She could console herself, however, with the awards for best leading actress in the film, while John Hodge took the coveted best adaptation prize for the controversial Scottish film Trainspotting.
Sense and Sensibility, the adaptation of Jane Austen's early novel, won a third award which went to Kate Winslet for best supporting actress as the romantic Marianne.
The Alexander Korda award for the outstanding British film of the year went to The Madness of King George, while Nigel Hawthorne was voted best leading actor for his performance as the unhappy king.
Michael Radford took the David Lean award for the best achievement in direction for Il Postino.
The award, he said, went against "the accepted wisdom in the world of cinema that you have to make the film in the English language for it to be successful". It also won the award for the best non-English language film.
Braveheart followed up its Oscar successes with the Lloyds Bank People's Vote for favourite film, while The Usual Suspects took best original screenplay and Tim Roth was voted best supporting actor for his role in Rob Roy.
Persuasion, Mick Dear's adaptation of another Jane Austen novel, won the award for best single television drama, while Cracker took best drama series and The Politician's Wife was voted best drama serial.
Jennifer Ehle won best actress in the television awards for her role as Lizzie in Pride and Prejudice - the third Jane Austen hit of last year - and Robbie Coltrane best actor for third year running for his performance in Cracker.