How Britain’s best Oscar hopes are all behind the camera

If last weekend’s Bafta ceremony is a guide, Britain will struggle to win a single acting award at the Oscars on Sunday night.

Despite the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce and Florence Pugh among the nominees, it is American talent that is favourite to sweep the board in all four categories – just as they did at the Baftas.

Cynthia Erivo is also tipped to miss out on winning best actress.

Besides being British, she is the only non-white person to be nominated for any of this year’s acting Oscars.

Instead, it is behind the camera that Britain’s best hopes lie for success.

Leading the charge is Sir Sam Mendes, the favourite to win best director for his First World War epic 1917.

It would be the second time Sir Sam took home this award, the first being 20 years ago for American Beauty.

Only two other British people in history have twice won the best director Oscar: Frank Lloyd, for the films The Divine Lady (1930) and Cavalcade (1934); and David Lean, for The Bridge On The River Kwai (1958) and Lawrence Of Arabia (1963).

1917 could also see a number of other British Oscar wins.

Roger Deakins is favourite to win best cinematography for his work on the film, two years after he won the same award for Blade Runner 2049.

Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate have a good chance of winning best sound editing, and Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson could pick up the award for best sound mixing.

Naomi Donne and Tristan Versluis are nominated for 1917 in the best make-up and hairstyling category.

Sir Sam could pick up a second award if he and his co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns win best original screenplay.

And the film itself is a strong contender for winning best picture.

Away from 1917, Elton John and Bernie Taupin are favourites to walk away with best original song for (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, from the film Rocketman.

There are two British hopefuls in the category for best costume design: Jacqueline Durran (for Little Women) and Sandy Powell (The Irishman).

British-made Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You’re A Girl) is nominated for best short documentary, while For Sama – a British co-production with the US and Syria – is favourite to win best documentary.

In the best visual effects category, there is a host of British creative talent nominated for both Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and The Lion King.

If 1917 misses out on the award for best make-up and hairstyling, there is still a chance for a British win in the shape of Jeremy Woodhead, nominated in this category for Judy, or Paul Gooch and David White, for Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil.

Similarly, if 1917 misses out on best sound mixing, Britain could still take home the award thanks to Paul Massey (for Ford v Ferrari) or Tom Johnson (for Ad Astra).

Finally, two other UK-US co-productions besides 1917 are in the running for best picture: Marriage Story and Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood.


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