Damien Chazelle's La La Land dominated the 70th British Academy Film Awards on Sunday night, claiming five prizes including best film, director, and leading actress for Emma Stone. The triumph maintained the musical's momentum through this year's awards season ahead of the Oscars on Feb. 26.
I think film, when at its best, reveals there is more that ties us together than tears us apart, said producer Jordan Horowitz. Fellow producer Fred Berger praised the U.K. industry for challenging us and setting the bar.
Stone said the film was one of the greatest working experiences of my life and went on to thank BAFTA for bringing the industry together to celebrate the positive gift of creativity, how it can transcend borders and make people feel a little less alone.
Composer Justin Hurwitz scored La La Land's first award of the night for best original music. Linus Sandgren also won the BAFTA for the film's cinematography.
Casey Affleck claimed the best actor award for his performance in Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester By the Sea, which also won Lonergan the BAFTA for best original screenplay. This is an honour I'll never forget, said Affleck. The reason I act is when I was a young kid, my mom took me to Al-Anon meetings for children of alcoholics. It was therapy but it was acting, and acting has sort of been that for me ever since.
BAFTA chair Jane Lush took the stage ahead of the ceremony's official start, hitting the first of many political notes of the evening as she commented on diversity issues within the industry. Lush said it was shocking that in the 21st century your gender, race, and background can still hold you back. She also remarked on the success of British talent in U.S. films, commenting that she feared someone might build a wall across the Atlantic to keep us out.
After an on-stage performance by Cirque du Soleil to open the show, host Stephen Fry took the stage. In his opening remarks he also took a swipe at Donald Trump. While welcoming Meryl Streep to the ceremony he said Streep was one of the greatest actresses of all-time. Only a blithering idiot would think otherwise. Turning his attention to Casey Affleck, he then joked he was one of the best actors in his family.
Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake took the first award of the night for Outstanding British Film. Loach thanked the academy for endorsing the truth of what the film says, that thousands of people are treated by this Government with a callous brutality which is a disgrace. He apologised for getting political so early in the ceremony but said filmmakers know which side of the divide between the rich and powerful and normal people they were on. Despite the glitz and glamour of occasions like this, we're on the people's, said Loach.
Lion's* Luke Davies won the award for best adapted screenplay. The film also scored a surprise win for star Dev Patel in the supporting actor category. The British actor beat bookies' favorite Mahershala Ali in Moonlight to the award. It was the first film to convert a second nomination into a win, which came with the 18th award of the night.
The EE Rising Star BAFTA award, the only award voted for by the public, went to Captain America: Civil War and The Impossible star Tom Holland. Holland, who is currently filming Avengers: Infinity War, will soon be seen as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The young star beat out Anya Taylor-Joy, Laia Costa, Lucas Hedges and Ruth Negga for the award.
Holland singled out two acting coaches, Nick Evans and Ben Perkins, for thanks, saying it was a profession too often overlooked. Evans worked with Holland on his stage performance in Billy Elliot. Perkins worked with the actor on his breakout film role in The Impossible.
Ava DuVernay's 13th won the BAFTA for best documentary, marking a first BAFTA film award for Netflix.
One surprise of the night, including seemingly for its director Travis Knight, was Laika Entertainment's Kubo and the Two Strings, taking home the prize for best animation. The film beat out Disney stablemates Zootopia, Moana and Finding Dory. It's utterly shocking, said Knight in the press conference following his win.
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer went to Persian-language horror Under the Shadow, directed by Babak Anvari.
The Jungle Book snapped up best special visual effects for Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones and Adam Valdez.
It was a very even-handed celebration of the year in film amongst craft categories. Madeline Fontaine took the award for costume design for Jackie, while Florence Foster Jenkins claimed the prize for make up and hair for J. Roy Helland and Daniel Phillips.
The U.K.'s National Film and Television School scored another win in the short film category, taking the prize for British short animation for A Love Story. Refugee crisis allegory Home took the prize for British short film.
French actress Isabelle Huppert presented the previously announced special BAFTA award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema to U.K. art-house exhibitor Curzon.
Mel Brooks, who shared BAFTA's Animated Film Award in 1964 for his three minute short The Critic but had only been nominated once in the intervening years for his screenplay for 1974 classic Blazing Saddles, was honoured with a BAFTA Fellowship, the body's highest accolade, for his outstanding and exceptional contribution to the industry. The comedy legend was presented with the award by actors Simon Pegg and Nathan Lane and BAFTA president HRH the Duke of Cambridge.
I think BAFTA has made unbearably good choices tonight, especially me, said Brooks. I want to thank Harvey Weinstein for having nothing to do with this award tonight.
He apologised to the Duke and Duchess [of Cambridge] for the American Revolution. We were young, joked the Brooks. I don't think of England as a foreign country. I think of it as a vast Brooklyn that just speaks better.
Having an American here is very moving, added Brooks on a more serious note. He said to be awarded the BAFTA Fellowship following in the footsteps of Hitchcock, Olivier, Powell and Pressburger; champions and idols of my life, is a singular and august honour.
* Ed.: Join Marc Fennell tonight on The Feed for his interview of Saroo Brierley, whose real-life story was adapted in Lion: 7.30pm on SBS VICELAND.
FULL WINNERS LIST
Winner -> La La Land
I, Daniel Blake
Manchester by the Sea
Outstanding British film
Winner -> I, Daniel Blake
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Notes on Blindness
Under the Shadow
Winner -> Damien Chazelle - La La Land
Tom Ford - Nocturnal Animals
Ken Loach - I, Daniel Blake
Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve - Arrival
Winner -> Emma Stone - La La Land
Amy Adams - Arrival
Emily Blunt - The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman - Jackie
Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins
Winner -> Casey Affleck - Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling - La La Land
Jake Gyllenhaal - Nocturnal Animals
Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic
Winner -> Viola Davis - Fences
Naomie Harris - Moonlight
Nicole Kidman - Lion
Hayley Squires - I, Daniel Blake
Michelle Williams - Manchester by the Sea
Winner -> Dev Patel - Lion
Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant - Florence Foster Jenkins
Aaron Taylor-Johnson - Nocturnal Animals
Winner -> Manchester by the Sea - Kenneth Lonergan
Hell or High Water - Taylor Sheridan
I, Daniel Blake - Paul Laverty
La La Land - Damien Chazelle
Moonlight - Barry Jenkins
Winner -> Lion - Luke Davies
Arrival - Eric Heisserer
Hacksaw Ridge - Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
Hidden Figures - Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
Nocturnal Animals - Tom Ford
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer
Winner -> Under the Shadow - Babak Anvari (writer/director), Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh (producers)
The Girl with All the Gifts - Mike Carey (writer), Camille Gatin (producer)
The Hard Stop - George Amponsah (writer/director/producer), Dionne Walker (writer/producer)
Notes on Blindness - Peter Middleton (writer/director/producer), James Spinney (writer/director), Jo-Jo Ellison (producer)
The Pass - John Donnelly (writer), Ben A William (director)
Film not in the English language
Winner -> Son of Saul - Laszlo Nemes, Gabor Sipos
Dheepan - Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
Julieta - Pedro Almodovar
Mustang - Deniz Gamze Erguven, Charles Gillibert
Toni Erdmann - Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski
Winner -> 13th
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years
The Eagle Huntress
Notes on Blindness
Winner -> Kubo and the Two Strings
Winner -> La La Land - Justin Hurwitz
Arrival - Johann Johannsson
Jackie - Mica Levi
Lion - Dustin O'Halloran, Hauschka
Nocturnal Animals - Abel Korzeniowski
Winner -> La La Land - Linus Sandgren
Arrival - Bradford Young
Hell or High Water - Giles Nuttgens
Lion - Greig Fraser
Nocturnal Animals - Seamus McGarvey
Winner -> Hacksaw Ridge - John Gilbert
Arrival - Joe Walker
La La Land - Tom Cross
Manchester by the Sea - Jennifer Lame
Nocturnal Animals - Joan Sobel
Winner -> Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
Doctor Strange - John Bush, Charles Wood
Hail, Caesar! - Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
La La Land - Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, David Wasco
Nocturnal Animals - Shane Valentino, Meg Everist
Winner -> Jackie - Madeline Fontaine
Allied - Joanna Johnston
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Colleen Atwood
Florence Foster Jenkins - Consolata Boyle
La La Land - Mary Zophres
Make-up and hair
Winner -> Florence Foster Jenkins - J Roy Helland, Daniel Phillips
Doctor Strange - Jeremy Woodhead
Hacksaw Ridge - Shane Thomas
Nocturnal Animals - Donald Mowat, Yolanda Toussieng
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Amanda Knight, Neal Scanlan, Lisa Tomblin
Winner -> Arrival - Claude La Haye, Bernard Gariepy Strobl, Sylvain Bellemare
Deepwater Horizon - Mike Prestwood Smith, Dror Mohar, Wylie Stateman, David Wyman
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Niv Adiri, Glenn Freemantle, Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Ian Tapp
Hacksaw Ridge - Peter Grace, Robert Mackenzie, Kevin O'Connell, Andy Wright
La La Land - Mildred Iatrou Morgan, Ai-Ling Lee, Steve A Morrow, Andy Nelson
Special visual effects
Winner -> The Jungle Book - Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones, Adam Valdez
Arrival - Louis Morin
Doctor Strange - Richard Bluff, Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Tim Burke, Pablo Grillo, Christian Manz, David Watkins
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, Mohen Leo, John Knoll, Nigel Sumner
British short animation
Winner -> A Love Story - Khaled Gad, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Elena Ruscombe-King
The Alan Dimension - Jac Clinch, Jonathan Harbottle, Millie Marsh
Tough - Jennifer Zheng
British short film
Winner -> Home - Shpat Deda, Afolabi Kuti, Daniel Mulloy, Scott O'Donnell
Consumed - Richard John Seymour
Mouth of Hell - Bart Gavigan, Samir Mehanovic, Ailie Smith, Michael Wilson
The Party - Farah Abushwesha, Emmet Fleming, Andrea Harkin, Conor MacNeill
Standby - Charlotte Regan, Jack Hannon
EE Rising Star award (voted for by the public)
Winner -> Tom Holland
By Robert Mitchell for Variety.