Idris Elba is among the big winners at the London Evening Standard British Film Awards, scooping best actor for his portrayal of a warlord in the made-for-Netflix drama about child soldiers, Beasts of No Nation.
The London-born star’s win comes amid controversy over the lack of Oscar nominations this year for black actors.
Elba, 43, beat Michael Fassbender, nominated for the title roles in both Steve Jobs and Macbeth, and Tom Courtenay, up for 45 Years. Elba’s performance had already netted him best supporting actor last month at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Golden Globe nomination.
Not one black or ethnic minority star is among the 20 Academy Award nominees for best actor, actress, supporting actor or supporting actress. Director Spike Lee and husband-and-wife stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith plan to boycott the ceremony at the end of the month.
The adaptation of Colm Toibin’s novel, Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley, won the Standard’s best film award, beating 45 Years, High-Rise and The Lobster.
Best actress went to Maggie Smith, star of Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van. Bennett won the Special Award for his contribution to British film, which was presented to him by Alex Jennings, the actor who played him in the movie.
Amy, about Amy Winehouse, favourite to win the best documentary Oscar, took the equivalent prize at Television Centre in west London. Childhood friends and the late singer’s first manager collected the award.
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