Two of the most talked-about films of the year — Ang Lee’s Life of Pi and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty — failed to make an impact at The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) awards here on Sunday while Ben Affleck’s underrated thriller on the Iranian hostage crisis, Argo, swept the boards winning both the Best Film and Best Director awards.
Life of Pi managed to pick up only two awards — the best cinematography and best visual effects — after being nominated in as many as nine categories, including for the best film. Zero Dark Thirty, which received five nominations, drew a blank.
For Indians watching the ceremony, the real heart-break moment came when Suraj Sharma, the teenage debutant star of Life of Pi,nominated for the publicly-voted Rising Star award, lost Juno Temple. But, like a good actor, he didn’t let his disappointment show and sportingly cheered his triumphant rival as she went up to collect her trophy.
The glittering ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House was dominated by the big boys with Sam Mendes’ James Bond movie Skyfall bagging the Outstanding British Film award; Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln the Best Actor award for Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln; and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained winning two awards — the Best Original Screenplay for Mr. Tarantino and the Best Supporting Actor for Christoph Waltz.
Tom Hooper’s star-studded musical Les Misterables, based on Victor Hugo’s classic, was another big winner with four awards, including the Best Supporting Actor (female) award for Anne Hathaway.
The big losers included Dame Helen Mirren , who was nominated for Best Actor (female) for her role as Alfred Hitchcock’s wife in Hitchcock but lost to the French actor Emmanuelle Riva for her role in Amour. At 85, she became the oldest Bafta winner.
Regarded as Britain’s equivalent of Oscars, the Baftas are given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Ben Affleck, who was the star of the show, described his Bafta triumph as a “second act” alluding to his crisis-hit career.
“This is a second act for me — you’ve given me that and I’m so grateful and proud. I want to dedicate this to anyone that’s trying to get their second act because you can do it,” he said.
Daniel Day-Lewis was equally self-deprecating saying he wasn’t sure if he deserved the prize.
“I don’t know if I deserve this, but I do know that every single one of you deserve it at least every bit as I do,” he said.