- 03 Feb 20
At the UK film industry's biggest night of the year, Ireland's Saoirse Ronan and Jessie Buckley lost out to Reneé Zellweger – who played Judy Garland in the Judy biopic.
Irish actresses Saoirse Ronan and Jessie Buckley (pictured) were among the disappointed at last nights BAFTA Awards ceremony in London. The two Irish actresses were in the running for the Best Actress award, but in the end lost out to established Hollywood superstar, Renée Zellweger.
Renée Zellweger – who made her original breakthrough starring in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, in 1994 – earned wide praise for her performance as Judy Garland in the acclaimed biopic, Judy. The American actress had already won the Best Actress award for the role at the Golden Globe and SAG Awards. She is, of course, a multiple BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award winner for her roles in movies like Nurse Betty (2000), Chicago (2002) and Cold Mountain (2004)
Saoirse Ronan was nominated for her performance in Greta Gerwig's Little Women adaptation; and Jessie Buckley was in the running for her starring role as an aspiring country singer, in in the superb music-based film, Wild Rose.
In an extraordinary and moving gesture, Renée Zellweger gave a special shout-out to Buckley during her acceptance speech: "Jessie Buckley, you are a superstar. I'm so proud of you for this evening, you are such a special person, you elevate everything you do and I am so grateful for our friendship."
A Hot Press favourite, and cover star on our Best of Ireland 2019 annual, published last year, Buckley has sadly not been nominated for the Best Actress prize at the Oscars, but Zellweger and Ronan will face off again at the prestigious ceremony this coming weekend. All of the indications are that Zellweger must be seen as favourite to prevail again – but there is a huge level of respect for Saoirse Ronan in the Academy. The sense of expectation around this one should help to make it a very interesting evening indeed in Los Angeles!