Musical La La Land waltzes off with five BAFTAs
The effervescent escapism film La La Land has continued its runaway success of the season at the BAFTAs.
The musical predictably waltzed off with the most BAFTAs, winning five of the 11 for which it was nominated, including best film and best director for Damien Chazelle.
Emma Stone won best actress and while her speech was somewhat muted compared to Meryl Streep’s politically-charged Golden Globe speech in which she attacked Trump, the actress gave a nod to the political flavour of the entire awards season.
She said: “The US and the world seems to being going through a bit of a time that is divisive and I’m so glad we can get together in the film industry to… celebrate the positive.”
Ken Loach set a political tone to the BAFTA awards as he picked up the first prize of the night for outstanding British film with I, Daniel Blake, his gritty antidote to the glitz of La La Land about the welfare state.
Loach said his film was about society’s “most vulnerable… who are treated by this Government with brutality… which extends to refugee children which it refuses to help”.
In the ceremony, attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Royal Albert Hall, Loach said the world is getting “darker” in the “struggle between the rich and powerful… the poor and the privileged.
“Film makers know which side they’re on,” he added. “We are with the people.”
In an awards season that seems unprecedented in the political stakes, the famously left-wing director, who is celebrating 50 years since winning his first BAFTA, echoed the sentiment of Meryl Streep, who used her Golden Globes speech to attack Donald Trump.
During the evening, British talent saw off stiff competition from the US, with Dev Patel winning best supporting actor for his role alongside Nicole Kidman in Lion – almost 10 years since Slumdog Millionaire catapulted him to fame.
Lion, which is based on the true story of a lost and adopted boy’s search for his real mother, also won best adapted screenplay.
Casey Affleck mumbled his way through his speech when he won best actor for his role in Manchester By The Sea, which also took away the gong for best original screenplay.
Viola Davis won best supporting actress for her role in Fences, an adaptation of an August Wilson play in which she had previously starred on Broadway.
She beat the likes of Naomie Harris to win the award.
In her acceptance speech Davis thanked the playwright for telling the stories of “the average African American, whose stories deserve to be told”.
Her co-star and director Denzel Washington missed out on a BAFTA nod but is nominated at the Academy Awards where Davis is likely to win again.
Although nominated for nine categories, sci-fi thriller Arrival, starring Amy Adams, only took home one award for best sound.
The Jungle Book won Best Visual FX, and Fantastic Beasts took the production design award.
Source: Sky News – Entertainment