BAFTA 2019: The Favourite and Roma emerge favourites

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The Favourite won seven honours, and the Mexican black and white drama Roma registered four big wins at 2019 British Academy Film Awards

Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron poses with the awards for a Director and for Best Film for Roma at the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Pic/AFP

It was a win-win for period dramas at the 2019 British Academy Film Awards in Royal Albert Hall, London on Sunday night as the 18th century-set The Favourite won seven honours, and the Mexican black and white drama Roma registered four big wins.

At the ceremony hosted by Joanna Lumley at the Royal Albert Hall, The Favourite won Outstanding British Film, Leading Actress (Olivia Colman), Supporting Actress (Rachel Weisz), Original Screenplay, Costume Design, Production Design, Makeup and Hair. While collecting the Original Screenplay for The Favourite, Deborah Davis said: “I’m so excited to be standing here to receive my first BAFTA for my first screenplay.

“Thank you for celebrating our female-dominated movie about women in power.”

Netflix’s “Roma” scooped up big honours, including the Best Film, Best Director, Film Not in the English Language and Cinematography.

Cuaron won in each of these categories, setting a tone of sorts for what to expect at the Oscars later this month.

He thanked Netflix for having the “faith and courage to get behind a black-and-white film about a domestic worker, subtitled from Spanish, and bring it to audiences around the world”.

“To see a film about an indigenous domestic worker embraced this way in an age when fear and anger propose to divide us means the world to me.

“Reverting back to a world of separation and isolation is not a solution to anything. It is simply an excuse to hide our fear within our basest instincts,” he said.

Acting accolades went to Rami Malek for his lead role as Queen star Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which also won an award for Sound.

Mahershala Ali won the Best Supporting Actor for Green Book, a film backed by Reliance Entertainment’s Amblin Entertainment. Diversity was celebrated as Guyanese-born British actress Letitia Wright won the EE Rising Star Award — an honour that the public votes for.

BlacKkKlansman won for Adapted Screenplay, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took the award for Animated Film, the Best Documentary went to “Free Solo”, “Vice” won for Editing, and “Black Panther” received the BAFTA for Special Visual Effects.

A Star Is Born won for Original Music — an award that singer-actress Lady Gaga was ecstatic about. The film’s actor-director Bradley Cooper, who composed music for it too, said: “I got to fulfill a dream I never thought would happen, and I got to do it with some of the best musicians in the world. The music was the heartbeat of the film.”

Writer-director Michael Pearce and Producer Lauren Dark received the award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for “Beast”.

The Special Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema was presented to Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley, a producing partnership who have created some iconic British films of recent years, including “The Crying Game”, “Company of Wolves”, “Little Voice”, “Scandal”, “Carol” and “Colette”.

The Fellowship, the highest honour the Academy can bestow, was presented to editor Thelma Schoonmaker. The show featured performances by Cirque du Soleil and Jess Gillam. The elegantly dressed Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took front row seats at the event.

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