Ben Affleck's 'Argo' wins three BAFTA Awards, including Best Film and Best Director
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"
Comments: Remember, Robert De Niro, who has been anywhere and everywhere hungry for that Oscar lately, wasn't nominated. Nevertheless, this was going to give some indication about who's really in the thick of this thing, and Christoph Waltz adds a BAFTA next to his Golden Globe while Tommy Lee Jones gets passed over. The SAG Award for Jones may have just been a blip. Waltz also benefits from basically being a co-lead in his film, much like Philip Seymour Hoffman in "The Master." Still, De Niro is gunning for it. And BAFTA, having nominated Tarantino for Best Director, obviously loved the movie. The award was presented by "Silver Linings Playbook" star Jennifer Lawrence.
Best Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Bart Layton (writer) and Dimitri Doganis (producer), "The Imposter"
Comments: I remain in the minority on this film, which just didn't resonate for me as it did for others, for a variety of reasons. I won't bother getting into that, though. Check out Guy's interview with Layton here. The award was presented by Billy Connelly.
Best Visual Effects: "Life of Pi"
Comments: Moving right along...
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Les Misérables"
Comments: Well, what else can you say? If "Lincoln" has real reach within the Academy, we might see Sally Field -- who has won every time she's been nominated -- steal this one. But this is a runaway train and has been ever since the film bowed at New York's Lincoln Center the day after Thanksgiving. The award was presented by George Clooney.
Best Adapted Screenplay: "Silver Linings Playbook"
Comments: That's an interesting win, and as I've noted elsewhere, a possibility that shouldn't be underestimated at the Oscars. Four heavyweights are duking it out for that prize and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" is the scrappy underdog. Gonna be a photo finish. Simon Pegg and Jennifer Garner presented the award.
Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award: Tessa Ross
Comments: This previously announced award was presented by Danny Boyle. Ross heads up Film4, the feature division of the Channel 4 network that has given a leg up to many of Bristish cinemas exciting new voices.
Best Film Not in the English Language: "Amour"
Comments: I don't suppose any other film had a real angle on it, but who knows? It will still be interesting to see if Emmanuelle Riva takes the Best Actress prize after the original screenplay was somewhat surprisingly skipped over. The award was presented by Tim Roth and Gemma Arterton.
Rising Star Award: Juno Temple
Comments: This one, remember, is decided by the public. So, you know... Nevertheless, at least the public had a choice crop to pick from this year, and Juno Temple is frankly a somewhat surprising choice. So, well done, public.
Best Documentary: "Searching for Sugar Man"
Comments: Look, I like "Searching for Sugar Man." But it's simply fluff next to the other contenders this year and it's started to drag that it's won so much. And opening the vote up to the entire Academy membership only solidifies the idea that a popular film will win. But look at something like "The Invisible War," which could bring about real change. Look at something like "5 Broken Cameras," which is a miracle in its mere existence. Anyway, just wanted to mention that. I do like the film. The award was presented by Martin Freeman and Henry Cavill, the Hobbit and the Man of Steel.
Best Production Design: "Les Misérables"
Comments: As noted above, I have a hunch "Les Misérables" can pull this off at the Oscars, too. "Anna Karenina" wasn't as widely seen or liked, mind you. Still, the split here at the BAFTAs between this and costumes is a bit odd. Safe to pick one film for both, I'd say. This is the fourth award for the film tonight and it was presented by Tom Hiddleston and Saoirse Ronan.
Best Director: Ben Affleck, "Argo"
Comments: I really thought Ang Lee might pull this one off. The writing has been on the wall for "Argo" but I think this goes a long way toward showing that the director snub at the Academy was an anomaly. This is simply a weird year. The award was presented by Ian McKellen.
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
Comments: I'm...pretty damn excited about this. And I do still have a hunch she will turn the same trick at the Oscars. Riva gave, for me, the hands-down best performance in any category this year. I don't see how one stacks up the competition and doesn't vote for her. BAFTA did. Will AMPAS?
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
Comments: Moving right along...
Best Film: "Argo"
Comments: And...there it is. "Life of Pi" did not stake its ground. "Argo" charged right on through the evening, winning four awards, including Best Film. Oscar is next...right?