Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has received a crucial Oscar boost. Just as Academy Award voters start voting, the movie was named Best Picture at the 71st British Academy Film Awards, more commonly known as the BAFTAs. There were also boosts for The Shape Of Water, with Guillermo Del Toro named Best Director, and for Darkest Hour, with Gary Oldman winning Best Leading Actor for his portrayal of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, following his Golden Globe  success.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri also won Best British Film – despite its setting, it qualified because of its financing and because it is was directed and written by British-born Martin McDonagh. He also won the Best Original Screenplay. Best Leading Actress was Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell was Best Supporting Actor.

The BAFTAs are the British equivalent to the Academy Awards. They honor feature-length international films and documentaries, and their results often look similar to the Oscars. The one biggest difference this time is that there was nothing for The Post, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The Steven Spielberg-produced movie was nominated for the Golden Globes and Oscars but missed out at the BAFTAs. Some speculated that this was because of its American location, but this did not stop Three Billboards.

The hotly-tipped war movie Dunkirk had eight nominations, but was only successful for Best Sound. The Shape Of Water also won Best Music and Production Design. The latter had the most nominations, with 12, while Three Billboards and Darkest Hour had nine. Darkest Hour won for Best Make-Up – for a spectacular job in turning Oldman into a spitting image of the wartime leader.

Years ago, the BAFTAS were announced after the Oscars, which made them something of an anticlimax. In 2001 the BAFTA date was shifted to mid-February, some two weeks before the Oscars, and taking some of the shine off the earlier Golden Globes and other Guild awards. The Academy Awards are on March 4 in 2018, with voting due to kick into high gear. BAFTA has 7,580 members and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences more than 6,600. They share about 500 members who are able to vote at both.

Since the year when the BAFTAs moved, the event has chosen the same Best Picture eight times out of 17 years: Gladiator, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker, The King’s Speech, The Artist, Argo and 12 Years A Slave. Last year the Best Picture at BAFTA was La La Land – whereas the final winner in the Oscars, amid some confusion, was Moonlight.

(Excerpt) Read More in: Forbes

‘Three Billboards’ Wins Best Film & Dominates The BAFTA Awards

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