Baftas wrap - winners, losers, but few surprises
Eddie Redmayne and Boyhood emerge victorious in a worthy but unsurprising Baftas
The 2015 Baftas, held in London last night, delivered few surprises for most commentators but satisfied many of the critics, with the film Boyhood nabbing the Best Film award, and Eddie Redmayne scoring the Best Actor prize.
Many critics, including The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw felt that The Imitation Game was "rightly snubbed" in favour of the more deserving Stephen Hawking biopic the Theory of Everything, starring Redmayne. "There is nothing middlebrow about The Theory of Everything – it is a terrific film," said Bradshaw. Redmayne won his best actor award for his role as Hawking, while the film won the most outstanding British film and a third award for its adapted screenplay.
Bradshaw also praised the Best Film winner, Boyhood, describing it as: "A film whose clarity and simplicity is inspired, it looks to me like a classic of humanist cinema."
The Daily Telegraph's Robbie Collin agreed, praising Richard Linklater's "magnificent 12-years-in-the-making" film as "enormously deserving" of its Bafta win.
Collin also saluted Wes Anderson's "glorious Euro tragi-frolic The Grand Budapest Hotel" for "Hoovering up many of the craft awards". The film starring Ralph Fiennes as an eccentric concierge at a luxury European hotel, won a total of five awards including costume design, production design, make-up and original music. Anderson also won his first Bafta for original screenplay.
Jazz drumming drama Whiplash was also a modest winner, taking three awards - for editing, sound and supporting actor for JK Simmons, who thanked director Damien Chazelle for "the gift of this character".
Another notable winner was Julianne Moore with a Best Actress award for her performance as a linguistics professor with early onset Alzheimer's in Still Alice.
But in a worthy if unremarkable Baftas, the last, and perhaps most surprising word went to director Mike Leigh, in his acceptance speech for the prestigious Bafta Fellowship.
In an ironic tribute to his detractors, and those who had rejected his funding applications over the years, Leigh said: "To those boneheads, philistines and uninspired skinflints who said no... thank you for keeping away and may you all rot in hell."
And while the Baftas didn't deliver many surprises, they do leave an open field for commentators to speculate on winners for the Oscars race two weeks from now.