Posted Feb 12 2017
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LastWord Live Blogs The BAFTAs 2017 - Hit REFRESH For Updates Throughout

And here we are once more, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, gathered for an evening of air kisses and luvvie-ness. And, of course, Stephen Fry. The big question on everyone’s beautifully perfect lips is – are we in for a La La Land shut out? It probably won’t feature in some of the early awards so the night may well take some time to reveal itself.

This year the BAFTAs have forsaken the Royal Opera House for the Royal Albert Hall, and yes, the BAFTAs have gone back to the tradition of starting the show with something totally random! Cue Cirque du Soleil who thought they were due a night off. (They're currently playing the Albert every other night of the week.) As in the past we just watch and ask ourselves "What the hell has this got to do with the movies?"

And then the sculptured wordplay of Mr Fry doing his oh-so-smart-but-loveable-and-accessible bit. And as ever, boy, does he do it well.

“Cop a load of this bitches” as Stephen’s grandmother used to say – here’s the clip reel, with Rag n’ Bone man accompanying.

Monologue starts with the Will & Kate suck up – and Danny Dyer gets a mention at the BAFTAs for the first – and last – time. Over-rated gag plays well. Then he starts on the audience – Stone, Loach and co. Amy Adams comes with a rival to rival Arrival gag…planning permission allowed for Hugh Grant and justly praised Meryl…crowd goes crazy…And Stephen gets his yearly kiss from Meryl…Time to move on to Moonlight which he blames on the boogie...Casey Affleck - looking animated as ever! Emily Blunt - at least she knows how to smile...Andrew Garfield has brought his hair - all of it!...Fry reaches a legal limit of sycophantic fawning and cracks on with the awards - via a Putin gag...

Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman are on hand to present Outstanding British Film to I, Daniel Blake – come on, it has to be…It is!  Hurrah! Ken makes his speech - heartfelt, powerful, and right on the (lack of) money. Rich people applaud the poor – but Loach owns his moment – “It’s a bit early for a political speech, I’m sorry…” Despite the glitz and the glamour “we’re with the people.”

Next up we’re onto the EE Rising Star – or as we’re calling it this year – The Tom Holland Award. Viola Davis does the honours. And we’re shocked – NOT! Where was that quick reaction shot of former Spider Man Andrew Garfield? Holland is very sweet and polite – and thanks his acting coaches. Bless!

In laws Emily Blunt & Stanley Tucci show up next to present Best Adapted Screenplay – which goes to Lion – we called Arrival, we were wrong. Luke Davies accepts. (Is this a sign of things to come?)

And we’re on to the biggies, with Hugh Grant on hand to give face to Supporting Actress. Hugh is as wonderfully witty as ever with his history of his own “female parts.” Hope Viola Davis hasn’t gone far. She hasn’t. We called Hayley Squires early in the week, but there’s no denying the power of Viola (or the impact her recent Life In Pictures talk at BAFTA had on this win.) Great speech!

Bryce Dallas Howard and Riz Ahmed are on hand to present Best Animated – which goes to Kubo & the Two Strings - cool. We weren't expecting this but fair to say, the Best film won. Long live Laika!

Moving along at a right old clip, the next face is scheduled to go to Special Visual Effects. We opted for Jungle Book, but have a feeling that Daisy Ridley and Luke Evans may well be handing it to Rogue One – for Peter Cushing if nothing else. And – with some help from the in residence Cirque, - we were right the first time. Jungle Book wins becasue Jungle Book is almost one big long special effect. Emphasis on "special."

Mr Fry takes a moment to celebrate that BAFTA is turning 70 this year. Will Prince William lead the Happy Birthday singalong? Nope.

Instead we move onto Outstanding Debut – Jamie Dornan and Ralf Spall do the honours. And it’s Under The Shadow – our average is going seriously down, we called Notes On Blindness. (Whoops!)

Back to the biggies – with Felicity Jones (doing her best posh) on hand to deliver Supporting Actor to Dev Patel! IN YOUR FACE!!! Sorry, bit carried away,  but we did say earlier in the week...(and nobody else did!)

Fry keeps sneaking in those Trump gags.

Time for the In Memorium bit – which is really going to be another reminder of just how shitty a year 2016 was...Yep!

Onto one of the special awards - Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award - is up now and Isabelle Huppert is here to deliver the face to Curzon, producers, financiers, distributors of foreign fare and cinema owners. Huppert goes for a Brexit reference before the excellent clip reel.

Original Screenplay is next and will this be where La La starts to assert itself? Thandie Newton is here to tell us. This is a pivotal one for Chazelle and co as it indicates just how strong the La La love is – and it…obviously isn’t that strong! Lonergan gets it for Manchester – what does this mean for the rest of the evening??

Lonergan talks of his 15 year old daughter going to protest demonstrations and Casey Affeck actually smiles!!

And then - as if by magic - Penelope Cruz hands Leading Actor to Casey Affleck - who smiles again!

The recently knighted and “utterly untouchable” Mark Rylance (for once without the wanky hat) is on hand to hand out the gong for Director – and you can cut the tension with a knife. Is Chazelle still the favourite? Is La La still pulling off the significant awards? Is Rylance ever going to stop going on and get on with it?? He does and it goes to - Damien Chazelle. Game back on!

Leading Actress is to be handed out by Eddie Redmayne. He does his boyish charming thing – as good as ever – and gives good face to the justly deserved Emma Stone. Phew! We were almost worried at one moment there.

It’s the big one – and the curious combo of Noomi Rapace and Tom Hiddleston are here to do so. Is this the start of Hiddlepace? Or Noomleston?? Weird! But the Best Film is - does it get the third in a row? Yes - just as we called it - it's La La all the way. (Oscar here they come!)

And the ones we missed – Arrival picked up Best Sound, La La Land nabbed Cinematography and  – naturally enough – Music, but Editing went to Hacksaw Ridge. Florence Foster Jenkins took Make-Up & Hair, with Jackie taking Costumes. 13th beat The Beatles for Best Doc and Son Of Saul proved enduring in the Film Not In The English Language. And we’re delighted to say old friend of the site Stuart Craig and his team took Production Design for FBAWTFT (as we call called it.)

And the evening climaxed with Prince Bill, Simon Pegg & Nathan Lane presenting the Fellowship to Mel Brooks - we told you that would be a grood clip reel! And Mel apologised for the American Revolution ("We were young.")

And then to top the whole evening off - Casey cracked yet another smile for Stephen Fry's final Chaplin joke. An evening of wonders all round!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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