Can someone – anyone – please explain this to me? While it’s great to see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri win five awards – Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Leading Actress, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay – how does it compute that Martin McDonagh didn’t nab the Director award as well? With all due respect to Guillermo del Toro, how does he win the award when The Shape of Water is only recognised in two other categories (Original Music, Production Design)? If we accept the auteur theory – which certainly applies to both McDonagh and del Toro in these instances – then splitting their movie’s achievements seems ridiculous. But even if we don’t accept the auteur theory then it still doesn’t make sense. How can the director of the movie that’s acknowledged as the Best of an entire year lose out to the director of another movie that doesn’t receive that same accolade?
Perhaps it’s a bit like those Lifetime Achievement awards that the Oscars give out. You know the ones, where someone who’s never won an Oscar is given an honorary one as a soft apology for not being recognised sooner (or before they die). Perhaps it’s out of some random idea of fair play, a sense that it would be somehow awful if one movie swept the board so completely. Or perhaps – and maybe this is the worst of all – it’s all arbitrary, and instead of full consideration being given to each director’s individual merits in relation to the movie they’ve made, it’s purely the luck of the draw. (Yes, I know each category is voted for, but still, really…?)
If I were Martin McDonagh, and I was given the opportunity to reveal my true deep-down feelings about losing to Guillermo del Toro, then I would be saying, “What the f#@k happened? What the holy f#@k just happened?” I would be checking with my lawyer to see if I could sue BAFTA and anyone who had a hand in del Toro’s victory, and I would be erecting three billboards of my own outside 195 Piccadilly, London: 1) Snatched while watching, 2) And still no questions?, and then 3) How come, BAFTA?