The German war drama "Nothing New in the West", nominated for nine Oscars, has won the British Film Awards known as Baftas three weeks before the award ceremony in Los Angeles and has been awarded Best Picture. Director Edward Berger's film picked up a total of seven Bafta trophies in London on Sunday night, more than any non-English language film before it. "What a night, I can't believe it," enthused Berger, who also received the coveted award for Best Director.
"It's a German film for God's sake, who votes for it?" joked the 53-year-old. In the subsequent press conference, Berger got confused when counting the awards. "I'm not quite sure anymore. But it's a lot more than we expected." The remake of the novel by Erich Maria Remarque was also awarded Best Foreign Language Film. The film about the horrors of World War I also received awards for cinematography, adapted screenplay and sound.
Cate Blanchett fought back tears
Volker Bertelmann alias Hauschka received a Bafta for his film music. "I came to it late," said the composer. "By the time I saw the film, it was so good that I wasn't sure if it even needed music." Finally, Bertelmann decided to use a harmonium for the soundtrack, which he had received from his great-grandmother. He subsequently distorted the sound of the instrument. "Edward said it sounds a bit like Led Zeppelin," he joked. "I take that as a compliment."
British media expressed their astonishment at the success of the German war epic. "While the film is well liked and appreciated, it was never considered a serious contender," wrote The Times newspaper.
Cate Blanchett ("Tár") defeated the favored Michelle Yeoh ("Everything Everywhere All At Once"), Viola Davis ("The Woman King") and Emma Thompson ("Good Luck to You, Leo Grande") for Best Actress ") through. The Australian-American actress was overwhelmed and fought back tears during her acceptance speech. In the film, she plays the fictional chief conductor of a German orchestra whose life is falling apart. "The character couldn't be further from my own experiences," said the 53-year-old.
Top favorite Colin Farrell went leather aus
There were further surprises in the traditional London Royal Festival Hall directly on the south bank of the Thames. For the men, Austin Butler ("Elvis") was happy about the Bafta for Best Actor. Visibly moved, he thanked Elvis Presley's family for their trust. There were a total of four gold mask awards for Baz Luhrmann's biopic, including casting, costumes, and makeup and hair. "Elvis" was already successful at the Golden Globes. Shortly thereafter, Presley's daughter Lisa Marie died unexpectedly.
Top favorite Colin Farrell struggled to hide his disappointment. He went away empty-handed for "The Banshees Of Inisherin", but Irish filmmaker Martin McDonagh's critically acclaimed tragic comedy still received four Baftas - for the two supporting actors Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan and for Best Original Screenplay. It was amusing that the thoroughly Irish film also received an award for Outstanding British Film. "What award?" McDonagh joked before revealing that his film was funded by Britain's Channel 4.
Before Condon received her trophy, there was an embarrassing faux pas in the hall when Carey Mulligan ("She Said") was incorrectly announced as Best Supporting Actress. Although the error was no longer visible in the delayed TV broadcast, the BBC broadcaster first showed Angela Bassett ("Black Panther: Wakanda Forever") and only with a delay the winner Condon.
Musical "Pinocchio" gets a prize
The evening was also disappointing for the makers of the fantasy hit "Everything Everywhere All At Once". The wacky film, which competed in ten categories and is nominated for eleven Oscars, received just one Bafta award in London for editing.
Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro was delighted to accept the Bafta in the animated film category for his stop-motion musical "Pinocchio". "Animation should continue to be a conversation," Del Toro said.
The London-based British Academy of Film and Television Arts has been in existence for 76 years. The glamorous award ceremony, attended by numerous international stars, was moderated by British actor Richard E. Grant ("Can You Ever Forgive Me?"), who jokingly advertised role offers in the Royal Festival Hall.
In front of the heir to the throne Prince William and his wife Princess Kate, Dame Helen Mirren paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died last September. The 77-year-old Mirren received a Bafta and an Oscar in 2007 for her role as Elizabeth in the drama "The Queen". received as Best Actress.
After the Oscars and the Golden Globes, the Bafta Awards are among the most coveted awards in the industry. After their film went empty-handed at the Golden Globes, Edward Berger and his team should now be eagerly awaiting the Oscars. There, "Nothing New in the West" has been nominated for Best Film and Best International Film, among others. The Baftas have rarely been an indication of the Oscars in recent years. But the chances are good that the war drama will also take something away in Los Angeles.
List of Winners