It’s time for London to get the Hollywood treatment, with the great and the good of the film world in town for this year’s BAFTAs ceremony.
All Quiet On The Western Front, The Banshees Of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Elvis and Tar are the films everyone is talking about ahead of this year’s ceremony, but of course there’s always more to the show than just the best picture prize.
Here are a few things to look out for ahead of the BAFTAs ceremony.
Organisers have said this year’s awards are shaping up to be one of the most well-attended on record, which hopefully means it’s a good year for A-list bingo.
Among the nominees confirmed to attend are – drum roll, please – Ana de Armas, Angela Bassett, Austin Butler, Baz Luhrmann, Bill Nighy, Brendan Fraser, Brendan Gleeson, Carey Mulligan, Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Eddie Redmayne, Emma Thompson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Yeoh, Paul Mescal, Sam Mendes, Viola Davis, and loads more.
Plus, there are the awards presenters too, with Ana Taylor-Joy, Ariana DeBose, Brian Cox, Catherine-Zeta-Jones, Cynthia Erivo, Eugene Levy, Geri Halliwell Horner, Jamie Dornan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Julianne Moore, Lashana Lynch, Lily James, Martin Freeman, Rami Malek, Rege Jean Page, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sophie Turner, Taron Egerton and more all set to appear.
There’s also royalty too, thanks to the Prince and Princess of Wales.
And let’s not forget the host, Richard E Grant, who will be assisted by Alison Hammond presenting from the new BAFTA Studio area.
The BAFTAs ceremony has been held at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the last few years, but this year moves to the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall – the same venue as BAFTA’s TV and Games awards.
“The move will see BAFTA programme its most ambitious and accessible night yet, bolstered by a refreshed production and format,” the organisation said when it announced the move.
Don’t expect a roast from ‘fanboy’ Grant
Speaking of Grant, the 65-year-old actor is taking over hosting duties from Australian star Rebel Wilson, who helmed the ceremony in 2022.
“I’m going to be singing like Billy Crystal, dancing like Fred Astaire, funnier than Bob Hope, more beautiful than Joanna Lumley,” he has said. But he’s just kidding: “I have no idea. It’s very hard to see yourself on the outside.”
Wilson made some risque jokes about the Royal Family, Vladimir Putin, the gender pay gap, her flop film Cats and her own weight loss during her time on stage last year. Known for his roles in Withnail & I, Gosford Park, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Can You Ever Forgive Me? – for which he was BAFTA and Oscar nominated – Grant has said the humour may be a little different.
His own nominations in 2019 saw the actor becoming one of the stars of awards season that year, thanks to his unashamedly excited videos and posts on social media. “[Organisers] must know that I’m going to be a celebratory person rather than somebody who’s there to roast other actors so hopefully, that will work out, I don’t know yet,” he said ahead of the ceremony.
Grant also said he is “amazed” to be in the company of other previous hosts including Stephen Fry and Graham Norton – and that he is “such a fanboy” of fellow thespians that he found it an “incredible privilege” to meet BAFTA nominees.
Some of the show will be live for the first time ever
Unlike other awards shows, the BAFTAs ceremony has always previously been recorded a few hours before it is broadcast on air.
This year is sort of different. While most of the ceremony will air on a delay, the final four categories will be televised live for the first time in BAFTAs history.
Let’s hope the celebs are on their best behaviour, eh?
It’s clearly on Grant’s mind, as he’s said that rather than thinking about who will win those final prizes, he’ll be hoping that there are no fisticuffs on live TV.
As if that would ever happen at an A-list film awards show watched by millions…
The bookies’ faves
All Quiet On The Western Front leads the nominations with 14, but The Banshees of Inisherin is the favourite to win the big prize, for best film, according to bookies including Betfair and William Hill. Banshees star Farrell is the favourite to take home the best actor gong.
In the best actress category, it looks like the prize will go to either Blanchett for her performance in Tar, or Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All At Once. And Everything Everywhere directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – aka The Daniels – are the ones to beat in the directing category.
How to watch
The ceremony will be broadcast from 7pm on BBC One and iPlayer. Sky News will be covering live from the red carpet beforehand and throughout the ceremony before the programme itself begins – follow our live blog here from about 2.30pm.
All the best actor nominees are first-timers
This year has been a big year for acting first-time nominees at all the film awards – the Oscars as well as the BAFTAs – but in the best actor category, every single nominee is up for the first time.
Here’s a reminder of the shortlist:
• Austin Butler – Elvis
• Colin Farrell The Banshees of Inisherin
• Brendan Fraser – The Whale
• Daryl McCormack – Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
• Paul Mescal – Aftersun
• Bill Nighy – Living
Yes, even veteran Nighy has never been nominated before. And it’s a pretty impressive accomplishment for the likes of Mescal, just three years on from the release of his breakthrough series, Normal People; for McCormack, too, who is also in the running for this year’s BAFTA rising star award.
Fraser has received standing ovations at film festivals for his performance as an obese teacher in The Whale, and Butler’s performance has also received praise – but it looks like Farrell is the one to beat.
The full list of nominees
How to watch all the big films
Overall, 14 of the 24 shortlisted in performance categories are first-time nominees, with de Armas, Danielle Deadwyler, Hong Chau, Kerry Condon and Ke Huy Qua among the newbies.
Tribute to the Queen
Who better to lead the BAFTAs tribute to the Queen than Dame Helen Mirren, who has portrayed the monarch on both the big screen and stage throughout her career.
The veteran actress, 77, won both an Oscar and a BAFTA for her depiction of the royal in 2006’s biographical drama The Queen.
The Queen had a close association with the BAFTAs which spanned 50 years, during which she attended many events and also supported the organisation’s initiatives.
In April 2013, the monarch received an honorary BAFTA from Sir Kenneth Branagh at Windsor Castle, for her “tireless support” for the industry.
William and Kate on the guestlist
In other royal news, William and Kate will be among those attending the ceremony – their first appearance at the show in three years.
The Prince of Wales has been the president of BAFTA since 2010.
The royal couple will watch the ceremony before meeting the winners and rising star award nominees.
Blue ribbon tributes
Blanchett, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Yusra Mardini, who are goodwill ambassadors for the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are set to be among artists wearing a blue ribbon to show support for refugees and those who have been displaced due to war and other events such as the Turkey-Syria earthquake over the past year.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “The human themes of displacement, separation and loss are present in many of the films nominated this awards season, including The Swimmers (based on the story of UNHCR goodwill ambassador Yusra Mardini and her sister, Sara Mardini); Bad Axe; and Marcel The Shell.
“Through effective storytelling, these films can help to erode prejudice and misunderstandings, offer new perspectives, and help to build compassion…
“The wearing of the blue #WithRefugees ribbon on the red carpet sends a powerful visual message that everyone has the right to seek safety, whoever, wherever, whenever.”
Little Simz due to perform
London-born rapper Little Simz will perform at the show and has said she is “excited and honoured” to take part.
The star’s 2021 album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert saw her win Mobo, Ivor Novello and Brit awards – plus the coveted Mercury Prize.
The musician also has a starring role in BAFTA-winning series Top Boy.
The BAFTA Film Awards take place tonight at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London.
The ceremony will be broadcast from 7pm on BBC One and iPlayer. Sky News will be covering live from the red carpet beforehand and throughout the ceremony before the programme itself begins.