Explosive BAFTA night for The Hurt Locker
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has handed an awards-season boost to the independently financed nail-biting thriller about an American bomb disposal squad in Iraq, The Hurt Locker.
Kathryn Bigelow is keeping herself in the spotlight, with more than a week to go until the Oscar ballots are due in, picking up the Best Director BAFTA, as the former journalist Mark Boal secured the award for the Best Original Screenplay and the movie itself was honoured as the best film of last year.
It also picked up the technical awards for cinematography, sound and editing.
But here’s where the parochial nature of the British Academy awards can start to throw up some oddities. An Education – which missed out on the top prize to the Hurt Locker – was also up for the Best British Film Award. You might think that if it were so good to be the only British production to be up for the Best Film prize, it would be a shoo-in, right? No. This went to Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank. Another nominee in this category, Duncan Jones’ science fiction mystery Moon earned him the prize for the most outstanding debut by a British film-maker.
It’s the acting categories which attract much of the attention, where Oscar-hopes are concerned, with many of the same stars up for the same awards. In the supporting categories, the prizes went to actors seen as the favourites for next month’s Academy Awards – Christoph Waltz picking up the actor honour for Inglourious Basterds and Mo’Nique winning the Best Supporting Actress BAFTA. But arguably, parochialism has returned in the leading acting contests. No-one will question whether Colin Firth or Carey Mulligan deserve their prizes for A Single Man and An Education, respectively, but could it be the case that the British Academy is more inclined to honour the British actors?
Other key prizes of the night include Up In the Air taking the Best Adapted Screenplay prize, A Prophet being chosen as the Best Foreign Film and the Best Feature Animation went to Up, which was also honoured for its music.
The Best Short Animation was Mother of Many, while the Best Short Film was I Do Air.
Avatar didn’t go away empty-handed, unsurprisingly and uncontroversially collecting awards for Visual Effects and Production Design. Another film to pick up more specialist honours was the period drama The Young Victoria, which won awards for Best Costume and Best Make Up & Hair.
Also, at the glamorous ceremony at the Royal Opera House, Twilight’s Kristen Stewart was chosen as the Rising Star, beating off the Best Leading Actress winner Carey Mulligan, among others.
And Vanessa Redgrave was made a Fellow of the British Academy.