Comment: BAFTA 2012 Film Awards

on Monday, February 13, 2012
Words: Saam Das

Last night saw the 65th instalment of the BAFTA's film awards and consequently resulted in my Twitter feed lighting up with almost exactly the same tweets for several hours - "X has won Y #BAFTA". Riveting. I shall restrain myself before I launch further into a full blown tirade of the inane banality of constant live-tweeting. Instead, let's discuss the awards and its big winner, 'The Artist'.

'The Artist' won seven awards on the night, an ominous sign for the forthcoming Academy Awards. Most notably, it won the Best Film award, Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius), and Leading Actor (Jean Dujardin). Hazanavicius also picked up an award for Best Original Screenplay - I would have really liked to see an underdog in the form of 'The Guard' or 'Midnight In Paris' pull off the victory.

Indeed, in truth, in essentially every single category 'The Artist' was nominated, I felt another film was more deserving. From Dujardin beating out Michael Fassbender in 'Shame' to the over-exuberant score winning the Original Music category, I was somewhat disappointed. Perhaps only the excellent cinematography of Guillaume Schiffman was truly deserving, to these eyes.

I also had a tinge of disappointment upon the unveiling of 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' as Outstanding British Film - a film best described as plodding. Although I would have been similarly disaffected had either 'Shame' or 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' also won. Well crafted but unspectacular films. Meryl Streep was also an expected winner as Leading Actress, which led to a rather special and unexpected Prince Charming moment with Colin Firth:

Arguably the biggest "shock" of the evening was 'The Skin I Live In' triumphing in the Film Not In The English Language category. Many had expected the Oscar-nominated Iranian film, 'A Separation' to win. The other surprise was Adam Deacon's Rising Star award, admittedly voted by the public but the 'Kidulthood' actor had tough competition from the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Chris O'Dowd.

Ultimately, BAFTA members played it safe with their votes. And likewise with the choice of host, the agreeable but occasionally cringeworthy Stephen Fry - asking the 48 year old Brad Pitt to blow a kiss to the camera as if he were a member of a boyband was somewhat crass. So the report card for BAFTA this year will appropriately see a B-. The list of major winners is below.


Academy Fellowship: Martin Scorcese
Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema: John Hurt
Best Film: 'The Artist'
Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer ('The Help')
Outstanding British Film: 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'
Outstanding Debut: 'Tyrannosaur'
Director: Michel Hazanavicius ('The Artist')
Documentary: 'Senna'
Original Screenplay: 'The Artist'
Adapted Screenplay: 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'
Film Not In The English Language: 'The Skin I Live In'
Animated Film: 'Rango'
Leading Actor: Jean Dujardin ('The Artist')
Leading Actress: Meryl Streep ('The Iron Lady')
Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer ('Beginners')
Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer ('The Help')
Original Music: 'The Artist'
Cinematography: 'The Artist'

Watch the BAFTAs on BBC iPlayer for a limited time. Full list of award winners at

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