Movies In Focus once again braved the elements to join the red carpet at the 2017 EE Bafta Film Awards. This was the 70th year of the event and it was held at the Royal Albert Hall, rather than the usual Royal Opera House venue. As expected, the stars were out in force with the likes of Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Emma Stone, Viola Davis, J.K. Rowling, Andrew Garfield, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley and Jamie Dornan taking to the red carpet. Ryan Gosling was expected to make an appearance, but he was pulled away at the last minute due to family commitments.
I watched everyone walk the carpet before I was whisked away by cab to the warn and relaxing surroundings of Soho House. A few drinks and nibbles were on-hand as I kicked-back and watched the show in the screening room.
It was an interesting year for the awards ceremony, which was again hosted by Stephen Fry. Unlike previous years, there was no clear front-runner dominating the pack. Yes, La La Land had a lot of heat but Manchester By The Sea and Lion were not to underestimated. In the main categories, La La Land ultimatley scored Best Film, Best Director (Damien Chapelle) and Leading Actress (Emma Stone) but Manchester By the Sea landed a Leading Actor Award for Casey Affleck and an Original Screenplay award for Kenneth Lonergan. Meanwhile, Lion‘s Dev Patel took home Supporting Actor while Viola Davis bagged Supporting Actress for Fences.
It’s a time of shifting politics and many expected a political leaning to the winner’s speeches. The didn’t disappoint, littering their thanks with the occasional dig at Donald Trump and Brexit. Must have been uncomfortable viewing for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who were in attendance. Ouch.
The highlight of the night was Mel Brooks, who was awarded the Bafta Fellowship award for his wondrous career as a filmmaker. Brooks has given us some of the greatest comedy films of all time and it was a well deserved award accepted with wit and charm.
The winners list
Best film – La La Land
Outstanding British film – I, Daniel Blake
Director – Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Leading actress – Emma Stone – La La Land
Leading actor – Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Supporting actress – Viola Davis – Fences
Supporting actor – Dev Patel – Lion
Original screenplay – Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan
Adapted screenplay – Lion – Luke Davies
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer – Under the Shadow – Babak Anvari (writer/director), Emily Leo,
Film not in the English language – Son of Saul – Laszlo Nemes, Gabor Sipos
Documentary – 13th
Animated film – Kubo and the Two Strings
Original music – La La Land – Justin Hurwitz
Cinematography – La La Land – Linus Sandgren
Editing – Hacksaw Ridge – John Gilbert
Production design – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
Costume design – Jackie – Madeline Fontaine
Make-up and hair – Florence Foster Jenkins – J Roy Helland, Daniel Phillips
Sound – Arrival – Claude La Haye, Bernard Gariepy Strobl, Sylvain Bellemare
Special visual effects – The Jungle Book – Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones, Adam Valdez
British short animation – A Love Story – Khaled Gad, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Elena Ruscombe-King
British short film – Home – Shpat Deda, Afolabi Kuti, Daniel Mulloy, Scott O’Donnell
EE Rising Star award – Tom Holland