Steve McQueen talks about modern slavery as 12 Years A Slave wins best film; Cate Blanchett dedicates her BAFTA to Philip Seymour Hoffman; Barkhad Abdi says Greengrass believed in him before he believed in himself.
Host Stephen Fry welcomed the star-studded crowd by saying the BAFTAs are “the greatest night of the British film calendar, if there is such a thing.” He joked that there were “faces so familiar you want to lick them.”
He welcomed guests including Prince William, President of the Academy, into “the plush womb of the resplendent Royal Opera House” in Covent Garden, London.
Fry got Leonardo DiCaprio to blow a kiss into the camera.
Tinie Tempah and Laura Mvula kicked off the show with a duet of Heroes, and Tempah set the mood for a lively evening by high-five-ing Prince William.
Outstanding British Film
Oprah Winfrey, nominated for The Butler, presented the Outstanding British Film prize to Gravity.
Producer David Heyman said the prize was “beyond belief and best of all it recognises everybody involved with the film, we had the most incredible crew on this film. And Framestore and the team who created the visual effects were incomparable.”
He also said “we wouldn’t be here without our wonderful director, Mr Alfonso Cuaron.” Cuaron added a hearty “gracias.”
British Short Film winner James W. Griffiths (alongside Sophie Venner) of Room 8 said “any one of [the fellow nominees] could have won, they were all fantastic.” He thanked Bombay Sapphire for funding the film.
British Short Animation winners were directors James Walker, Sarah Woolner and Yousif Al-Khalifa for Sleeping With The Fishes.
“I imainged this, but it was like a pipe dream,” Al-Khalifa said. Walker thanked the NFTS and its director NIk Powell.
Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn won the BAFTA for Production Design for their work on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby.
- INTERVIEW: Catherine Martin
Fry lent Martin his reading glasses to read her list of thank-yous. “Film is a profoundly collaborative artform, we stand on the shoulders of an incredible team, of more than 300,” Martin said.
“We owe him [Luhrmann] an enormous debt of gratitude…He always follows his own heart…he takes cinema to new places… [he is] a maverick who affords us the opportunity of truly doing our best work.”
Sound / Editing
The Gravity team winning the Sound BAFTA started with Glenn Freemantle joking, “they said there’s no sound in space but here we are.” He paid tribute to the support of David Heyman and Warner Bros.
The Editing prize went to Rush’s Dan Hanley and Mike Hill. Director Ron Howard picked up the prize on their behalf.
- INTERVIEW: Ron Howard
“The editors wanted me to make it clear that I’ve got them locked to the Avids on the next movie they’re making [Heart of The Sea],” Howard said. “They thought this was the most challenging movie that we’d ever undertaken…it was a labour of love.”
He joked, “I think they’d thank me, there would be tears, you should be glad they aren’t here. This award says I should be thanking them for the creative energy they bring to every project, especially Rush.”
America-born, Denmark-based filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer accepted the BAFTA for Best Documentary, The Act of Killing.
He said: “Thank you everyone who worked on The Act of Killing, in the UK, in Denmark, in Indonesia. The film is starting to catalyse a change for how Indonesia talks about its past.”
He asked Western governments to take responsibility to their role in these crimes. He dedicated the award to his Indonesian co-director who worked on the project for eight years.
Make-Up and Hair / Costumes
The American Hustle Make-Up and Hair team, inexplicably snubbed for an Oscar nomination, landed the BAFTA thanked their colleagues in costumes and director David O Russell.
The trio, Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell and Kathrine Gordon, thanked the actors for “sitting for days and hours” in their trailer for the elaborate looks.
- FEATURE: American Hustle
Catherine Martin became a double winner for Costumes for The Great Gatsby.
She thanked her assistant costume designer Whitney Anne Adams who has collaborated for 16 years, as well as the film’s hair and make up team for “doing an amazing job.”
“I am very lucky that the wardrobe department I have worked with for more than 20 years, I call them my Golden Girls.”
Gravity won the Original Music BAFTA for Steven Price, who said “Alfonso [Cuaron] shared every second of this.”
He added: “Thank you to my mum and dad for having such an amazing record collection when I was growing up.”
Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee thanked their 600-strong crew when they collected their Animated Film BAFTA for Frozen.
Lee remembered John Lasseter singing Let it Go during production.
Steve Coogan, who joked about being a young turk with a pager on his belt 25 years ago, presented Outstanding Debut to a surprised Kieran Evans for Kelly + Victor.
- REVIEW: Kelly + Victor
“I was definitely not expecting this,” said Evans. He thanked producer Janine Marmot for sticking by him for eight years, as well as Warp’s Peter Carlton and Robin Gutch, plus Colin Burch and Julia Short at Verve.
He also thanked the city of Liverpool for inspiring the film. He thanked his mum for introducing him to Hitchcock films and his dad for driving him to art college.
Supporting Actor / Actress
Kicking off the acting prizes, a surprise Supporting Actor win went to newcomer Barkhad Abdi, who won for Captain Phillips.
He thanked Paul Greengrass “for believing in me before I believed in myself.”
He added: “I want to thank Tom Hanks for everything,” and shot a big grin in Hanks’ direction. He thanked his fellow actors that played the other Somali pirates, “we came from nothing,” said the Somali-born Minnesota resident.
The Supporting Actress BAFTA went to Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle.
The actress couldn’t attend the London ceremony because of her shooting schedule. Director David O Russell said it was a huge honour for her, and she wanted to thank the producers and her co-stars and the writers.
“Here’s to the great privilege of telling stories,” he added.
Cinematography / Contribution
The Cinematography honours went to Emmanuel Lubezki for Gravity.
Alfonso Cuaron accepted on his behalf, thanking ”Sandy [Bullock] for giving this film a soul and a beautiful face.” He thanked “the Framestore nerds for making the space adventure possible.”
The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema was presented by Juliet Stevenson to filmmaker Peter Greenaway.
“Working with him in 1987 Drowning by Numbers, I found myself stretched to my limits in many interesting ways,” she recalled.
Stevenson called him “visionary and inspirational…he seems to relish going to edges….he has no time for convention or orthodoxy.” She added: “His films perplex, bedazzle, provoke and seduce.”
Greenaway said: “I’m very surprised to receive [this award].” He said he saw it as an encouragement to “people who believe cinema has to continually be reinvented.”
The Original Screenplay BAFTA went to Eric Warren Singer and David O Russell for American Hustle.
Singer said: “I was breastfeed from a very young age on British cinema, it was a huge part of my life, so thank you BAFTA.”
Russell thanked Singer for bringing him the story. He added: “I have to thank the actors who it’s been my privilege to work with. I write for them, they inspire me, they make me write better and do everything better. It’s their humanity.”
Fry later corrected Russell’s grammar, saying he should have said “with whom it was a great privilege to work.”
The Adapted Screenplay BAFTA was awarded to another surprise winner, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena.
- INTERVIEW: Steve Coogan
Coogan said: “This story started four years ago with a newspaper article.” He thanked Martin Sixsmith and the real Philomena Lee, “her story has been told, she has been heard, but there are 60,000 women who lost their children and their story is not over.”
He thanked the “dream team” including director Stephen Frears, Pathe’s Cameron McCracken, producer Gaby Tana and his “dream cast choice” Judi Dench.
Pope thanked BBC Films’ Christine Langan for bringing him together with Coogan.
The EE BAFTA Rising Star Award, voted on by the public, was accepted by recent Screen International Star of Tomorrow Will Poulter (Son of Rambow, We’re The Millers).
“Genunitely this is such a huge honour, I’m so grateful for EE and BAFTA and all the members of hte public who voted,” he said.
Being considered among fellow nominees Dane DeHaan, George MacKay, Lupita Nyong’o, and Lea Seydoux, he said: “I’m geniune fan of all your work.”
Gravity won the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects, for Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould and Nikki Penny.
“On paper this film was a crazy idea,” Webber noted. “Massive thanks to all the crew at Framestore for all their incredible talent and incredible dedication to this.”
He thanked George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, “without their amazing performances all the visual effects in the world would have been pointless.”
He remarked on Cuaron’s “unbelievable courage and determination” in getting Gravity made.
- INTERVIEW: Chris Parks, stereo supervisor, Gravity
Film Not In The English Language
BAFTA honoured Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty for Film Not In The English Language, adding to its Golden Globes win.
Italian filmmaker Sorrentino thanked lead actor Toni Servillo and all the other actors and crew and dedicated his award to late director Carlo Mazzacurati.
Actor / Actress
The Leading Actor prize went to Chewitel Ejiofor for 12 Years A Slave.
He got the night’s biggest round of applause thus far, and a wolf whistle from Tom Hanks. Ejiofor said “I’m so deeply honoured and privileged to receive it.”
He thanked director Steve McQueen “for his passion, his artistry…this is yours, by the way. I know that, you know that, I’m going to keep it, but it’s yours.”
He also thanked his castmates as an “extraordinary group…everybody brought an extraordinary passion.”
- FEATURE: 12 Years A Slave
The Leading Actress award went to Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine,as widely predicted.
“Jasmine was the most extraordinary opportunity for an actress,” she said. “It was such a gamechanger for me.”
She dedicated the award to “an actor who is a continual touchstone for me…the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“Phil, your monumental talent, your generosity and your search for truth… will be missed not just by me…You raised the bar continually…This is for you, you bastard, I hope you’re proud.”
Gravity’s Alfonso Cuaron was named Best Director.
He said: “You cannot tell from my accent but I consider myself a part of the British film industry.
“I’ve lived in London part of the last 13 years and I’ve made half my films here. I guess I am a good case for curbing immigration.”
He thanked Sandra Bullock, “without her performance everything would have been nonsense.”
“I want to share this award with all the artists that live ‘downstairs’ and made this film possible,” including the teams at Framestore and Warner Bros. He called producer David Heyman his “friend and partner”.
The night’s top award, Best Film, was presented to 12 Years A Slave.
Steve McQueen thanked his mother for never giving up, and paid tribute for his cast, in particular Lupita Nyong’o of whom he said “a star is born.”
He said there are “21 million people enslaved” that the world cannot ignore and that hopefully in 150 years another filmmaker would not have to tell a similar story.
Producer Dede Gardner dedicated the award to the descendants of Solomon Northup, the real-life subject of the film.
- FEATURE: 12 Years A Slave
Backstage, McQueen said: “The way the public here has supported the picture…it means a hell of a lot,” and that he grew up watching the BAFTA ceremony on TV.
Brad Pitt said: “We’re just so proud of the film…we’re very proud of our work here, it means a lot to us because of the people we got to work with.” “Most of all it’s a story that says we’re all the same, and freedom and dignity are everything,” he added.
Prince William joked that he should call Helen Mirren “granny” as he and Jeremy Irons presented Mirren with the BAFTA Fellowship.
“She is one hell of a dame, of course she should be a BAFTA fellow, anything else would be an oversight,” Irons said.
Mirren, who received a standing ovation, said: “My journey to this place…began with a great teacher, Alys Welding, who died two weeks ago at the age of 102. She introduced me to the world of literature…I’m standing up her thanking Mrs Welding and all the great teachers who have inspired the many great people sitting here in this room.”
She thanked everyone from directors to the people who run the honeywagon on set. “I thank you all, all of you, from my past.”
She quoted Shakespeare: “Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits, and are melted into air, into thin air: And like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on; and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.”
She added: “My little life is rounded with this honour.”
Backstage, she added: “I take it as a sign of encouragement to carry on.”