"Argo" wins top film award, best director award at BAFTAs
A poster of "Argo"
(Photo Source: agencies)
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards on Sunday, saw "Argo" scoop the Best Film Award, as well as best director for Ben Affleck and best editing.
The British musical movie "Les Miserables" won four BAFTAs including Best Supporting Actress for American actress Anne Hathaway, in the annual awards ceremony held at the Royal Opera House in the Covent Garden district of London.
Best Actor award went to British actor Daniel Day Lewis for his performance as U.S. President Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln".
Day Lewis told a press conference after the award, "I think I screamed for help when I realized the word 'yes' had escaped my lips, because it had been about eight years before I said 'yes'."
Day Lewis said that such a giant figure as Lincoln brought about a "shyness which you feel when you are in the presence of that figure, which is because of the mythologizing of that man."
He said when he chose a part in a film he felt compelled but could not explain where that compulsion came from.
"It is being drawn into the orbit of that life, of another world, it's almost a physical sensation -- a compelling need but I do not know where it comes from," said Day Lewis.
Speaking at the same press conference Best Director winner Ben Affleck why he chose to make the film about American diplomats held captive in Iran during the late 1970s, "We were interested in making 'Argo' because it was a really good script and it coincided with an interest of mine, the Middle East."
"I didn't want to do anything didactic, I wanted to lay things out and let people make their own conclusions," he added.
The BAFTAs have in recent years become a major fixture on the global film awards circuit.
Xinhua spoke to one of the leading British film critics Mark Kermode about the BAFTA Awards and their place in the film world, "Globally, the BAFTAs are becoming more and more important."
Kermode added that the BAFTAs had until a few years ago been scheduled after Hollywood's Oscars, "After the Oscars everyone is awarded out. Moving them in the calendar I think they have now superseded the Golden Globes in America in terms of the run-up to the Oscars."
Best British film was the latest in the Bond franchise 'Skyfall', which has broken the British box office record and raked in more than 750 million U.S. dollars worldwide since it's release in autumn last year.
Kermode said that the British film industry was sometimes treated with a degree of cynicism in Britain, something which "Skyfall" undermined with both its success and its achievement as a well-made film.
He said, "Every year there is the question, 'Oh, what does this tell us about the state of the British film industry' and generally there are only two stories about the British film industry -- one is '"King's Speech" wins Oscars, the British are coming' and the other is 'the UK Film Council is closing down, oh it's the end of the world.'"
He added, "And neither of those stories is true; the British film industry has thrived in many ways, whether it is films we think of as classically British or British technicians, directors, screenwriters working in movies internationally."
Kermode added, "'Skyfall' ticks all the boxes. It is thought of as a great British institution. It is a great British movie, and it has revived a great franchise that has been going for 50 years. And it's a smash hit, it's a proper blockbuster movie."
Li An, the Chinese director of "Life of Pi" commented that the BAFTA awards were getting bigger and more important in the global film calendar. He commented," Absolutely. I have been here a few times. It is getting bigger and bigger and more exciting."
Li's "Life of Pi" won the Best Cinematography award and Best Special Effects BAFTAs.
French film "Amour" won the award for Best Film Not in the English Language, with its star Emmanuelle Riva scooping Best Actress award.
Besides Best Actress award, 'Les Miserables' won BAFTAs for production design, sound, and make-up and hair.
Best supporting actor was Christopher Waltz for his performance in 'Django Unchained', and the film's writer/director Quentin Tarantino won the Original Screenplay BAFTA.