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‘La La Land’ Dominates at The 2017 BAFTA Awards

A diverse group of winners, including Emma Stone and Casey Afflek, royal guests and stunning red carpet looks at the 70th Bafta Awards.

British royalty and a good turnout of Hollywood A-listers helped make the 70th Bafta Awards one to remember on Sunday, 12 February. Steven Fry was on hosting duties for the 12th time as some of cinema’s greatest talents were honoured at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The biggest awards ceremony outside the US, The British Academy Film Awards, which is hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, is the last stop before the Oscars in two weeks’ time.  

There was a pretty formidable line-up of nominees this year, with “La La Land” leading the way. Going in with the highest number of nominations, 11, the nostalgic Hollywood musical scooped five awards, attesting to its winning streak. It won Best Picture, leaving “I, Daniel Blake, ” “Arrival,” “Manchester By The Sea” and “Moonlight” out in the cold. Damien Chazelle, the film’s 32-year-old director, walked home with the Best Director statuette. Emma Stone beat Leading Actress contenders Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman. Unsurprisingly, the movie also won for Best Original Musical.

However, the film, which scooped a record number of nine Golden Globes, didn’t really do as well as some expected.  It failed to take other projected wins for Original Screenplay, Costume Design, Sound, Production Design and Editing. Subsequently, contrary to the hype, it didn’t outdo or equal “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” when it won nine awards back in 1971. “La La Land,” which also stars Ryan Gosling, is nominated for 14 Academy Awards.

The Triumphs, Surprises & Disappointments
His role as a grieving handyman in gritty drama “Manchester by the Sea” saw Casey Affleck bouncing up to the podium with joy. Seeing he had to compete for Best Actor with Andrew Garfield, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Gosling and Viggo Mortensen, it was quite the accomplishment. Dev Patel, who stars in “Lion,” had the night’s only surprise victory, triumphing in the Best Supporting Actor category. His female counterpart, Viola Davis won for her part as Rose, a woman who sacrifices everything in “Fences,” which is based on the August Wilson play. Hayley Squires, Michelle Williams, Naomi Harris and Nicole Kidman were the other Best Supporting Actress hopefuls.

Dev Patel, Viola Davis and Casey Affleck

British director Ken Loach took the trophy for the Best British Film, “I, Daniel Blake,” a movie about the failings of the benefits system, which had already secured the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A 90-year-old Mel Brooks won the annual BAFTA Fellowship as a nod to his contribution to cinema, while 20-year-old Tom Holland was awarded the EE Rising Star Award, the only category voted by the public. The young “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actor is already proving to be one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.  

Mel Brooks
The only obvious movie that was left out was "Moonlight." Barry Jenkins's extremely heartbreaking film about a black, gay child growing up in Miami, was nominated for four awards, including Best Film and Best Original Screenplay, but didn’t win any.

                                                                             Tom Holland

6 Top Red Carpet Looks 
This year, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge added some extra special pizzazz to the star-studded event. Arriving fashionably late with Prince William, Kate Middleton stunned in an understated glamorous look in order not to outshine the others. Her tactfully floral patterned off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown, a modified version from the spring/summer 2016 Resort collection, was paired with a chic up-do and large, sparkling chandelier earrings.

                                                                              ​Kate Middleton 

 Winner Emma Stone, who is also nominated for an Oscar, was a frontrunner when it came to the best dressed as well in her dazzling, intricate Chanel Couture midi dress and matching embroidered trousers. She wore a pearl anklet and pointed silver shoes to finish off her look. Meanwhile, Penélope Cruz smouldered in a 70s style fluid metallic gold dress with draped sleeves by Atelier Versace, which she accessorized with matching platforms. Despite the freezing weather, “Lion” star Nicole Kidman chose a show-stopping Armani Privé dress, with a sparkling silver top and extremely plunging neckline. Her Harry Winston diamond necklace was also an attention-snatcher.

Nicole Kidman and Penélope Cruz 

Forty-two-year-old Amy Adams was very elegant in an emerald green strapless Tom Ford (naturally as he directed the film she was nominated for) dress. The gown dropped down at the back and featured a giant velvet bow. She chose to match it with heavy, bejewelled earrings. Nominee Michelle Williams is always a red carpet champ. Her silver, embellished mini length dress by Nicholas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton simply stood out.

Amy Adams and Michelle Williams

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