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Bafta Rising Star 2021 youtube.png

BAFTAS 2021: 'Nomadland' and 'Promising Young Woman' Win Big in Year of Major Nominations Shake-Up

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | April 12, 2021 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | April 12, 2021 |


Bafta Rising Star 2021 youtube.png

The Bafta Film Awards took place this weekend over two days in the UK, and the results were surprisingly solid. For the past decade of so, Bafta has faced major criticisms that it’s become less focused on celebrating British film and more enamored with being an Oscars precursor, complete with the staggering lack of diversity that entailed. In response, Bafta changed the nomination process, brought in new members, and increased the number of nominees in key categories. The result was one of the best slate of nominees we’ve ever seen from the Baftas. Films like Rocks, His House, Calm With Horses, and Saint Maud appeared alongside expected Oscar hits like Nomadland and The Trial of the Chicago 7. For the first time in what felt like forever, the Baftas were exciting and, dare I say it, relevant again.

That being said, the winners were mostly pretty predictable and fell in line with expected Oscar narratives. That’s not to say that the victors were bad or undeserving — in a year this strong, it’s hard to begrudge these choices — but it speaks volumes as to how, even in a year this unpredictable and different thanks to extenuating circumstances, the trends remain in place. Nomadland won both Best Picture and Best Director, with Chloe Zhao becoming only the second woman to win best director in the 53 years of the category’s history. Frances McDormand took home Best Actress in a category that didn’t include frontrunners like Viola Davis, Andra Day, or Carey Mulligan, so that race continues to be up in the air.

Maybe the big surprise of the night, if you can call it that, was Anthony Hopkins winning Best Actor for The Father. Personally, I’m delighted to see him be recognized for that performance, which would be storming every awards ceremony in a quieter year. Hopkins was not there to receive his award via Zoom. He later told the BBC he was sitting in his house painting and ‘I heard this cheer go off next door. I thought, what the hell’s happened? I thought they were watching a football match. And they came in and said I’d won.’ Bless this man and his amazing social media presence.

Youn Yuh-jung won Best Supporting Actress for Minari and gave a mega-charming speech where she called us Brits snobs. She’s right! But nobody was more surprised by their win than this year’s recipient of the Rising Star Award — the only award of the night voted on by the British public — Bukky Bakray from Rocks.



It’s been a weird awards season, and it’s things like this — and the nominees slate in general — that make you feel really positive about film. Now, if only the Oscars can stick the landing…

Here are the full winners of the 2021 Baftas:


BEST FILM

Nomadland

BEST DIRECTOR

Chloe Zhao — Nomadland

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

Promising Young Woman

LEADING ACTOR

Anthony Hopkins — The Father

LEADING ACTRESS

Frances McDormand — Nomadland

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Daniel Kaluuya — Judas and the Black Messiah

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Youn Yuh-jung — Minari

EE RISING STAR AWARD

Bukky Bakray

OUTSTANDING BRITISH DEBUT

Remi Weekes (writer/director) — His House

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

Another Round

DOCUMENTARY

My Octopus Teacher

ANIMATED FILM

Soul

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Promising Young Woman

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Father

ORIGINAL SCORE

Soul

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Nomadland

EDITING

Sound of Metal

COSTUME DESIGN

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Mank

MAKE-UP AND HAIR

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

SOUND

Sound of Metal

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

Tenet

CASTING

Rocks

BRITISH SHORT FILM

The Present

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION

The Owl and the Pussycat

OUTSTANDING BRITISH CONTRIBUTION TO CINEMA

Noel Clarke

BAFTA FELLOWSHIP

Ang Lee

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Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.



Header Image Source: YouTube // BAFTA