'Power of the Dog' and 'Dune' win big but there were was an unexpected wins for Joanna Scanlan while Troy Kotsur was on usual form.
Back fresh from pandemic cancellations, the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) held their traditional black-tie event last night with big wins for sci-fi epic ‘Dune’ and Jane Campion’s ‘Power of the Dog’.
‘Dune,’ which took home trophies in the Musical Score, Cinematography, Production Design, Sound, and Visual Effects categories, was the evening's biggest winner. However, Jane Campion picked up the prestigious Best Director award in addition to her powerful, subtle western ‘Power of the Dog’ winning best film.
Campion, who hails from New Zealand, is the third woman to win the directorial award in 70-years of BAFTA history.
Benedict Cumberbatch, who was nominated for best actor in ‘Power of the Dog’, was pipped to the post by Will Smith for his portrayal of the father of Venus and Serena Williams in ‘King Richard’.
Meanwhile, there was a surprise win for British comedy actress Joanna Scanlan.
Scanlan, known for her roles in sitcoms ‘Thick of It’ and ‘Getting On’ won best actress for her role in ‘After Love,’ a drama about a woman who makes a starting discovery after her husband’s death.
The ‘Westside Story’ reboot which has proven popular with critics and audiences alike scooped two prizes; Supporting Actress for Ariana DeBose and Casting.
Troy Kotsur won again for Supporting Actor in ‘CODA,’ having previously picked up the same prize at both the SAG awards and the Independent Spirit Awards.
Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Belfast,’ picked up best British Film, the only win for the highly-nominated black and white film about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The Rising Star award went to ‘No Time to Die’ actress Lashana Lynch.
On collecting her award, Lynch thanked "the women of this country who taught me what it is to be in this industry as a dark-skinned woman.
“I thank you for laying the foundation for people like me.”
Bond looms large but Ukraine biggest topic of the evening
Lynch was the only Bond actor to pick up any awards, with ‘No Time to Die’ only winning in the Editing category.
Despite this, the evening was Bond heavy, with Shirley Bassey performing a glamorous rendition of ‘Diamonds are Forever’ to celebrate 60-years of the spy films.
Meanwhile Joanna Scanlan and Troy Kotsur both mentioned Bond in their speeches.
Scanlan said she was hoping for a Bond audition when she picked up her Actress award and Kotsur joked, “How About a Deaf James Bond?” in his speech, delivered through sign language.
Elsewhere in the evening Paul Thomas Anderson won Original Screenplay for his 70s-set ‘Licorice Pizza,’ and ‘CODA’ won again when Sian Heder won in the Adapted Screenplay category.
Meanwhile, Animated Film went to Disney’s ‘Encanto’ and Costume Design to ‘Cruella’.
‘Summer Soul,’ about the Harlem Cultural Festival in the 1960s US, won Documentary and Japanese ‘Drive My Car’ won for a film Not in the English Language.
Of course, the war in Ukraine was on everyone's minds on both the red carpet and the stage.
Actor Benedict Cumberbatch wore a lapel badge in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag, saying it was to oppose the “megalomaniac” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Although this is a gesture, and people can say it’s hollow, it’s just something I can do tonight,” the ‘Power of the Dog’ star said.
Jonas Poher Rasmussen, director of animated feature ‘Flee,’ the story of an Afghan refugee, said it was “surreal” to be at an awards show when “the world is burning.”
But he said images of the millions driven from their homes in Ukraine underscored the message that “these stories need to be told.”