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Feb 13, 2012

Written by Reem Saleh, New Media, DFI

The British counterpart to the Oscars, the British Academy Film and
Television Arts awards were presented last night at an awards show
hosted in London. One film dominated the ceremony: “The Artist”, which
garnered seven awards.

Much has been written about “The Artist” elsewhere – it takes us back
to the Hollywood era of the late 1920s, with a focus on star George
Valentin who is at risk of seeing his career fade with the arrival of
talking pictures. The film is a beautiful homage to silent films of
the era. Last night, the film won awards including Best Film,
Director, Original Screenplay, Leading Actor for Jean Dujardin,
Original Music, Cinematography and Costume design.

The Oscar race now puts French actor Dujardin alongside established
contenders such as Georges Clooney, Brad Pitt and Gary Oldman. If
Dujardin wins, he will be the first French male actor to receive the
prestigious award. Marion Cotillard was the first French actress to be
nominated and winning for a French-speaking role in 2007.

As widely predicted, Meryl Streep picked up the Best Actress award for
her role as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron
Lady” and slipped out of her Jimmy Choo shoe upon walking up the
stage. Colin Firth was there to hand her the award and her shoe, a
unique Cinderella moment for one of the most respected actresses of
our times. Will she be this year’s winner of Actress in A Leading
Role? This would be then, her 3rd win and 17th nomination in all.

British wins last night included “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” for
Outstanding British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay, “Tyrannosaur”
for Outstanding Debut by A British Producer and “Harry Potter And The
Deathly Hallows- Part 2” wins for Special Visual Effects.

But in the category of Film Not In The English Language, the
unexpected winner was Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar for his
remarkable feature starring Antonio Banderas, “The Skin I live In”. It
triumphed over the favourite, the Iranian film “A Separation” by
Asghar Farhadi, a recent Golden Globe winner. Unfortunately,
Almodóvar’s film is not nominated for an Oscar. If Iran’s foreign
entry wins, it will be a first for the country.

Other awards included Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress for
the role of maid Minnie in “The Help”, Christopher Plummer for Best
Supporting Actor and “Hugo” for Best Sound.

For a complete list of winners of the 2012 BAFTA Awards click here.

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