Stars of the silver screen descend on London as ′La La Land′ wins Best Film BAFTA | News | DW | 12.02.2017
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Stars of the silver screen descend on London as 'La La Land' wins Best Film BAFTA

Following its Golden Globes success, the musical throwback to the 1950s dominated the BAFTA awards with five gongs, including Best Film. Casey Affleck and Emma Stone picked up the Best Actor and Best Actress awards.

The romantic musical "La La Land" dominated the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) on Sunday evening, winning five prizes including Best Picture.

Its co-star Emma Stone took home the Best Actress award and Damien Chazelle won Best Director. It also picked up gongs for Best Cinematography and Best Original Music.

However, the movie's male lead, Ryan Gosling, couldn't take home the Best Actor award. That honor went to Casey Affleck for his role in the drama "Manchester by the Sea."

The BAFTAs are often seen as an indicator for who will win big at the Hollywood Academy Awards, held two weeks later. "La La Land," a throwback to the heyday of Hollywood musicals, leads the Oscars race with a record-tying 14 nominations. It also scooped a record six Golden Globes in January.

Other major winners on Sunday evening were Dev Patel, who won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Lion," which charts the real-life story of an Indian boy adopted by an Australian couple.

Viola Davis picked up Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Fences," an adaptation of a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the life of a black family in 1950s Pennsylvania.

Britain Bafta Film Awards Viola Davis (picture-alliance/AP Images/J. Ryan)

Viola Davis is honored for her role as Rose Maxson in the film "Fences." Is she destined for a coveted first Oscar?

Ken Loach's "I, Daniel Blake" won the award for Outstanding British Film, while "Manchester by the Sea" won Best Original Screenplay and "Lion" picked up Best Adapted Screenplay.

Bafta Awards Roter Teppich William & Kate (Getty Images/J. Phillips)

Alongside the silver screen royalty were members of the British royal family - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, more commonly known as William and Kate.

American actor, comedian, filmmaker, composer and songwriter Mel Brooks was awarded the Academy Fellowship.

The one shortlisted German film, the comedy "Toni Erdman," missed out on the award for Best Film not in the English Language. That prize went to the Hungarian Holocaust drama "Son of Saul."

Political undertones

With this year's award season coinciding with an increasingly tumultuous political environment, the BAFTAs came with a political tinge. 

In her acceptance speech, Emma Stone said that at a time that is so divisive "it's really special we are all able to celebrate the positive gift of creativity and how we can transcend borders and how we help people to feel a little less alone."

"I, Daniel Blake" director, Ken Loach, said his docu-drama about a Newcastle carpenter trying to get welfare payments after surviving a heart attack shows that the "most vulnerable and the poorest people are treated by this government with a callous brutality that is disgraceful... it is a brutality that extends to keeping out refugee children we promised to help." On Wednesday, the British government scrapped its pledge to take in 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees.

At last month's Golden Globes, Meryl Streep used her opportunity on stage to criticize US President Donald Trump, leading the president to dismiss the celebrated actress as "overrated."

The master of ceremonies at Sunday's London awards, Stephen Fry, mocked Trump's remarks, declaring from the stage that only "a blithering idiot" would not think Streep was one of the greatest actresses of all time.

dm/jm (AP, AFP)

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