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
Listen to his collaboration with Naughty Boymusic
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
Top Gear live to go ahead: Jeremy Clarkson to join Richard Hammond and James May... just don't call it Top Gear
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Menstruation-themed photo series artist 'censored by Instagram' says images are to demystify taboos around periods
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers