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Baftas 2022: 5 biggest talking points, from Putin jokes to swipes at JK Rowling

Jane Campion’s western took home the biggest awards on a night where Rebel Wilson joked about JK Rowling, Leonardo DiCaprio and Vladimir Putin

Ellie Harrison
Monday 14 March 2022 05:13 GMT
Watch live as stars arrive at the Royal Albert Hall for the BAFTA Awards

The 2022 Bafta Film Awards were a sparkling return to form, with the starriest names in cinema walking the red carpet and attending the ceremony in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Comedian Rebel Wilson hosted proceedings, on a night where Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi epic Dune led the pack with 11 nominations, closely followed by Jane Campion’s western The Power of the Dog, which amassed a total of eight.

Here are the biggest talking points of the night, from the best jokes to the biggest winners and the most graceful losers...

Dune and The Power of the Dog were the biggest winners of the night

Jane Campion’s gothic western The Power of the Dog, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a repressed rancher, took the top two prizes at this year’s Baftas: Best Film and Best Director. But it was Dune that won the most awards. The sci-fi movie triumphed in five categories: Best Cinematography, Best Special Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Score, and Best Production Design. Read the full winners list here.

Benedict Cumberbatch lost – gracefully

The Power of the Dog star lost out on the Best Actor award to King Richard actor Will Smith. Later in the night, when accepting the Best Director award for The Power of the Dog filmmaker Jane Campion, Cumberbatch pretended to accidentally start reading his own prepared winning speech. “Hold on a second…,” he said. “Bafta, I’d like to … Damn it, that’s my speech, whoops.” He added: “You don’t lose to Will Smith, you win being in his company.”

Emma Watson at the Baftas (Guy Levy/Shutterstock for BAFTA)

JK Rowling got a few digs

Not only did the host, Wilson, make a joke at the Harry Potter author’s expense, but Emma Watson – who starred in the film adaptations – also appeared to throw shade at Rowling with a remark about being “here for all the witches”. Get the context and what Twitter had to say about it all, here. She wasn’t the only one to be the butt of a joke, though, with Leonardo DiCaprio also getting roasted by Wilson.

Support for Ukraine

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine was at the forefront of many people’s minds during the ceremony. On the red carpet before the awards began, Cumberbatch said he hopes to take some Ukrainian refugees into his own home. Wilson, meanwhile, delighted the audience with a derogatory joke about Vladimir Putin.

Singing from Shirley Bassey and Emilia Jones

Emilia Jones performing at the Baftas (Guy Levy/Shutterstock for BAFTA)

The awards speeches were broken up by beautiful performances from Shirley Bassey, who sang James Bond theme “Diamonds are Forever”, and CODA star Emilia Jones, who performed the film’s track “Both Sides Now”. It was a great night for CODA, with the film about a child of deaf adults winning Best Adapted Screenplay and a Best Supporting Actor award for Troy Kotsur.

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