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BAFTA Film Division 2014

It's British award show time! We have jokes about rain! Jokes the American audience don't get!
Jokes about grammar! Jokes in German! (Well, I think it was a joke). Also, awkward British people expressing emotion. It's unmissable, or it is now that it takes place before the Oscars and forms part of the campaign trail anyway.

I won't do a complete run-through of everything that was screened at tonight's ceremony, but here are some of the highlights.

 - I made a bad start - I missed the beginning of Stephen Fry's opening speech because I was watching Top Gear abandon Jeremy Clarkson to radiation poisoning on the other channel.

 - Fry sounded exhausted and like he has that horrible bug that’s been going round, poor thing, but he soldiered on impressively, even if Tom Hanks looked totally baffled at most of the jokes.

 - I'm not sure the glitterati are fans of British rap (though I like Tinie Tempah, he was good on The Last Leg last week), but we see a nice wide selection of films from 2013 to start.

 - I love Emma Thompson to bits and she is gorgeous and glamorous at all times, but tonight her hair looks like it's trying to do an impression of Cameron Diaz in There's Something About Mary.

 - My favourite film of last year, as you all know, was Rush (and my heart broke a little to see how gorgeous Daniel Brühl's other half is. Sigh.). It was beaten to Best British Film by Gravity (I was quite surprised Philomena didn't win that actually) and to Best Supporting Actor by Barkhad Abdi, which I grudgingly admit was well-deserved.

 - Gillian Anderson and her fabulous transatlantic accent presented an award. Fry made a joke about her speaking perfect English and perfect American that it took the audience a minute to get.

 - Steve Coogan appeared in a fabulously awful suit and bow tie, presenting and winning Best Original Screenplay for Philomena. The more I see him doing the rounds with this film and with Philomena herself (especially going with her to the Vatican) the more I like him.

 - Fry did a running gag about how events in the Best Picture-nominated films mirrored events in his own life which I enjoyed a lot. He even managed to do one about 12 Years a Slave, which he more or less pulled off, though this feat involved a lot of pre-emptive apologising and acknowledgement of the seriousness of the subject matter (interesting, since Philomena is hardly a rosy story of niceness throughout either).

 - Michael Fassbender still seems to have his 12 Years a Slave beard, which is quite something.

 - Fry corrected the grammar of both screenwriting winners. Cruel, perhaps, but I laughed (I can't help it, I'm a grammar fiend).

 - Poor Will Poulter, winner of the Rising Star award, forgot one of his fellow nominees' names (but was great anyway, he's fab in general). Having embarrassingly forgotten people's names twice this week under much less strenuous circumstances, I feel his pain.

 - Leonardo DiCaprio led a standing ovation when Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor, which considering the internet's obsession with how he ought to win an Oscar, I thought was nice. But then, I was still melting from him blowing a kiss at the camera in the opening.

 - There was a nice spread of awards between the films, with Gravity coming out perhaps slightly ahead, but generally speaking most got some love. And even Rush got Best Editing in the awards given out before they let us watch them on TV! Woot!

 - BAFTA always finishes with the Fellowship rather than Best Film, which tends to feel like a bit of an anti-climax. It worked out OK this year, as the recipient was Helen Mirren. Prince William introduced her and was very gracious about jokes about her being his grandmother, which was nice of him, especially given the subject matter of that film. And we finished with Helen Mirren quoting Shakespeare. Truly, we are the classiest, or at least the most pretentious, award ceremony. Fabulous speech though ('We are such stuff as dreams are made on' from The Tempest).

Complete list of awards (winners in bold):

Best picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave

Best British film
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Saving Mr Banks
The Selfish Giant

Best director
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
David O Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Best actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best actor
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Best supporting actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Oprah Winfrey, The Butler
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Best supporting actor
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Daniel Brühl, Rush
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

The EE Rising Star award (voted for by public)
Dane DeHaan
George MacKay
Lupita Nyong'o
Léa Seydoux
Will Poulter

Best original screenplay
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Nebraska, Bob Nelson
American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer, David O Russell

Best adapted screenplay
12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
Behind the Candelabra, Richard LaGravenese
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter
Philomena, Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

Best Animated Film
Despicable Me 2, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
Monsters University, Dan Scanlon
Frozen, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Best cinematography
12 Years a Slave, Sean Bobbitt
Captain Phillips, Barry Ackroyd
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki

Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer
Colin Carberry, (Writer), Glenn Patterson (Writer), Good Vibrations
Kelly Marcel, (Writer), Saving Mr Banks
Paul Wright (Director/Writer), Polly Stokes (Producer), For Those in Peril
Scott Graham, (Director/Writer), Shell
Keiran Evans (Director/Writer), Kelly + Victor

Awards presented pre-TV (why does cinematography warrant a TV spot but not editing or original music? Who can say?):

Best Film Not in the English Language
The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval
Metro Manila, Sean Ellis, Mathilde Charpentier
Wadjda, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Pau
The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima

Best documentary
The Armstrong Lie, Alex Gibney
Blackfish, Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Tim's Vermeer, Teller, Penn Jillette, Farley Ziegler
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, Alex Gibney
The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer

Best editing
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
The Wolf of Wall Street, Thelma Schoonmaker
Rush, Dan Hanley, Mike Hill

Best production design
12 Years a Slave, Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
American Hustle, Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
Behind the Candelabra, Howard Cummings
Gravity, Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woodlard
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn

Best costume design
American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
Behind the Candelabra, Ellen Mirojnick
The Invisible Woman, Michael O'Connor
Saving Mr Banks, Daniel Orlandi
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin

Best make up and hair
Behind the Candelabra, Kate Biscoe, Marie Larkin
The Butler, Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace Neal
The Great Gatsby, Maurizio Silvi, Kerry Warn
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater
American Hustle, Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell

Best sound
All Is Lost, Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian Arthur
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver Tarney
Inside Llewyn Davis, Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff
Rush, Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro

Best original music
12 Years a Slave, Hans Zimmer
The Book Thief, John Williams
Captain Phillips, Henry Jackman
Saving Mr Banks, Thomas Newman
Gravity, Steven Price

Best special visual effects
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick
Pacific Rim, Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy DeQuattro, Nigel Sumner
Star Trek Into Darkness, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett
Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny

Best British short animation
Everything I can see from Here, Bjørn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam Taylor
I Am Tom Moody, Ainslie Henderson
Sleeping with the Fishes, James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa

Best British short film
Island Queen, Ben Mallaby, Nat Luurtsema
Keeping up with Joneses, Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina Lim
Orbit Ever After, Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len Rowles
Sea View, Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot
Room 8, James W. Griffiths, Sophie Venner


  1. I watched the BAFTA ceremony this morning and, must admit, became so homesick at the shots of Covent Garden and the Opera House, not to mention listening to the lovely English accent and the English sense of humor that I shed a few tears. I’ve said it before -- the English do ceremony ever so well.

    Stephen Fry is the perfect host for this event. His humor is the best of English humor and, although some of the jokes did seem to sail over some people’s heads and even I must admit one or two of them fell a bit flat, he can deliver a line.

    I agree with every comment you have made, Juliette. For me, the highlight was Helen Mirren who really is one hell of a dame. Her speech was fantastic. One question. Shouldn’t she have curtsied to the man who will one day be her king? Or, is that now passé?

    One last comment. I groaned when I saw that The Act of Killing won Best Documentary. I am afraid it will win the Oscar as well. It won’t win because it is the best; it will win because of its subject matter. Too bad such an important subject is shown in such an unwatchable film.

    Great post, Juliette!

  2. I haven't seen any of the documentaries this year, but it seems to be a category where subject matter tends to rule (or possibly I'm just still sore over Senna's Oscar snub!)

    I don't know any of the rules about curtseying I'm afraid but I've never noticed anyone do it. I think maybe people bow when receiving honours? And some maybe choose to curtsey when in line-ups. The only people I know who've met Royals did so in the military, where obviously you salute (oh, and my uncle met Princess Di, he shook her hand). I did love Tinie Tempah high-fiving William at the beginning!

  3. Great précis, Juliette! I thought the whole thing was very well done. Stephen Fry is the perfect compere and everyone's thank you speeches were mostly brief. I didn't agree with all the awards but it was fun to see everyone being so generous and gracious. This is why I heart London!

  4. Thanks! :) Fry is so good. He's brilliant at self-deprecating humour, which works really well at an awards ceremony I think.

  5. Load of luvvies. They think they're more royal than the royals! Love tinie tempah though.


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