Thandie Newton crashes to Bafta win

The actress Thandie Newton snatched top honours at the Orange British Academy Awards last night from under the noses of honours veterans Frances McDormand and Brenda Blethyn in what proved to be a rare triumph for the British.

The 33-year-old actress, who was born in Zambia but raised in Britain, was named best supporting actress for her searing performance in the American film Crash, about fraught racial tensions in Los Angeles. It also won best original screenplay.

"I did it for very, very little money, huge support from the people making the film, but really it was very, very tight," Newton admitted at last night's ceremony, the most prestigious film honours in the UK.

Newton, a mother-of-two who originally trained to be a dancer, gave it up for acting and then did an anthropology degree at Cambridge University, said her victory was the highlight of her career so far - "and probably the highest high ever. I'm full to the brim with gratitude and respect [for the other nominees]."

She was the only Brit in a cast of Americans and played a woman who suffers sexual harassment at the hands of a racist police officer. It was her most acclaimed performance since her appearance in Jefferson in Paris a decade ago.

But the rain-soaked ceremony in Leicester Square, London, was a disappointing night for most British nominees with several hot favourites leaving empty-handed. The Constant Gardener, a story of drug company corruption in Africa, had led the field with 10 nominations, but walked away with just one award. Brokeback Mountain, the Western romance about two sheepherders in love, dominated.

The film, which is widely expected to win at the Oscars in America next month, took four awards, including best film and adapted screenplay. Its director, Ang Lee, was named best director while Jake Gyllenhaal, who starred alongside Heath Ledger, was named best supporting actor.

Gyllenhaal said the film meant even more to him for its social message than artistically. "I had a lot of people saying to me, to my surprise, thank you for making it."

Rachel Weisz, the lead in The Constant Gardener, was beaten to the best actress award by Reese Witherspoon for her barnstorming performance as the wife of Johnny Cash in the biopic Walk the Line.

And Weisz's co-star, Ralph Fiennes, was beaten to best actor by Philip Seymour Hoffman for his performance in another biopic, Capote, about the writer Truman Capote.

There was also bitter disappointment for Hollywood star George Clooney who took home no honours despite high hopes for his film Good Night, and Good Luck, about journalism in the McCarthyite era in America, which he wrote, directed and starred in. He was also nominated for his performance in Syriana.

But David Puttnam, being awarded a Bafta fellowship, paid tribute to him for his politically impassioned style of movie-making. "What you've done to this industry is remarkable," he said.

Lord Puttnam admitted he gave up producing films eight years ago because he feared the industry would no longer support the type of films he wanted to make, but this year's nominations had proved him wrong. "This group of committed, decent films which absolutely have something to say give the lie ... that there's a dichotomy between informing and entertaining."

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was named the outstanding British film. Nick Park, who has previously won Oscars in animation categories, said: "I was just so thrilled to be nominated alongside all the proper films tonight."

Pride and Prejudice, whose star Keira Knightley was snubbed by the 6,000 members of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts who vote for the awards, took home one honour, for achievement in a first movie for its director Joe Wright. He lamented Knightley's absence but wished her well for the Oscars, where she has been nominated.

James McAvoy, the star of television's Shameless and seen recently in the Chronicles of Narnia, won the new rising star award sponsored by Orange against competition from Chiwetel Ejifor, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rachel McAdams and Michelle Williams.

The winners

Best film: Brokeback Mountain

Best British film: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

Best direction: Brokeback Mountain

Best original screenplay: Crash

Best adapted screenplay: Brokeback Mountain

Best film not in English: De Battre Mon Coeur S'est Arrete (Beat My Heart Skipped)

Best actress: Reese Witherspoon

Best actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Best supporting actor: Jake Gyllenhaal

Best supporting actress: Thandie Newton

Best music: John Williams for Memoirs of a Geisha

Best production design: Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire

Best editing: The Constant Gardener

Best short film: Antonio's Breakfast

Best effects: King Kong

Best cinematography: Memoirs of a Geisha

Best sound: Walk the Line

The Academy fellowship: David Puttnam

Arts and Entertainment

photography
Arts and Entertainment
Adolf Hitler's 1914 watercolour 'Altes Rathaus' and the original invoice from 1916

art
Arts and Entertainment
Scare tactics: Michael Palin and Jodie Comer in ‘Remember Me’

TVReview: Remember Me, BBC1
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tvThe two new contestants will join the 'I'm A Celebrity' camp after Gemma Collins' surprise exit
News
The late Jimmy Ruffin, pictured in 1974
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Northern Uproar, pictured in 1996
people

Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the new Paddington bear review

Review: Paddingtonfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Tony stares at the 'Daddy Big Ears' drawing his abducted son Oliver drew for him in The Missing
tvReview: But we're no closer to the truth in 'The Missing'
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Len Goodman appeared to mutter the F-word after Simon Webbe's Strictly performance

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T makes his long-awaited return to the London stage
musicReview: Alexandra Palace, London
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 back in 2001 when they also supported 'Children in Need'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth rejoins Tess Daly to host the Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan plays Christian Grey getting ready for work

Film More romcom than S&M

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Review: The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
The comedian Daniel O'Reilly appeared contrite on BBC Newsnight last night

comedy
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.

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible