The BAFTA Film Awards tonight at London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden ended with IFC Films’ Boyhood taking away the Best Film prize. There were plenty of American pics in the mix too, with Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel taking the most wins with five and SPC’s Whiplash adding three, tying it with Focus’ The Theory Of Everything.
Here’s how it went down tonight with Deadline’s Nancy Tartaglione and Joe Utichi on site:
The red carpet show is almost wrapped — one big surprise was seeing Stephen Hawking there. The subject of The Theory Of Everything is presenting the Special Visual Effects prize with the film’s Felicity Jones.
On the red carpet, Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch both name-checked the snubbed David Oyelowo. Benedict: “I wish he was here tonight – he’s a good friend – but he wasn’t nominated which I can’t understand. He’s a superlative actor.”
And, Tom Cruise will be here to present the Best Film prize; he’s in London these days shooting the latest Mission Impossible
Folks who won’t be here include the
Best Director nominees of Boyhood, Birdman and Budapest who were all across the ocean
for last night’s DGAs in Los Angeles. Supporting Actress nominee Patricia Arquette told us last night that the
Boyhood crew including Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane, is on hand to support the absent Richard Linklater. Here, two of the nominees differ with the DGA: Damien Chazelle and James Marsh and they are expected to be in the audience.
Folks who won’t be here include the Best Director nominees of Boyhood, Birdman and Budapest who were all across the ocean for last night’s DGAs in Los Angeles. Supporting Actress nominee Patricia Arquette told us last night that the
Boyhood crew including Ethan Hawke and Ellar Coltrane, is on hand to support the absent Richard Linklater. Here, two of the nominees differ with the DGA: Damien Chazelle and James Marsh and they are expected to be in the audience.
Ellar Coltrane told me at last night’s Nominees’ bash that if Linklater wins, Team Boyhood – Coltrane, Hawke, Arquette tonight – may head up onto the stage en masse. “It’ll be a nice change for him to have someone else go up.”
The pre-show housekeeping is happening. There’s a countdown clock for speeches – the announcer asks that winners don’t mention it in their speeches.
Stephen Fry is on video walking down the hall to the stage – after making a show of sipping a pina colada
It’s a “Fry-cam” on his lapel – a little pre-recorded skit which we’ve not seen from him in past years.
BAFTA chair Anne Morrison is on stage for a non-broadcast intro.
Morrison praises the UK industry and its success which is “galvanizing” today’s youth
Anne Morrison says Stephen Fry has asked her to thank the audience for coming to his wedding reception. He married on Jan 17
Here come “British rock giants” Kasabian to start the show.
They’re playing their hit “Stevie”, as a montage of the year’s movies plays out behind them.
And there’s a light show!
No wonder Cuba Gooding Jr. is wearing his aviators indoors.
I don’t recall that ever happening, do you, Joe? Quite rocking for Bafta
I remember some fireworks for Tom Jones’s performance of Thunderball. Officially the best Bond theme.
Fry enters from the back of the audience. “British film’s biggest night since this time last year… A glorious occassion when the heavens open and the good and great of the industry rains down… It’s simply pissing down with stars.”
“As I look out over the puddle of eminence, wondering if I’m stretching the metaphor too far…”
Fry makes a James McAvoy/iCloud photo leak gag.
“If you pass Benedict Cumberbatch’s name through an Enigma machine it decodes as “red hot public school totty”.”
“I went to see Paddington Bear. In all honesty I probably should have seen it with my clothes on.”
Fry says Bafta has a tradition of asking esteemed members of the audience to blow a kiss to camera (Leonardo DiCaprio did it last year, I believe). This year Fry has decided to switch it up and ask one to kiss him – Michael Keaton.
Soccer star David Beckham is on stage to present the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film. On the red carpet he insisted he wasn’t planning to follow his ex-Manchester United teammate Eric Cantona into acting.
This category combines an opt-in chapter picking the first five nominees, and a jury that chooses a sixth. BAFTA doesn’t disclose which of the films is the jury choice.
Outstanding British Film goes to: The Theory Of Everything
The Theory of Everything takes it. I get the sense there’s lots of love at BAFTA for that film. Could this be the start of a sweep?
A smile from Stephen Hawking in the audience as Working Title’s Eric Fellner delivers the speech.
Working Title’s Eric Fellner says “this is a fantastic privilege”
Holliday Grainger and Lunchbox star Nimrat Kaur present Original Music and Documentary. They race through these early categories which get cut out of the BBC telecast.
Reminder: Theory has 10 nominations this evening
Original Music: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexandre Desplat
Desplat says; “Merci beaucoup. It all goes back to Wes. He’s unique, his world looks like nobody else’s. He’s not here tonight but I’m sure he’s watching TV… Well, I’m not sure, actually.”
This is Desplat’s second BAFTA. And, he’s got double Oscar noms this year for Budapest and The Imitation Game.
Few documentary teams here tonight. Only 20,000 Days on Earth repped in the room fully.
Best Documentary: Citizenfour
Citizenfour was surely always a lock.
I’m also tracking movements backstage in the Winners’ Press Conference – there’s always a delay for winners to filter through the backstage process, but I’ll have some quotes from them when they start to appear.
Monica Bellucci and Léa Seydoux are presenting make up and hair. Both of them are in the new Bond film and Fry makes the first Sony hacking reference of the night joking he read the script online in December
Make-up and Hair: The Grand Budapest Hotel
2/2 for Grand Budapest thus far.
Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
Make that 3/3
Is this the sweep?
George MacKay and Olivia Grant up to present the short categories.
I’ve seen all the live action shorts. I must admit I’m rooting for The Karman Line, from BIFA winner Oscar Sharp
British Short Film: Boogaloo And Graham
So BAFTA diverts from BIFA by giving it to Boogaloo and Graham, which was nominated at the British indie awards show.
Alexandre Desplat appears backstage. More love for Wes Anderson from him. “He’s opened up new ideas in my writing.”
British Short Animation: The Bigger Picture, Chriss Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka
The Bigger Picture features life-size painted sets/animation. Behind the scenes pics and video are extraordinary.
Citizenfour helmer Laura Poitras was also at DGA last night, hence the no-show here
Editing is up next, with six nominees in the category after a tie in the voting
Editing: Whiplash, Tom Cross
Backstage, Anthony McCarten describes reading Jane Hawking’s book as a “eureka moment”. “Once we had the rights, Working Title and James Marsh came on board and we were off the races.”
Fellner says it “doesn’t get better” than getting a BAFTA from David Beckham. Marsh says: “I got one from Sharon Stone last year and she felt me up on stage.”
Whiplash‘s Cross is also nominated at the Oscars. There is a lot of love for Whiplash in this room where the audience is hooting and hollering the win.
Sound: Whiplash, Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann
Fellner on UK industry: “Very mature talent and craft base, and we’re doing two things fantastically: servicing big American movies and coming up with our own exciting global exports.”
And Whiplash comes in to upset Budapest’s run.
This is typical of BAFTA: chapters vote the first round nominations, but when it opens up to the general membership in round two the winners are often spread around. Sweeps aren’t easy, and take a real frontrunner.
Whiplash editor Cross calls director Damien Chazelle “God’s gift to film editors. It was the most ridiculous schedule I’ve ever had, but working with you was pure joy.” Chazelle famously shot the movie in 19 days
Animated Film: The Lego Movie
Only three nominees in this category – but this is well against the Oscar grain: Lego isn’t even nominated there.
Lego helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, whose movie is NOT Oscar nominated, thank the Academy, saying “You guys win the award for Best Academy… This is the end of the awards road for us so we can say whatever we want. There’s no one left to impress,” they riff. Adding: “We are very grateful and very proud.”
Stephen Hawking gets a standing ovation as he comes to stage with Felicity Jones to present Visual Effects.
Felicity Jones says it’s an honour to present the award with a man “more intelligent than Stephen Fry.” Hawking says: “Yes, and better looking.”
Special Visual Effects: Interstellar, Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley
Dr. Kip Thorne, who conceived and consulted on Interstellar, is a friend of Hawking’s – he’s even referenced in The Theory of Everything. The VFX team modelled Thorne’s equations to visualise black holes and wormholes.
Ok, another big category coming: Supporting Actor. Reese Witherspoon takes to stage to present.
This category has both Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo from Foxcatcher whereas Carell is in lead at the Oscars.
Yes, and two Hulks in Ruffalo and Norton. This is a key observation.
Supporting Actor: JK Simmons, Whiplash
Simmons was a strong lock, especially given the wider membership just recognised Whiplash in the technicals. He says to Damien Chazelle: “Thanks for the gift of this character to me and the gift of this movie to the world”
Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema: BBC Films
This was previously announced, Julie Walters and Ralph Fiennes are coming to the stage to present. Montage alert.
Fiennes: “Thank you Stephen, you’re doing an outstanding job. I wish I could have you as my lobby boy.”
Richard Ashcroft’s “A Song for the lovers” scores the BBC montage, featuring lots of early roles for some of Brit cinema’s biggest exports. Cumberbatch, McAvoy, Ejiofor and more.
In recent years, Bafta has honored filmmakers, executives and companies like Peter Greenaway, Tessa Ross and Working Title with this prize. It also once gave it to the Harry Potter franchise, which is arguably one of the key reasons the British industry is so strong right now, having helped create such a strong skillbase here
Christine Langan gets a hearty round of applause.
Now for Supporting Actress: Cuba Gooding Jr. to present.
Chris Miller and Phil Lord backstage. On the Oscar omission: “We were having fun up there, but it’s a great year for animation and whoever wins is going to deserve it.”
Lord and Miller: “About a third of the way through the script for Lego 2. A little behind. More after being inebriated tonight.”
Cuba says he’s disappointed Stephen Fry didn’t choose to kiss him earlier. So Fry plants one on him. Cuba: “That’s the first time I’ve ever kissed a member of the royal family.”
Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
JK Simmons backstage: “It’s brilliant to be thought of on this side of the pond too. It was a character that was so clear on the page it was a question of doing my best to lift it off.”
Simmons: “I was so glad to see Miles on the list of nominees here tonight. In my view he’s not getting his due in this awards season, but we can chalk that up to youth and the perception he hasn’t paid his dues yet.”
Arquette gives an emotional speech thanking her castmates. She calls Ethan Hawke an “actor’s actor. Thank you so much for being my fictitious ex-husband and making me a better actor.” Ellar Coltrane is “one of the wisest, deepest people” and she praised Lorelei Linklater’s “bravery”
Simmons: “The fact that so many films that are thinking outside the box this year are getting attention in awards season will hopefully broaden the kinds of movies that are getting made.”
Cinematography: Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
Is this Keaton’s first or only time on stage tonight? Birdman’s win in this category felt inevitable given the photographic challenge of the “one shot” approach.
Christine Langan backstage: “BBC Films is the BBC’s sole participation in independent filmmaking in this country. It’s a small team with a small budget but it goes along way and we squeeze a lot of out it.”
Michael Keaton reads a note from Lubezki thanking the Academy and cast and crew (Keaton says there’s some nice stuff about him in there but he doesn’t read it). Lubezki thanks Inarritu for his “courage, curiosity and genius”. Keaton then thanks Lubzeki for “being an artist and a mensch”
Outstanding Debut coming up on stage. I saw the folks from Kajaki last night at Nominees’. They were looking forward to a good night regardless of result. This is a jury vote – a team of 12-13 whittle down the entire longlist, some 100-odd eligible films – down to five, then pick a winner. So expect the winner in this category to be the cream of the debut crop in the UK. I’ve done this jury in the past, I know the work that goes in.
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Stephen Beresford, David Livingstone for Pride
Stephen Beresford and David Livingstone’s win for Pride is the result of years of work to bring this story to the screen. Beresford heard the tale of gay campaigners supporting the miners as an urban legend and put in the work to bring it to screen.
Beresford: “It took me 20 years to convince anybody that gay and lesbians and a miner dispute held any interest for a wide audience.”
Patricia Arquette is backstage: “I’ve always wanted to work with Richard. He makes films unlike anyone else. When he told me this concept of shooting a week a year I knew no one had done this before. I thought it was pretty crazy that he could get three million dollars to do it.”
Arquette: “I’ve been a mom since I was 20 and I could never have not been a mom. I would have adopted or something. My children have been the biggest teachers of my life and I wanted to honour that.”
Arquette: “I ran out of time on stage, but I really wanted to say I loved Tony Scott, a British filmmaker. He changed my life and taught me how to listen to myself as a woman and an actress. Every idea I came to him with on True Romance, he told me, ‘That’s a f—ing brilliant idea.'”
A tribute to the late Richard Attenborough who died in August at 90 includes video messages from Prince William — president of Bafta — and Robert Downey Jr who Attenborough directed to his first Oscar nomination in Chaplin
Fry says Attenborough, who everyone called ‘Dickie’, “glowed with a passion for life, for film, for everything he did” The Duke of Cambridge says, “He was a leader with a vision, a charming and warm man who was loved by all.”
Downey Jr praised many things including his extraordinary wit but said he couldn’t share any of his jokes because their “graphic, tawdry and shocking” nature would render them censored.
Julianne Moore on stage to present Original Screenplay. “I’m hungry” she says.
Pride’s Stephen Beresford and David Livingstone backstage. Beresford: “It seemed to me like a Harvey Milk story. An incredibly important story about the origin of civil rights, but a story many didn’t believe was true.”
Original Screenplay: Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
Ralph Fiennes comes up to collect for Wes.
John Boyega and Alice Eve to the stage to present Film Not in the English Language.
Fiennes reads a letter from Anderson: “If Ralph Fiennes is reading this speech, it must mean I have won a Bafta for original screenplay… I was already upset to miss this ceremony. Now I’m really angry and resentful that I’m not there. I blame the Directors Guild of America for requiring my presence in Los Angeles where I have most likely failed to win a very different prize.”
Film Not in the English Language: Ida, Pawel Pawilkowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska
Ida director Pawel Pawlikowski told me last night he was pretty sure Leviathan was going to win…
Adapted Screenplay comes next courtesy of Jesse Eisenberg and Noomi Rapace.
The Polish helmer, who has resided in Britain for many years, says, “I once won a Bafta for Best Newcomer, then for Best British Film, now Best Foreign Film. I think we should just skip ahead and give me a Lifetime Global Achievement Award.” Big laughs
Adapted Screenplay: The Theory Of Everything, Anthony McCarten
I think this is Theory’s strongest category outside of Best Actor. But Imitation Game won the Adapted Screenplay Scripter award from USC last weekend, so is this starting to smell like a potential shutout?
Natalie Dormer and Sam Claflin presenting Costume Design.
Costume is one of the few appearances for Mr. Turner, Mike Leigh’s biopic which had been looking like BAFTA fodder before the noms announced. The org will give him its highest honour, The Fellowship, later.
Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Milena Canonero
That’s the fifth award for Budapest, with three (big category) nominations still to call.
The In Memoriam section starts with Mickey Rooney
I think this is Theory’s strongest category outside of Best Actor. But Imitation Game won the Adapted Screenplay Scripter Award from USC last weekend, so is this starting to smell like a potential shutout?
The In Memoriam section makes you remember how many truly incredible people we lost this year.
A very sad obituaries montage now with names including Mickey Rooney, Harold Ramis, HR Giger, Robin Williams, Luise Rainer, Sam Goldwyn Jr, David Ryall, Lauren Bacall. Brit exec Chris Collins appeared – he’s been name checked more than once tonight by winners.
It’s the EE Rising Star Award – the only one of the BAFTA awards picked by public vote. The winner will get a transparent blue mask. McAvoy – a past winner in this category – is presenting.
Jack O’Connell has had a very strong year, particularly in the UK. Early in the year, Starred Up and ’71 put him on the map, and by the time Unbroken rolled around he was already a household name here.
EE Rising Star Award: Jack O’Connell
O’Connell on stage: “Public vote, so I guess the people have spoken. Now it’s my turn. Good luck.”
O’Connell’s next role is in Tulip Fever alongside Christoph Waltz and Holliday Grainger
O’Connell of the silver BAFTAs behind him on the stage: “Are all of these spare BAFTAs? Has anyone claimed them? I should have brought a bag with me.”
Steve Carell comes to stage to present Best Director.
Steve Carell presenting Best Director: “I am here to suck up to the five nominees for Best Director”
Reminder that for this category, Richard Linklater, Alejandro G Inarritu and Wes Anderson are not here tonight
Steve Carell: “I am here to suck up to the five nominees for Best Director”
Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Ethan Hawke goes up to collect for Linklater.
Hawke apologizes for Linklater’s absence: “He was hijacked by the DGAs, and sat there losing, and is going to be frankly pissed off that he’s not here tonight.”
Stephen Fry introduces “the four best actresses in Britain” – actually just Kristen Scott Thomas, who says “slightly over the top, Stephen” – to present Leading Actor.
Hawke says Linklater told him there was only one thing to do “and that is to say thank you to Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater… They went for this and there was nothing more fun in the world than to watch these kids grow up.”
Leading Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything
Redmayne’s win had to be the safest going into the night, given his track record at other awards, and the local love.
Eddie Redmayne had to miss the BAFTAs the year of Les Miz because he had a bout of food poisoning and threw up backstage. “That was one of my worse nights, this is one of my best,” he says on stage.
Redmayne thanks three families. His own, his professional family (“You took such a gargantuan punt on me, James Marsh”) and the family of Stephen Hawking.
Jack O’Connell backstage: “I feel quite honoured to be in amongst this bunch. I feel Eddie Redmayne’s support. Sam Claflin, Will Poulter, it’s very tight-knit.”
Redmayne thanks them for their trust, generosity and kindness “and for reminding me of the great strength that comes from the will to live a passionate life.”
Henry Cavill and Chris Evans presenting Leading Actress.
O’Connell: “It’s another thing my mum will look forward to keeping non-dusty.”
Leading Actress: Julianne Moore
That! is a dress
Julianne Moore seemed another lock. Not even homegrown support could help Pike and Jones, but I’ve heard endless superlatives from BAFTA types for Moore in Still Alice.
Drumroll… Tom Cruise is coming to present Best Film, or as Fry calls him “Tom F****** Cruise”
I think Nancy may just have fainted.
The night’s other awards haven’t made predicting Best Film easy…
Best Film: Boyhood
So Boyhood goes the distance. Three awards total.
The entire Boyhood team is on stage.
Ellar Coltrane: “It didn’t feel like a movie for most of the time we were making it. An exercise of collaboration and vulnerability. It was really scary to release it to audiences who haven’t always been understanding.”
Producer Cathleen Sutherland says, “Wow, Rick is really gonna be mad about this.”
Coltrane gets a round of applause for commenting that life without anything explosive or tragic could still be worth exploring.
“Despite the passage of the years he still looks so young, doesn’t he?” says Fry as Coltrane steps off stage. “But that’s Tom Cruise for you.”
Fry: “I think we can all drink a toast later to the dissolution of the Directors Guild of America. Damn them!”
OK, Mike Leigh’s fellowship is up. Imelda Staunton and Sally Hawkins, frequent Leigh collaborators, up to present. No Timothy Spall for obvious reasons. He’s known he’s going to win for a few days, and has been outspoken about BAFTA’s ignoring his films in the past. Can we expect an incendiary speech? Well, they are giving him BAFTA’s highest honor…
So the DGA had fewer stars than normal last night because they were all here for the Baftas, and the Baftas had less than 50% of the nominated directors because they were all at the DGAs….
Staunton: “He shows how extraordinary ordinary lives can be.” This after Boyhood’s prize seems to fit nicely.
Considering Mr Turner failed to be nominated in the Best British Film category and that lead Timothy Spall was snubbed, this has to be kind of bittersweet for the legendary filmmaker
Julianne Moore is backstage. “My pitch kept going up because I was so nervous during my speech. I did want to mention my mother, my grandmother and my great aunts, because they’re all from Scotland. That was important to me.”
BAFTA’s montage of Mike Leigh films is making them look a lot more epic than they are – but they reflect the sheer range of subjects Leigh has chosen, and some wonderful performances.
A standing ovation for Leigh.
He pulls out a speech from his tux: “This is very nice indeed, and I’ve never appeared on this stage before. How lucky we all are to happen to have been born in this magical age of cinema.”
Leigh: “To be able to capture life and to share it with audiences, not to mention the joy of the camera, the craft and technology, it’s glorious isn’t it?” He gets a round of applause in agreement.
Leigh: “I know some people expect me to be rude this evening, but I’m sorry folks, you’re in for a disappointment. I don’t mind a bit that we only had four.”
Moore is asked about often being a bridesmaid at awards ceremonies, she says winning is “pretty fantastic and unexpected. For your peers to bother to write your name down or tick a box it’s pretty extraordinary.”
Leigh: “What is an independent film? It’s been made free from all censorship and interference… It is a film made with the same genuine freedom as enjoyed by novelists, dramatists, poets, painters, songwriters and other artists.”
Leigh: “It’s great to share this stage with a number of truly independent films, but especially Boyhood.” It’s “definitive” Leigh says.
Leigh: “I’ve made 20 films all starting without a script and none of them have been interfered with. If that hadn’t been the case I wouldn’t be standing here now. Thank you to BAFTA and everyone I’ve worked with in production and co-production.” Leigh thanks the late producer Simon Channing-Williams.
Talking about awards season, Moore says “Every weekend you’re going to your own wedding again. That is fun, but odd.”
Leigh thanks his backers. “To those boneheads, philistines and uninspired skinflints who said no, a big thank you to you as well. If you’d said yes you’ve had interfered with the movie… and made a pig’s ear of the whole thing… Thank you for keeping away, and may you all rot in hell.”
Moore also tells the press that after she did not win a Bafta for A Single Man, her daughter was so disappointed that she made her one in art class.
“More production in this past year in Britain than ever before,” notes Fry in his closing monologue. “No matter the changes in technology or distribution, the moving image will never be anything without story. For that you need belief, persistence and a story to tell. No one, not even Kim Jong Un can stop you. Good luck until next year.”
And that’s a wrap on the main show, folks – but stay with us, there are more winners to talk to backstage.
That’s the second reference Fry has made to the Sony hacking
So let’s go through some stats. Grand Budapest won five of its eleven – most awards for the most nominated. Costume, Production Design, Make-up and Hair, Original Music. Wes Anderson took his first BAFTA for Original Screenplay.
But surely the “big” winner was Boyhood, taking the key Best Film and Best Director prizes, and Patricia Arquette took Best Supporting Actress.
That team has just appeared backstage. Asked to identify themselves: Patricia Arquette calls herself a radical. Hawke adds, “The same.”
Hawke: “There’s no greater student of cinema than Richard Linklater.” Says Coltrane: “I was quite an actor when I was young and it was the middle years when I stopped thinking of myself as an actor, though I was definitely dedicated to this project.”
The winners’ photo is happening on stage.
More stats: three BAFTAs for Whiplash, three for Theory of Everything, and three for Boyhood. Only one for Birdman, which is a surprise.
One thing that didn’t surprise was Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore taking the Lead Actor and Actress prize as they make their march toward Oscar night…
And Imitation Game was completely shut out…
Backstage Hawke says: “We would have sounded more intelligent but we’re missing our leader, so forgive us.” Arquette thanks the fans and Hawke the journalists for writing about the movie, unsurprisingly the latter comment gets a round of applause amongst the press corps.
Redmayne is pow-wowing on stage with JK Simmons and Julianne Moore as they await the winners’ photo. We’re waiting on that to see him in the press room.
Mike Leigh with BAFTA in hand is a pretty powerful image. The Fellowship may have felt like a consolation prize given Mr. Turner’s nominations absence – it didn’t even win for Dick Pope’s cinematography – but there’s a pretty stunning career that’s being recognised.
Speaking of on stage, was this the best moment of the night? It’s right up there with Stephen Hawking’s one-liner about being better looking than Stephen Fry:
I think Nancy was a fan of the bit with Tom Cruise, Patrick.
Mike Leigh faces the press scrum. He’s a notoriously prickly interviewee. Tonight?
This was the first Bafta win for each of the four actors: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette and JK Simmons. It was the first nomination for Arquette and Simmons. Redmayne had been nominated previously for the Rising Star prize.
Leigh backstage: “As I said in my speech, for BAFTA to respect off-the-wall, alternative, eccentric, idiosyncratic filmmaking is wonderful.”
Leigh asked to choose his finest work: “It’s a tough one. There are films we’ve made where I look back and think, ‘How the hell did we make that?’ I feel that about Vera Drake, Topsy-Turvy and Mr. Turner. I’ve got a soft-spot for a film some of you might not even have seen, called Meantime. I’ve got a softer spot for Naked, as I do Happy-Go-Lucky. They’re all part of a whole, and a continuing, ongoing whole.”
Big fan of the Fry/Gooding smooch, too!
Leigh is “obviously” upset that Spall wasn’t nominated. “But I don’t really want to comment on that because it’s not in the spirit of this fellowship. In the end, BAFTA is a democracy.”
Leigh notes the freedom he’s had to work his own way. This is an interesting point, because there are few filmmakers, even in the Brindie space, that have this sort of freedom. Casting doesn’t determine investment with the people Leigh works with.
Leigh: “My only real advice ever to young filmmakers is never compromise.”
Leigh says it’s a great time to be in British cinema. “There was a time in the late 70s where quite a lot of people said British film was over, but the landscape changed. It feels healthy to me, and I’m happy to be pessimistic if I get the opportunity, but I’m not pessimistic about that.”
Leigh on indies vs studios: “I’m not in a position of worrying about the studios. This is global cinema, we’re not in Hollywood. To hell with the big studios. That’s not what it’s about. Anyone who wants to put in the bread, if it’s the studios, great.” Boyhood and Whiplash wins “bode well” for independent cinema.
The last backstage interview: Eddie Redmayne finally arrives to a big round of applause from the press corps.
Redmayne backstage: “We actually shot some of the Theory of Everything here [at the Royal Opera House].” It’s the scene where Hawking has to be escorted out of the opera by emergency services.
“it’s a bit surreal to be back here,” he notes.
Redmayne responds to recent comments about diversity in film. “Everyone should be represented. I’ve had a very lucky upbringing, but I suppose I tend to attribute it to a teacher rather than an upbringing thing.”
Redmayne: “We dream of getting to play extraordinary or interesting people and they rarely come as extraordinary as Stephen.” He notes he’s starting in days on The Danish Girl. “It’s another extraordinary story about extraordinary people.”
Redmayne: “There’s an alchemy that happens with filmmaking that you can’t control.”
And with that, we’re done. Pete Hammond will have his take on tonight’s all-over-the-map Baftas a little later…
The Boyhood crew after their Best Film win.