London, Apr 11 (EFE).- Nomadland was crowned the winner of the night at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) Film Awards Sunday, securing it as a favorite ahead of the Oscars.
The 74th edition of the awards, the first held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, took place in an empty Royal Albert Hall in London, where aside from presenters Edith Bowman and Dermot O’Leary, the only attendees were British personalities handing out gongs.
In an attempt to alleviate the pain of not being able to decorate the architectural jewel that is the Royal Albert Hall and which this year turns 150, the Baftas started with a performance by Liam Payne, former One Direction member, who performed the song Midnight.
With the technical awards already delivered in a small Saturday ceremony, Sunday’s gala, which was punctuated by a performance by Celeste and a short humorous speech by Hugh Grant, got straight to the point.
Nomadland, a film about aging van-dwellers in the United States and which started as the big favorite with seven nominations, won the top awards.
The movie by Chloé Zhao, who received the awards without much fanfare from her home, won best film, best director, best leading actress for Frances McDormand, and best cinematography.
Zhao became only the second woman in history to win best director, and the first of Asian decent to achieve it, setting the film up as a frontrunner for the Oscars, where Nomadland will start with six nominations.
“I think I just made my teacher at Brighton College very proud,” joked Zhao, who was born in China and now based in the US, referring to her British education.
She also thanked the nomadic people who welcomed her and the crew.
“Thank you for showing us that aging is a beautiful part of life,” she said. “A journey that we should all cherish and celebrate. How we treat our elders says a lot about who we are as a society and we need to do better.”
Rocks, a story about a girl and her brother and how they overcome their abandonment by their mother in an impoverished London neighborhood, also began with seven nominations but Sarah Gavron’s film had to settle for two awards – best casting and Bukky Bakray taking the rising star award.
Anthony Hopkins surprised in the category of best actor, beating the late Chadwick Boseman, thanks to his role in The Father, while Daniel Kaluuya won the Bafta for best supporting actor for Judas and the Black Messiah.
Yuh-Jung Youn won best supporting actress for Minari.
Other winners were Soul for best animated film and best original score; Sound of Metal for best sound and best editing; The Father for best adapted screenplay; Promising Young Woman for outstanding British film and best original screenplay; My Octopus Teacher for best documentary and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for best makeup and hair, and best costume design. EFE