The Favourite has picked up the most BAFTAs, with seven, but the four for Alfonso Cuarón’s Spanish-language Roma included the two most prestigious awards of the night, Best Director and Best Film – as well as being named the best foreign language film.
The Favourite picked up the parochial consolation prize of the Outstanding British Film, as well as making the most of the home advantage to walk away with Best Actress for Olivia Colman and Best Supporting Actress for Rachel Weisz, neither of whom is expected to convert her Oscar nomination into a statuette, later this month.
In an industry that’s often criticised for failing to give women the same opportunities as men, it’s notable that both of these films, while directed by men, were female-led stories. “I had the greatest luck to play opposite two of the most glorious women,” Weisz beamed, as she collected her award.
The British men were unable to follow Colman and Weisz in making the most of the largely British voting body, with Vice’s Christian Bale losing out to Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek and first-time nominee Richard E Grant seeing the best supporting actor prize go to Green Book’s Mahershala Ali, who, like Malek, has also already won the Golden Globe and the SAG Award for his role.
Ali, who won the same award for Moonlight two years ago, said the work itself had always been a reward, so awards had always felt surreal to him.
Another performer lifted by British voters was the Black Panther star Letitia Wright, who won BAFTA’s Rising Star award, in a public vote. She told the audience at the Royal Albert Hall ceremony about a time when she was suffering from depression and wanted to give up acting. She said she turned to God and revealed that it was an invitation from BAFTA to be part of its Breakthrough Brits programme that made her decide to try again.
Earlier in the awards season, A Star Is Born was seen as the front-runner, but the writer/director and star Bradley Cooper walked off with, perhaps, the award he least expected, for the best original music. He said composing the score with musicians including Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson had “fulfilled a dream” he never thought would ever happen. Despite being nominated in the best actress category, Lady Gaga wasn’t at the ceremony; she was in LA, at music’s Grammy Awards, where she picked up three trophies, including one for the Best Song Written for Visual Media, for A Star Is Born’s Oscar-nominated Shallow.