The Duchess of Cambridge, dressed in a white gown by Alexander McQueen, talks to Olivia Colman at the Baftas
The brightest and best of Hollywood gathered at London’s Royal Albert Hall last night for the 2019 Bafta film awards. But while the turnout was as glitzy as expected, the evening offered some surprising winners – and some unexpected omissions.
Colman followed up her success at the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards with a Best Actress Bafta for her performance as Queen Anne in The Favourite. Yorgos Lanthimos’s surreal period piece was the biggest winner of the evening with seven awards.
“It was all a bit serious and – whisper it – boring, until Olivia Colman arrived on stage to pick up her prize,” according to Vogue. Addressing those who worked on the film during her acceptance speech, Colman said: “We’re having an amazing night aren’t we? We are going to get so pissed later.”
Despite its success, The Favourite failed to secure the biggest prize of them all – Best Film – ahead of Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, which took home a total of four awards. Deadline called the result “a significant win for Netflix in their quest to take the Best Picture Oscar in two weeks, and a momentum booster just as Oscar balloting starts on Tuesday”.
Not only did Roma take home Best Film, it also picked up awards for Best Film Not in the English Language, Best Director and Cinematography.
The success of Cuaron’s film last night could point to Oscars glory on 24 February, but the entertainment news site says that “comparisons between Oscar’s Best Picture choices and those of Bafta are spotty”, adding that “the two haven’t agreed on the top prize since 12 Years A Slave won both in 2013”.
Despite lukewarn reviews, Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody had its moment in the Baftas spotlight, with Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek getting the Best Actor gong for his portrayal of the Queen frontman. “This is totally extraordinary,” said Malek. “Thank you for this generous gift.”
The film, which got seven nominations, also picked up the prize for Best Sound.
In the run-up to the awards season, Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star Is Born was the favourite to sweep the Oscars, the Baftas and everything in between.
But following the release of Roma and The Favourite, Cooper’s film has been pushed to the background. The movie took home just one award from a total of seven nominations last night – for Best Original Music.
The Guardian predicts that Cooper is now “almost certainly only going to get one award [at the Oscars], for that wallopy tune he didn’t have a lot to do with”. According to the paper, it’s “possible to detect in those piercing blue eyes a deep well of sadness; the look of a man resigned to the abyss, peering not at the gold in his hand but the black hole that is all that remains of a star that imploded”.
Polish-born British director Paweł Pawlikowski’s critically acclaimed feature Cold War failed to pick up a single award, despite being nominated in four categories in a year when arthouse foreign language films appear to be in fashion.
Cold War was in the running for awards for Best Director, Best Film Not In The English language, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography, but lost out to Roma and The Favourite.
Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer, who was conspicuous by his absence, ended up being one of the more controversial figures of the night. The Guardian reports that Singer was “unceremoniously” fired from the film before it was finished, following a series of sexual misconduct allegations against him.
“Last week, Singer’s name was removed from the nominations list” because of the accusations, the newspaper says, adding that even during the film’s only major win last night, “Malek did not mention Singer in his speech”.
The 53-year-old has denied the allegations, calling them a “homophobic smear”.