A home­town ‘Favourite’

Royal com­edy wins in Bri­tish cer­e­mony, while ‘Roma’ also racks up vic­to­ries.

Los Angeles Times - - THE GRAMMYS - By Emily Zem­ler

LON­DON — The 72nd an­nual Bri­tish Academy Film Awards filled Lon­don’s Royal Al­bert Hall on Sun­day evening, of­fer­ing a fur­ther sense of clar­ity to the Os­cars. Joanna Lum­ley re­turned as host for the sec­ond year, wel­com­ing the au­di­ence and home view­ers to “our an­nual rhapsody in cel­e­bra­tion of film bril­liance,” and led the three-hour cer­e­mony as “The Favourite” and “Roma” tal­lied the most vic­to­ries.

Lum­ley took the stage af­ter a per­for­mance by Cirque du Soleil in­spired by “First Man” and the an­niver­sary of the moon land­ing, a strange choice for a Bri­tish awards cer­e­mony. “Thank good­ness BAFTA has a host,” Lum­ley dead­panned dur­ing her open­ing monologue. “Al­though that might be due to the fact that I’m not on Twit­ter.”

She jovially took aim at sev­eral nom­i­nees, jok­ing that they’d braved the English weather in chauf­feured lim­ou­sines. Not all of Lum­ley’s jests landed well with the au­di­ence. Ges­tur­ing to “BlacKkKlans­man” direc­tor Spike Lee, Lum­ley said of the film, “It should win many awards, al­though I’m sur­prised it did so well at the Klan Film Awards.”

The an­nounce­ment of the first cat­e­gory, out­stand­ing Bri­tish film, was an im­me­di­ate relief for many, con­firm­ing a win by “The Favourite” over ex­pected vic­tor “Bo­hemian Rhapsody.” The lat­ter was the sub­ject of con­tro­versy last week when the Bri­tish Academy of Film and Tele­vi­sion Arts an­nounced it was re­mov­ing direc­tor Bryan Singer’s name from the nom­i­na­tion.

Singer, who was fired from the film three weeks be­fore the end of pro­duc­tion, is cred­ited as direc­tor on “Bo­hemian Rhapsody” but has been ab­sent from its awards run, in­clud­ing dur­ing its sur­prise win at the Golden Globes for mo­tion picture drama.

On Feb. 6, the Bri­tish academy an­nounced: “In light of re­cent very se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions, BAFTA has in­formed Bryan Singer that his nom­i­na­tion for ‘Bo­hemian Rhapsody’ has been sus­pended, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately. BAFTA con­sid­ers the al­leged be­hav­iour com­pletely un­ac­cept­able and in­com­pat­i­ble with its val­ues.” Singer did not at­tend the BAFTA Awards and was sim­i­larly ab­sent from lead­ing ac­tor win­ner Rami Malek’s speech. Malek, who called his win “truly ex­tra­or­di­nary,” did ex­press his grat­i­tude to Dex­ter Fletcher, who stepped in for Singer but is not a cred­ited direc­tor on the film.

“The Favourite” took the home­town ad­van­tage in sev­eral cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing sup­port­ing ac­tress for Rachel Weisz, orig­i­nal screen­play, cos­tume de­sign, and makeup and hair. Direc­tor Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos ac­cepted the BAFTA on be­half of “The Favourite,” nom­i­nated in 12 cat­e­gories, with a terse speech, not­ing “This film took 20 years to make. I con­trib­uted to the last 10.”

Olivia Col­man re­ceived a stand­ing ova­tion as her name was called for lead­ing ac­tress for her por­trayal of Queen Anne in “The Favourite.” Strug­gling to read sev­eral pages of tiny notes, Col­man ex­claimed, “We’re hav­ing an amaz­ing night, aren’t we?” She added of co-stars Weisz and Emma Stone: “This is for the lead, and as far as I’m con­cerned the three of us are the same and should be the lead, and it’s weird that we can’t do that. But this is for all of us. It has my name on it, but we can scratch in some other names.”

Al­fonso Cuarón, nom­i­nated in six cat­e­gories for “Roma,” kept his speeches short as he won for best film, cin­e­matog­ra­phy, film not in the English lan­guage and direc­tor. These awards sub­stan­ti­ate the Net­flix film’s potential at the Os­cars, mak­ing it a strong con­tender for best picture as well as best direc­tor.

“For­eign is just a dif­fer­ent color,” the Mex­i­can direc­tor said. “And col­ors com­ple­ment each other. The spe­cific color of this film is Mex­ico.” The direc­tor, clearly over­whelmed, added, “I’m re­ally, se­ri­ously touched this film has been re­ceived the way it’s been re­ceived. I have so many peo­ple to thank. I think I will go into tears now.”

Cuarón brought his cast and crew on­stage as the film was awarded best film. “To see a film about an in­dige­nous do­mes­tic worker em­braced this way in an age when fear and anger pro­pose to di­vide us means the world to me,” Cuarón said. “Rev­ert­ing back to a world of sep­a­ra­tion and iso­la­tion is not a so­lu­tion to any­thing. It’s sim­ply an ex­cuse to hide our fear within our basest in­stincts. Whether we like it or not, we are all con­nected, shar­ing a space and time. And when we fi­nally choose to em­brace that con­nec­tion and show com­pas­sion for one an­other we em­brace to­gether. I truly be­lieve that cin­ema has the power to help us achieve that.”

“A Star Is Born” fared less well but did take the orig­i­nal mu­sic cat­e­gory, set­ting the stage for a potential win at the Os­cars for the song “Shal­low.”

Lady Gaga was in L.A. for the Gram­mys, but direc­tor Bradley Cooper, who won the award along­side song­writ­ers Gaga and Lukas Nel­son, was on hand. “I got to ful­fill a dream I never thought would hap­pen,” he said. “and I got to do it with some of the best mu­si­cians in the world.” The ac­tor, who called mu­sic “the heart­beat” of the film, also thanked his girl­friend, Irina Shayk, for let­ting him re­hearse end­lessly in their base­ment.

Other win­ners included “Spi­der-Man: Into the Spi­der-Verse” for an­i­mated film, Ma­her­shala Ali for sup­port­ing ac­tor for “Green Book” and “Free Solo” for doc­u­men­tary. “BlacKkKlans­man’s” Lee ac­cepted the award for adapted screen­play, thank­ing a lengthy list of names in­clud­ing pro­duc­ers Jor­dan Peele and Ja­son Blum. As he left the stage, Lee shouted, “Brook­lyn is in the house!”

“Black Pan­ther,” nom­i­nated for best picture at the Os­cars, was rep­re­sented in two cat­e­gories, winning for spe­cial vis­ual ef­fects while star Letitia Wright won the 2019 EE Ris­ing Star Award, which is voted on by the pub­lic. Al­though Wright didn’t ref­er­ence the film in her speech, she did ac­knowl­edge her re­cent growth as an ac­tress. “This wasn’t an overnight thing,” she said. “It wasn’t a click of the fin­ger. It’s still a work in progress.”

Brexit was an un­der­cur­rent of the evening as the U.K. pre­pares to leave the Euro­pean Union in March. Dame Pippa Har­ris, BAFTA chair, made light of the anx­i­ety sur­round­ing Brexit dur­ing her off-cam­era open­ing re­marks.

“These are of course tur­bu­lent and con­fus­ing times,” Har­ris said. “But espe­cially in an in­dus­try where Brexit will be adding 45 min­utes to the length of the lat­est Bond movie as Daniel Craig fum­bles with his pass­port each time he tries to en­ter a glam­orous Euro­pean lo­ca­tion.”

Har­ris also dis­cussed the BAFTA Film Awards’ new diver­sity mea­sures, im­ple­mented last sum­mer for this year’s nom­i­nees. The new rules and guide­lines in­clude new el­i­gi­bil­ity re­quire­ments for two cat­e­gories: out­stand­ing Bri­tish film and out­stand­ing de­but by a Bri­tish writer, direc­tor or pro­ducer (awarded to writer/direc­tor Michael Pearce and pro­ducer Lau­ren Dark for “Beast”), mark­ing the first year nom­i­nees in both cat­e­gories were re­quired to demon­strate meet­ing at least two of the four BFI diver­sity stan­dards: on-screen rep­re­sen­ta­tion, rep­re­sen­ta­tion in lead­er­ship, in­dus­try ac­cess and au­di­ence diver­sity.

Dave J Ho­gan Getty Images

OLIVIA COL­MAN wins for lead ac­tress in the film “The Favourite” at the BAFTA Awards in Lon­don.

Pas­cal Le Se­gre­tain Getty Images

RAMI MALEK wins for lead ac­tor in “Bo­hemian Rhapsody,” a vic­tory he called “truly ex­tra­or­di­nary.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.