7 BAFTA winners that don't deserve their awards — sorry

Sony Pictures Releasing/Lia Toby/Getty Images/Warner Bros.‘1917’ won a leading seven BAFTAs.
  • “1917” won seven awards at the 73rd EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday, including best fim and best director.
  • “Joker” won three BAFTAs at London’s Royal Albert Hall, while “Parasite” won two and “Jojo Rabbit,” “Little Women,” “Marriage Story,” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” all won one each.
  • Here are seven winners who didn’t deserve their awards, and who they should have go to instead.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.


“1917” is not the best film of the year.

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images‘1917’ won two less BAFTAs than there are people in this photo. Not even Hot Priest could save the movie.

“1917” is a great cinematic experience, but not a great film.That’s pretty much what I said in my review of Sam Mendes’ WWI movie event, and while it is great fun to watch in the cinema, it is not the artistic achievement of “Parasite.”

It’s also far from the nostalgic cinematic feasts that are “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “The Irishman,” and it’s also not the game-changing masterpiece that is “Joker.”

“1917” winning best film feels like a very “in the moment” decision. It doesn’t feel like, in years to come, the movie will be remembered as fondly as the other four best picture nominees mentioned above.

Those four films will all be remembered for a whole host of various reasons; the nostalgic 9th from Quentin Tarantino, his most personal; the final (probably) collaboration between four masters of cinema in Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci; an outright perfect film from Bong Joon Ho; and the comic book movie that defied all genre expectations and delivered Joaquin Phoenix his inevitable Oscar.

What will “1917” be remembered for other than utilising the one-shot trick?


The “Joker” win for best casting felt strange, since Joaquin Phoenix runs the show.

Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.‘Joker’ was the most nominated film at the BAFTAs with 11. It won three.

“Joker” is a 10/10 film, and thoroughly deserved its other two wins for best actor for Joaquin Phoenix and best original score for Hildur Guðnadóttir.

But its win for best casting seemed odd to say the least. The movie is pretty much a showcase of Joaquin Phoenix’s incredible talent, with a couple of other actors making an impression, too (Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz).

The other nominees (“Marriage Story,” “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” and “The Two Popes”) are all expansive ensemble casts (except “The Two Popes,” which is really just a two-hander) that feature a wide collection of great actors and actresses, plus a huge array of background actors and extras, too.

“The Personal History of David Copperfield” stands out because of its committment to colour-blind casting, particularly in a period piece. Dev Patel leads the line as Copperfield, while Benedict Wong joins a supporting cast alongside the likes of Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Ben Whishaw, Gwendoline Christie, and Peter Capaldi.

Surely that movie’s casting deserved more recognition for the work and committment to representation than the Joaquin Phoenix show.


Bong Joon Ho was robbed of best director by Sam Mendes and “1917.”

Dave J Hogan/Getty Images/Lia Toby/Getty ImagesBong Joon Ho won a BAFTA for original screenplay but lost best director to Sam Mendes.

In one of the night’s few surprises, Bong Joon Ho won best original screenplay for “Parasite,” beating the expected winner Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”)

“Parasite” also won best film not in the English language, so Bong’s two BAFTAs should be good compensation for not giving him the best director award.

But Sam Mendes’ win feels undeserved. “1917” is well directed, but the movie deserves to be rewarded for cinematography above anything else, and it isn’t the absolute vision that Bong executed through every area of filmmaking with “Parasite.”

The genre-bending tone and style of “Parasite” is really, really special, and something we haven’t seen before. We’ve been seeing directors win for war films since the very first Oscars.


Best supporting actor winner Brad Pitt wasn’t actually that great in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

Sony PicturesPitt has won an Oscar for Best Picture as a producer on ’12 Years a Slave,’ but has never won for acting. This is his seventh total nomination.

Brad Pitt is great, and he has been one of the highlights of this trunkated awards season. Every red carpet appearance he has made, every acceptance speech he has given, has been killer. Even when he wasn’t present at the awards, his speech (delivered via Margot Robbie at the BAFTAs) was still one of the night’s highlights.

But are we rewarding Brad Pitt’s performance in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” or are we just rewarding Brad himself?

While Pitt was good in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” I don’t think he was BAFTA-winning or Oscar-winning amazing. If we went on performance alone, Anthony Hopkins in “The Two Popes” or Tom Hanks in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood” are superior.


“1917” really didn’t need to win for production design.

François Duhamel/Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures‘1917’ beat ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ ‘Joker,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ and ‘The Irishman’ to win best production design.

The ceremony started to get a little boring when it quickly became clear that “1917” was just going to sweep almost every award.

Sure, give “1917” credit where it’s due – it thoroughly deserved to win best sound and best cinematography. There is no arguing that.

But when “1917” won best production design, it was just obvious they were rewarding the film for the sake of it. The detail in the WWI sets is impressive, yes, but they are mostly just mud-filled trunches and bunkers. We’ve seen all of this work in a dozen other war movies.

However, the work in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is a specific combination of era and location that we haven’t really seen much of before in cinema, and the production designers of that movie (along with Quentin Tarantino) crafted the sets with painstaking detail.


Best animated feature winner “Klaus” is cute and all, but “Toy Story 4” is “Toy Story 4.”

Netflix/Walt Disney Studios‘Klaus’ beat two Disney films to win best animated feature — ‘Toy Story 4’ and ‘Frozen II.’

I’m torn by this one. “Klaus” is a really cute film, and a complete Christmas treat, but “Toy Story 4” carries so much nostalgia and emotional significance that it’s impossible to not want it to win.

It’s been incredible growing up with the first two “Toy Story” films, and then having two more come out in our generation’s ascent into adolescence and adulthood. It’s been a key part of our lives, so it seemed only fitting that the final instalment of the animated franchise be properly awarded with best animated film.

However, it’s hard to grumble too much. “Toy Story 3” (what I believe should have been the final “Toy Story” movie, but that’s neither here nor there) won best animated film at both the BAFTAs and Oscars in 2010, so maybe it’s good to reward another film and studio other than Pixar/Disney, who have dominated this category since its inception.


BAFTA loved “1917” so much they gave it best visual effects over “Endgame,” “The Lion King,” and “Star Wars.” OK, BAFTA.

Walt Disney Studios‘The Lion King,’ ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ visual effects.

You may try and argue that “1917” deserved any other of its seven wins, but how could you argue that the visual effects of the WWI film are more impressive than the photo-realist creations of “The Lion King,” the iconic space battle sequences of “Satr Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” or the mind-blowing final battle featuring motion-capture wonder Thanos in “Avengers: Endgame?”

This win is genuinely quite confusing. A quick search on Google images shows you all of the amazing visual effects in the trio of Disney movies, while “1917” features only a select few sequences which require visual effects.

Thanos deserves more respect.

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