London: Silent movie ‘The Artist’ scooped seven awards at the 65th BAFTAs including best film, best director and best actor. Also his director prize, filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius won the best original screenplay prize.
“Some people thought there was no script because there was no dialogue so the British are very clever,” a news channel has quoted him as saying.
Meryl Streep took home the trophy for best actress, for ‘The Iron Lady’, while ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ bagged outstanding British film. The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, who won the best actor award, said that he was “thrilled to be in the company of such illustrious, talented actors” as fellow nominees Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, George Clooney and Michael Fassbender.
“To receive this award from the country of Laurence Oliver, William Webb Ellis and Benny Hill is an honour,” the Frenchman said. Colin Firth presented best actress to his ‘Mamma Mia!’ co-star Meryl Streep.
The film, the favourite for best picture at the Oscars on 26 February, also picked up the prizes for best original score, cinematography and best costume design. Bejo, together with My Week with Marilyn’s Michelle Williams, We Need to Talk About Kevin’s Tilda Swinton and The Help’s Viola Davis, was outshined by Streep for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.
‘The Iron Lady’, which follows Margaret Thatcher over a number of years, also won the make-up and hair Bafta. Octavia Spencer beat Jessica Chastain, her co-star in civil rights drama ‘The Help’, to win best supporting actress and asserted that her victory was “a surprise”. Christopher Plummer, 82, won best supporting actor for his role as an elderly father who comes out as gay in ‘Beginners’.
Peter Straughan, who won best adapted screenplay, paid tribute to late wife and ‘Tinker Tailor’ co-writer Bridget O’Connor Spy thriller ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’, starring best actor nominee Oldman as George Smiley, went into the awards with 11 nominations - one less than ‘The Artist’.
Picking up outstanding British film - which beat Monroe biopic ‘My Week With Marilyn’, Steve McQueen’s sex addiction film ‘Shame’, psychodrama ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ and documentary ‘Senna’ - director Tomas Alfredson said: “It’s easy to be outstanding when you’re surrounded by talented people.”
Senna, about the life of the late racing driver Ayrton Senna, won best documentary beating Martin Scorsese’s ‘George Harrison: Living in the Material World’ and ‘Project Nim’, about a chimpanzee raised as a child in the 1970s.
Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ - a 3D adaptation of Brian Selznick’s novel ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ – was awarded for production design and sound.