The British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards were as eventful as ever when held at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday the 10th of February. Surprisingly, the most memorable entertainment failed to come from the Hollywood stars, but rather from the quintessentially British, and all round loud mouth Stephen Fry, who definitely did not hold anything back.
It wasn’t that Stephen Fry’s jokes were consistently risqué, although his comment ‘I don’t know where I have had such fun, certainly not without the aid of a water-soluble lubricant’ really was an unforgettable ending to a generally smooth running night. The problem was that some of his jokes were just plain strange, for example, at one point Fry referred to ‘Life of Pee’ rather than ‘Life of Pi’, which isn’t even very funny? The director of ‘Life of Pi’ Ang Lee attempted to smile and laugh along but it appeared as though he didn’t quite understand the joke either.
There was some disappointed for Lincoln as it was nominated for ten awards, which was more than any other film, and yet only walked away with one. That one however, was Leading Actor and Daniel Day-Lewis seemed quite overwhelmed when he was announced as the winner. Thankfully, he didn’t let his emotions get the better of him and he successfully delivered an appropriate yet still amusing acceptance speech. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Anne Hathaway. Yes, she was understandably very excited at winning Best Supporting Actress, but all that emotion led her to praise the cast and crew of Les Misérables as the “goodest-hearted group of loves whose talent knocked me sideways”, and she then went on to refer to Victor Hugo as a “honey”, despite the fact that he died 128 years ago and probably does not care that she was Fantine. Overall, Les Misérables had a fairly successful night: it won four of the nine awards that it was nominated for, but missed out on the all-important Best Film to Argo, which despite Stephen Fry’s suspicions is not a film about Ryan Gosling. Argo was nominated for seven BAFTAs and was the winner of three, so it was generally a very successful night for them. The evening was especially successful for Argo’s Ben Affleck who picked up the award for Best Director. My bet, and probably the bet of most other viewers was on Quentin Tarantino for this award, and in fairness Affleck did look genuinely surprised when he was announced as the winner.
Surprisingly The Hobbit, which was nominated for three awards, went home empty handed. I was certainly relieved to see that Skyfall didn’t go the same way, instead it received two awards: Outstanding British Film and Original Soundtrack. Skyfall’s director Sam Mendes gave a fantastic speech in which he said: “I want to thank Ian Fleming for inventing this character. Here’s to the next fifty years.” Thankfully he restrained himself from branding Fleming a “honey” but instead insisted upon how brilliant Daniel Craig is, and no one can argue with that.
Like I said, the awards were certainly eventful, and although Stephen Fry’s humour may have angered a few people, it is safe to say that they would never have been as entertaining without him. Here’s to next year.
Here is a list of the winners for the film Baftas:
Best Film: Argo
Director: Ben Affleck (Argo)
Leading Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Leading Actress: Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino(Django Unchained)
Adapted Screenplay: David O Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)
Film Not in the English Language: Amour
Original Music: Skyfall (Thomas Newman)
Cinematography: Life Of Pi (Claudio Miranda)
Outstanding British Film: Skyfall
Animated Film: Brave
Editing: Argo (William Goldenberg)
Costume Design: Anna Karenina (Jacqueline Durran)
Make-up and Hair: Les Miserables (Lisa Westcott)
Sound: Les Miserables
Short Animation: The Making Of Longbird
Short Film: Swimmer
Bafta Fellowship: Sir Alan Parker
Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: Tessa Ross
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis (The Imposter)
Documentary: Searching For Sugar Man
Production Design: Les Miserables (Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson)
Special Visual Effects: Life Of Pi
THE EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public): Juno Temple