Both The Queen and The Last King Of Scotland ran expensive, committed campaigns and both reveal the importance of the autumn festival circuit in building towards Bafta success, also a factor for previous winners such as Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Vera Drake (2004).
Helen Mirren's best actress prize at Venice in September established her as a Bafta and Oscar front-runner. The film's UK theatrical release in September reinforced that impression and sustained the film's visibility until the awards momentum kicked in.
The Last King Of Scotland emerged from Telluride and Toronto trailing critical acclaim. The opening night gala slot at the London Film Festival in October kept its profile high, while director Kevin Macdonald and star James McAvoy toured around for Bafta members screenings and Q&A sessions. The film's UK release on January 12 coincided with the Bafta nominations announcement and it has the most to gain in theatrical terms from the best actor, best adapted screenplay and Korda award victories.
The Queen may enjoy a modest theatrical resurgence before its UK DVD release on March 12. Both films spent lavishly on For Your Consideration ads, both sent out screeners to Bafta members and both look set to reap the benefits.