After directing the most successful James Bond film of all time in the shape of Skyfall, Sam Mendes brought the curtain down on his involvement with the 007 franchise as the film landed three wins at last night’s Jameson Empire Awards ceremony.
The action blockbuster secured the coveted prize of Best Film over the likes of The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and Django Unchained while Mendes himself claimed two accolades for Best Director (beating off Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino in the process) and the Empire Inspiration Award.
Jennifer Lawrence continued her hot winning streak in awards season as she was named Best Actress though not for her recent Oscar-winning performance in Silver Linings Playbook for but her action role in The Hunger Games. Her competition included Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Judi Dench (Skyfall) and Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises).
Two very welcoming results came in the gendered Newcomer categories as youngster Tom Holland won the Male gong for his role in the devastating drama The Impossible while Samantha Barks took home the Female prize for her role as Eponine in the musical hit Les Miserables. Ted was deservedly named Best Comedy while The Woman in Black secured the Best Horror award.
It was also a case of the unexpected in some of the categories with the second most awarded film of the night being the averagely-received Lord of the Rings prequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It surprisingly won Best Fantasy Film (over the likes of The Avengers and Looper) and Best Actor for its lead star Martin Freeman in his role as Bilbo Baggins (ahead of recent Oscar-winner Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln).
Other shocks on the night included Headhunters winning Best Thriller ahead of this year’s Oscar winner Argo plus Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty while Dredd won the Art of 3D gong against the much-fancied visual spectacle Life of Pi. As well as losing out on Best Thriller, Skyfall also missed out on Best British Film (as did Les Mis) which instead went to the dark British comedy Sightseers.
Daniel Radcliffe was given the Empire Hero Award for his work in the likes of Harry Potter and Woman in Black while Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and British acting legend Dame Helen Mirren were presented with the respective Outstanding Contribution and Empire Legend accolades.
The full list of winners are below:
BEST BRITISH FILM
Sam Mendes – Skyfall
Martin Freeman – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games
BEST MALE NEWCOMER
Tom Holland – The Impossible
BEST FEMALE NEWCOMER
Samantha Barks – Les Miserables
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters
The Woman in Black
THE ART OF 3D
EMPIRE INSPIRATION AWARD
EMPIRE HERO AWARD
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION AWARD
Dame Helen Mirren