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

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

Best Film:

The Artist

Outstanding British Film:

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Director:

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

*Video: Meryl Streep has a Cinderella moment at the Baftas

 

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Dapper Laughs found success through the video app Vine

comedy Erm...he seems to be back

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)

tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Arts and Entertainment
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly flanking 'Strictly' winners Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith

tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect