Brooklyn celebrates Bafta win but Saoirse loses out to Brie

Best film goes to The Revenant – tale of survival from 19th century US frontier

Leonardo DiCaprio is one step closer to an Academy Award as 'The Revenant' is the toast of the BAFTA awards in London. Video: Reuters


Brooklyn, John Crowley’s adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel, continued its triumphant march through awards season by picking up best British film at the Bafta awards last night.

Developed with BBC Films, the British Film Institute and the Irish Film Board, it stands as a genuine Irish and British co-production.

“On behalf of the cast and crew in London, Dublin and New York, thank you so much for honouring our film,” producer Finola Dwyer said.

American actor Brie Larson, who appears as a woman cruelly imprisoned with her son in Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, another Irish production, beat Saoirse Ronan, star of Brooklyn, to the best actress Bafta.

Room, an adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s much admired novel, was produced by Dublin-basedElement Pictures.

‘Large gorilla’

Abrahamson accepted the prize in Larson’s absence. The Dubliner explained that she was detained on the shoot for Kong: Skull Island. “She’s wrestling a large gorilla,” he said.

Best film went to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant, a searing tale of survival from the 19th century US frontier. Iñárritu won best director and Leonardo DiCaprio took best actor for his turn as a vengeful trapper mauled by a bear.

“For his commitment to authenticity, thank you Alejandro. This movie would not have been possible with you,” DiCaprio said and noted that he was “inspired by so many British actors over the years like Tom Courtenay and Gary Oldman”.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts shares much personnel with the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It is estimated about 10 per cent of Oscar voters also vote at Bafta. So these awards really are a reliable pointer to the Oscars.

With the most competitive race for best picture in two decades entering its last fortnight — The Revenant, Adam McKay’s The Big Short and Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight now all seem equally likely to take the big award in two weeks’ time.