Like the New York Film Critics and the Oscars, the London Critics influence the BAFTAs.
The London Film Critics Circle are to the BAFTAs as the New York Film Critics Circle are to the Oscars — more influential than predictive. And the BAFTAs, which will announce nominations March 9 (their longlists are here), are quite predictive of the Oscars, which reveal their nominations six days later.
Clearly the LFCC, a group of 160 critics, adores smart horror flick “Saint Maud,” which won Breakthrough British or Irish Filmmaker for Rose Glass, and Best British or Irish Actress for Morfydd Clark (who beat Carey Mulligan in “Promising Young Woman”). But the London critics gave three top awards to American road movie “Nomadland,” which won Best Film and Screenplay for Chloé Zhao, and Actress for Frances McDormand.
Accepting Best Director for his Emmy-eligible “Small Axe” series from Amazon Studios, Steve McQueen said: “I’m trying to find out who we are, who we want to be, and who we could be. ‘Small Axe’ was a love letter to Black London and Black Britain.”
Best British or Irish Actor Riz Ahmed won for two independent films, “Sound of Metal” and “Mogul Mowgli.” “They are both stories about someone going through a health crisis who lands in purgatory and is forced to reassess what really matters,” he said, “which is what we are all going through right now.”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” star Colman Domingo accepted Best Actor for his costar, the late Chadwick Boseman, saying: “Working with him, I saw him put every ounce of love and joy, interrogation, spirit, and fight into Levee. He cherished every single moment and you see it in ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.’ He gave you his heart and soul; he gave it everything he got.”
Romanian director Alexander Nanau’s “Collective,” nominated in three categories, won Best Documentary. “We’re living in a world,” he said, “where we have to be become more aware of the need for an independent press.”
Film of the Year
Director of the Year
Steve McQueen, “Small Axe”
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Shaun Parks, “Mangrove”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”
Actress of the Year
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Actor of the Year