The 2012 Baftas: Winners, Speeches and Stephen Fry

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With Stephen Fry hosting, the Baftas promised to be a charming, light-hearted and very British night of entertainment, and did not disappoint. The annual film and television awards were held last night at Covent Garden's Royal Opera House, and attracted some of the biggest names in cinema. Whilst the audience was littered with such stars as Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Meryl Streep, it was a silent, black and white French film which swept the awards.

The Unexpected Film of the Year

The film that is so surprisingly dominating the awards season is The Artist. Set in 1927, it tells the story of a silent movie actor whose career begins to wane just as his lover's career takes off in the ‘talkies'. After already winning big at the Golden Globes and gaining ten Oscar nominations, the movie won a massive seven awards last night. In total it won (deep breath): Best Film, Director, Original Screenplay, Leading Actor, Original Music, Cinematography and Costume Design.

The overjoyed (but slightly embarrassed) director and writer Michel Hazanavicius (pictured on the right above) had to come up on stage and make several different speeches, revealing "I know that I will have some bad days because I'm a director but I will remember this day, today, as a good day".

The Other Winners

Other winners on the night include Meryl Streep who took home Best Actress for the portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which won Outstanding British Film. Director Martin Scorsese was also inducted in to the Academy Fellowship for his lifetime contribution to film, which includes directing Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas and The Departed amongst many, many others.

One of the most touching moment of the ceremony came when Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy won Best Adapted Screenplay. The film's co-writer Peter Straughan first of all jokingly thanked The Artist "for not being adapted from a book", before paying tribute to his co-writer and wife who died before the film was released:

"She wrote all the good bits and I made the coffee, so Bridget I love you, I miss you, this is for you."

English intellectual, author, presenter and all round wit Stephen Fry hosted the event and brought his unique personality to the job. Throughout the night, he gently teased various celebrities in his verbose style, and his summing up at the end of the night was a thing of beauty. So, what better way to end this post than with his concluding speech in its entirety:

"It has always been true to say that we live in difficult and dark times, but it has never been truer than today. In times of austerity, doubt, darkness and fear, films can allow us to escape from the burdens and hardships of life. And they can shine a light on injustice. Film can reduce us to quivering wrecks with laughter, to help us forget and it can stun us with truth, to help us remember. There's no right or wrong genre or style of film. Next year more stories will have been put together to remind us that the art of movie storytelling is more alive than ever, blessed with as much creative talent as it ever has been in its history. I am so proud to have been allowed to stand here tonight as your host. Lets all keep lining up for tickets and sitting in the dark. Support your local cinema, live and love film. From us all, thank you and goodnight."

Stephen Fry's Baftas Closing Speech 


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