London : Survival drama ‘The Revenant’ won top awards including the best film at the Bafta 2016 while its leading star Leonardo DiCaprio picked up the best actor trophy, cementing his chances at the Oscars later this month.
The Baftas, British cinema’s highest recognition, showered Valentine’s Day love on the Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s film true-story inspired drama which won the five major awards at Bafta. ‘Carol’ failed to register a win despite nine nods.
DiCaprio, 41, has dominated the Hollywood award season this year for his physically-grueling turn as the 19th century fur trapper Hugh Glass, a role that saw him sleeping in a horse carcass and eating raw bison liver. The actor, a three-time Bafta nominee for ‘The Aviator’, ‘The Departed’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, paid glowing tribute to his mother in his speech.
“I grew up in a very rough neighbourhood in East Los Angeles. And this woman drove me three hours a day to a different school to show me a different opportunity. I’m shocked and amazed, honoured. To tell you the truth none of this was expected,” DiCaprio said.
52-year-old Inarritu, who won the Oscar last year for ‘The Birdman’ and a favourite this year as well, said the film’s success at the Bafta awards is overwhelming. Brie Larson, 26, won the best actress Bafta for her poignant portrayal of a woman kidnapped and kept in a small room with her child in ‘Room’. Her trophy was accepted by director Lenny Abrahamson at the event, hosted by Stephen Fry.
‘The Revenant’ was followed by George Miller’s action movie ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’. His film swept the technical categories with four wins in hair and make-up, editing, costume design and production design. DiCaprio’s ‘Titanic’ co-star Kate Winslet won her third Bafta trophy for her part of Apple marketing executive Joanna Hoffman in ‘Steve Jobs’. Her previous wins were for ‘Sense and Sensibility’ and ‘The Reader’. In a moving speech, the star, 40, dedicated her award to young girls who doubt their ability.
“When I was only 14, I was told by a drama teacher that I might be okay as long as I was happy to settle for the fat girl parts. Look at me now,” said the Oscar-winning star, advising young girls to overcome their fears and insecurities.
Mark Rylance won the best supporting actor award for his role of a Russian spy in Steven Spielberg’s ‘Bridge of Spies’. Indo-British helmer Asif Kapadia took home the best documentary award for ‘Amy’, a sensitive look at singer Amy Winehouse’s life and death at the age of 27 in 2011.
Journalism drama ‘Spotlight’ won the best original screenplay award with the co-writer and director Tom McCarthy dedicating the recognition to the reporters of the Boston Globe, who broke the story of the Catholic Church paedophile priest scandal. ‘The Big Short’ won the best adapted screenplay trophy at the ceremony, which saw a group called ‘Creatives of Colour Network’, protesting near the red carpet area against the lack of racial diversity in show business, a hot-button issue this awards season. Nick Hornby’s ‘Brooklyn’ was adjudged the outstanding British film. Emmanuel Lubezki’s win for cinematography for his work on ‘The Revenant’ was his fourth Bafta. The Mexican has won for the past three years, having previously picked up statuettes for ‘Birdman’ and ‘Gravity’.
Best animation went to Disney/Pixar toon ‘Inside Out’ and helmer Pete Docter accepted the award and called on young people in secondary schools who were struggling and trying to figure things out to ‘express themselves.’
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer went to Jordanian pic ‘Theeb,’ directed by Naji Abu Nowar, beating out the more well-known ‘Ex Machina,’ helmed by Alex Garland. ‘Theeb’ is up for an Oscar for best foreign language film.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ snapped up best special visual effects for Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh and Neal Scanlan. The EE Rising star Bafta award, the only award voted for by the public, went to ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and ‘Attack the Block’ British star John Boyega. ‘The Revenant’ also won for best sound, while the original music trophy went to Ennio Morricone for ‘The Hateful Eight’.
The best British short film honour went to ‘Operator,’ a movie funded by Kickstarter and helmed by Caroline Bartleet while best short animation went to ‘Edmond.’ The obituary section included tributes to Alan Rickman, Maureen O’Hara, Omar Sharif, David Bowie, Ron Moody, Frank Finlay, Indo-British actor Saeed Jaffrey and Christopher Lee.
Sidney Poitier, the first African-American to receive a best actor Oscar for his role in 1963 movie ‘Lilies of the Field’, was honoured with a Bafta Fellowship, the highest accolade, for his outstanding and exceptional contribution to the business. He was unable to attend the ceremony in person due to health reasons. Angels Costumes, the world’s longest-established costume house, now in its 175th year, received the outstanding British contribution to cinema award. —PTI