The sci-fi epic Dune won five awards and the dark western The Power of the Dog won Best Picture when the British Academy Film Awards returned Sunday featuring a live black tie ceremony following a pandemic restricted event in 2021.
Jane Campion was named best director for The Dog’s Power, only the third woman to win the award in the awards’ 75-year history.
Leading Actor trophies went to Hollywood star Will Smith and British performer Joanna Scanlan, as an event that has worked to overcome a historic lack of diversity recognized a wide range of talent – including first-ever Deaf Actor winner in Troy Kotsur for ” CODA”.
Last year’s awards ceremony took place mostly online, with only the hosts and moderators present in person. This year’s return to in-person celebration at London’s Royal Albert Hall took place in the shadow of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
British Film Academy President Krishnendu Majumdar opened the show, hosted by Australian actor and comedian Rebel Wilsonwith a message of support for Ukraine.
“We stand in solidarity with those who are valiantly fighting for their country and we share their hope for a return to peace,” he said.
Then came the glitter when 85-year-old diva Shirley Bassey and a live orchestra performed Diamonds Are Forever to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the James Bond films.
“Bond is turning 60 and his girlfriends are turning 25,” joked hostess Wilson, who toned down her usual gritty material for televising the ceremony early tonight on the BBC.
Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, starring Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya, won five awards from its 11 nominations: visual effects, production design, sound, Greig Fraser’s cinematography and Hans Zimmer’s score.
“The Might of the Dog,” set in 1920s Montana and starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the ranch owner, was nominated in eight categories and won two big ones: Best Picture and Best Director. Campion is only the third female winner in this category, but the second in two years after Chloe Zhao for Nomadland in 2021.
Cumberbatch lost to Smith, who won Best Actor for his performance as the father of Serena and Venus Williams in King Richard.
Scanlan was a surprise winner in the Best Actress category, beating out competitors like Lady Gaga to win for After Love, a debut feature film directed by Aleem Khan about a woman who makes a life-changing discovery after the death of her husband.
Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film ‘Belfast’, the story of a childhood overshadowed by the violent ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, won Best British Film.
Ariana DeBose won Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Anita in the musical West Side Story, and the Supporting Actor award went to Troy Kotsur for Coda, in which he plays the deaf father of a hearing daughter. Kotsur, who is also an Oscar nominee, is the first deaf actor to win a BAFTA.
“Have you perhaps thought of a deaf James Bond?” he asked in his speech, which was delivered in sign language.
Lashana Lynch, who caused a stir as the Double-0 agent in “No Time To Die,” won the Rising Star Award, the only category chosen by public vote. She thanked “the women of this country who taught me what it means to be a black woman in this industry. Thank you for laying the foundation for people like me.”
The Bond thriller also won Best Editing.
Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Oscar-nominated drama Drive My Car won Best Foreign Language Film.
The UK Awards usually takes place a week or two before the Academy Awards and has become a key part of the awards season. This year’s Oscars will take place on March 27th.
The British Film Academy has expanded its voting membership and changed its rules in recent years to address a glaring lack of diversity in nominations. In 2020, for the seventh year in a row, no woman was nominated for best director, and all 20 nominees in the leading actor and supporting actor categories were white.
Majumdar said this year’s more diverse field shows that “change has come”. But the cinema’s celebration was muted, with many attendees reflecting on the war raging on the other side of Europe.
Cumberbatch wore a lapel badge in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. He said it was to contradict “melomaniac” Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is raining “terror” on Ukraine.
“It’s a very scary and sad time,” he said on the red carpet. “Although this is a gesture and people can say it’s hollow, I can do it tonight” – along with pressure on British politicians to take in more war refugees.
Jonas Poher Rasmussen, director of the animated film Flee, the story of an Afghan refugee, said it was “surreal” to be at an awards ceremony when “the world is on fire.”
But he said images of millions being forced from their homes in Ukraine underscored the message that “these stories need to be told.”
https://nypost.com/2022/03/13/the-power-of-the-dog-wins-best-picture-at-baftas/ The Power of the Dog wins Best Picture at the BAFTAs