Sunday night’s 66th BAFTA award ceremony was dazzling. Armani, Chanel, Gucci and their competitors all strutted down the red carpet, matched to perfection with their mannequin.
Hollywood’s finest were at London’s Royal Opera House having been given a complimentary EE BAFTA plastic umbrella which surprisingly looked right at home with the creme de la creme. After the red carpet shenanigans, Steven Fry kicked off the evening with a rather bombastic opening speech, insulting Helena Bonham-Carter, and making reference to the surge of bearded men, which could have mistaken the event for the World Beard Championships…
After Fry’s delightfully sarcastic monologue, Paloma Faith rolled in with her troop of choir singers, ooh-ing down the aisle, setting the tense atmosphere into quite a harmonious climate. The last note was warbled, the last ‘ooh’ was ooh-ed, and we were welcomed with the presence of Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper. They presented the Outstanding British Film, which was snatched up by Skyfall- hardly surprising when competing against ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’. This was a huge win for Sam Mendes and his crew as “this is a first for Bond… Here’s to the next fifty years”.
Short film ‘Swimmer’ snapped up Best Short Film, while the Best Short Animation award fell into the hands of Will Anderson for his short flick ‘The Making of Longbird’. I must admit, I’ve not watched either of these films, however I’m sure they were brilliant and certainly worthy of a BAFTA. Next was Best Costume, presented by Skyfall’s Ben Whishaw and someone called Alice Eve. The award was won by Jacqueline Durran for her stunning costumes in Joe Wright’s ‘Anna Karenina’.
I think it’s fair to say that ‘Les Misérables’ had quite a pleasing night, winning four out of a potential nine awards for the stunning show-turned film. While Argo, it would seem, just kept on going– I’m surprised Ben Affleck had anything left to say by the time he went to collect his award for Best Director. However Les Mis beat Argo in the tallies, yet were less in one’s face. Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’ was not left out from the party, as Quentin sauntered onto the stage saying that winning was ‘really nice, really cool’ then leaving with his Best Original Screenplay. Christoph Waltz also hopped onto the stage to receive his golden Best Supporting Actor closely followed by Anne Hathaway who won Best Supporting Actress for Les Mis. Obviously it wouldn’t have been the BAFTAs 2013 without a visit from Daniel Day-Lewis now would it, having graced us all with his absolutely fantastic performance in Lincoln, and now reaping the benefits from that by making the audience chortle as he picked up his Best Actor Award.
The night began to draw to a close as Kevin Spacey waltzed on down from the wings, to present the legendary Alan Parker with his BAFTA Fellowship award, for being a top guy all round. Parker created an air of nostalgia as he reminisced about his fond childhood memories of dividing the playground in two, and having a group of children “defend the outside toilet”. He also used this opportunity to briefly tell us how his headmaster belittled him, to which Alan then said “if I’d known I was going to get this one day, I could have answered him”.
The ceremony was certainly a night to remember and not just the dresses, but the spectacular talent and drive that the film industry possesses, and the pride in those who make it happen.