‘The Revenant,’ Leonardo DiCaprio Dominate BAFTA Awards
Art and Experience: Alejandro G. Inarritu’s “The Revenant” came up trumps at the 69th British Academy Film Awards on Sunday night, nabbing five prizes including best film, director and leading actor.
George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” left the field with four BAFTAs – all in the more technical fields – including costume design, production design, make up and hair and editing.
“The Martian,” “The Danish Girl,” “Carol” and “Ex-Machina” all left empty-handed this year.
This year’s ceremony was a marked change for Inarritu compared to last year’s awards: in 2015, his pic “Birdman,” was up for 10 nominations but only came away with one win for best cinematography, given to Emmanuel Lubezki.
The glitterati were in full force at London’s Royal Opera House on Valentine’s Day: Tom Cruise awarded “The Revenant” with the best film prize while Leonardo DiCaprio’s win for best actor in the film was met with a resounding cheer in the audience. It marked the thesp’s first BAFTA win after four noms (he was previously nominated for work on Martin Scorsese pics “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Departed” and “The Aviator”).
DiCaprio personally thanked co-star Tom Hardy for his “fierce loyalty not only as a collaborator but as a friend. I could not have done this journey without you.” He also thanked his mother in a moving speech, crediting her for supporting his acting career from the beginning.
Helmer Inarritu won best director, after being nominated in the category three times (he was previously nominated for “Birdman” and “Babel”).
Lubezki nabbed the best cinematography award again for his work on “The Revenant,” a win that was widely predicted amongst the biz. This marks his fourth BAFTA win (in addition to “Birdman,” he also nabbed statuettes for “Gravity” and “Children of Men”). The pic also picked up best sound, for Lon Bender, Chris Duesterdiek, Martin Hernandez, Frank A. Montano, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom.
Brie Larson snatched up best actress for her role in “Room.” The thesp was not there to pick up the award, due to filming commitments in Australia, but helmer Lenny Abrahamson was on hand to accept the prize on her behalf and described the actress, who is also nominated for an Oscar this year, as “one of the best actors of her generation.”
Mark Rylance picked up best supporting actor for “Bridge of Spies,” his first win and first BAFTA film nomination. Rylance also wasn’t in London to collect the awards, as he is currently preforming on Broadway, but helmer Steven Spielberg collected the award for the actor.
Kate Winslet won her third BAFTA this year for Best Supporting Actress for “Steve Jobs.” Amongst the list of people she thanked, she credited co-star Michael Fassbender for his role in the film. “You led us through this,” she said. “I don’t know how you did this. I could watch you every day and be completely blown away.”
Outstanding British Film, the first award of the evening went to “Brooklyn,” directed by John Crowley. The 1950s Irish immigrant tale stars Saorise Ronan.
“The Big Short” was awarded best adapted screenplay for scribes Adam McKay, Charles Randolph, its only award of the evening.
“Spotlight” picked up one award for best original screenplay, for Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer. McCarthy took to the stage and thanked “the courageous survivors who came forward and shared their stories with us.”
Best animation went to Disney/Pixar toon “Inside Out” and helmer Pete Docter accepted the award and called on young people in secondary school who were struggling and trying to figure things out to “express themselves.” He said: “Sing, write, draw. The world will be a better place for it.”
George Miller received a lot of love on stage on Sunday evening as his pic “Mad Max: Fury Road,” picked up four statues for costume design (Jenny Beavan), makeup and hair (Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin), editing (Margaret Sixel) and production design (Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson).
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer went to Jordanian pic “Theeb,” directed by Naji Abu Nowar, beating out the more well-known “Ex Machina,” helmed by Alex Garland. “Theeb” is up for an Oscar for best foreign language film.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” snapped up best special visual effects for Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh and Neal Scanlan while the EE Rising Star BAFTA award, the only award voted for by the public, went to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Attack the Block” Brit star John Boyega, who remarked he wanted to “share this award with all the young dreamers.” The thesp beat out Brie Larson, Dakota Johnson, Taron Egerton and Bel Powley for the award.
Sidney Poitier, the first African-American to receive a best actor Oscar for his role in 1963’s “Lilies of the Field,” was honored with a BAFTA Fellowship, the highest accolade, for his outstanding and exceptional contribution to the business. The Bahamas-born thesp, who has been nominated for six BAFTAs in his career (compared to two Academy Award nominations), nabbing one win in 1959 for “Edge of the City,” was unable to attend the ceremony to pick up his award due to “ill health.”
But he thanked BAFTA for the award saying “I’m sorry I’m unable to be there for you in London for this special occasion but I hold a very special place in my heart for your great city” and added “thank you for your warm embrace.”
“Sidney Poitier is the greatest example of what it means to live your life with integrity, power and grace. I just love this man,” said Oprah Winfrey in a video message. “He became a symbol of what was possible for an African-American in the United States.”
Alan Rickman, Omar Sharif, David Bowie, Wes Craven, Sir Christopher Lee and composer James Horner were remembered in a moving in memoriam reel during the ceremony.
Renowned costume supplier Angels Costumes was lauded with the Outstanding British Contribution to cinema, which was presented by Cate Blanchett.
And Best short film went to “Operator,” a pic funded by Kickstarter and helmed by Caroline Bartleet while best short animation went to “Edmond.”
FULL WINNERS LIST:
“The Revenant,” Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Arnon Milchan, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon
“The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Inarritu
“Spotlight,” Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
“The Big Short,” Adam McKay, Charles Randolph
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Brie Larson, “Room”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs”
“The Hateful Eight,” Ennio Morricone
“The Revenant,” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Margaret Sixel
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Jenny Beavan
MAKEUP & HAIR
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin
“The Revenant,” Lon Bender, Chris Duesterdiek, Martin Hernandez, Frank A. Montano, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
“Wild Tales,” Damian Szifron
“Amy,” Asif Kapadia, James Gay-Rees
“Inside Out,” Pete Docter
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
“Brooklyn,” John Crowley, Finola Dwyer, Amanda Posey, Nick Hornby
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
Naji Abu Nowar (Writer/Director) Rupert Lloyd (Producer) “Theeb”
BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
“Edmond,” Nina Gantz, Emilie Jouffroy
BRITISH SHORT FILM
“Operator,” Caroline Bartleet, Rebecca Morgan
THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (VOTED FOR BY THE PUBLIC)