Held in the beautiful Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, there were a galaxy of stars out last night for the Bafta awards. One man really stole the show, but he isn’t an actor, director or anything in the film industry. Prince William is the new president of the Baftas and his presence gave added a good dollop of glamour to the occasion.
The awards, shown on BBC1, were hosted by Jonathan Ross, for the last time as his contract will soon expire with the BBC. He gave a lacklustre performance and with everyone thinking Avatar would win all the awards going, it seemed as if we’d be in for a predictable night. Not so!
The technical awards were first up and Avatar quite rightly won two in that category. The Young Victoria did well in costume and hair and make-up too. Sadly Anne-Marie Duff and Kristen Scott Thomas didn’t win best supporting actress for Nowhere Boy (a biopic about the teenage years of John Lennon) which didn’t win any awards.
The big surprises came when The Hurt Locker, a gritty film about the war in Iraq, beat Avatar for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Sound and Editing. Director Kathryn Bigelow, who is James Cameron’s ex-wife, must have been delighted. She is also the first woman to win the director’s award in Baftas history.
The Best Actress gong went to the wonderful Carey Mulligan for the excellent film, An Education while Best Actor went to Colin Firth for A Single Man. Looking cool and dapper, Firth told the audience he had written an email to refuse the role when a man arrived to mend his fridge so he didn’t sent it. He went on to thank the fridge man!
Finally, Prince William came up to make a speech and present a life-time award to veteran actress Vanessa Redgrave. This caused a few raised eyebrows as Vanessa is well-known for having been a great leftwing activist in her youth yet here she was curtsying deeply to Prince William and praising the Prince of Wales for his ‘humility’. Perhaps the passing of time and the sad, premature death of her daughter Natasha Richardson has mellowed her heart.