At Sunday’s BAFTA Awards, “The Revenant” won five of its eight nominations, including Best Picture as well as Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu), Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Cinematography and Sound. This epic Western was coming off a historic victory for Inarritu at the DGA, who became the first helmer to repeat in the 67-year history of those awards, having won last year for “Birdman.” He had been all but spurned by BAFTA for that film, which won only one of its 10 bids (Cinematography). So keen were British academy voters to make this up to him that “The Revenant” became the first BAFTA Best Picture champ to have been snubbed for its screenplay since “The Last Emperor” back in 1988; that one went on to win the top Oscar.
Two of the strongest Oscar contenders for Best Picture had limited success on this side of the pond. “The Big Short” won just one of its five bids — Best Adapted Screenplay — while “Spotlight” went one for three, claiming only Best Original Screenplay. Both films had won these races at Saturday’s WGA Awards, which moved those prizes to the start of the evening so that these BAFTA nominees could jet off to London.
As expected, Brie Larson (“Room”) continued her winning streak, adding another Best Actress trophy to her crowded mantle.
“Bridge of Spies” prevailed with just one of its leading nine bids: Best Supporting Actor for Mark Rylance. The three-time Tony Award winner was appearing onstage in Brooklyn so director Steven Spielberg accepted on his behalf.
“Carol,” which also had nine nominations, was shut out. Its strongest hope had been Best Supporting Actress as Oscar frontrunner Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”) was bumped to lead here. However, Rooney Mara went down to defeat as Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”) pulled off an upset.
Though it was snubbed in the marquee categories, “Mad Max: Fury Road” did well in the below-the-line races, winning Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, and Production Design. That win for costumes by two-time past BAFTA champ Jenny Beavan was a surprise as another two-time winner, Sandy Powell, was favored in this race for either “Carol” or “Cinderella.”
However, it was the made-in-England blockbuster “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” that claimed Best Visual Effects.
Veteran composer Ennio Morricone won Best Score for “The Hateful Eight” but had to accept via a pre-recorded message as he was conducting a concert in Dublin.
Oscars frontrunner “Amy” was named Best Documentary. And, as expected, Oscar favorite “Inside Out” won Best Animated Feature.
Best Foreign-Language Film went to “Wild Tales,” which had contended at last year’s Oscars. Another of this year’s nominees, “Theeb,” won Best Debut Film.
“Brooklyn” went one for six, winning Best British Film over, among others, “Ex Machina” which was shut out of its five races.
Also batting zero were six-time nominee “The Martian” and five-time contender “The Danish Girl.”
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