‘The best WHAT?’: Banshees of Inisherin director says Irish crew disagreed with ‘British’ Bafta category name

Martin McDonagh accepted the Bafta award for Outstanding British Film on Sunday 19 February

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 20 February 2023 08:02 GMT
Richard E Grant jokes about Will Smith’s slap in Baftas opening speech

The Banshees of Inisherin director Martin McDonagh has revealed the film’s Irish crew disagreed with the name of a Bafta award category that the movie was nominated for.

The 2023 Bafta Awards were held at London’s Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre on Sunday (19 February), as exceptional films and performances were honoured during the ceremony.

Accepting the Outstanding British Film award for his acclaimed 2022 dark comedy, starring Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson, McDonagh explained that the movie’s Irish production crew was unhappy with the category name.

“The best WHAT award?” McDonagh said, mimicking their reaction to the initial nomination.

Thanking the British crew members, he also quipped: “Thanks to Rosie, our stand-in donkey, who is British. Yes, yes, she’s from Stoke-on-Trent.”

The Banshees of Inisherin is set in 1923 on the fictional island of Inisherin, with the Irish Civil War as a backdrop. It follows the “platonic break-up” of two lifelong friends, played by Farrell and Gleeson.

McDonagh’s critically acclaimed movie, with standout performances from Barry Keoghan and Kerry Condon, received a total of 10 nominations at the Baftas this year. You can find a complete list of the winners here.

Keoghan and Condon won in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories.

Other big winners from the night include All Quiet on the Western Front, and Everything Everywhere All At Once.

Elsewhere, Bafta presenter Richard E Grant opened the show on Sunday with a joke about “The Slap”, referencing the 2022 Oscars during which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith.

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