Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Bafta Awards: There Will Be Atonement for Old Men en Rose - by Carmody Wilson

Fresh from the credits, I can say there were few surprises at this year’s BAFTAs. But few surprises does mean one or two, and from the enthusiastic and frenzied burst of applause, it was obvious that few expected Marion Cotillard to win for Best Actress, but were more than happy that she has done so. Tilda Swinton, also a surprise win for Best Supporting actress in Michael Clayton, was visibly astonished. A more sure thing, Daniel Day Lewis was charmingly nervous and pleasantly light -hearted (joking about what his children might think, he said “if I get my picture taken with Daniel Radcliff, they’ll start taking me seriously,”) won for his performance in There Will Be Blood, and Joel Cohen, taking the big gold face for he and his brother for Best Director for No Country for Old Men, managed to make host Jonathan Ross seem a master of erudition. Javier Bardem won Best Supporting actor for the same film, and looked rather magnificent with his duck tailed hair and winner's beard.

Token British biggie Atonement took home Best Film, and a sour grapes director, Joe Wright, pouting his way through the thank yous, paused only long enough to complain that his name wasn’t mentioned with the producers’. Perhaps his attitude will be checked at the Oscars next month when his bum remains firmly in its seat through all categories. (But maybe he is getting is comeuppance now and is being tied to a director’s chair and scalded with hot tea by Richard Attenborough.) This is England deservedly won Best British Film, and Anthony Hopkins was treated to a tribute by Attenborough and was presented with a special award. The usual montage of dead people was reeled off to sappy music, with no mention of the working dead, like Orlando Bloom, who was shown unnecessarily any number of times during the ceremonies. There seemed to be plenty of Hollywood stars to sit alongside their British counterparts, but the most interesting stories will emerge tomorrow morning after the tears, the jeers, the spats and the spouses have had their chance to come out at he after parties. All spic and span, and in at under two hours. Overall, a good show that will be forgotten well in advance of Oscar.

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