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The BAFTAs Are Out Of This World This Year

Space movie Gravity takes home the most awards while drama 12 Years a Slave is named Best Film for 2014

By Jamie Khoo | Published: 17 Feb 2014

BAFTA Winners
Photo: Getty Images

As a run up to the Oscars, happening early next month, the 2014 EE Baftas did not disappoint, with many of the year’s favourites taking home multiple awards.

The highly emotional 12 Years a Slave saw a smooth victory to emerge as Best Film with Chiwetel Ejiofor as Leading Actor. But it was really Gravity which stole the show this year, snapping up six awards, including Best Director, Cinematography, Sound, Music, Visual Effects and the rather hotly debated Outstanding British Film award.

Indeed, it seems unlikely that the spacey blockbuster – from a big American studio – should have beat all other nominations to be named the top British flick, but it fulfilled all criteria for the category – its producer David Heyman, director Alfonso Cuarón, crew of technicians, studios and visual effects team were all British. All eyes are now set on how many of its ten Oscar nominations it will win, though if this awards season is anything to go by, they should be in for plenty more trophies.

Hosted by Stephen Fry for the ninth time, the Baftas could only be entertaining and Fry didn’t disappoint – there are little flirtations with Leonardo DiCaprio and a cute ‘warning’ of sorts against long acceptance speeches. “When you are given a cup of tea, you don’t thank the kettle, the cup, the milk, the cow, the tea picker,” quipped Fry. “Award winners, I trust I make myself clear. The briefer you are the more we will love, reverence and adore you.”

But there were also poignant, serious moments, underscoring the human heart behind every movie. Cate Blanchett, who took Lead Actress for her role Blue Jasmine, dedicated her award to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. She paid a loving tribute to his having “raised the bar” before adding, “All we can do in your absence is to continue raising it.”

Director Steve McQueen, accepting the best film award for 12 Years a Slave, drew attention to the fact that slavery is still very much a reality in our modern world. Beneath the glitz of star-studded movies and red carpets, he reminded the world that, ‘There are 21 million people in slavery now as we sit here. I just hope that 150 years from now our ambivalence will not allow another film-maker to make this film.”

Favourites such as American Hustle, Captain Phillips and The Great Gatsby also rose to the top of their categories.

J. Law fans will be glad to hear of her winning Best Supporting Actress for her brash, ballsy role as Rosalyn in American Hustle. Over on the men’s side, newcomer Barkhad Abdi, as a Somali pirate in Captain Phillips, surprised Tinseltown to beat fellow nominees Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender for Best Supporting Actor.

And in case any of us forgot the beauty of The Great Gatsby’s costume and production design, the Baftas didn’t, naming the 1920s love story winner for both these categories. You couldn’t expect anything less from a Baz Luhrmann production, really.


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