and seemingly went down well.
She’s a great stand-up as well, who’s also got a Netflix special (haven’t checked it out yet) and would be easily able to poke fun at the stars in attendance.
More Live Music
As stated above, Buckley’s performance was one of a few standouts of the night and helped break up the show.
Adding another piece of live music would’ve been fantastic. The winner of best score should have that honour in which would’ve been Hildur Guonadottir’s beautifully haunting Joker score.
Moving forward have one song and the winner of Best Score perform.
Make The Rising Star A Bigger Award
The Rising Star award is an award that should be showcased more and this year BAFTA seemed to have done that with Edith Bowman explaining why each nominee could win.
They also do an excellent job highlighting the previous winners and the success they have had since.
However, I think they could do more by having each nominee’s contemporaries stating why they should win. For example, Olivia Wilde and Beanie Feldstein talking about Kaitlyn Dever.
You could also have the final voting take place on the night by using a Twitter poll. The award is one of the last five handed out of the night.
Here are some thoughts on the things BAFTA can do to give themselves a kick up the arse.