What better way to spend Valentines Day than showering our favourite stars from the world of film with our love and adoration? Very much the second biggest awards show in the industry the EE BAFTAs, along with The Golden Globes etc, are always a good indication for the Oscars. However, The Academy might not have enjoyed the 68th EE BAFTAs as much as everyone else as their accused racism was on the tip of the tongues of many presenters of awards. After Stephen Fry, eleven time host of the BAFTAs, got through his overlong introduction the awards could finally begin. Although I will admit that the addition of the ‘Kiss Cam’ was a clever touch and provided the majority of the comedy for this introduction, preying on the likes of Stanley Tucci, Leonardo DiCaprio, Maggie Smith and Bryan Cranston.
Many of the technical awards fall under the category of ‘Awards Presented Earlier’ even though most film fans are interested in these too. A favourite of the fans, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ really cleaned up here, picking up the awards for Editing, Production Design & Make-up and Hair. Max and his madness also won the award for Costume Design, allowing Jenny Beavan her moment in the spotlight. One of Fry’s finest moments as host at this years awards was when he stated something we were all thinking, the fact that the winner of the award for costume design seemed to be dressed as a ‘bag lady’. I’m so glad Fry made this comment, it was one of the biggest laughs of the night and showed me why Fry has had this gig for so long. Along with these awards presented earlier came the award for Original Music. Thank goodness justice was done here as Ennio Morricone’s brilliant score for ‘The Hateful Eight’ was rightly recognised as the winner.
When it came to the awards for the screenplays, Angela Bassett kicked off the proceedings exclaiming “Book! or film?”. Bassett certainly made the most of her minute of attention by injecting a bizarre, but appreciated, amount of sass into her presentation. ‘Spotlight’ won the Original Screenplay award, it’s certainly a great screenplay but I struggle to really accept how a film based on a true story can have a fully original screenplay. I’d have rather seen the award go to ‘The Hateful Eight’ or ‘Ex Machina’. For Adapted Screenplay ‘The Big Short’ secured the gong, whilst I’d rather have seen Aaron Sorkin’s work on ‘Steve Jobs’ recognised.
Rebel Wilson kicked off the acting awards with a surprisingly hilarious presentation of Supporting Actor which went to Mark Rylance for ‘Bridge of Spies’. Again I was disappointed as I’d like to have seen Benico del Toro for ‘Sicario’ or Mark Ruffalo for ‘Spotlight’ triumph. Kate Winslet won for Supporting Actress and her hopes are surely sky high for that Oscar now, I was very happy for her but I would have also loved to have seen Alicia Vikander win for ‘Ex Machina’. It was no surprise that Brie Larson won for Lead Actress but in a category that I would have been genuinely happy seeing any of the nominees win. Michael Fassbender missed out on the Lead Actor award which Leonardo DiCaprio won in his strongest quest for an Oscar to date. The only other acting award was for the EE Rising Star, my pick was definitely Taron Egerton who starred in three films last year but as this was a public vote it was no surprise that the force of Star Wars awoke once more to see John Boyega win. He’s a great actor though so this was deserved.
Finally we had the awards for film and direction. Outstanding British Film was filled with some great efforts, like many other awards I had my hopes pinned on ‘Ex Machina’ but the brilliant ‘Brooklyn’ won instead. The Best Film and Director awards were a double for ‘The Revenant’ with both film and director winning in their categories. Surely ‘The Revenant’ has to be the favourite for the Oscar. Regardless of this I was very happy with these wins as the film really is a masterpiece combining art and entertainment into one film.
So in just two hours the entire stack of golden (and one blue) masks had been handed out to their recipients in what was a fairly predictable ceremony and list of winners. Nonetheless the evening was entertaining and funny in parts. Host Stephen Fry summed up the evening nicely by stating that; “Film endures where we don’t, film is forever.” and I paraphrase when I say “Generations yet to be born will enjoy films made by those who are no longer with us.” A fine conclusion to a night celebrating the much loved art form of film.
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the ceremony! Did your favourites win? Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.