An intimidating set with a massive structure that said "FILM" announced the arrival of the BAFTAs.
The sign, I like to think, was a reminder that these awards were conceived to honor the craft that goes into the art of filmmaking.
Of course this isn't completely true as politics, popularity, nationalism (especially here) and heck even the weather may have influence over the eventual winners.
Still though the winners tonight were less embarrassing than everything I'm expecting Oscar to be and as much as the Brits tend to love Hollywood too much none of the awards were vomit inducing.
If there is something were Oscar still excels is in putting together a show.
BAFTA host Jonathan Ross was a bit on the weak side and his jokes made you laugh out of awkwardness.
I must say when he introduced Clive Owen as someone "smoother than a waxed otter" I really laughed hard but the rest went pretty meh.
Perhaps the Brits have a weirder humor? Perhaps this too American kind of hosting doesn't work for a country that loves tradition and elegance?
Christoph Waltz won the Best Supporting Actor award as expected and gave one of his less trippy speeches of the season as he thanked the "fates who dropped him in front of Quentin Tarantino".
He then made a wonderful play of words around the support he's been getting as a supporting actor and how cool was it that they played David Bowie's "Cat People" when he walked to collect his award? (Bowie's own son won an award for best debut film).
Since BAFTA has made a habit out of playing random songs to announce winners and presenters, as opposed to musical cues from their own films, my favorite were:
- Lady GaGa's "Just Dance" when "Fish Tank" won for Best British Film (isn't it odd that "An Education" lost this one and also Best Picture?) perhaps they were making reference to Katie Jarvis character's love of dance?
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Freemasons' "Heartbreak Make Me a Dancer" was used in the red carpet segment and had great stylish effects.
- When Carey Mulligan came out to present Best Foreign Language Film they played the awesome "Bulletproof" by Laroux!
- Clive Owen was introduced to the beat of Lily Allen's "The Fear".
I still have no idea how they pick their presenters and am still puzzled over what was Matt Dillon doing there to present Mo'Ni...err Best Supporting Actress.
He didn't even win when he was nominated for "Crash"!
I do love "The Hurt Locker" but I'm not sure I like it winning screenplay awards. Yes I'm biased on the prettiness of Quentin Tarantino's work in this category.
Waltz himself said QT does poetry but still yay for Mark Boal's win for making "an unpopular story about an unpopular war" so damn powerful.