One of the biggest and one of the smallest films of the year have shared the bulk of the awards, handed out by the London Film Critics Circle.
The Film of the Year and Director of the Year went to George Miller for Mad Max: Fury Road. Its lead actor Tom Hardy was also honoured as the Best British or Irish actor of the year, for his body of work, including Mad Max, Legend and The Revenant.
Andrew Haigh’s marital drama 45 Years was named the Best British or Irish Film, while its leads, the Oscar-nominated Charlotte Rampling and Sir Tom Courtenay, took the main acting honours, although when British stars win the top awards, it begs the question of why they need a parochial set of British/Irish only honours.
The supporting acting prizes also went to British talent, with Mark Rylance honoured for Bridge of Spies and Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs, both – like Rampling – are in the running for Oscars next month.
The London critics named the star of Brooklyn, Saoirse Ronan, as their best British or Irish actress of 2015.
The critics gave their screenplay award to director Tom McCarthy and his co-writer Josh Singer, for Spotlight, about how the Catholic Church covered up abusive priests in Boston. Carol took the award for best technical achievement, for Ed Lachman’s cinematography.
The ceremony, at the May Fair Hotel in central London, ended with Sir Kenneth Branagh being honoured with the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film.
The full list of winners for the 36th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards:
FILM OF THE YEAR: Mad Max: Fury Road
BRITISH/IRISH FILM OF THE YEAR: 45 Years
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR: The Look of Silence
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR: Amy
ACTOR OF THE YEAR: Tom Courtenay — 45 Years
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR: Charlotte Rampling — 45 Years
SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR: Mark Rylance — Bridge of Spies
SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR: Kate Winslet — Steve Jobs
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR: George Miller — Mad Max: Fury Road
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy — Spotlight
BRITISH/IRISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR: Tom Hardy — Legend, London Road, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant
BRITISH/IRISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR: Saoirse Ronan — Brooklyn, Lost River
YOUNG BRITISH/IRISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR: Maisie Williams — The Falling
PHILIP FRENCH AWARD FOR BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH/IRISH FILMMAKER: John Maclean — Slow West
BRITISH/IRISH SHORT FILM OF THE YEAR: Stutterer — Benjamin Cleary
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Ed Lachman, cinematography — Carol
DILYS POWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM: Kenneth Branagh