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Feb 18, 2018: London hosts 2018 Baftas – a film festival without grievances?

UNITED KINGDOM - The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, lead the Best Picture field at the 2018 British film awards (Baftas) ceremony in London. It could be the first film festival in a while with the limelight back on movies.

The black gown protest at the Golden Globes ceremony in February might have echoes at the Baftas, but the industry’s sexual wrongdoing issue has lost star power for the moment and no powerful new grievance looms to replace it.

The grievances in recent years include a high heels rule at Cannes and an absence of racial diversity in the honorees at the Oscars. The gender discrimination and sexual harassment issues have intruded across a range of festivals.

Joanna Lumley’s appointment as the new Bafta Film Awards host weakens the gender-related grievance, but the related unequal pay issue is gaining steam ahead for some future festival.

The Shape of Water, a fantasy romance starring British actress Sally Hawkins as a janitor who forms a relationship with a captive amphibious creature,
received 12 nominations, and the other lead nominees each received nine.

The Darkest Hour, about wartime prime minister Winston Churchill, which stars Gary Oldman, has a second chance for honors in the Best British Film category, but Phantom Thread, a film about a fashion mogul starring Daniel Day-Lewis, is receiving the kind of critical acclaim that might entice the award jury. Oldman is a strong favourite for the Best Actor award, with Three Billboards star Frances McDormand poised for Best Actress.

The nomination of Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor is notable because he was a last-minute substitute for Kevin Spacey in All the Money in the World. The movie was reshot following the removal of Spacey after sexual wrongdoing allegations.

#22462 Published: 01/11/2018

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