1917 Won Big
The BAFTAs doesn’t mess around: the first award of the night was outstanding British film, which was won by 1917. This set the scene for the rest of the evening, with the Sam Mendes war epic going on to receive seven wins, including best director, best cinematography, sound, best special visual effects, production design and best film.
However, none of the cast from 1917 were up for nomination in any of the acting categories. Instead Joaquin Phoenix won best actor for his role in Joker; Renee Zellweger was named leading actress for her portrayal of Judy Garland in Judy; Brad Pitt won best supporting actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood; and Laura Dern was named best supporting actress for her performance as a divorce lawyer in Marriage Story. It is the first time since 1977 that all four of the BAFTA awards for acting have been won by Americans.
Little Women Was Snubbed
As big Little Women fans in the SL office, we were disappointed not to see Greta Gerwig’s adaptation get more nominations – and on the night, the film only won one gong for best costume design. But it was The Irishman which was the biggest loser: Martin Scorsese’s 210-minute drama was nominated for ten awards, but walked away with zero.
Elsewhere, For Sama, a film about a young mother's experience of the Syrian civil war, won best documentary; Andy Serkis was honoured with the outstanding British contribution to film award; the award for best adapted screenplay went to Taika Waititi's Jojo Rabbit; Joker picked up best original score for its composer Hildur Gudnadottir and the casting award; outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer went to Cornish fishing drama Bait; best editing went to Le Mans 66; and best make-up and hair was awarded to Bombshell.
Diversity Issues Were Tackled
Phoenix used his acceptance speech to call out the “systemic racism” in the industry, saying "I feel very honoured and privileged... but I have to say that I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don't have that same privilege. I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you're not welcome here, I think that's the message that we're sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from."
BAFTA president Prince William also used his speech to highlight a lack of diversity, in a year which saw only white actors nominated across all 20 acting places. “In 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age," he said.
Elsewhere, Rebel Wilson wasn’t afraid to call out the Academy for its lack of female directors – no women were nominated in the best director category for the seventh year in a row – saying of the all-male nominees: "I don't think I could do what they do, honestly, I just don't have the balls."
It was heartening, then, that in the only public-voted category, Top Boy’s Micheal Ward won the EE BAFTA Rising Star award (which has previously been won by the likes of Kristen Stewart, Tom Hardy and James McAvoy). And South Korean film Parasite won two prizes, for original screenplay and film not in the English language.
Bridget Jones & Daniel Cleaver Were Reunited
Forget Brad and Jen at the Golden Globes, last night was all about Bridget and Daniel. Hugh Grant was waiting in the wings ready to present an award just after Zellweger won her BAFTA. After giving her a hug, he briefly slipped back into his character from Bridget Jones's Diary, saying: "Well done Jones. That was a very silly little dress."
Now All Eyes Are On The Oscars…
The BAFTAs always offer crucial Oscar hints: last year, three winners in the acting categories – Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Mahershala Ali (Green Book) and Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) – were the same at the BAFTAs and the Oscars. Zellweger, Phoenix, Dern and Pitt have now won their acting categories at every major ceremony of awards season so far, including the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Critics' Choice Awards. The foursome is surely a shoo-in for Oscars glory.
However, Sam Mendes probably shouldn’t get his hopes up: the last five films to win best film at the BAFTAs have failed to win best picture at the Oscars. We’ll have to see what next Sunday’s ceremony has in store…
Here's our pick of the best dressed stars...
Who: Margot Robbie
Why we love it: With its frilled collar, floor-skimming length and lace detail, this dress risked being a little too conservative. But a statement peplum waist and surprising open back gave it a much-needed modern twist – perfect with a simple beauty look.
Who: Renee Zellweger
Why we love it: Never one for fuss and frills, we love this simple column style on this season’s awards show darling, Renee Zellweger. The pink sheen, pinched waist and arm details give it a few points of interest.
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Who: Zoe Kravitz
Wearing: Saint Laurent
Why we love it: Zoe Kravitz is yet to put a fashion foot wrong this red-carpet season. Her gold column dress is equal parts cool and dramatic, while the slightly-too-short sleeves add a relaxed feel. A coral lip and earrings are the perfect, unexpected addition.
Who: Ella Balinksa
Wearing: Giambattista Valli
Why we love it: Frilled, ruffled, tiered, floralled…this dress has it all. We love the dramatic cape-like detail adding drama to an otherwise pretty, feminine style.
Who: Jodie Turner-Smith
Why we love it: Star of new film Queen & Slim Jodie Turner-Smith proved an 8-month bump doesn’t have to get in the way of good style; this sequined, bright yellow, black-detailed gown is a striking show-stopper.
Who: Wallis Day
Wearing: Ashi Studio
Why we love it: Bright red, full skirt, big bow detail – what's not to love about this dramatic gown? Actress Wallis Day is now firmly on SL’s fashion radar…
Who: Alice Jeffrey
Wearing: Alex Perry
Why we love it: Draped, cape-like detailing is what makes this dress so special. Its white, column fit is chic, polished and smart, but it's the additional detail which gives it that extra wow-factor.
Who: Rooney Mara
Why we love it: With its tulip-shaped shirt, mesh panelling and statement shoulder design, this dress makes a serious impact. Its black shade grounds the look, whilst swept back hair and a red lip add high-end polish.
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
Who: Charlize Theron
Why we love it: A bold, jewel-toned dress always makes a statement, and this bright purple style is the perfect mix of fun and elegant. A statement neckline adds a powerful touch, whilst the black belt breaks up the look in a contemporary way.