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I’m pretty sure if a well-known British actor had tried his hand at directing, delivered a well-liked and unthodox thriller, starring himself, then taken it to an awards ceremony in America and walked off with two of the largest awards of the night, we’d be throwing around words like “invasion” and “landslide,” so in the interests of fairness, cool-headedness, and general even-handedness, let me say this about Mr Ben Affleck at tonight’s BAFTA Film Awards.
It’s an outrage! Argo won best film (beating Les flipping Misérables!) , best editing AND and Ben himself won best director. Best director! That’s got to be because he signed off on his lead actor – himself – growing that beard, right? I mean what is going ON!?
Skyfall, the Bond movie anglophiles might have hoped would beat all comers this year, even abroad, didn’t even get nominated in the best film category. It did, however, storm the outstanding British film section (as well as original music), beating The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Anna Karenina (they got a costume design award instead), and yes, Les flipping Misérables again.
The Mizz did pick up a few gongs on the way out, in case anyone is thinking they should film a sequel in which the people who survived the first movie are horrified to discover they went through all that, only to be stuck with criminally empty mantelpieces forever. Sound, make-up & hair and production design all went Mizzwards, as did the best supporting actress award, to a very happy Anne Hathaway (who can at least eat now). The best supporting actor award went to Django Unchained’s Christoph Waltz.
And since we’ve started supporting actors, here are two more: Daniel Day Lewis is officially our best one now, taking home the award for his portrayal of an entire English city, in Lincoln (must check this). As for actresses, the BAFTA panel only had eyes for Emmanuelle Riva in Amour (which also won in the clunkily-titled category Film Not In The English Language).
Elsewhere, Pixar’s Scottish play Brave won best animated movie, beating Frankenweenie and Paranorman. The Imposter won the outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer, and Searching for Sugar Man won best documentary. Life of Pi did OK, taking home adapted screenplay, cinematography and special visual effects trophies (well, you’ve got to give a tiger something), and the screenplay awards – original and adapted – were split between Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook respectively.
Which just leaves the rising star award, which was voted by the British public. It could easily have been Suraj Sharma’s year (that tiger again), or Andrea Riseborough’s, but in the end the winkyfaced man went to Britain’s Juno Temple, star of Atonement, Killer Joe and The Dark Knight Rises.
Trust me, once she’s got her directing career underway and grown a beard, we’ll be back to talk about what went on tonight.
See more posts by Fraser McAlpine
Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.
He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.
Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic