Coverage by Deadline’s International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and London correspondent Joe Utichi with Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke writing and editing:
LONDON: Refresh For Latest… The 2013 BAFTA Film Awards did its best to spread out its British Academy of Film and Television Arts honors to many films tonight, no doubt paving the way for the Academy Awards to do the same. Warner Bros’ Argo won 3 categories including the evening’s big prize, Best Film, as well as Director for Ben Affleck and Editing for William Goldenberg. The dramatic thriller now is the solid favorite for Best Picture Oscar after winning what’s known as the British Oscars in an uninterrupted string of prestigious awards wins. Lincoln‘s Daniel Day-Lewis was the expected winner in Leading Actor for DreamWorks. But Amour‘s Emmanuelle Riva scored an upset for Leading Actress at the impressive age of 85 while the Sony Classics Pictures film won Foreign Language. Quentin Tarantino won for Django Unchained‘s Original Screenplay and David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook‘s Adapted Screenplay, making it a big night for The Weinstein Company which took home 3 prizes in all including Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz. Working Title/Universal’s Les Misérables received the most awards – 4 – including Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway. Fox’s Life Of Pi garnered 2. Pixar/Disney’s Brave won Animated Film. The first award – for Outstanding British Film – went to James Bond #23, Eon Productions/MGM/Sony Pictures’ Skyfall which also won for Original Music.
About 10 minutes before the lights went up in the Royal Opera House tonight, guests were treated to a montage of 100 years of British film. Outside, pouring rain has turned to snow and traffic is snarled all over central London. It’s in part due to the awards arrivals but also because of Chinese New Year celebrations in nearby Trafalgar Square. At least the massive storm that hit New York over the weekend did not impact A-listers getting here. But Meryl Streep has been replaced by Sarah Jessica Parker to present the Leading Actor award.
Stephen Fry, hosting again this year, welcomes the crowd and apologizes for his own facial hair: “I have a strong feeling I’m not the only actor who’s come here this evening with a beard.” He notes how Working Title/Universal’s Les Miserables is a British film despite its Australian and American cast and that it was extraordinary to have Helena Bonham Carter burst into song without even having a drink. “I’m joking, of course. She was drunk every day on set.” Fry muses on the many films being eked out of JR Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Says, “You can expect to see me in the Hobbit 9: Are We Home Yet Gandalf?” Fry asks Jennifer Lawrence to blow a kiss to the audience, and she obliges.
Singer Paloma Faith takes the stage to sing a medley over images of the nominated films – Argo, Les Misérables, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, and Zero Dark Thirty – and others.
The ‘In Memoriam’ montage began with Marvin Hamlisch and ended with Tony Scott.
The 2013 BAFTA Awards
ARGO – Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
Producer George Clooney, who was supposed to direct Argo but then turned it over to Ben Affleck, accepts saying, “Ben, if this is your second act, I don’t know what in hell you do for your third. You are remarkable. I can’t tell you what an honor it’s been to work with you.” Clooney then introduces his producing partner Grant Heslov (“the best producer I’ve ever worked with”) who thanks BAFTA and “all the folks at Warner Bros”. Then he addresses Affleck: “To Ben, I want to say thank you for coming aboard and thank you for taking us on this journey. It’s been amazing.” Finally Affleck takes the podium. “Every single person here has been so nice…” Then he pokes fun at Warner Bros: “The people from the studio said, ‘You know what? We never win.'” He thanks BAFTA again.
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS – Lincoln
Daniel Day-Lewis onstage laughed: “On the chance I might one day have to speak on an occasion as this, I’ve actually stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years.” He noted that “I had BAFTA sets put in every house I’ve ever lived in. When I get up from a chair, it simultaneously unleashes a chorus of applause, with a few boos and some drunken hecklers.” Then he became serious. “I’m so grateful to BAFTA. My fellow nominees, I don’t know if I deserve this. But I do know every one of you deserves it at least as much as I do.” And to his Lincoln team, he said, “My colleagues, I miss you. I wish we were still on this expedition together.” He called filmmaker Steven Spielberg “the rudder of the boat” they sailed on.
EMMANUELLE RIVA – Amour
In the awards show audience as well as among the media backstage, there were audible gasps when Emmanuelle Riva’s name was announced. She was indeed a surprise winner given BAFTA’s tendency to pick the marquee contenders. She was not present to accept the award.
ARGO – Ben Affleck
ANNE HATHAWAY – Les Misérables
Anne Hathaway ascended the stage and took the BAFTA mask from presenter George Clooney – and then turned back around to hug the actor. “What am I thinking? I almost walked past George Clooney without hugging him. That’s just stupid,” she explained. She thanked the cast, noting to Hugh Jackman: “I’ve run out of superlatives for you, man”, as well as the crew, Working Title, Universal, and especially Victor Hugo “without whom none of us would be here”. Also she gave a shout-out to co-star Eddie Redmayne who had food poisoning. “I’d be holding your hair back.” Backstage, Anne scolded herself in front of the media. “I’m coming down with laryngitis. Shut up, Hathaway.” But she added, “I’m overjoyed and I’m such an airhead right now, but that’s not really new. I’m still collecting myself.” She noted that “the biggest surprise of the entire experience was how much of a sweetie pie Russell Crowe is. He was integral to cast bonding.”
CHRISTOPH WALTZ – Django Unchained
Onstage, an obviously emotional Christoph Waltz explained that, “Why I get to stand here is really no mystery because it says so at the beginning of our movie: ‘written and directed by Quentin Tarantino’.” He thanks by name Harvey Weinstein and Amy Pascal “for their attention. But it all starts with Quentin. Behind everything, I need and want to thank you for the thing that touches me the most, your unconditional trust… You silver-penned devil, you.” Backstage, Waltz was asked how it feels now that he’s two for two: “Like four,” says Waltz. “With Quentin, it’s trust and respect and, on my part, admiration for this master storyteller. I am completely and utterly at ease and convinced that what he writes is something I can say.”
DJANGO UNCHAINED – Quentin Tarantino
Onstage, Quentin Tarantino called the award “really really nice, really cool. I want to thank my actors for doing a bang up job with my dialogue.” He has always said he felt British audiences responded to his films in a special way, starting with Reservoir Dogs. Tonight he thanked BAFTA, calling it “a very terrific organization. I’m kind of famous for not joining organizations but I’m proud to be part of yours.” He thanked by name Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Company and Amy Pascal of Sony Pictures (which owned foreign). “This was a pretty hot potato script, and to take this and go out and make a lot of money with it, that’s pretty damn impressive. Thanks guys.” Backstage, QT said: “I thought, if I win, do I put it next to the other BAFTA or find a place on the other side?” About writing, he mused, “About 90% of my lines come out of the material. I get the characters talking to each other and suddenly someone says something clever. Every once in a while there’ll be a cool line that I’m holding onto for decades. But it doesn’t happen that often.” Tarantino took one last question from an Aussie journalist and went off on a long dialogue screed in his Django Australian accent. (“John Jarratt helped me get it down.”)
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK – David O. Russell
David O. Russell onstage accepted saying, “It’s a wonderful year for film and for writers.” He thanked his son for his inspiration. This was the film’s first prize of the evening, and it was presented by Jennifer Garner, wife of Ben Affleck whose Argo also was nominated for Adapted Screenplay. Awkward? Not to winner Russell who told the media why he was late, “I was backstage talking to Jennifer Garner about pre-schools in Boston.” He said: “I love our film, and I believe in the heart and soul of our film, because I made it for personal reasons. Apart from enjoying it as a movie, if you can connect to the things in there, that’s everything.”
BRAVE – Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Brave co-director Mark Andrews accepted saying: “To me, being brave is about being true to yourself and allowing our loved ones the same freedom.” Backstage, Andrews noted: “No matter how many times you make these films [at Pixar], you’re making this film for the very first time. So the success is a dream come true. There’s that validation that comes with not just audiences, but your peers recognizing the work.”
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
AMOUR – Michael Haneke, Margaret Ménégoz
Neither filmmaker Michael Haneke nor producer Margaret Ménégoz were in attendance to accept the award.
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
SKYFALL – Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
Bradley Cooper and Ben Affleck presented the prize. Producer Michael G Wilson noted it’s a first for the Bond films. Director Sam Mendes said the prize is “icing on the cake” thanks Daniel Craig “around whom we built this movie” for his bravery, brilliance and “sheer bloody-mindedness”. This category always looked to be a two-film race between Skyfall and Les Miserables. Changes to the voting system – cutting it down to a 2-round system – suggested the pics leading the nominations might end up taking home prizes in the big categories – which are voted on by the entire membership. Skyfall‘s win may well reflect the number of BAFTA-voting Brit practitioners who’ve had a hand in Bond over the years with the franchise celebrating its 50th anniversary.