With exactly two weeks to go until the Oscars, the biggest film awards outside of the U.S., the BAFTAs, took place on Sunday night in frosty London.
Held for the first time at the Royal Albert Hall – the usual residence of the BAFTAs Royal Opera Hall is closed for renovation – the awards ceremony attracted Royals – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and celebrities and A-listers including Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Penelope Cruz, Emily Blunt, Eddie Redmayne, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Ella Purnell, Felicity Jones, Viola Davis, Taylor Hill, Ava West, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Thandie Newton,Tom Ford, Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Simon Pegg, Noomi Rapace, Laura Witmore, Valentino, Bryce Dallas Howard, Holliday Grainger among others. The unusually long Red Carpet -though cramped press area, go figure- was studded with actors and nominees who were glad to pose for photographers and on live TV.
It would be wrong of us to not to mention the BAFTA Red Carpet fashion choices. As per usual, most men’s tuxedos were anything but adventurous, apart from slight deviation from the standard black by Tom Ford, Andrew Garfield and Eddie Redmayne – wearing burgundy velvet, ivory white and white fitted jacket respectively. High five for inventiveness goes to Caitriona Balfe who was brave enough to wear vintage lace and rainbow-coloured ruffles and pleats, all combined in one dress by some bizarre draw of destiny, brought to life by master Valentino. The Maestro himself was also in attendance, immaculately wrapped in a black velvet tux.
Singer and song-writer Heloïse Letissier came straight from her day job it seems – the atelier of costumes for Charlie Chaplin movies? She was bravely showing her untouched-by-the-sun navel from underneath of layers of stripy cotton fabric, styled in a fashion of oversized trousers, shirt, and jacket. Should we go down the route of ‘The Best And The Worst Dressed,’ Heloïse has truly created a new place for herself on the scale of the worst. Of course it’s all subjective, as others wore frocks more ‘amiable’ to a formal event and still failed miserably. On a more positive side, the red carpet wasn’t all that bad. It dazzled with crystals ranging from subtle hot-fix on Felicity Jones’s Dior frock to massive gleaming rocks on Emma Stone’s Couture Chanel two-piece, to statement rings of Swarovski heiress herself.
Fine embroidery was also in high demand. Chosen by Duchess of Cambridge, Hannah Redmayne and Emily Blunt, the three Alexander McQueen dresses were almost competing with each other on the carpet. Our readers will judge the best choice. Actor Anya Taylor Joy donned a pleated multi-layered Gucci dress made of baby-blue organza and finished with fine tiger embroidery on the front, while A-Lister Michelle Williams chose silver Louis Vuitton dress with red and blue face embroidery occupying all upper body.
The best cheeky décolleté indisputably goes to Nicole Kidman, while the best open shoulder dress was worn by raven-haired beauty Ava West, who finished her Roland Mouret metallic frock with minimal statement jewellery and dark lipstick. We saw the abundance of Sophie Turner’s long pins both on the red carpet and in the awards’ room – has she won anything – and mesmerising white open-back number worn by blue-eyed sweetheart Taylor Hill.
As to the awards themselves, La La Land, which went into the night with the highest number of nominations – 11 in total – took home five gongs, including best film, best actress and best director. Elsewhere, Casey Affleck won the best actor for Manchester By the Sea and Ken Loach scooped the best British film award for I, Daniel Blake.
It was great to see Amy Adams representing two films – Nocturnal Animals by Tom Ford and Arrival by Denis Villeneuve. The latter one has won the golden BAFTA mask for music track and Amy was seemingly in good spirit.
Thankfully we were spared the political nonsensical speeches -they skirted around it- from some spoilt actors who presume they are pseudo-politicians. Guys, stick to acting. If you don’t like DEMOCRACY, and want to ‘change the world’ -you won’t- quit and turn to politics and charity work in dictatorships. Sorted. Try acting there.