Last week marked the 67th British Academy Film Awards, hosted by National Treasure (because that title seems to be given out like, well, BAFTAs these days) Stephen Fry to the lowest viewing figures since 2010. With all this pomp and ceremony (even the Duke of Cambridge was there!) and some embarrassing efforts to appeal to a younger audience (again involving Prince William), we ask whether these award ceremonies need to step up their game to stay relevant.
Here I present an assortment of the cringe-worthy, the upsets and the Tinie Tempah moments of the BAFTAs 2014.
Grime superstar Tinie Tempah and Laura ‘the one your mum likes’ Mvula were drafted in to kick off the show with a song so wet it sounded like it had spent the last week sat in Bute Park. Yet the audience were still baffled. Perhaps it was a little bit too urban for the Hollywood elite? Everyone knows Tom Hanks is a Tinchy Stryder fan anyway.
At least it was not another ‘You’ve Got the Dirtee Love.’ But then it happened. Tinie Tempah actually went and high fived the future King of the United Kingdom. I wonder if, in 50 years’ time, when the Colin Firth-starring Oscar-winning story of Prince William’s life is released, they’ll include this moment. (doubtful).
I won’t lie; I’m a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence. Her Oscar win for ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’ last year was totally deserved and she is probably the most down to earth star around. Yes, Lawrence’s turn is probably the standout performance in an extremely well-acted American Hustle, but she didn’t even turn up to accept her award!
I was watching with a few mates and one of them, who’s a little enamoured with our Jennifer (aren’t we all), visibly sunk in his seat when he found out she wasn’t in attendance. Yet she still won Best Supporting Actress! Let’s face it, there’s no stopping the Jennifer Lawrence train. She could spend an hour and a half on screen picking the fluff out of her bellybutton and we’d queue round the corner of the cinema to see it. Myself included. Luv u J-Law.
Another awards ceremony, another instance of Leonardo DiCaprio not getting recognised for his work in the fantastic The Wolf of Wall Street. Do you think he psyches himself up in the mirror before every ceremony and tells himself he’ll win this time? “Come on Leo, you’re the king of the world!”
I’d like to believe he does that chest-beating chant from The Wolf of Wall Street. If matters weren’t bad enough for poor old Leo, host Stephen Fry actually made him blow a kiss to the camera. HE’S NOT IN THE BEACH ANY MORE OKAY? HE’S A SERIOUS ACTOR NOW. Somebody give that man an Oscar. Or at least a hug.
As a man who cannot grow facial hair to save his life, this next section will probably sound a little bitter, but where the hell did all those beards come from? Even Stephen Fry asked for beard advice on Twitter just before the ceremony. Clearly it was an important factor in the amount of screen time you got. There’s a reason the camera lingered on Chiwetel Ejiofor instead of Tom Hanks (yeah, I know he won Best Actor, but you get my point).
There’s even a video clip doing the rounds of Michael Fassbender nodding at Ejiofor as if he knows his beard is the best. So Leo, if you hope to have any chance on March 2nd, you better get a hold of some hair and PVA glue. In an uncertain world where Matthew McConnoughay and Jared Leto are winning awards, you need all the help you can get.
Okay, this one is a little bit pernickety, but one of the things that really bothered me about the BAFTA’s was the insistence in showing clips from films that clearly gave away the entire plot. One unforgivable instance of this was when the final frame of Peter Greenway’s 1989 opus The Cook, the Thief, the Wife and His Lover was shown. I screamed out in disgust but my friends (none of whom had seen the film) really could not care less.
They also showed the final scene of Gravity, one of the biggest films of 2013, which probably spoiled the story for everybody in attendance. I know Tinie Tempah was particularly excited to see it. Not cool, BAFTA. Not cool.
So there you have it. The five worst moments of this year’s BAFTAs. I suppose this article’s been quite cynical, so here’s my favourite moment of the ceremony. Barkhad Abdi, the former limousine driver who went on to win this year’s Best Supporting Actor award, accepted his award with dignity, grace and genuine shock. It was a well-deserved accolade and a heart-warming moment in the middle of quite a disjointed and, at times, just plain odd awards ceremony.
Check back after the Oscars for my review of Pharrell Williams’s hats.