George Clooney (L) and Ben Affleck pose as they arrive for the Bafta awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London. REUTERS/Paul Hackett
Ben Affleck's "Argo" was crowned best film at the Baftas,
while Daniel Day-Lewis bagged yet another leading actor award
for the title role in "Lincoln" as an increasingly familiar
awards season script unfolded in London.
Affleck also won the best director trophy for "Argo", about
the rescue of American hostages in Iran during the 1979
revolution, and the movie is now in pole position to win the
biggest movie award of all on Oscar night.
"You are remarkable at what you do. You're smart and you know
what you want but more importantly you love what you're
doing," George Clooney, one of the film's producers, told
Affleck on stage as they accepted the best film award.
Steven Spielberg's biopic of Abraham Lincoln was nominated in
10 categories but went away with just one award for
Day-Lewis, following a pattern seen at the Golden Globes and
at other prestigious U.S. award nights.
The reclusive Day-Lewis, a method actor well-known for
staying in character during the entire filming period of his
movies, began his victory speech by satirising his own
"Just on the chance that I might one day have to speak on an
evening such as this, I've actually stayed in character as
myself for the last 55 years," he said to laughs from the
audience at the Royal Opera House.
"Every time I rise from a chair it spontaneously unleashes a
soundtrack of thunderous applause, with a few boos and some
Emmanuelle Riva, an 85-year-old French actress, won the Bafta
for leading actress for her part as a retired music teacher
struggling to cope with the aftermath of a stroke, in
Austrian director Michael Haneke's "Amour".
The award finally brings a win for Riva who was nominated for
a Bafta in the foreign actress category in 1961 for
"Hiroshima, Mon Amour", but lost out to Shirley MacLaine.
Haneke's harrowing French-language "Amour" also won the Bafta
for best film not in the English language.
Anne Hathaway won the Bafta for best supporting actress for
her singing role as the tragic Fantine in "Les Miserables",
the movie version of a global hit stage musical.
"What am I thinking? I almost walked past George Clooney
without hugging him. That's just stupid," she said after
being presented with her statuette by the Hollywood
"I'm so relieved I'm coming down with laryngitis because the
location, the giddiness, this could be a recipe for
disaster," she said before launching into a breathless thank
Christoph Waltz won the supporting actor award for his
performance in Quentin Tarantino's slavery-era Western
"Django Unchained", which also won the best original
JOY FOR BOND FANS
The James Bond movie "Skyfall" beat "Les Miserables" to win
the Bafta award for outstanding British film, a rare joy for
007 fans who feel the Martini-loving spy has been long
overdue for a major trophy.
Judi Dench, who plays spymaster M in "Skyfall", leapt out of
her seat with a cry of surprise when the award was announced
at the start of the night.
"We all had very high expectations for the film and I think
it's fair to say all of them have been exceeded, and this
really is the icing on the cake," said Sam Mendes, the film's
"Skyfall" has become the most successful film in British box
office history, but ahead of the ceremony the odds had been
on "Les Miserables" to win. The Bond franchise has a long
history of awards disappointments.
"Skyfall" also took the award for original music, while "Les
Miserables" took four Baftas. As well as Hathaway's prize,
the musical won best production design, sound, and make-up
"Les Mis", as it is popularly known in Britain, has been a
huge box office hit and fans sang songs from the film at Hugh
Jackman, one of its stars, as he walked the red carpet in the
rain just before the ceremony.
Ang Lee's "Life of Pi", about a man and a tiger lost at sea,
won two Baftas, one for best cinematography and another for
visual effects. The tiger, a central character, was entirely
conjured out of special effects.
Versatile British director Alan Parker, whose body of work
ranges from musical gangster film "Bugsy Malone" to
Turkish-set prison thriller "Midnight Express" and civil
rights drama "Mississippi Burning", received a Bafta
"It's a sign I'm getting old. Next it's a memorial service,"
Parker told Reuters on the red carpet.