Nomadland, Chloé Zhao’s elegiac drama about the lives of aging truck dwellers in America, has confirmed its position as an Oscar favorite with four wins at the 74th Bafta Awards, including Best Picture.
Zhao took home the award for best director, making her the second woman, after Kathryn Bigelow in 2010, to collect the award. Nomadland also won cinematography and lead actress for Frances McDormand.
McDormand did not attend the ceremony, not even virtually, which took place in a deserted Royal Albert Hall, bathed in red light, with co-hosts Edith Bowman and Dermot O’Leary arguing with a handful of presenters in person and dozens of videos linked. nominees. A select audience in attendance via their laptops often provided creepy laughter and applause.
Zhao, 39, who came up wearing a plaid flannel shirt and overalls, thanked the community of real-life nomads who welcomed her and her team.
“Thank you for showing us that aging is a beautiful part of life,” he said. “A trip that we should all appreciate and celebrate. The way we treat our elders says a lot about who we are as a society and we should do better. “
Indeed, the Baftas paid considerable respect to their most venerable members, with 83-year-old Anthony Hopkins becoming the oldest male acting winner, beating out favorite Chadwick Boseman, who was expected to win posthumously for his role in Black Bottom by Ma Rainey.
Hopkins won for his role in The Father, Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his play about a man with dementia. Acting Major Winner Emmanuelle Riva was 84 when she won for her role in another dementia drama, Michael Haneke’s Amour.
Hopkins also didn’t appear to accept his award, but appeared on video at a press conference later, saying he was “in awe” to receive his third best actor Bafta. He had been working on his canvases at the time of the announcement, he said.
“I’m sitting here covered in paint,” Hopkins said, “and heard massive applause next door. I thought it was a soccer game. “
Hopkins went on to compare his character’s confusion in the film with the universal disorientation caused by the pandemic: “We are in another reality; we are losing our anchors. “
Zeller also won Best Adapted Screenplay alongside Christopher Hampton; The original screenplay was for Emerald Fennell, the first writer / director to date best known for her acting work on The Crown, in which she played Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Fennell’s film, a rape and revenge comedy set in the United States and starring Carey Mulligan, also won an outstanding British film. Fennell, sitting alone in a ballroom, eating a Bafta chocolate, expressed her appreciation to the cast and crew for their contribution to “a labor of love; they all did it more or less for a packet of chips. “
Promising Young Woman won the award for a short list of 10 films, including Rocks, Sarah Gavron’s coming-of-age story about a diverse group of schoolgirls in London, who had been tipped heavily for the win.
In the end, that movie went home with the best casting and rising star award to actor Bukky Bakray, who, in an emotional speech, paid tribute to rapper DMX, who passed away on Saturday, as well as friends and family. recently deceased.
“Sleep well to all those who died last year and this year,” he said, “who went to bed infinitely. I really believe that it is the love and the light that you have left in this universe that sustains us all today. “
The best foreign language film went to Another Round, starring Mads Mikkelsen as the leader of a gang of teachers who seek to spend an entire school year intoxicated.
From Sweden, writer and director Thomas Vinterberg paid tribute to his 19-year-old daughter, Ida, who died in a car accident four days after filming.
“She was more excited about this project than anyone else,” he said. “We made this movie for her.” After a hiatus in production, the film was done, filmed largely at Ida’s school with her classmates.
Minari Youn Yuh-jung’s star confirmed a late surge of momentum with a win in the supporting actress category. In a captivating speech, the 83-year-old veteran South Korean star offered her condolences to Britain on the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and said she was especially pleased with the victory because everyone knows that the British are “very snobbish.”
Daniel Kaluuya followed up supporting actor wins at the Screen Actors Guild Golden Globes with more silver medals for his role as Black Panther president Fred Hampton in Judas and the Black Messiah. “It is an honor to be a recipient of him,” said Kaluuya, who also thanked three key cultural figures from his childhood: “Cathy Tyson, Roy Williams and Ashley Walters, for being a light and guiding the way.”
Remi Weekes, the writer / director of the acclaimed Netflix horror His House, was also eager to thank the minority voices who had inspired him by accepting his award for Outstanding Debut of a British Writer, Director or Producer.
Weekes, 34, dedicated his award to immigrants, migrants, “black, brunette and queer people who raised me and encouraged me. I hope I can do the same for you. “
The short lists for this year’s Baftas were the most inclusive in the organization’s history, with 16 of the 24 nominees acting as people of color; in 2020, they were all white.
The 2021 nominees were the vindication of a series of 120 radical changes introduced in the wake of last year’s hegemony. These included a membership review, mandatory viewing bylaws, and most shortlists determined by the jury, rather than a general vote.
So it was always likely that the final results, voted on by all members, were more traditional than the surprisingly progressive shortlists. However, the organization will be relieved that last year’s embarrassment has been comfortably avoided.
The populist vote was perhaps further evidenced by the victory in the best documentary category for My Octopus Teacher, over heavyweight contenders such as the Collective (on medical corruption in Romania) and The Dissident (on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi).
A study of the relationship between filmmaker Craig Foster and a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest, the documentary on mollusks has proven to be a surprise hit for Netflix. With tears in her eyes, Co-Director Pippa Ehrlich concluded her thanks with a salute to “a very special little octopus who has opened hearts around the world.”
Mank, who arrives at the Oscars in fifteen days as leader of the scorecard, with 10 nominations, took only one award, for production design. The Trial of the Chicago 7, News of the World, and Borat Subsequent Moviefilm went home empty-handed.
Hugh Grant presented the Bafta Scholarship to his Sense and Sensitivity director Ang Lee, the Taiwanese director whose production has been so changeable that Grant suggested he had been cloned.
This year’s Baftas featured a speech by Prince William on the resistance of the film industry. Following the death of his grandfather, Prince Philip, on Friday, the Duke of Cambridge withdrew from the ceremony, which however began with a tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism