Welcome British Academy Film Awards 2022

Sunday:British Academy Film Awards 2022; (BBC1, 7pm)

Last year’s British Academy Film Awards were by necessity a somewhat lowkey affair (although there were still highlights, including Minari star Yuh-Jung Youn’s accepting her Supporting Actress award by saying she was especially happy to be recognised by the British as they are ‘known as very snobbish people’).

This year though the razzle dazzle should be back, which means all eyes will be on the presenter, Rebel Wilson. The Australian actress’s own movie credits include Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect, Jojo Rabbit, and she’s clearly up for the challenge.

Indeed, it seems she’s already working on her satirical jabs, which may or may not include references to her own weight loss, which has been much remarked on by certain sections of the media.

When it was announced she was taking the job, she said: “I am very honoured to be hosting the EE British Academy Film Awards in March, where Covid will no longer exist because it will clearly have been cancelled by then. It’s going to be so much fun!

“I don’t wanna put any pressure on this – I know I’m not going to be funny because I am no longer fat. And besides, I’m not going to ‘sweat-it’ with nerves because I have a peculiar medical condition where I can’t sweat…or cause offense to people because of my adorable Australian accent.”

She added: “So basically I’ll just be there to hang out with Dame Judi Dench and together we’ll both try and bond with Daniel Craig. And yes, I do mean ‘bond.’”

Speaking of 007, No Time to Die was the biggest-grossing film at the UK box office in 2021, and it’s in the running for five awards, including Outstanding British Film. However, it’s Dune that leads the pack with 11, with The Power of the Dog and the Kenneth Branagh-directed Belfast tied for second place with eight each.

Those three movies will be battling it out with Don’t Look Up and Licorice Pizza for the coveted Best Film.

Best Actor sees The Power of the Dog’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Don’t Look Up’s Leonardo DiCaprio up against Adeel Akhtar, Mahershala Ali, Stephen Graham and Will Smith.

That’s an intriguing line-up, but Best Actress is arguably even more interesting, mainly because for the first time in the awards’ history, there is no overlap with the same category at the Oscars.

The Baftas have given the nod to Lady Gaga (House of Gucci), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Emilia ‘daughter of Aled’ Jones (CODA), Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World), Joanna Scanlan (After Love) and Tessa Thompson (Passing).

Perhaps the most surprising omission in that list is Olivia Colman, whose performance in The Lost Daughter has earned her an Oscar nomination, but her co-star Jessie Buckley has made the Bafta’s Best Actress in a Supporting Role line-up.

If you’re surprised by any other Bafta decisions, viewers do get a chance to have their say with the EE Rising Star award, where they can vote for Harris Dickinson, Lashana Lynch, Millicent Simmonds and Best Support Actress and Actor nominees, West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose and The Power of the Dog’s Kodi Smit-McPhee.

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