Dylan Wiggan and Sophie James guide us through their predictions for Best Actor and Actress
Best Actor: Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables)
Daniel Day Lewis may seem to have best actor in the bag, but we couldn’t go without mentioning Hugh Jackman. As his CV includes roles in X-Men and Baz Luhrman’s epic flop Australia, any raised eyebrows at Tom Hooper’s decision to name Jackman as his Jean Valjean in Les Misérables would have been justified. Amongst a star-studded and highly talented cast, it would have been easy to predict that Jackman would be the weak link. But, he only rose to the challenge, undergoing extreme vocal coaching in order to pull off a note perfect performance, singing live for the entirety of the film, whilst simultaneously producing what would have been a BAFTA- winning performance had Day-Lewis not featured in the line up. He also proved his dedication to the role by his extreme weight loss, fasting from both food and water for 36 hours prior to shooting the powerful opening scenes. There’s no doubt that Day-Lewis will be up there claiming the BAFTA on the day, but Jackman certainly gave him a run for his money.
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)
Since her Oscar winning portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose Marion Cotillard has been able to switch freely from mega budget blockbusters like Inception and The Dark Knight Rises to more indie and personal fare like 2012’s Rust and Bone. This versatility is one of the many reasons why Cotillard should be the one picking up the bronze mask next Sunday. Rust and Bone holds one of her most engaging and moving performances, as she takes the role of orca whale trainer Stéphanie, who suffers a tragic accident. The barrier of its foreign language will probably hinder any chances of any major awards, and is perhaps the reason for her Oscars snub. But, in a year when we’re lucky enough to see not one but two foreign actresses in the Best Actress line up (Cotillard is joined by Emmanuelle Riva of Amour), it would be great to see Cotillard, who is already a BAFTA favourite, picking up the award.
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
To the great surprise of absolutely no one, next Sunday we will all see Daniel Day-Lewis pick up his fourth BAFTA for his role as the 16th President of the United States in Steven Spielberg’s biopic Lincoln. Why is his win so obvious? Well let’s look at the evidence. For a ‘typical-award-winning-performance’ Day-Lewis ticks all the usual boxes. Period piece? Check. Accent? Check. True Story? Check. Physical transformation? Check (his glorious beard).What this all adds up to is another win for the award-laden Day-Lewis, which brings us to our next point. It’s bloody Daniel Day-Lewis! Between running off to make shoes, he only does critically lauded work. There Will Be Blood, My Left Foot, Gangs of New York. Ok, 2009’s Nine was a rare misstep, but aside from that, the notoriously ‘method’ Day-Lewis has been impressively consistent and will undoubtedly add to his bulging trophy case next Sunday.
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
In the most wide open best actress race in years we are going for Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain for the win. Chastain burst out of nowhere in 2011 with roles in hit film The Help and critical darling The Tree of Life, and cemented her status in the A-List with her portrayal as the dedicated (bordering on obsessed) CIA agent Maya, who is charged with the task of finding Osama Bin Laden. Her gutsy performance as a ‘woman-on-a-mission’ is exactly the type of role award’s academies vote for, like Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich or Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side. The only thing that might push the award in the equally favoured feet of Jennifer Lawrence is the recent ‘torture’ controversy that has surrounded the film, as the liberal movie bizz wont want to be viewed as condoning the US’s actions. But we think that fuss has died down enough to ensure Chastain the BAFTA.