By Manuel Sanchez Gomez
London, Mar 13 (EFE).- “The Power of the Dog” hit it big, taking the most significant prizes at Britain’s BAFTA Awards on Sunday night at a gala dominated by the technical expertise displayed in “Dune,” which took five prizes, and in which “Belfast” disappointed, coming out on top in just one of the six categories for which it was nominated at the ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The western drama directed by Jane Campion, who is the third woman in history to win a BAFTA for best director, after Chloe Zhao and Kathryn Bigelow, stood head and shoulders above the others for also winning the best film award on a night expertly hosted by Rebel Wilson.
The Australian actress and comedian was in charge throughout the ceremony, which honored the 1960s James Bond saga with Shirley Bassey providing a captivating performance of “Diamond Are Forever,” one of the most iconic songs from the British secret agent’s adventures.
Wilson, who sported a tattoo on her leg of modern day James Bond actor Daniel Craig, destroyed a cake with the face of “The Power of the Dog” star Benedict Cumberbatch and hosted the BAFTAs’ return to in-person normality – red carpet, audience, political skewering and all – after its virtual edition last year due to the coronaviruc pandemic.
As expected, several speakers made mention of Russia’s bloody ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Britain’s Crown Prince William, who delivered a videotaped message as president of the British Academy, wore a Ukrainian flag pin in his lapel and Wilson – in announcing that sign language interpreters would help out on Emilia Jones’ musical performance – said that “This is the gesture for ‘Putin'” and displaying her middle finger.
Regarding the awards, “Dune” won the awards for musical score, sound, photography, visual effects and production design, while “The Power of the Dog” won for best director (Jane Campion) and best film, the night’s most important trophy.
Cumberbatch was beaten out for best actor by Will Smith, who – like Campion – was not at the London awards, but won for his performance as the father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard.”
Johanna Scanlan won the best actress prize for “After Love,” beating out Lady Gaga in “House of Gucci” and Renate Reinsve in “The Worst Person in the World.”
One of the night’s most emotional moments was when “The Black Cop” won the award for best British short film, the story about a black, gay British cop who suffered abuse for years on the force.
Troy Kotsur, the first deaf actor ever to win a major BAFTA Award, took home the prize for best supporting actor in “CODA” and could be on his way to winning the Oscar in the same category.
Ariana DeBose won for best supporting actor for her role in “West Side Story,” which also took the BAFTA for best casting.
“Belfast,” directed by Kenneth Branagh, had to be content with the best British film award, while Pedro Almodovar came up blank without garnering the prize for best non-English film – which was taken by “Drive My Car.”
Disney’s “Encanto” won in the best animated film category, gaining strength for a possible Oscar, where it’s been nominated for three different awards.
“Cruella” won for best costume design and “No Time to Die” took the award for best editing.
// The prize organization requests that this information not be disseminated via the social networks until it is rebroadcast in its recorded version by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), beginning at 1900 GMT. //