Ben Affleck needs to polish his acceptance speech for the Oscars in two weeks. His pal, “Argo” co-producer George Clooney, should also be prepared.
The CIA thriller, set during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, racked up even more wins this weekend.
At the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden Sunday, the likable actor-director-producer, who seemed surprised and overwhelmed, picked up BAFTAs for Best Director and for Best Film.
After receiving the Best Director award from Ian McKellen, Affleck, in his typically humble and self-deprecating way, said, “I want to say this is a second act for me and you’ve given me that, this industry has given me that, and I want to thank you, and I’m so grateful and proud.”
He added, “I just want to dedicate this to anyone who’s trying to get their second act because you can do it.”
Later Affleck joined fellow co-producers George Clooney and Grant Heslov to pick up the Best Film prize.
Clooney told the actor-director, “I’ve got to say, Ben, if this is your second act, I don’t know what you’re going to do for your third act.”
Something else the talented “Argo” trio share is that they all sport a lot of facial hair. The camera never lost a chance to zoom in on the 51-year-old Clooney, whose beard is grey. I can only hope he loses that look, soon.
The witty Stephen Fry hosted the awards gala, which was fast paced and had lots of dry humor. Also, unlike the Oscars, no one cries. The BAFTA award is not as impressive as an Oscar; it looks like an actor’s mask on a stick, as actor Billy Connolly remarked.
Co-incidentally, Fry also had whiskers. Early in the evening, he quipped, “I have a strong feeling I’m not the only actor here with a beard.”
For Best Film, “Argo” beat “Les Misérables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” and “Zero Dark Thirty.”
For Best Director Affleck bested Michel Haneke (“Amour”), Ang Lee (“Life of Pi”), Quentin Tarantino (“Django Unchained”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”).
Affleck was also nominated for a BAFTA for Best Actor, but no surprise, Daniel Day-Lewis took home that trophy for “Lincoln.” It would take a miracle for the Honest Abe actor not to win an Oscar now.
Day-Lewis gave the funniest acceptance speech of the evening, poking fun at his acting process of staying in character throughout a shoot.
“Just on the chance that I might one day have to speak on an evening such as this,” he deadpanned, “I actually stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years, and I had various selections of BAFTA sets downscaled, dating from the late 50’s, placed in every single room of every house that I ever lived in.”
Besides Affleck, the other actors Day-Lewis beat were Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) and Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”). We give Phoenix props for even showing up, since early in the season he talked about how much he disliked awards show.
Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) won the BAFTA for Best Actress, besting Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”), Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Marion Cotillard (“Rust and Bone”) and Helen Mirren (“Hitchcock”).
Also, hats off to Chastain, who gave a free public talk for fans at Lincoln Center in Manhattan at 3 p.m. Friday, right before the blizzard hit, and then must have rushed to JFK where she caught the last flight to London. By 6 p.m. the airport was closed and didn’t reopen until Sunday.
Riva was a no-show as was her “Amour” director Michael Haneke. They may be conserving their energy for the Oscars. Also, Riva, 85, may have thought she had little chance to win; Lawrence has picked up most of the best actress trophies this season.
“Amour” also picked up a trophy for Best Film “not in the English language.”
Fellow best actress nominee Helen Mirren seemed to be channeling Nicki Minaj with her new edgy pink hairstyle. I thought she dyed it pink for a movie role, but on the red carpet, she explained she thought it would be fun to have pink hair and that she was inspired by a British winner of the television program, “America’s Next Top Model.”
In the supporting categories, as Jane wrote, Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for “Les Miserables.” At the podium, Sally Field mentioned that she was supposed to present the award with Eddie Redmayne, Hathaway’s “Les Miz” co-star, who had taken ill suddenly with food poisoning and was “puking his guts out backstage.” So when Hathaway received her award, she said she would have “offered to hold his hair back” but, uh, she was out there, on stage, getting her Bafta.
The mystery is Redmayne looked great on the red carpet in an elegant tuxedo only a few hours earlier.
Christoph Waltz, who plays a German bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” won the Supporting Actor BAFTA. He was nominated and won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Tarantino’s last film “Inglourious Basterds” in 2009.
Waltz thanked Tarantino in his emotional acceptance speech. “The thing that touches me the most,” he told Tarantino, “is your unconditional trust that I will put your creation to its proper use, you silver penned devil you! Thank you!”
Tarantino later went on to win for Best Original Screenplay.
Among other wins, Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” received a nod for Best Cinematography and for Special Visual Effects. “Skyfall” was crowned Outstanding British Film, and “Searching for Sugar Man” was named Best Documentary.
For the most part, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts spread their love around. Only Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) and Paul Thomas Anderson (“The Master”) went home empty handed.
Samuel L. Jackson, who appeared as a presenter at the end of the telecast, joked that there were so many Hollywood agents and lawyers on his plane, “I thought I was remaking ‘Snakes on a Plane.’”
Here are all the nominees, with the winners noted in bold.
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
Best British film
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
*Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Ben Affleck, Argo
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
*Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
*Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Best supporting actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
*Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
Best supporting actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Judi Dench, Skyfall
Sally Field, Lincoln
*Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Best original screenplay
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Haneke, Amour
*Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Best adapted screenplay
Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David Magee, Life of Pi
*David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Chris Terrio, Argo
Best foreign film
*Amour: Michael Haneke, Margaret Ménégoz
Headhunters: Morten Tyldum, Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn
The Hunt Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Morten Kaufmann
Rust and Bone: Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
Untouchable: Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun
The Imposter: Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis
Marley: Kevin Macdonald, Steve Bing, Charles Steel
McCullin: David Morris, Jacqui Morris
*Searching for Sugar Man: Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
West of Memphis: Amy Berg
*Brave: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Frankenweenie: Tim Burton
ParaNorman: Sam Fell, Chris Butler
Danny Cohen, Les Miserables
Roger Deakins, Skyfall
Janusz Kaminski, Lincoln
Seamus McGarvey, Anna Karenina
*Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
Stuart Baird, Skyfall
*William Goldenberg, Argo
Fred Raskin, Django Unchained
Tim Squyres, Life of Pi
Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty
Best production design
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer: Anna Karenina
*Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson: Les Miserables
David Gropman, Anna Pinnock: Life of Pi
Rick Carter, Jim Erickson: Lincoln
Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock: Skyfall
Best costume design
*Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
Beatrix Aruna Pasztor, Great Expectations
Paco Delgado, Les Miserables
Joanna Johnston, Lincoln
Colleen Atwood, Snow White and the Huntsman
Best make up and hair
Ivana Primorac, Anna Karenina
Julie Hewett, Martin Samuel, Howard Berger: Hitchcock
Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
*Lisa Westcott, Les Miserables
Lois Burwell, Kay Georgiou: Lincoln
Mark Ulano, Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti, Wylie Stateman: Django Unchained
Tony Johnson, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Brent Burge, Chris Ward: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
*Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson, Jonathan Allen, Lee Walpole, John Warhurst: Les Miserables
Drew Kunin, Eugene Gearty, Philip Stockton, Ron Bartlett, D. M. Hemphill: Life of Pi
Stuart Wilson, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell, Per Hallberg, Karen Baker Landers: Skyfall
Best original music
Dario Marianelli, Anna Karenina
Alexandre Desplat, Argo
Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
John Williams, Lincoln
*Thomas Newman, Skyfall
Best special visual effects
Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Peter Bebb, Andrew Lockley: The Dark Knight Rises
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Richard Stammers, Charley Henley, Trevor Wood, Paul Butterworth: Prometheus
*Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer: Life of Pi
Nominees TBC: Avengers Assemble
Best short animation
Here to Fall: Kris Kelly, Evelyn McGrath
I’m Fine Thanks: Eamonn O’Neill
*The Making of Longbird: Will Anderson, Ainslie Henderson
Best short film
The Curse: Fyzal Boulifa, Gavin Humphries
Good Night: Muriel d’Ansembourg, Eva Sigurdardottir
*Swimmer: Lynne Ramsay, Peter Carlton, Diarmid Scrimshaw
Tumult: Johnny Barrington, Rhianna Andrews
The Voorman Problem: Mark Gill, Baldwin Li
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer
*Bart Layton (Director), Dimitri Doganis (Producer), The Imposter
David Morris (Director), Jacqui Morris (Director/Producer), McCullin
Dexter Fletcher (Director/Writer), Danny King (Writer), Wild Bill
James Bobin (Director), The Muppets
Tina Gharavi (Director/Writer), I Am Nasrine
The EE Rising Star award (voted for by public)