BAFTA Highlights 2012
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If you were to tell someone that the Bafta Film Awards were dominated by a black-and-white silent French film, they'd expect you to be talking about the first Awards ceremony in 1947. But they'd be wrong. The 65th Bafta Film Awards was always going to be The Artist's night and with no fewer than seven awards, it's clear that the bookies were right. Here we have a look at some of the highlights from the ceremony, hosted by the excellent Stephen Fry, which took place last night at The Royal Opera House in London.
The Artist: It was always a forgone conclusion that the charming film about a silent movie star struggling with the rise of sound in Hollywood was going to win the award for Best Film. More hype surrounded this film than Justin Bieber's reported fatherhood and it is always worrying when a film garners such praise as, more often than not, it falls short of expectations. The Artist, however, is fully-deserving of its Best Film award and it is sure to go on and win the same award at the Oscars at the end of this month. You have to feel sorry for the other films...
Jean Dujardin: 'Err, who?!' I hear you ask. A relatively unknown actor until The Artist hit screens worldwide, Dujardin made an emotional acceptance speech and exclaimed “c'est incroyable” (he's French y'know). Against stiff competition from the likes of Pitt, Oldman, Clooney and Fassbender, Dujardin's award should really go to his expressive eyebrows – the real stars of a silent film.
Meryl Streep: Winning only her second Bafta, Streep brought some slapstick comedy to the proceedings by managing to lose her shoe on the stairs up to the stage and hobbled to the podium before Colin Firth became her Prince Charming and reunited her with her Jimmy Choos. Streep's astounding performance in The Iron Lady secured her the Leading Actress award and will, most probably, win her an Oscar. In perhaps one of the most philosophical speeches of the night, Steep hailed the aspirations of the film and its ambition to “look at the Iron Lady and to locate something real – maybe hidden – but truthful”. Very deep.
Michel Hazanavicius: Back to The Artist and a director whose surname sounds more like a Bond villain than a Bafta award-winner. His expert direction and understanding of the power of silent cinema has demonstrated that silent films are far from dull and can be as engrossing as any Michael Bay film...actually, bad example.
Senna: Having been grossly overlooked by the Golden Globes, it was very satisfying to see the documentary about Formula One legend Ayrton Senna receive praise from Bafta. An emotionally-engaging and thoroughly-moving film, Senna is a film that everyone should see even if you've no interest in motor sport (and that's coming from someone who thinks that F1 is a key...).
OUSTANDING BRITISH FILM
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: The atmospheric, unsettling and stylish Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is most definitely a worthy winner for Outstanding British Film. Against stiff competition from the likes of the superb We Need To Talk About Kevin and Shame, the film has been a hit with critics and audiences alike. Esteemed film critic Mark Kermode says this film isn't about spying. Yeah, and Titanic isn't about a ship sinking...
Martin Scorsese: The highest award given by BAFTA went to the directorial heavyweight that is Martin Scorsese. Scorsese's love of cinema is pretty much unparalleled and his acceptance speech was a clear demonstration of this. As Total Film tweeted last night: “could listen to Scorsese wax lyrical about cinema pretty much indefinitely”. With recent hit Hugo under his belt, Scorsese's long and illustrious career has produced some of the best films ever made and a visibly emotional Scorsese thanked BAFTA profusely: “I think just holding this award is an honour, but getting it is just a dream”. Well done Marty.