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It’s that time of year again for the British Film Industry to slap its collective back and try and reassure itself that it’s in some way as vital as the US in terms of production, star power, and prestige (if not box office returns). Held in the slightly cramped environment of the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, and presented yet again by Stephen Fry, the ceremony followed the usual, tried and tested formula, and thanks to the miracle of pre-recording, didn’t outstay its welcome like the Oscar ceremony does.

One thing you probably won’t see at the Oscars is the BAFTA Kiss-Cam, an awkward bit of fun that had brief hook-ups between Cuba Gooding Jr and Stanley Tucci, Bryan Cranston and Julianne Moore, Eddie Izzard and Rebel Wilson, and oddly, Leonardo DiCaprio and Maggie Smith. Valentine’s Day, eh? What were the odds? (Winners in bold.)


Outstanding British Film
45 Years – Andrew Haigh, Tristan Goligher
Amy – Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees
Brooklyn – John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey, Nick Hornby
The Danish Girl – Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Anne Harrison, Gail Mutrux, Lucinda Coxon
Ex Machina – Alex Garland, Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos, Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Efthimis Filippou

Not a surprise but also not the best result, with both The Danish Girl and 45 Years more deserving. Presented by Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.

Special Visual Effects
Ant-Man – Jake Morrison, Greg Steele, Dan Sudick, Alex Wuttke
Ex Machina – Mark Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris, Andrew Whitehurst
Mad Max: Fury Road – Andrew Jackson, Dan Oliver, Tom Wood, Andy Williams
The Martian – Chris Lawrence, Tim Ledbury, Richard Stammers, Steven Warner
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan

With little to choose between any of the nominees, it wasn’t a surprise that the Force took the BAFTA, but good to see Chris Corbould, an industry veteran, rewarded (with his team) for doing such fantastic work. Presented by Emilia Clarke and Matt Smith.

EE Rising Star Award

John Boyega; Taron Egerton; Dakota Johnson; Brie Larson; Bel Powley

A public vote that Boyega himself described as a “fluke” but well-deserved nevertheless. Presented by Jack O’Connell.


Best Supporting Actor
Benicio Del Toro – Sicario
Christian Bale – The Big Short
Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Absolutely the right result, Rylance’s performance was a masterclass of internalised emotion. Accepted by Steven Spielberg. Presented by Rebel Wilson, who made a really funny speech about diversity and how the Oscars are racist, not to mention how Idris Elba made her nervous.

Animated Film
Inside Out – Pete Docter
Minions – Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
Shaun the Sheep Movie – Mark Burton, Richard Starzak

Well, who else was going to win? Presented by Eddie Izzard.

Best Supporting Actress
Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
Rooney Mara – Carol
Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Julie Walters – Brooklyn

Winslet gave far and away the best performance in this category, and if she hadn’t won, then it would have been as baffling as why Carol hasn’t been nominated at the Oscars. Presented by Eddie Redmayne.


Costume Design
Brooklyn – Odile Dicks-Mireaux
Carol – Sandy Powell
Cinderella – Sandy Powell
The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado
Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan

A good result for both Beavan and Mad Max: Fury Road, and she got to say, “Oh what a lovely day” at the podium. Presented by Olga Kurylenko and Riz Ahmed.

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Producer or Director
Alex Garland (Director) – Ex Machina
Debbie Tucker Green (Writer/Director) – Second Coming
Naji Abu Nowar (Writer/Director) Rupert Lloyd (Producer) – Theeb
Sean McAllister (Director/Producer), Elhum Shakerifar (Producer) – A Syrian Love Story
Stephen Fingleton (Writer/Director) – The Survivalist

A great choice for this award, and good to see such a simple, moving story get its due recognition. Presented by Dakota Johnson and Will Poulter.

Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short – Adam McKay, Charles Randolph
Brooklyn – Nick Hornby
Carol – Phyllis Nagy
Room – Emma Donoghue
Steve Jobs – Aaron Sorkin

Congrats to McKay and Randolph who took a daunting, difficult subject and made it accessible to anyone who watched the movie. Presented by Angela Bassett.

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema (The Michael Balcon Award) 

Established 175 years ago, the winners of this award, Angels Costumes, have been involved in the movies since 1913 and whichever movie you think of, it’s likely you’ve seen at least one of their costumes over the years, from Indiana Jones’ outfit to Gandhi’s robes, and a whole lot more. Presented by Cate Blanchett.

Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies – Matthew Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Ex Machina – Alex Garland
The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino
Inside Out – Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve
Spotlight – Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer

A popular choice that wasn’t any kind of a surprise, and out of a fairly level playing field, but still a good result. Presented by Cuba Gooding Jr.

Film Not in the English Language
The Assassin – Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Force Majeure – Ruben Ostlund
Theeb – Abu Naji Nowar, Rupert Lloyd
Timbuktu – Abderrahmane Sissako
Wild Tales – Damian Szifron

A great result for the portmanteau revenge movie, and good to see that a fiercely adult and uncompromising movie can win a BAFTA. Presented by Carrie Fisher and Domhnall Gleeson.


The Fellowship Award

Sidney Poitier. Given by the Academy in recognition of a lifetime’s achievement in cinema, with contributions from Oprah Winfrey, Noel Clarke and Lulu. Alas, Poitier was unable to attend due to ill health but there was a filmed (and quite heartfelt) acceptance, and his award was given to him by Jamie Foxx.

The Big Short – Adam McKay
Bridge of Spies – Steven Spielberg
Carol – Todd Haynes
The Martian – Ridley Scott
The Revenant – Alejandro González Iñárritu

Another non-surprise given the scale and the difficulty of making The Revenant, though Todd Haynes may well have felt robbed by comparison. Presented by Stanley Tucci.


Best Actress
Brie Larson – Room
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
Maggie Smith – The Lady in the Van

Accepted by Lenny Abrahamson, this was completely unexpected. That Cate Blanchett didn’t win was possibly the only real shock of the night. Presented by Sacha Baron Cohen.

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
Matt Damon – The Martian
Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

What a surprise! A shoo-in for the award, DiCaprio thanked many British actors who have inspired him over the years, and Tom Hardy in particular. Presented by Julianne Moore.


Best Film
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
The Revenant

With DiCaprio and Iñárritu winning in their categories this wasn’t any kind of a shock, but it was a sad moment to see Carol overlooked yet again. Presented by Tom Cruise.

The following awards weren’t shown during the broadcast:

Amy – Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees
Cartel Land – Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin
He Named Me Malala – Davis Guggenheim, Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald
Listen to Me Marlon – Stevan Riley, John Battsek, George Chignell, R.J. Cutler
Sherpa – Jennifer Peedom, Bridget Ikin, John Smithson

Bridge of Spies – Janusz Kaminski
Carol – Ed Lachman
Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
Sicario – Roger Deakins

The Big Short – Hank Corwin
Bridge of Spies – Michael Kahn
Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel
The Martian – Pietro Scalia
The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione

Production Design
Bridge of Spies – Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo
Carol – Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson
The Martian – Arthur Max, Celia Bobak
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Rick Carter, Darren Gilford, Lee Sandales

Make Up & Hair
Brooklyn – Morna Ferguson, Lorraine Glynn
Carol – Jerry DeCarlo, Patricia Regan
The Danish Girl – Jan Sewell
Mad Max: Fury Road – Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin
The Revenant – Sian Grigg, Duncan Jarman, Robert Pandini

Bridge of Spies – Drew Kunin, Richard Hymns, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom
Mad Max: Fury Road – Scott Hecker, Chris Jenkins, Mark Mangini, Ben Osmo, Gregg Rudloff, David White
The Martian – Paul Massey, Mac Ruth, Oliver Tarney, Mark Taylor
The Revenant – Lon Bender, Chris Duesterdiek, Martin Hernandez, Frank A. Montaño, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – David Acord, Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Matthew Wood, Stuart Wilson

So in the end it was The Revenant‘s night, with five wins. More heartening was the four wins for Mad Max: Fury Road, a movie that was released (in awards terms at least) so long ago that some people might have forgotten all about it. That Carol didn’t pick up a win remains as baffling as America’s fascination with Donald Trump, and its snub here seems to be in keeping with the Oscars more overt slight. Which begs the question, just what does a lesbian love story have to do to win an award?

Mad Max Fury Road