A rewarding night for the best of the best
Award shows are sycophantic and ten a penny. So why-oh-why do we find ourselves continually drawn to the predictable run of well-rehearsed accolades, TV clips, a conveyor belt of celebrity guests droning “...and the winner is...” and half-hearted applause which gets weaker as the evening draws on? The answer is, quite simply, because they're addictive. From the moment you dare to mutter, “Let's just watch this bit...” you're hooked, unable to tear yourself away from “just one more” clip or the next star guest in case you miss a vital snippet of gossip which will be the talk of the town by the morning. So, which films and their stars will be hitting the headlines on Monday? It’s highly likely that The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman and The Theory of Everything will dominate the ceremony – The Grand Budapest Hotel leads the way with 11 nominations, while the other two trail not very far behind with 10 each. It’s a big night for host Stephen Fry too – this will be the 10th time he’s presented The British Academy Film Awards (Sunday, BBC1, 9pm), which takes place once again at London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. "Hosting the Film Awards has always been a highlight of my year,” says Fry. “The opportunity to help the Academy promote filmmaking and encourage cinema-going means a lot to me. “I've met many heroes and had the honour of introducing many young talents that are now busy forging remarkable careers for themselves. Seeing the photos from each year back I can chart my bewildering changes in weight too... "Hard as it may be for some characteristically sceptical Britons to believe, the Baftas have real kudos, reputation and cachet all over the world of film- making,” he adds. “I, old as I am, never cease to be shamelessly glamorised by the sight of so many legendary names who come every year as nominees and presenters.” Everyone at the BBC will be smiling on the night too – its film division is assured of at least one gong, having been given the Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema award. “I cannot think of a more deserving institution for this award than BBC Films, unbelievably in its 25th year and with more than 250 predominantly British films in its catalogue,” explains Nick Powell, chairman of Bafta’s film committee.
Award winning Stephen Fry hosts the ceremony.