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You know how during American sports, the half time show always includes a kiss cam? Well, this year the Baftas borrowed the joke – with some success and more than a little awkwardness. First up were media shy couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. The pair have never discussed their relationship in public so getting them to kiss on camera was always a long shot – but nothing prepared us for the painfully awkward seconds during which host Stephen Fry tried to persuade them to pucker up.
It was up to some more unlikely pairings to lighten the mood, like Dame Maggie Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio (see above) and Rebel Wilson and Eddie Izzard who got us all, er, hot under the collar.
What a class act. The veteran actor – whose 60-year career was celebrated with the Bafta Fellowship – was unable to make the trip to London from LA due to ill health but accepted his prize, alongside his daughter Sydney, from fellow actor Jamie Foxx and delivered a speech worthy of an award in itself:
“I hold a very special place in my heart for your great city. I’ve been honoured by her Royal Highness the Queen and have had the privilege of being recognised by Bafta for my previous work on a few occasions but today my cup runneth over because I’m here with my daughter and future filmmakers of the world in celebration of this wonderful art form, moving pictures, that have brought me tremendous joy.
“To the wonderful and talented filmmakers I have worked with over the years, I thank you for being a part of bringing me to this moment. And to my family – my life force – I am nothing without you. And to all of you, thank you for your warm embrace and this extraordinary moment and memory I shall cherish always.”
It was an eventful night for the Australian actress. First she snogged Eddie Izzard (see above), then she took to the stage to present Best Supporting Actor. Rebel being Rebel, she was never going to deliver a straight citation reading, but there were more than a few nervous giggles when she told the audience: “One day I hope to return to win a Bafta myself. I’ve already been practising my transgendered face.”
Her eyes then rested on Beasts of No Nation nominee Idris Elba. “You’re making me nervous,” she told him,” but I’m sociologically programmed to want chocolate on Valentine’s Day.”
As Mad Max’s production designer Colin Gibson later joked as he made his way up on stage: “It could only be better if Rebel Wilson gave it to me.”
Diversity was the hot topic at this year’s ceremony – and the butt of one or two jokes, too. And yes, of course it was Sacha Baron Cohen who went there, announcing on stage that he was there to present “Best White Actress”.
But he wasn’t quite done, continuing with the straight-faced admission that “Bafta has shown none of the discrimination and prejudice that is so shamefully on display at the Oscars,” before adding: “Bafta make sure at least one of the nominees for best actress is a Dame. Dench, Smith, Jolie…”
Well, when Cuba Gooding Jr took to the podium to dish out the prize for Best Original Screenplay, we all wondered whether he and host Stephen Fry were planning a repeat performance.
“The last time I was on this stage a young man gave me a kiss,” the American reminisced. But instead of a smooch, the pair entered into the spirit of Valentine’s Day with Gooding Jr producing a red rose which he handed over to Fry. And they say romance is dead…
You know who’s awesome? Like, seriously awesome. Pete Docter – one of the brains that brought us Inside Out. RadioTimes.com interviewed him last year and his mind was like a treasure trove of wisdom – wisdom which he chose to share following his win for Best Animated Film.
Taking to the stage, Bafta in hand, Docter had some important words of advice…
“For anyone out there who is struggling to figure things out in secondary school, it’s ok to feel scared or angry or sad but please do us a favour and express yourself. Sing, write, draw – the world will be a better place for it.”
If that’s not an inspiring acceptance speech, we don’t know what is.
Perhaps Stephen Fry thought he could breathe a deep sigh of relief once the Baftas were over? If he did, he was wrong. Instead the evening’s compère spent a good chunk of time defending himself after audiences failed to see the funny side of a quip he made during the ceremony.
In case you missed it, here’s what happened:
Mad Max: Fury Road’s Jenny Beavan came up on stage to accept the Bafta for Best Costume Design. She gave a nice speech, and then as she headed off stage, Fry joked: “Only one of the great cinematic costume designers would come to an awards ceremony dressed as a bag lady.”
To the casual observer, it sounded a bit cruel – and the gag certainly caught the attention of a handful of tweeters who shared their criticisms of the host. But what they might not have realised is the Bafta presenter and Beavan are actually really good friends – they’ve worked together on Gosford Park and Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows – something Fry made a point of stressing on Twitter once the ceremony was over.
They even took a snap at the after party to send a message to all those haters…
Valentine’s Day? You’d be forgiven for thinking it was Mother’s Day thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio’s moving acceptance speech in which he paid tribute to his mum, Irmelin.
The actor – who tonight finally got his hands on a Bafta – was a popular winner, even more so once he’d dedicated his heart-melting acceptance speech to the most important lady in his life….
“I would not be standing up here if it weren’t for this person. I did not grow up in a life of privilege. This woman drove me three hours a day to a different school to show me a different opportunity. Mum, happy birthday. I love you very much.”
With thank yous like that, we don’t know why Leo doesn’t win more often.
Every time Leo and Kate are in the same room together, everyone has a bit of a moment. Tonight was no different as both Titanic stars collected awards – Leo for Leading Actor, Kate for Best Supporting Actress.
But the excitement didn’t end there. As a visibly shocked Winslet headed up on stage to pick up her gong, whose hand did she squeeze on the way past? Leo’s, of COURSE.