Let's Discuss: What The Top 2 Takeaways From The 2015 BAFTAs Mean For The Oscars

Michael Keaton vs. Eddie Redmayne | It’s the only Oscar race still up for grabs and with Redmayne nabbing the Best Actor BAFTA the margin between the two has only got closer. Redmayne will come into the Oscars having won both the Best Actor Golden Globe in the drama category, the SAG and the BAFTA. In the other corner, Keaton has earned the Best Actor Golden Globe in the comedy category and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor. Going into awards season Keaton seemed to have the edge, only feel that momentum shift with every ceremony.

The BAFTAs are the last stop before the Oscars and as a result, the last indication of which way Academy voters might be leaning. Judging by their tally, Redmayne appears to have the upper hand. So what led to the changing tide between the Best Actor frontrunners and what could be the deciding factors in breaking their dead heat?

Historically, dramas do better at the Oscars than comedies and with “Birdman” having been labeled in the latter genre; Keaton is at a considerable disadvantage. That being said, the Oscars also tend to award Academy veterans and a good comeback story, Keaton is armed with both. Redmayne is a first time nominee and a young one. The Academy could reason he’ll be back later in his career.

A strong wager given he’s set to star in the upcoming and long-in-the-works drama “The Danish Girl”. Oscar voters could break tradition though. Age and cumulative nominations certainly didn’t hinder Jennifer Lawrence from claiming her golden statue. 

One of the deciding factors that could come into play are the two very different roles inhabited by each actor; one an original character whose career mirrors that of its star (Keaton’s role) and the other a depiction of a real-life individual (Redmayne’s role).

One is an interpretation and the other an impression. The quality of Redmayne’s performance is knowable; all you have to do is watch footage of Stephen Hawking to judge the execution of his portrayal. Keaton’s role is subjective and as result, far more nebulous in nature to determine the grade of its success. Of all the possibilities, one known certainty is that the BAFTAs have provided another illuminating piece to the Oscar puzzle.

“Boyhood” Poised for Major Win | It’s the gimmicky juggernaut that’s been piling up the awards. “Boyhood” is 2014’s answer to that other feted gimmicky feature, “The Artist” a one-off resurrection of the silent film. The highly publicized angle of “Boyhood” is that it took director Richard Linklater 12 years to make his coming of age drama. Due to its unusual production, the ordinary story of an ordinary boy and his mundane existence has been making a push for Oscar long before its release. 

At the BAFTAs the film’s star, Ellar Coltrane, seemed to address the wariness of some pundits in his acceptance speech for Best Film. The thing is, award caliber films are supposed to be about extraordinary people doing extraordinary things under (you guessed it) extraordinary circumstances.

If it weren’t, a movie centered on grass growing or paint drying could be next year’s big contender. Linklater is a skilled director and he deserved wider recognition for his outstanding 2011 crime dramedy “Bernie”, a movie worthy of a much warmer awards reception than it received. Making up for its snub by rewarding “Boyhood” isn't the way to right that wrong though.

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