BAFTA Film Awards 2016 – Winners and Highlights

Another British Academy Film Awards ceremony is in the books. From frigid conditions on the Red Carpet to the able and familiar hosting skills of Stephen Fry, by all accounts the star-studded presentation of golden masks went off pretty much as usual.

Right now is the time I should probably admit that I did not, in fact, watch the actual broadcast. (One of the few reasons I regret giving up my BBC America subscription.) However, I feel confident that my scanning of social media and YouTube has given me enough to go on to write this recap of Sunday night’s  events at London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

First off let me share some of the major winners of the night. In the Supporting categories, the Brits reigned supreme with Kate Winslet winning for Steve Jobs and Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies. Brie Larson continued to bring home the hardware for Best Actress in her role as an abducted mother in Room. But it was The Revenant that came out on top with five statues including Best Film, Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio and Best Director for Alejandro Inarritu

Probably my favorite win of the evening was when the beautiful, joyous and simultaneously heartbreaking Brooklyn was named Best British film.

Other notable kudos included Sidney Poitier being honored with the BAFTA fellowship. He accepted the award from his home in Los Angeles due to ill health. This was the tribute of his film career compiled by BAFTA for the ceremony.

In addition, up-and-coming actor and one of the faces of the new Star Wars trilogy, John Boyega, was named the EE Rising Star, an award that is voted on by the public.

The complete list of this year’s film winners can be found here.

And while Dame Maggie Smith may not have been victorious in her bid for Best Actress for The Lady in the Van, she did apparently snag the most talked about snog of the evening. 

This year’s ceremony wasn’t without a bit of controversy, however.

Two presenters commented on the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in the film award nomination process.  Sasha Baron Cohen, not surprisingly, razzed the British Academy by referring to the category he was presenting as the award for “best white actress.” Rebel Wilson’s pre-presentation monologue for best supporting actor was hilariously self-deprecating and just a bit naughty, alleging she had never been invited to the Oscars because they are racist.

However, the biggest stink was made over host Stephen Fry’s comment about costume designer Jenny Beavan, who took home the BAFTA for her dystopian designs in Mad Max: Fury Road. As she left the stage, Fry quipped, “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to an awards ceremony dressed as a bag lady.” The audience laughed and there were no audible gasps, but apparently the host was maliciously attacked on Twitter for the insult which Fry tried to explain was merely good natured joshing amongst friends. Shortly after, the long-time Twitter enthusiast deleted his account calling it “a massive relief.”

If you are a film loving awards season devotee, we’ll be at the peak soon with the Oscar ceremony just within sight. If you’re not a fan of all the “who are you wearing’s” and the Hollywood self-congratulations, don’t worry. It’s almost over. Either way, the BAFTAs have their own vibe and wit and for that I’m happy to see what happens every year. Share your thoughts below about anything BAFTA related – yes, even the Kiss Cam!