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'The Hurt Locker' wins six BAFTA Awards

February 21, 2010 |  2:34 pm

The Hurt Locker poster "The Hurt Locker" won six of its eight races at the BAFTA Awards in London including the top prize of best picture. Since the BAFTAs were moved up in 2000 to take place while academy members were still voting for the Oscars, these laurels have foreseen only three of the nine best-picture winners: "Gladiator" (2000), "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (2003) and last year's "Slumdog Millionaire."

Unlike this year's Oscars, there were only five films nominated for the top BAFTA and the winner was decided by a simple vote count. Of the four other nominees, all of which are also in contention at the Oscars, "Avatar" took two of its eight races, production design and visual effects; "An Education" prevailed with just one of its eight nominations, best actress (Carey Mulligan); "Up in the Air" went one for six winning adapted screenplay; and "Precious" came out on top in one of its four categories, supporting actress (Mo'Nique).

The BAFTAs have done better at predicting the acting Oscar champs since the date change. Of the 36 acting Oscars handed out this decade, 22 went to BAFTA winners. In 2006 and 2007, all four BAFTA champs went on to win at the Oscars. Last year, three of the four BAFTA winners repeated at the Academy Awards; Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") was the exception. 

However, this year the BAFTA track record is likely to be just two for four. The lead acting BAFTAs went to two homegrown stars, neither of whom is favored at the Oscars: Colin Firth winning the only award for "A Single Man" and Mulligan doing the same for "An Education." However, the supporting BAFTAs were won by, no surprise, Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") and Mo'Nique. 

That win by Waltz was the only one for "Inglourious Basterds," which had six nominations including directing and screenplay bids by Quentin Tarantino.It was not nominated for best picture, however. Among the other best-picture Oscar hopefuls, "District 9" lost all seven of its races; "Up" took two of its four categories, animated film and score; and "A Serious Man" lost its only BAFTA bid, for original screenplay, to "The Hurt Locker." As "The Blind Side" has yet to open in Britain, it was not eligible for consideration.

Thus that film's star, Oscars front-runner Sandra Bullock,  was not eligible to contend here for best actress. Mulligan -- the only English rose in the BAFTA bunch -- bested two of her American Oscar rivals -- veteran Meryl Streep, who scored her 12th nomination for "Julie & Julia," and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious") -- as well as two second-time nominees -- Ireland's Saoirse Ronan ("The Lovely Bones") and France's Audrey Tautou ("Coco Before Chanel"). The BAFTA best actress has won the Oscar six of nine times this decade.

To win best actor, one-time past nominee Firth edged out three of his Oscar competitors -- three-time previous BAFTA nominee George Clooney ("Up in the Air") and first-time contenders Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") and Jeremy Renner ("The Hurt Locker") -- as well as fellow Brit and first-time nominee Andy Serkis ("Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll"). The BAFTA best actor has repeated at the Oscars five of nine times this decade.

In the supporting actor race, Waltz won over just one other Oscar nominee, Stanley Tucci ("The Lovely Bones"), and Mo'Nique bested the Oscar-nominated "Up in the Air" co-stars Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. The BAFTA supporting actor champ has prevailed at the Oscars four of nine years, and the supporting actress winner has taken home the Oscar an impressive seven of nine times.

Although only four of the nine BAFTA directing champs of this decade went on to victory at the Oscars, this year's winner, Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker"), is likely to even those odds. Two of her Oscar rivals  -- James Cameron ("Avatar") and Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds") -- were also in contention at the BAFTAs.

Among the other highlights of the ceremony at the Royal Opera House, Prince William, the newly announced president of the British academy, and Uma Thurman presented the fellowship -- the equivalent of the honorary Oscar -- to Vanessa Redgrave.

For the full list of winners visit the BAFTA website.

Photo: "The Hurt Locker" poster. Credit: Summit

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Comments

I don't think you can have a "Best" when it comes to art and creativity, so sometimes it is nice to spread the available prestigious awards around.

Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan were both great in their roles and I'm glad both won some high-profile recognition for what may ultimately be seen as the performances of their careers. Kudos to BAFTA for honoring them as neither are likely to win Oscars.

Jeff Bridges is still a lock for Best Actor for his worthy performance in Crazy Heart and Bullock & Streep are still the top two contenders for Best Actress.

There is usually more than one nominee in each category that is "worthy" of the award and I wish we had multiple winners. I just don't understand or agree with the desire to be stingy and the need to create a bunch of "losers" and only one winner.

The Hurt locker included wonderful acting, stunning cinematography...blah blah blah. But was about as realistic as the GI Joe movie.

No US Mil. in Iraq rolls in 1-vehicle convoys.

EOD doesn't do anything until the reporting unit clears,cordons, and controls the area. Usually they won't even come out till everything ready...and then it's usually a few hours wait. The part where the reporting unit is hiding while EOD takes care of everything? Sounds like someone never went to Iraq.

EOD doesn't do room-clearing...unless for fun...and then it would be just as poorly-done as portrayed in the movie. 3 guys to clear that building? These guys wouldn't know a pie from a buttonhook.

The robot is used almost every time.

Buck Sergeants don't talk to SFC's like that.

The taxi driver would have been smoked just for driving that fast towards the cordon.

Just try to look inconspicuous on an army installation mixing a blue hoodie with your ACU's. And that sua sponte revenge mission all by himself? That is so far beyond the realm of possibility as to negate any other good in this movie.

I could basically point out the absurd parts of every scene, but that would take a long time.

Painful to watch.

can not WAIT to hear what b.s. Tom tries to feed us as to why Inglorious Bastards lost the Bafta.

With Sandra Bullock not in the BAFTA race, I don't put much stock in Carey Mulligan's win--except maybe to show Meryl Streep's chances are fading. Though I initially thought the Sandra/Meryl battle would split the Oscar votes to let either Carey or Gabby Sidibe win, the Best Picture nom for "The Blind Side" tilted the scales in Bullock's direction; I still think Sandra will win.

On the other hand, Jeff Bridges' upset for lead actor--by an organization that honored Mickey Rourke last year--confirms my long-standing suspicions that Bridges is NOT a cinch to win. As I've said before, sentiment is NOT as strong an influence on the acting Oscars as people think it is; if it were, Rourke would have won the Oscar last year. However, I think George Clooney and (thanks to his film's strength) Jeremy Renner both have a better chance than Firth of upsetting Bridges at the Oscars.

It doesn't surprise me that Carrie Mulligan and Colin Firth both won in their categories. After all it's "their" awards they are handing out. This is not to take away from their remarkable performances and I am hoping Colin will win Best Actor Oscar in March, however momentum isn't on their side here in the good ole USA....

I honestly think that Meryl will still take Best Actress Oscar despite all the pundits on the Bullock train. It's funny how they quickly jump off to make all the more dramatic leading up to Oscars...again, this is not to take away from Sandra's performance as I've seen "Blind Side" and I loved it but when you look at the list of nominated Actress' Bullocks is the weakest of the bunch...and I don't think that if Sandra nomination in BAFTA this year would've made any difference, Carrie still would've won....

How exactly does The Hurt Locker beat Avatar in sound? Riddle me that. In my opinion, Inglourious Basterds should be cleaning up these awards. Infinitely better than the so-so episode of Generation Kill (The Hurt Locker). I'm not so sure why everyone has such a woody for this movie, I found it rather stock.


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