Silent revolution at the Baftas as the French take top awards
The Artist wins in seven categories, with Meryl Streep the other big success story
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Monday 13 February 2012
The British Film Academy Awards had a distinctly Gallic flavour last night as The Artist, a French silent movie picked up seven wins including Best Film, Actor and Director. Meryl Streep was also awarded Best Actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.
The Artist, which is now odds-on favourite for the Oscars later this month, had been nominated for 12 Bafta awards.
Director Michel Hazanavicius said: "The format is something really special. The more people can get involved in the storytelling process the better it is," adding: "Merci beaucoup."
Martin Scorsese, who was awarded the Fellowship, the academy's highest accolade, said: "The Artist is a film I admire greatly. It is charming."
Stars including Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Colin Firth, attended the glitzy ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden to witness the triumph of the silent film.
Jean Dujardin was named Best Actor for his portrayal of the fading silent movie star George Valentin. He said: "I am very proud to receive this award from the country of Sir Laurence Olivier, William Webb Ellis and Benny Hill."
The Artist also picked up awards for music, costume design, cinematography and original screenplay. Hazanavicius said: "I am very surprised because many people thought there was no script because there was no dialogue." He added: "So English people are very clever."
Streep, who needed to call on Colin Firth to be her prince charming after her shoe fell off on the way to the podium, after winning Best Actress for The Iron Lady, said: "I'm very proud of this film." She said its goal "was to look at the life of the Iron Lady from inside out and find something that was real".
It was a disappointing night for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which had been nominated in 11 categories, and walked off with just two. It beat off competition for Outstanding British Film including We Need to Talk about Kevin and My Week with Marilyn. It also won Best Adapted Screenplay.
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer went to Tyrannosaur, a gritty film about domestic violence. This follows its success at the British Independent Film Awards earlier in the year.
Senna, a documentary about the life of Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna was awarded Best Documentary, the first year such an award has been handed out at the Baftas, and Best Editing.
Adam Deacon, star of Kidulthood and Anuvahood, won the Orange Wednesday Rising Star Award ahead of actors including Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddlestone. He said: "This is mad; it's crazy that I'm in the same place as Brad Pitt. It's surreal."
Baftas: big winners
Outstanding British Film:
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Best Leading Actor:
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Best Leading Actress:
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actor:
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Best Supporting Actress:
Octavia Spencer – The Help
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Arts & Ents blogs
The desolation of the Weinstein brothers: Film producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
Christmas songs: the best and the worst
X Factor winners: Where are they now?
Your Money, Money, Money please - Abba ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
Lost Peter Sellers films Dearth of a Salesman and Insomnia Is Good for You hailed as the movie equivalent of 'finding Dead Sea Scrolls'
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 John McAfee's $100 'anti-NSA' device: 'this is coming and cannot be stopped'
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding