June 20 2013 Latest news:
Monday, February 13, 2012
Silent film The Artist nearly made a clean sweep at the Bafta film awards in London, only denied by Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.
There were seven awards for The Artist including best film, leading actor and best director.
The film - a homage to the silent era of Hollywood that appeared lost forever with the arrival of the talkies – almost won everything it was nominated for.
The only miss was leading lady Berenice Bejo losing out in the outstanding actress award to Streep, who picked up the prize for her role as former PM Baroness Thatcher in The Iron Lady.
Streep said: “Somebody once said the fate of the well-known is to be misunderstood and the ambition of this film, The Iron Lady, was to look at the life of the Iron Lady from the inside out and to locate something real, maybe hidden, but truthful in the life of someone we’ve all decided we know everything about already.”
The director of The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius, picked up the gong for original screenplay, saying: “I’m very surprised because so many people thought there was no script because there was no dialogue, so English people are very clever. Congratulations to you.”
Hazanavicius also picked up the best director award, saying: “I know that I will have some bad days because I’m a director, but I will remember this day as a good day.”
The film’s star Jean Dujardin was presented with the leading actor award.
The French actor admitted he was surprised to get an award in the country of “Laurence Olivier, William Webb Ellis and Benny Hill”.
The Artist also picked up awards for original music, cinematography and costume design.
The awards, held at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden began with Sir Tom Jones belting out the theme to the James Bond film Thunderball - more than 40 years after he first recorded the song - to mark half-a-century of the superspy’s cinema adventures.
The award for outstanding British film was given to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe who will play Bond girls in the next 007 film, Skyfall.
John Hurt collected the award for outstanding British contribution to cinema, while the only gong voted for by the viewing public - The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award - was given to Kidulthood actor Adam Deacon.
Londoner Deacon, who said the award was “surreal”, added: “It’s not just a win for me, it’s a win for the underdog.”
The night ended with a fulsome tribute to British cinema from Raging Bull director Martin Scorsese who was given the Bafta Fellowship.
He said British films were “a bit of a mystery and a great marvel”.
The event, officially known as the Orange British Academy Film Awards, is the biggest movie bash of the year in the UK and is seen as an accurate pointer for Oscar success which is only make The Artist an even bigger favourite for success at the ceremony in Los Angeles later this month.