The Hurt Locker wins best film at the Baftas
Kathryn Bigelow beats her ex-husband James Cameron; Firth and Mulligan take top acting honours
The American Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman ever to win best director at the Baftas when her Iraq war movie The Hurt Locker beat her ex-husband James Cameron's sci-fi blockbuster Avatar to all the big awards last night. The film, which follows an American bomb disposal unit in Iraq, also won best film, best original screenplay and three other awards.
Earlier in the evening, Bigelow (pictured above with Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner) had run down the red carpet to avoid journalists' inevitable questions about the husband-and-ex-wife duel; in the event, Cameron left with only two awards for Avatar - for special visual effects and production design
While Bigelow's honours could very possibly be replicated at the Oscars in a fortnight's time, the Bafta judges were in rather more nationalistic mood when they considered the two big acting prizes.
These went to Colin Firth for A Single Man, designer Tom Ford's well-received debut as a film director, and Carey Mulligan for her role as a precocious Sixties schoolgirl in An Education. They will do well to repeat this at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, where they will be up against serious home-grown competition from the likes of George Clooney and Meryl Streep.
In the supporting categories, the Baftas were back with the Americans. Mo'Nique won best supporting actress for her role as an abusive mother in Precious and Christoph Waltz was awarded best supporting actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.
The event, staged at the Royal Opera House, finished with Vanessa Redgrave being given a Bafta fellowship, announced by the British Academy's new president, Prince William.
Best acceptance speech - if there were such an award - would have to go to Colin Firth, who was funny and humble, thanking Ford for leaving him "resuscitated, a little more worldly, better groomed, more fragrant and more nominated than one has ever been before". Most genuinely unprepared recipient was Carey Mulligan. Most inebriated presenter was Mickey Rourke.
THE MAIN AWARDS:
Best film: The Hurt Locker
Best British film: Fish Tank
Best actor: Colin Firth (A Single Man)
Best actress: Carey Mulligan (An Education)
Best supporting actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds)
Best supporting actress: Mo'Nique (Precious)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) ·
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