The monarchy, Al Pacino and Cats: the key snubs of this year's Baftas

The red carpet has been rolled and the awards doled out – so who has most cause to go home weeping?

Al Pacino

It wasn’t Pacino’s night, in lots of ways. First the 79-year-old took a tumble heading up the stairs to the Albert Hall (in New Balance trainers, to rub salt into the wound), then he lost out for best supporting actor to Brad Pitt, who wasn’t even there.

Thelma Schoonmaker

Another Irishman graduate having a disappointing evening – particularly given that she was given a fellowship last year – was Scorsese’s long-term snipper. Picking the editing in Ford v Ferrari over Schoonmaker’s virtuoso chopping on The Irishman seems especially wacky.

Greta Gerwig

Given the hoo-ha over her omission from the best director list, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Gerwig was something of a shoo-in for best adapted screenplay for Little Women. Maybe they’d give it to Steven Zaillian instead? That could be The Irishman’s consolation gong? Nope! Jojo Rabbit bounced off with the Bafta, following last night’s win at the Writers Guild of America awards, making it a virtual Oscars lock.


When your star says she’s just attended the film’s funeral and the host chooses it as his one film to dump on, you can safely consider yourself this year’s dope in the stocks.

The royal family

When you’re the butt of a Rebel Wilson joke (“The Royal Andrew, no, Harry, no Albert, Hall”) after already having been rinsed by Brad Pitt – who said he was calling his award “Harry” because he “can’t wait to bring him back to the States” – you know you’re having a bad night. Particularly when the second in line to the throne is sitting in the front row. Hats were ditched not doffed.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts – or at least its membership – failed to cover themselves with glory with this set of awards. #BaftasSoWhite has been trending, Cynthia Erivo’s refusal to attend was widely reported, People Just Do Nothing’s Asim Chaudhry had a pop at Laurence Fox on stage, and Rebel Wilson drew scabrous attention to the gonads of the best director nominees. But the most ominous sign of the times must be that Bafta’s own president, Prince William, felt moved to give it a royal telling off in his normally anodyne closing remarks. “That simply cannot be right in this day and age,” said the heir to the throne. Bafta will have to get this sorted out sharpish.

Klaus Netflix film still
A scene from Klaus. Photograph: Netflix

Animation’s old guard

Netflix has already proved itself a master of the awards circuit (read: throw money at it until everyone else gives up), but even it must have been a bit surprised at its first success of the night at the Baftas. Middlingly reviewed Christmas cartoon Klaus saw off big boys Frozen II, Toy Story 4 and A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon – or, as the industry would term it: Disney, Disney and Aardman. That’s a major Hollywood studio and a national-treasure British powerhouse. Netflix isn’t messing about.

Every other nominee for the casting award

Bafta has been roundly applauded – not the least by the casting director fraternity – for its inaugural award for best casting. So who did it go to? The dazzling colour-blind tapestry of Dickensian humanity that was The Personal History of David Copperfield? The immaculate late-60s pop-culture document Once Upon a Time in Hollywood? Or maybe Marriage Story, with its frankly brilliant raft of cameos underscoring two powerhouse leads? Er, no. The winner was Joker. Now, Joker is undoubtedly a superb evocation of a grimy early 80s New York (yes, we know about the King of Comedy references), and revolves around a major-league performance by Joaquin Phoenix. But no one else in the film gets much of a look-in, however good they are. Zazie Beetz, Frances Conroy, even Robert De Niro don’t exactly have opportunities to stretch themselves. We’re not saying just anyone could have done those roles, but apart from Phoenix it’s not exactly an acting showstopper.

Guardian film

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Battle of the sexes: why this year's Oscars will be a gender war
From Little Women and Bombshell on one side and The Irishman and The Two Popes on the other, the Academy will have to tread a careful line picking this year’s nominations

Steve Rose

31, Oct, 2019 @4:44 PM

Article image
The full list of winners at the 2020 Bafta film awards
All the prizes – including the new one for best casting – at the 73rd British Academy film awards

Guardian film

02, Feb, 2020 @9:05 PM

Article image
Colossally overrated Joker beneficiary of Bafta awards groupthink | Peter Bradshaw
Supervillain origin story crowding out better films, while the lack of diversity in the acting categories is infuriating

Peter Bradshaw

07, Jan, 2020 @10:42 AM

Article image
The full list of nominations for the Baftas 2020
From Joker to Little Women, the films up for a gong at this year’s British film awards

Guardian film

07, Jan, 2020 @8:17 AM

Article image
Baftas 2020: Sam Mendes and 1917 emerge victorious with seven awards
Mendes’s harrowing first world war movie takes best film and best director, while Joaquin Phoenix and Renée Zellweger win the top acting prizes

Mark Brown and Lanre Bakare

02, Feb, 2020 @9:42 PM

Article image
Baftas 2020: British film awards on back foot after diversity row
#BAFTAsSoWhite trends on social media as nominations criticised for excluding actors of colour

Lanre Bakare

07, Jan, 2020 @7:59 AM

Article image
1917 deserves Baftas' thunderous applause – Joker does not | Peter Bradshaw
Sam Mendes’ sweep goes some way to making amends for the awards’ now-notorious nomination shutouts – but I still can’t get onboard with the love for Todd Phillips’ cackling standup

Peter Bradshaw

02, Feb, 2020 @10:04 PM

Article image
Baftas 2020: 1917 and Joaquin Phoenix triumph – as it happened
It’s the biggest night of the year in British cinema. Join us to find out who wore what, whether incoming host Graham Norton managed to make us forget the horror of Joanna Lumley – and who won this year’s prizes

Alex Needham, Lauren Cochrane and Ellie Violet Bramley

03, Feb, 2020 @12:00 AM

Article image
A weaponised hell-run of selfie-taking: my journey into the heart of the Baftas | Stuart Heritage
Surely the Baftas couldn’t be as bad as they look on TV? The Guardian’s intrepid reporter hit the red carpet to find out

Stuart Heritage

03, Feb, 2020 @4:59 PM

Article image
Joaquin Phoenix's attack on Baftas for 'systemic racism' hailed by film industry
Actor’s speech addressing issues of diversity and reputation meets with ‘uncomfortable silence’ – and much praise

Catherine Shoard

02, Feb, 2020 @11:58 PM