It was another night to remember for 1917 as the British war thriller strolled to an impressive seven wins at last night’s BAFTA Film Awards ceremony.
The World War One-based film overcame stern competition from the likes of Joker, Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood and Parasite to clinch the important Best Film prize with filmmaker Sam Mendes triumphant in the Best Director category. It also took home Best British Film with additional wins coming in Production Design, Cinematography, Sound and Visual Effects.
This sweep comes at a perfect time for 1917 having also landed key wins at the Golden Globes and Producers Guild Awards. These achievements now leave the film well on course to claim Oscar glory next Sunday.
It was also a solid evening for Joker as the dark comic-book drama picked up three wins including yet another Best Actor accolade for Joaquin Phoenix. Composer Hildur Guðnadóttir and Casting Director Shayna Markowitz were also acknowledged for their work on the film.
Phoenix took aim at “systemic racism” and “oppression” within the film industry in his acceptance speech. His words, and those of the Duke of Cambridge later, came in the wake of a diversity row prompted by the all-white line-up of acting nominees.
Elsewhere, Renée Zellweger landed Best Actress for her portrayal of legendary Hollywood star Judy Garland in the biopic Judy. Her competition included her co-star Jessie Buckley who received a standing ovation on the night after performing another stirring rendition of “Glasgow” from her nominated performance in the Scottish-based drama Wild Rose.
Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor for his role as veteran stunt double Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood but was unavailable to pick up his award. However, his co-star Margot Robbie read out a humourous speech written by him that poked fun at Brexit and Prince Harry’s impending move across the Atlantic.
Laura Dern completed a quartet of all-American winners in the acting categories as she took home Best Supporting Actress for her performance as divorce attorney Nora Fanshaw in the divorce-based drama Marriage Story.
Phoenix, Zellweger, Pitt and Dern have now won their acting prizes at every major ceremony of awards season so far which surely guarantees them all Oscar success. In addition to their Baftas, they have won at the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Critics’ Choice Awards.
There were two wins for the Korean satire Parasite as it claimed Best Foreign Language Film and Best Original Screenplay while Taika Waititi won Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on Jojo Rabbit. Other triumphant films on the night included the likes of Little Women (Costume Design), Le Mans ’66 (Editing), Bombshell (Makeup & Hairstyling), Bait (Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer) and surprise victor Klaus (Animated Film).
Elsewhere, the British film For Sama deservedly clinched Best Documentary with filmmaker Waad Al-Kateab dedicating her award to “the great Syrian people as well as the nurses, doctors and volunteers”.
The EE Rising Star Award produced a surprise winner as Top Boy and Blue Story star Micheal Ward succeeded over fellow Brit Jack Lowden and American trio Awkwarfina, Kaitlyn Dever and Kelvin Harrison Jr..
British actor and filmmaker Andy Serkis was was honoured with the Outstanding British Contribution to Film award for his performance-capture work as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03), Kong in King Kong (2005), Caesar in the Planet of the Apes trilogy (2011-17) and Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).
On the subject of Star Wars, LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy received the BAFTA Fellowship for her producing of various films over the past forty years including the Indiana Jones series (1981-2008), E.T: The Extra Terrestrial (1982), the Back to the Future trilogy (1985-90), the Jurassic Park series (1993-2001), Schindler’s List (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998) and of course, the recent Star Wars trilogy (2015-19).
However, it was a bad night for Martin Scorsese’s crime epic The Irishman as the film failed to win from any of its ten nominations. British biopics Rocketman and The Two Popes also went home empty-handed.
The evening also saw Irish host Graham Norton surprisingly overshadowed by Rebel Wilson who delivered a humourous monologue that ripped into her own film Cats as well as the all-male directing lineup.
The full list of BAFTA winners are below:
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
Sam Mendes, 1917
Joaquin Phoenix, JOKER
Renée Zellweger, JUDY
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brad Pitt, ONCE UPON A TIME IN…HOLLYWOOD
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Laura Dern, MARRIAGE STORY
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
PARASITE, Bong Joon-Ho & Han Jin-wan
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
JOJO RABBIT, Taika Waititi
JOKER, Shayna Markowitz
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
LE MANS ’66
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Hildur Guðnadóttir, JOKER
BEST ANIMATED FILM
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
BEST SHORT FILM
LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL) Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva
BEST SHORT ANIMATED FILM
GRANDAD WAS A ROMANTIC
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
BAIT, Mark Jenkin (Writer/Director), Kate Byers, Linn Waite (Producers)
RISING STAR AWARD
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO BRITISH CINEMA
On a personal note, I would like to offer my congratulations to the Plaza Community Cinema which was the recipient of the For The Love of Film award. I had two spells volunteering there in 2011-12 and 2012-13 and it was a delight to see my former employers Janet Dunn and Martin Fol get the opportunity to attend last night’s ceremony.
Well done again guys!