Big night for Scots writer as war film 1917 leads big winners at the Bafta awards

Sir Sam Mendes’s war film 1917 was the big winner at the Baftas as it collected the award for best film and best director as well as a slew of other awards.
Krysty Wilson-Cairns earned a best screenplay nomination for war epic 1917.Krysty Wilson-Cairns earned a best screenplay nomination for war epic 1917.
Krysty Wilson-Cairns earned a best screenplay nomination for war epic 1917.

There was recognition for the film’s cinematographer, Roger Deakins, as well as for its sound and production design. Sir Sam’s win for best director made him the first British winner of the prize since Danny Boyle won the award in 2009 for Slumdog Millionaire.

1917 also won the outstanding British film prize, and collecting the award, Glasgow writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who wrote the script with Sir Sam, said: “Thank you so much for this honour, I can’t tell you how much it means to us all. As co-writer of this film I was involved from a very early stage and I got to witness how quintessentially British it was.”

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She paid tribute to the more than 1,200-strong British crew, as well as its British actors and “some very gung-ho supporting artists, some almost too gung-ho”.

As expected, Joaquin Phoenix won the leading actor Bafta for his perfomance in Joker, and used his speech to attack “systemic racism” and “oppression” within the industry in his acceptance speech.

Phoenix said: “I feel very honoured and privileged to be here tonight – Bafta has always been very supportive of my career and I’m deeply appreciative. But I have to say that I also feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have that same privilege.

“I think that we send a very clear message to people of colour that you’re not welcome here, I think that’s the message that we’re sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry and in ways that we benefit from.”

Ahead of the awards, Bafta chairwoman Dame Pippa Harris addressed criticism over a lack of diversity in the nominations, saying “We’ve announced a wide-ranging review, we’re going to be looking at everything.”

The supporting actor prize was awarded to Brad Pitt for Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.

Pitt could not attend the ceremony so the prize was collected by his co-star Margot Robbie. Reading his speech, she said: “Hey Britain, heard you just became single, welcome to the club. Wishing you the best with the divorce settlement.”

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She added: “He says he is going to name this Harry because he is really excited about bringing it back to the States with him. His words, not mine.”

The leading actress Bafta was won by Renee Zellweger for Judy, who said: “Miss Garland, London town, which you have always loved so much, still loves you back. This is for you.”

The best supporting actress prize was presented to Laura Dern for Marriage Story, while the adapted screenplay Bafta went to anti-hate satire Jojo Rabbit.

The film’s writer and director, Taika Waititi, from New Zealand, said: “This is very cool for me, coming from the colonies...”

He added: “I know it’s been a hard week for you guys, it’s been nice to take a little bit of your gold back home, where it belongs.”

South Korean hit Parasite won the Bafta for original screenplay and the film not in the English language award.

Joker has led the way with 11 nominations, and picked up one of the first awards of the night with composer Hildur Guonadottir has won the prize for best original score.

Andy Serkis accepted the outstanding British contribution to cinema award.

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