Opinion: Reaction to the 2020 BAFTA Awards

This year’s BAFTA film awards took place at the Royal Albert Hall last night.

As this year’s awards drew to a close I couldn’t help but think just how subdued the BAFTA’s were this year in comparison to previous ceremonies. This was perhaps down in part to the controversy surrounding the lack of diversity highlighted in the nominations – but it also felt as though no one’s heart was in being there.

This being said, it was a chance to celebrate some diversity in the styles of film that have been released over the last twelve months, with of course 1917 doing particularly well for Sam Mendes and his team winning seven awards in total including of course Best Film, while Parasite won in categories such as Best Original Screenplay and Film Not in the English Language.

Given the glitz and glamour associated with the BAFTA’s the whole ceremony felt extremely awkward to watch on television – let alone than being there, with many of the jokes seeming to fall extremely flat or feeling forced – except in Rebel Wilson’s speech which made a sharp jokes referring to the lack of female directors nominated and her recent film Cats.

However, this being said there were other moments that stood out including Cirque Du Soleil’s performance to Judy Garland’s ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ which was genuinely beautiful and mesmerising to watch. It was also lovely to listen to Renee Zellweger’s speech after she picked up the award for Leading Actress – genuinely humble she was a deserved winner, while Joaquin Phoenix’s speech after picking up his Leading Actor award has certainly become a powerful talking point.

Overall, it was a mixed bag of an evening with many deserved winners but it does feel as though BAFTA has lost its way a little bit and needs to be taken in a new direction particularly when it comes to dealing with nominations. It will be interesting to see what will happen for the 2021 awards.

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