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The Favourite gets seven gongs but Roma takes BAFTA Best Film and Director Awards.

By: stagedoorscribbler - February 11, 2019

Roma movie poster

It was perhaps no surprise that The Favorite almost swept the board at the Baftas last night winning seven of the 12 categories in which it was nominated.

After all it’s a wonderful movie that’s been praised to the skies and sure enough it won Best Actress and Best Supporting actress awards for Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz and was also voted Outstanding British Film.

But it was clear from the ceremony that the times they are a changing because the real big prizes - Best Film and Best Director - went to Roma which is the kind of movie that, though undoubtedly a work of cinematic genius, would once have been  consigned to the arthouse circuit.

Indeed not so long ago had you placed a bet that a two-and-a-half hour long black and white film with dialogue in Spanish and subtitles would be voted Best Movie at the Baftas you would probably have been offered alarmingly long odds. 

Yet even though it has had a limited theatrical release Alfonso Cuaron's film reached its main audience through distribution via Netflix. It now bears the distinction of being the first evert Bafta Best Film released through a streaming service. I suspect it won’t be the last.

Meanwhile Best Actor went to Rami Malek for his role as Freddie Mercury in the Queen film Bohemian Rhapsody

There was a special  Bafta Fellowship Award too for veteran film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, a long-time collaborator with Martin Scorcese.

Schoonmaker has not only worked on every Scorcese film since 1980’s Raging Bull  but she was also married Scorcese’s great idol. the British film-maker Michael Powell. 

Since Powell’s death in1990 Schoonmaker, now 79, has devoted much of her time to restoring her late husband’s work and promoting the pivotal place in film history and the extraordinary influence of the work of  Powell and Pressburger.