Netflix’s Oscar frontrunner, The Power of the Dog, won the BAFTA Film Awards for best film and best direction. The film and its director Jane Campion also won those same honours at the Critics Choice Awards, that was held on Sunday as well.
However, its lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch lost the best actor race to Will Smith in both instances. Smith won his first BAFTA Film Award for his role as the father of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard. It is to be noted that this was also his first-ever BAFTA nomination. The director of the film, Reinaldo Marcus Green, accepted the award on behalf of the actor, who was attending the Critics Choice Awards.
Smith had earlier won his first Screen Actors Guild Award, in February, for the same role.
While Jessica Chastain bagged the Critics Choice Award for best actress award for her role in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Joanna Scanlan won the corresponding BAFTA honour for her role in After Love.
Denis Villeneuve’s science fiction film Dune, which dominated the BAFTA nominations, won the most number of awards of the evening. However, its five wins were limited to the technical categories, namely original score, cinematography, production design, sound, and visual effects.
Apart from The Power of the Dog, both CODA and West Side Story also won in two categories each at the BAFTAs. While Troy Kotsur became the first-ever deaf actor to win a BAFTA award for best supporting actor for his performance in CODA, Ariana DeBose won the best supporting actress award for her role in Steven Spielberg’s musical. Both actors also won the Critics Choice Awards for their respective roles.
In addition to the acting wins, CODA and West Side Story nabbed the BAFTAs for best adapted screenplay and casting, respectively.
Accepting her screenplay award, CODA’s director Sian Heder said, “Writing is an act of empathy. And writing this movie was an incredible education for me. It started with the place, a place I thought I knew really well – Gloucester, Massachusetts. But thank you to the fishing community there who took me out on their boats, who let me buy them beers, who let me tell the story of that town. Also, I was an outsider to this community. So I want to thank the CODA community and the deaf community.”
CODA (Child Of Deaf Adults) revolves around Emilia Jones’ character Ruby Rossi, who is the only hearing member of a deaf family. It had premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2021 and was acquired by AppleTV+ for $25 million – the highest in the festival’s history.
Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast won the outstanding British film award at BAFTA, while its child star Jude Hill won the Critics Choice Award for Best Young Actor.
The 75th edition of the BAFTAs were held in London and hosted by Rebel Wilson. The Critics Choice Awards were presented in both Los Angeles and London. The clash of the two events divided the celebrity footfall between them.