Skyfall gives Bond his first BAFTA for 50 years
Skyfall has beaten the bookies’ favourite Les Miserables to win the Outstanding British Film award at the Baftas – a first recognition for James Bond in 50 years.
The film, directed by Sam Mendes, beat stiff competition from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Anna Karenina and Seven Psychopaths.
It was the first award for the 007 franchise since 1963, when it received a nod for cinematography for Ted Moore’s From Russia With Love.
Aside from that, it has received 42 nominations over the past 50 years, largely for technical awards rather than the more glamorous acting or best film categories.
It also took the award for best original music by Thomas Newman, including the title track performed by Adele.
Dame Judi Dench, who played M, leapt up with excitement as the result was announced.
Accepting the award, Michael G Wilson, one of the producers, thanked all those who had worked on the franchise to ensure it was “loved throughout the world”, adding: “This is a first for the James Bond film.”
Newman, thanked the original creators for the “iconic title track which always makes everyone stand up and smile”, as he accepted his composer’s award. The recognition will bring fresh hopes for further success at this year’s Oscars, where a special celebration honouring the Bond franchise is already planned.
Skyfall was nominated for a total of eight awards at the Baftas this year, including Dench, who lost out to Anne Hathaway in the best supporting actress category. It was the first time she had been recognised by Bafta for playing M, and follows her 17-year stint in the role.
Hathaway, who is widely expected to win an Oscar for her role in Les Miserables, fought back tears as she accepted the accolade
She said: “I share this with the cast and the crew who are the most golden-hearted group of loves whose talent knocks me sideways everyday.”
Paying tribute to her co-stars Hugh Jackman and Eddie Redmayne, who was backstage suffering from food poisoning, added: “Get well soon. I would be holding your head back, but, you know?…”
Javier Bardem, who played Skyfall’s villain to wide critical acclaim, was also nominated in the hotly contested category of best supporting actor, which was won by Christoph Waltz for his part in Django Unchained.
Waltz paid tribute to the film’s director, Quentin Tarantino, after accepting his award from Jennifer Lawrence.
“It all starts with Quentin Tarantino,” he said. “What touches me the most is your unconditional trust that I will put your creation to its proper use, you silver-penned devil you.”
Casino Royale has previously received nine nominations; a record for the Bond franchise. Earlier this week, Barry Norman, the veteran film critic, told The Daily Telegraph: “Bafta doesn’t like 007 much. Of late, I think a second kind of snobbery has come into play.
“Bond movies are now overlooked simply because the franchise is so successful – between them the films have grossed around $7 billion at the box office.
“They are extremely popular, and earnest bestowers of film awards certainly don’t want to be seen merely following public opinion.”
The awards were hosted by Stephen Fry at the Royal Opera House in London last night, as stars braved driving rain and snow to walk a slippery red carpet.
Dame Helen Mirren, who was up for best actress for her role in Hitchcock, stopped to tell fans about her newly cropped pink hairstyle – inspired by the television show America’s Next Top Model. “Honestly, I just thought it would be fun,” she said. “You know the British girl who won? Well, I saw she had pink hair and thought she looked really pretty. It’s fun.”
Speaking of the importance of awards, she said: “They are incredibly important, particularly for small films.”
Tarantino won best original screenplay for Django Unchained, while Life of Pi took the Cinematography award.
Les Miserables won technical awards for sound and also make-up and hair.