The 2013 BAFTA Awards were handed out tonight at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. The best of British talent braved the rain to walk the red carpet and celebrate a fantastic year for British film. The ceremony was hosted by the inimitable Stephen Fry who paid tribute to 2012 as the year of the franchise and convinced Jennifer Lawrence to blow a kiss to the TV audience in a hilarious opening monologue before introducing the big stars to present the big awards. Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper – one an Oscar nominee this year, the other shockingly snubbed – gave the first award of the night to Outstanding British Film. James Bond’s 24th big screen outing, Skyfall, scooped the award, which was almost more surprising than Helen Mirren’s pink hair. Skyfall has been spectacularly snubbed by most of the big award ceremonies, and the 007 franchise has rarely been acknowledged by BAFTA. Director Sam Mendes said “this really is the icing on the cake, so thank you very much BAFTA”, before going on to thank Daniel Craig for his “friendship, bravery and sheer bloody mindedness” and Ian Fleming for his attention to detail. The EE Rising Star Award – the only BAFTA that is voted for by the public – was presented by Wreck-It Ralph stars Sarah Silverman and John C. Reilly. This was Reilly’s second time to resent a Rising Star Award in as many nights, after his appearance at the IFTAs last night. Juno Temple went home with the BAFTA, and was acknowledged for her standout role in last year’s Killer Joe, while we chose to ignore the fact that she was also in St Trinian’s and Wild Child. Temple was adorably flustered and thanked BAFTA for including her “on this list on wonderful, wonderful actors” before going on to thank her agents, family and friends. Ben Affleck continued his streak by winning the award for Best Director for Argo. The award was presented by Gandalf himself, Ian McKellen. Ben Affleck said “This is a second act for me and you’ve given me that. This industry has given me that and I want to thank you. I am so grateful and proud. I just want to dedicate this to anyone else out there who is trying to get their second act, because you can do it”. Argo snatched the BAFTA for Best Film out from under the noses of Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Misérables and Life of Pi. George Clooney, as producer, accepted the award, saying “I gotta say Ben, if this is your second act, I don’t know what you are going to do for your third act because you are remarkable at what you do. You are smart, you know what you want but more importantly you love what you do and I can’t tell you what an honour it’s been to work with you”. The award for Best Actress was presented to Emmanuelle Riva, for her role in Amour, by Jeremy Renner. Few people were surprised by this, but most of us were pleased, except maybe, the other nominees. Riva was not present to accept her award. Sarah Jessica Parker presented the BAFTA for Best Actor to Daniel Day-Lewis for his leading role in Lincoln. Another award that didn’t surprise many, but delighted most of us. When accepting his award, Day-Lewis was surprisingly funny, and said “Just on the chance that I might one day have to speak on an evening like this, I have actually stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years”. Jennifer Lawrence presented the award for Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained. Waltz looked truly delighted to win “this immense honour” before going on to say “It all starts and ends with Quentin and, really, beyond everything that I need and want to thank you for, the thing that touches me most is your unconditional trust that I will out your creation to proper use, you silver penned devil, you”.
Gorgeous George Clooney presented the award for Best Supporting Actress to Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables. Hathaway dashed on stage and said “what was I thinking, I almost walked past George Clooney without hugging him” before saying she shared the award with the cast and crew for Les Misérables and thanking director Tom Hooper for the grandness of dreams. Simon Pegg and Jennifer Garner presented the award for Adapted Screenplay to David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook. Russell said “this is a wonderful year for film and a wonderful year for writers” before going on to thank the cast of the film as well as Harvey Weinsten and his son, who inspired the story. Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman won Best Animated Film for Pixar’s Brave. The brilliant and hilarious Billy Connolly presented the award for Outstanding British Debut. Bart Layton and Dimitri Doganis won for their wonderful documentary The Imposter. Also in documentary news, a Hobbit and a super man – Martin Freeman and Henry Cavill – presented the BAFTA for Best Documentary to Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn for their work on Searching for Sugar Man. Simon Chinn said “We are also incredibly gratified to be able to introduce the wonderful Rodriguez to so many people”. The subject of the film could not be at the ceremony as he was playing a sold out concert in Cape Town. Gemma Arterton and Tim Roth – who will be in Dublin this week to present his film Broken at JDIFF – gave the award for Best Film Not in the English Language to Michael Haneke’s Amour. Michael Haneke could not be at the BAFTAS, but Gemma Arterton promised she would get the award to him. Rafe Spall and Helen McCrory took to the stage to give the awards for Best Short Film and Short Animation. We Need to Talk About Kevin director Lynne Ramsay shared the award for Best Short Film with Peter Carlton and Diarmid Scrimshaw for their film Swimmer. Will Anderson, Ainslie Henderson won BestShort Animation for their film The Making of Longbird. Danny Boyle presented the BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema to Tessa Ross, the controller of Film and Drama at Channel 4, and has been involved with bringing many films, including Slumdog Millionaire, The Last King of Scotland and This is England, to the big screen. Kevin Spacey presented the FellowshipAward, after listing his talents and asking whether he was a chef, to director Alan Parker for his films, which include Evita, Angela’s Ashes and Midnight Express. Alan Parker received a standing ovation and, when accepting his award, said the honour was incredibly flattering. Parker also paid tribute to his mentor, the great Fred Zimmerman and said he hoped he didn’t waste his opportunity as a director over the past 40 years.
Elsewhere, the winners were… Jaqueline Durran won Costume Design for Anna Karenina Best Make Up and Hair went to Lisa Westcott for Les Misérables Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Jonathan Allen, Lee Walpole, John Warhurst won Best Sound for their work on Les Misérables and William Goldberg won for his Editing work on Argo. Mark Strong, the hardest working actor in Hollywood – seriously, he’s in everything at the moment – presented the award for Best Cinematography. Claudio Miranda took home the award for his work on Ang Lee’s Life of Pi David Morrissey and Paloma Faith gave the award for Best Original Music to long time Sam Mendes collaborator Thomas Newman for his wonderful soundtrack to Skyfall. Chris Tucker, fresh from his surprising performance in Silver Linings Playbook presented the award for Best Visual Effects. Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer, Donald R. Elliott won the award, for Life of Pi. Lincoln actress Sally Field presented Best Screenplay to writer/director Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained. Tarantino thanked his actors for doing “a bang up job with my dialogue” , Harvey Weinstein and BAFTA for being a fantastic organisation; “I am notoriously famous for not wanting to join organisations but I’m proud to be a part of yours!” Production Design went to Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson for Les Misérables