By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 21, 2010 at 9:19AM
Kathryn Bigelow's "The Hurt Locker" lead the winners of the the Orange British Academy Film Awards, or BAFTAs, handed out at London’s Royal Opera House tonight.
The film took honors for best picture, director, original screenplay, editing, cinematography and sound - well ahead of James Cameron's "Avatar" and Lone Scherfig's "An Education," which had lead the nominations along with "Locker".
"What an honour," Bigelow said upon accepting the best director prize, "Especially to be in this room filled with so many incredibly talented people that I have admired and been inspired by for decades. I think the secret of directing is collaboration, and I was so, so lucky to have a wonderful cast and crew. Jeremy Renner is so incredibly talented, and a cinematographer who is a visual poet, and my incredible editors. This is really amazing and humbling and deeply moving, and I think we all felt a real responsibility to honour the men and women in the field and to honour a screenplay and a screenwriter who risked his life to capture the chaos and tragedy of war. I would like to dedicate this to never abandoning the resolution to find peace."
Another female-helmed film - Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank" - took the night's biggest Brit-centric prize, topping "An Education," "Moon," "Nowhere Boy" and "In The Loop" for the Best British Film award.
"This is really a great honour," Arnold said upon accepting the award. "Thank you to BAFTA and the jury; it really means a lot to be supported by your homies. I had this weird dream last night that I was on a campsite and trying to put up a tent, and every time I found a nice place somebody else came and put up their tent and it felt really significant, but I'm not sure why. Thank you to all the people who worked hard on this, and, er, God save the Queen and thank you."
Jacques Audiard's "A Prophet" beat out Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon" for the "Best Film Not in the English Language" prize. Audiard made a lively speech that brought down the house.
"I'm going to try to say this quickly," he said on stage. "This is the second time that BAFTA has awarded me this prize. I'm afraid that you'll think I'm tired of it. I don't want that to be the case; I'd like you to keep giving it to me regularly. I want to thank Optimum; if I have another son I will call him Optimum. If I have a daughter, I'll call her BAFTA."
Meanwhile, "Precious"'s Mo'Nique and "Inglourious Basterds"'s Christoph Waltz continued their dominance of the supporting acting categories this season.
"Thank you so much," Waltz said upon winning the award. "Supporting actor? Supported actor. From the moment fate dropped me in front of Quentin Tarantino, everyone has supported me absolutely. What I have with Quentin Tarantino is summed up very quickly: no Quentin, no Inglourious Basterds; no Quentin, no Hans Landa; no Quentin, no Christoph at the BAFTAs or anywhere else."
Mo'Nique was not present at the ceremony, but "Precious" director Lee Daniels accepted on her behalf. "I was like, Moan, I don't know how they're going to appreciate this overseas," Daniels joked, "but hopefully...we don't have any women in 'The Hurt Locker,' so hopefully..."
In one definite deviation from Oscar favorites, though, the BAFTAs awarded homegrown talents Carey Mulligan and Colin Firth the lead acting trophies for their work on "An Education" and "A Single Man."
"What ['A Single Man' director] Tom Ford doesn't know is that I have the email in my outbox telling him that I couldn't possibly do this," Firth said after winning his award. "I was about to send it when a man came to repair my fridge. I don't know what's best for me, so I would like to thank the fridge guy, and Tom, someone who does know what's best for me. An encounter with Tom Ford leaves one feeling more worldly, better groomed, more fragrant and more nominated than one has ever been before. I've worked with a lot of great directors and he's up there with the best. I'd like to thank him for putting me in a room with Julianne Moore, and Nicholas Hoult, and Matthew Goode, and now BAFTA. All I know is, don't ever press send until you've had your fridge repaired."
Mulligan followed Firth, and humbly announced her surprise in winning, and her envy in Firth's speech giving.
"I really didn't expect this at all, so I didn't think of anything to say," she said. "Thank you so much BAFTA. I was here a year ago and I never imagined in a million years - I wish I could be like Colin Firth and make a speech about fridges. I'd like to thank Nick Hornby, and our producers, and so many people, and Jess and Nicole, who you don't know but they've been brilliant. My mum and dad are there, and I love them, and thank you so much."
James Cameron, who saw his "Titanic" lose every single award it was nominated for at the BAFTAs, at least can already say that wasn't the case with "Avatar." So far, it has taken both the production design and visual effects awards ("Titanic" lost those BAFTAs to "Romeo+Juliet" and "The Fifth Element," respectively).
Also of note regarding the ceremony was the announcement that Prince William would succeed Richard Attenborough as BAFTA's fifth president. Read more on that story here.
-- the complete list of winners is on page two --
The Hurt Locker
Outstanding British Film
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer
Duncan Jones, Director of Moon
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Film Not In The English Language
Michael Giacchino, Up
Barry Ackroyd, The Hurt Locker
Bob Murawski & Chris Innis, The Hurt Locker
Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg & Kim Sinclair, Avatar
Sandy Powell, The Young Victoria
Ray Beckett & Paul N. J. Ottosson, The Hurt Locker
Special Visual Effects
Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham & Andrew R. Jones, Avatar
Make Up & Hair
Jenny Shircore, The Young Victoria
Sally Arthur & Emma Lazenby, Mother Of Many
James Bolton & Martina Amati, I Do Air
The Orange Rising Star Award (Voted For By The Public)