Baftas 2014: night of surprises leaves Oscars race wide open
12 Years a Slave ignored in all but two biggest awards, as critics surprised by best supporting acts
LAST night's Baftas threw up some unpredictable results, with 12 Years a Slave ignored in all but two of the biggest categories, and the winners of the best supporting actor awards prompting surprise.
Steve McQueen's historical drama had been tipped to sweep up in this year's awards season. But although 12 Years A Slave won best film and best leading actor, for Chiwetel Ejiofor (pictured above), last night, it was overlooked in the eight other categories for which it was nominated.
The film was "surprisingly shut out", says the Daily Telegraph's David Gritten, with Bafta voters driving a "coach and horses through any absolute certainties surrounding the film".
There were shocks in the supporting actor and actresses categories too. In The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw says it "isn't at all clear" that Jennifer Lawrence deserved the best supporting actress prize for her role as an outspoken wife in American Hustle, ahead of contenders such as Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave, pictured below) and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine).
Barkhad Abdi, who played one of the Somali pirates in Captain Phillips, caused an "even bigger upset", says Bradshaw, winning the supporting actor Bafta over Michael Fassbender, who was odds-on with the bookies to lift the award. Abdi is a former limousine driver who was making his film debut in the drama starring Tom Hanks.
Less surprisingly, Cate Blanchett (pictured below) beat Judi Dench and Sandra Bullock in the best leading actress category, for her role in Blue Jasmine. She dedicated her win to her late friend and actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Gravity held up well, winning six of its 11 nominations, including outstanding British film, director (Alfonso Cuaron), cinematographer (Emanuel Lubezki) and a Bafta for its special visual effects team.
The adapted screenplay award was won by Steve Coogan (pictured below) and Jeff Pope for their work on Philomena.
Last night's results indicate that the voting was all over the map, says Pete Hammond at Deadline. As the last major stop before the Oscars in two weeks, the Baftas has not solved anything, he adds, with this year's Academy Awards likely to be the "tightest race in years".
BAFTAs 2014 – full list of winners
Best film: 12 Years a Slave
Outstanding British film: Gravity
Documentary: The Act of Killing
Animated film: Frozen
Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Leading actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Leading actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Supporting actor: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Supporting actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
The EE Rising Star Award: Will Poulter
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer: Kieran Evans, Kelly + Victor
Film not in the English language: The Great Beauty
Original screenplay: American Hustle
Adapted screenplay: Philomena
Original music: Gravity
Production design: The Great Gatsby
Costume design: The Great Gatsby
Make up and hair: American Hustle
Special visual effects: Gravity
British short animation: Sleeping with the Fishes
British short film: Room 8