The British Academy of Film and Television Arts gave five awards to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant and four to Mad Max: Fury Road, tying the two movies in a contest for glory that will last all the way to the Oscars on February 29. The Danish Girl and Carol, both high-profile prestige pictures featuring award-friendly performances, went home empty-handed at the awards ceremony, which took place in London on February 14.
The Revenant, which opens in India on February 26, continues to dominate the awards season, especially because of Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as a fur trapper who is left for dead by his companions after an attack by a grizzly bear. DiCaprio was named Best Actor, and the movie also picked up gongs in the categories that matter – Best film, Best director, Best cinematography and Best sound.
Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s acclaimed contributions to The Revenant also bagged him top honours at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards (his third consecutive win after Gravity and Birdman, and his fifth).
George Miller’s action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road bagged four prizes in the technical categories of make-up and hair, editing, costume design and production design. Among the snubs were Todd Haynes’s Carol, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt and exploring the relationship between two women. Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl has been passed over by most award juries, and despite its strong British connections (directed by Tom Hooper, starring Eddie Redmayne), the film came a cropper.
John Crowley’s Brooklyn, a period drama tracing an Irish immigrant woman’s journey to New York City in the 1950s, won Outstanding British film. However, lead Saoirse Ronan lost the Best actress prize to Brie Larson in Room.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens picked up a statue for best special visual effects, while Amy, British filmmaker Asif Kapadia’s biographical documentary on the singer Amy Winehouse, won the Best documentary award, strengthening the film’s case for the Oscars.
The biggest non-surprise of the evening was Peter Docter’s Inside Out: it won for Best animated film, and its Oscar victory now seems a foregone conclusion. The Wall Street satire The Big Short won for Best adapted screenplay, while Best original screenplay went to Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight, about the Boston Globe newspaper’s expose of the Catholic church’s cover-up of sexual abuse by priests.
Mary Rylance won as Best supporting actor in Steven Spielberg’s Cold War-era drama Bridge of Spies, while the prize for Best supporting actress went to Kate Winslet in Danny Boyle’s biopic Steve Jobs.