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Five Baftas for Martin McDonagh's 'Three Billboards'

The drama scooped best film, while Saoirse Ronan lost out to Frances McDormand in the best actress category.

Image: Yui Mok

MARTIN MCDONAGH’S THREE Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri captured five British Bafta film awards last night, including best film.

The movie, chronicling a grieving mother’s campaign for justice, won for original screenplay, while Frances McDormand bagged best actress and Sam Rockwell best supporting actor prizes.

It also scooped the outstanding British film award: to be eligible for this category a film must have had significant creative involvement  from individuals who are British (McDonagh was born in London to Irish parents).

The Shape of Water – the most heavily nominated film of the night with 12 nods – came away with only three awards, including best director for Guillermo Del Toro, while Darkest Hour claimed two prizes, including for Gary Oldman as best actor.

With Hollywood still reeling from the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the resulting anti-sexual harassment campaigns were reflected in the mood of the evening.

“Our film is a hopeful one in lots of ways but it’s also an angry one,” McDonagh, writer and director of Three Billboards, said in his acceptance speech.

And as we’ve seen this year, sometimes anger is the only way to get people to listen and to change, so we’re thrilled that Bafta has recognised this.

Stars arrived at London’s Royal Albert Hall predominantly dressed in black in solidarity with the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns, mirroring other recent American red carpets including last month’s Golden Globes.

Saoirse Ronan, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence and Kristin Scott Thomas were among the stars who wore black.

Britain BAFTA Awards 2018 Arrivals Saoirse Ronan Source: Joel C Ryan

‘Brave revelations’ 

Jane Lush, chair of Bafta, opened the evening by telling the star-studded audience it was important to acknowledge a “difficult” past year, and noted efforts to tackle gender inequality.

“Brave revelations have followed brave revelations of bullying and sexual harassment, and which to all our shame has been hidden in plain sight for decades,” she said.

This is a moment in history, it should be a watershed, a catalyst for lasting change.

Host Joanna Lumley also praised the gender equality movement as a continuation of the work of the Suffragettes a century ago.

She hailed the “determination to eradicate the abuse of women the world over” as she took to the stage.

Meanwhile in an open letter published before the awards, almost 200 British and Irish stars backed a new fund to help women facing sexual harassment and abuse at work.

It echoes a similar initiative launched in Hollywood last month, and was kick-started with a €1.13 million donation from actress and activist Emma Watson.

BAFTA Film Awards 2018 - After Party - London Allison Janney with her Best Supporting Actress award. Source: Yui Mok

Here are the main winners: 

Best film

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Outstanding British film

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Leading actor

Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Leading actress

Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Supporting actor

Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Supporting actress

Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Director

Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Original screenplay

Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Adapted screenplay

James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name)

EE rising star

Daniel Kaluuya

© – AFP 2018 with reporting from Daragh Brophy 

Read: Rex Ingram: Ireland’s forgotten Hollywood blockbuster film director >

Read: Actress Emma Watson donates £1 million to kickstart new anti-sexual harassment campaign >

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