Baftas 2019: ‘We’re going to get so pi**ed later!’ Irish production wins seven awards

‘The Favourite’ wins seven awards. ‘Roma’ now likely to take best picture Oscar

'The Favourite' co-produced by Irish company Element Pictures was the biggest winner at the BAFTAs scooping seven awards including Outstanding British film, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress . Video: Reuters


Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, an Irish production from Element Pictures, has won seven British Film and Television Awards (Bafta) during a typically glitzy ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London. No other film won so many.

But the profane, clever comedy, concerning disputes at the court of Queen Anne, lost in best film to Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma. That ecstatically reviewed film, concerning a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City, now strides forward as a strong favourite for best picture at The Oscars.

Olivia Colman, something of a national treasure in Britain, won best actress for her role as the queen in The Favourite. “We’re having an amazing night, aren’t we? We’re going to get so pi**ed later!” she said from the podium with typical informality.

A British co-production, The Favourite was also a predicted winner of best British film. “This film took 20 years to make. I contributed to the last 10,” Lanthimos said of a project that went through many iterations before ending up with the Greek film-maker.

Domestic disappointment

Rachel Weisz won best supporting actress for her role as Lady Sarah Churchill. “Olivia Colman and Emma Stone, didn’t we have an extraordinary time? Yorgos, your creativity is breathtaking,” she said while clutching her award. There was some domestic disappointment with Robbie Ryan, one of Ireland’s most admired cinematographers, losing to Alfonso Cuarón for his own camerawork on Roma.

The evening was hosted by Joanna Lumley with a charm that couldn’t quite compensate for some truly awful jokes. “[BlacKkKlansman is] an incredible film, it’s already won many awards, though I’m surprised it did so well at the Klan Film Festival,” she said to groans. (There was a pun there if audiences felt minded to look for it.)

Before the ceremony kicked off, much controversy surrounded the organisers’ decision to excise Bryan Singer – recently accused of sexual misconduct – from his nomination as director for Bohemian Rhapsody in the best British film race. A win there would have been embarrassing.

Popular smash

Rami Malek did, however, take best actor for his performance as Freddie Mercury in that popular smash. “I still cannot believe that I’m included with this group of actors,” the American actor said. “It’s quite difficult entering your world with this role, as an outsider. It’s not lost on me how sacred your musical heritage is.”

About 10 per cent of those voting for the Oscars are also members of the British Academy. The Bafta results are, thus, reliable pointers towards those American awards. Competing in 10 categories, The Favourite is, with Roma, jointly the most-nominated film at this year’s Oscars, which take place on February 24th.