Judging by the Daily Mail’s tweets, this year’s BAFTAs was notable only because 1. Keira Knightley was pregnant (“Keira hides her bump in a gown made by blah blah”) and 2. Rosamund Pike gave birth recently (“Rosamund Pike showed off her amazing post-pregnancy figure in a gown made by blah blah.”) Yep, as far as the Mail is concerned, it’s still 1953 and a woman’s only purpose is to push out babies and look good before and after. And probably during.
Anyway, Stephen Fry (“newly married Stephen flaunted his curves in a bespoke tux”*) tripped over his own feet as he made his entrance, no doubt due to the shock of seeing Cuba Gooding Jnr wearing RayBans indoors at 8pm at night. Fry then delivered a monologue of such astonishing banality his audience was stunned into embarrassed silence. Perhaps he was weighed down by the 15 layers of Peter Andre Orange make up smeared on his face. One longed for the wit and talent of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Or even Philomena Cunk. But Fry, a very nice man who really should take a sabbatical from presenting awards ceremonies, has this gig all sewn up.
Patricia Arquette, accepting her award for Best Supporting Actress, bored on breathlessly for what seemed like several days, thanking everyone from her fellow actors to the woman who does her bikini wax.* There was a lovely tribute to Lord Attenborough, spoiled only by a wooden Prince William who read the words on the autocue as though he’d never seen them before in his life. Which he probably hadn’t, thinking about it. Ralph Fiennes gave out a truly funny acceptance speech on behalf of, and written by, Wes Anderson, who had won Best Original Screenplay (The Grand Budapest Hotel, a film I adored, scooped a total of five BAFTAs, including costume design, production design, make-up and original music).
Eddie Redmayne won the Best Actor prize for his role as Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, and said it was “one of the best nights of my life”. The film was also named outstanding British film and won a third award for its adapted screenplay. It’s a wonderful film, one of the best I’ve ever seen, and if you haven’t seen it, what the hell is wrong with you? Do so immediately.
Julianne Moore won the Leading Actress award for Still Alice, a film in which she gives a performance of such complexity, depth and beauty that I urge you all to see it when it opens in the UK on March 6 2015. Kristen Stewart is also wonderful in Still Alice and I’d have nominated her for Best Supporting Actress, frankly, but for some bizarre reason I’m not a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Pfft.
Finally, it was Best Film, and Stephen Fry redeemed himself by introducing the presenter of the award with the words “It’s only TOM FUCKING CRUISE!” See, just when you think Stephen has cashed all his chips, he comes out with the words anyone normal would say in such a situation. Props, Stephen.
It was won by Boyhood. A film which bored me, as did Birdman, but whevs. Well done everyone, anyway.
(* I may have made this up)