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BAFTA Awards Predictions 2021: ‘Nomadland,’ ‘Promising Young Woman,’ ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ and Other Top Contenders

How will the British Academy influence the Oscars, with voting opening on April 15?

2021 Oscar Predictions - Best Picture
Courtesy of SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES / NETFLIX / A24

The 2021 BAFTA nominations turned more than a few heads when they were announced in early March. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has approximately 9,000 voting members, nearly identical to AMPAS at 10,000.

With “Nomadland” leading the field with seven noms and having the prestige of wins from the Golden Globes and PGA, the season has looked like an inevitable coronation of Chloé Zhao’s American West drama. But it’s never that simple.

Since the BAFTAs moved its ceremony in 2000 to take place before the Oscars, it has only matched the Academy eight times, particularly the past six years running — “Boyhood” over “Birdman,” “The Revenant” over “Spotlight,” “La La Land” over “Moonlight,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” over “The Shape of Water,” “Roma” over “Green Book” and “1917” over “Parasite.” Whether “Nomadland” wins or loses with the overseas group will be a statistic worth considering.

The BAFTAs did match the Oscars in the first five years of the expanded best picture lineup (2009 to 2014). But they don’t use the preferential ballot system for selecting the best film winner, whereas the Academy does, which might explain the differing winners.

So what can we expect from the BAFTA Awards, which will take place across a whole weekend, with two separate shows airing on April 10 and 11? The broadcast will be held virtually out of London’s Royal Albert Hall, with the first show focusing on the artisan categories and the second handing out the main performance prizes.

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Vanessa Kirby in “Pieces of a Woman”

There isn’t a great deal of overlap with the Oscars in the acting categories, so we won’t find much of a correlation this time around. In the lead actress race, only Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) and Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) have noms from both. In supporting actress, just Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) and Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”) are present at both groups. We could easily see one or both of those races going to a non-Oscar nominee, particularly either Bukky Bakray in lead and Kosar Ali in supporting actress from Sarah Gavron’s “Rocks.”

Not since Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) in 2010 has an actress winner won the Oscar without a BAFTA nomination. This could hurt presumed front-runners Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) and Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”), who missed out on BAFTA love. Then again, the organization had small juries choose the nominees this year, so their selections might not indicate a lack of enthusiasm for these performances among Oscar voters.

For supporting actress, Regina King won an Oscar without BAFTA for 2018’s “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Before that, you have to travel back to 2000, when Marcia Gay Harden won the Oscar for “Pollock” without any nominations from the televised award shows, for the last time a winner in the modern era achieved the feat.

In terms of the leading and supporting actor categories, they should fall in line where the season trajectory has been heading, with Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) walking away with their respective prizes. However, Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) is a beloved British figure, and his film did very well with the BAFTA and Oscar nominations. Across the pond, he could edge out Boseman for the win.

Down below are my BAFTA predictions:

Best Film: “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
Alternate: “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Director: Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
Alternate: Thomas Vinterberg, “Another Round” (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

Lead Actor: Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
Alternate: Anthony Hopkins, “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Lead Actress: Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman” (Netflix)
Alternate: Frances McDormand, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah” (Warner Bros)
Alternate: Paul Raci, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)

Supporting Actress: Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari” (A24)
Alternate: Kosar Ali, “Rocks” (Altitude)

Original Screenplay: “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)
Alternate: “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Adapted Screenplay: “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Alternate: “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Production Design: “Mank” (Netflix)
Alternate: “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Cinematography: “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
Alternate: “Mank” (Netflix)

Costume Design: “Emma.” (Focus Features)
Alternate: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)

Editing: “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
Alternate: “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

Sound: “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
Alternate: “News of the World” (Universal Pictures)

Visual Effects: “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix)
Alternate: “Tenet” (Warner Bros)

Score: “Mank” (Netflix)
Alternate: “Soul” (Pixar)

Animated Feature: “Soul” (Pixar)
Alternate: “Wolfwalkers” (Apple TV Plus/GKIDS)

Casting: “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)
Alternate: “Minari” (A24)

Documentary Feature: “My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix)
Alternate: “Collective” (Magnolia Pictures and Participant)

Foreign Film: “Another Round” (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Alternate: “Minari” (A24)

British Film: “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Alternate: “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)

Rising Star: Kingsley Ben-Adir
Alternate: Bukky Bakray