London (February 20, 2018): Director Martin McDonagh’s bleak drama about a mother’s quest for answers about her daughter’s murder struck a nerve with British Academy of Film and Television Arts voters.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won five statues at Sunday’s BAFTA film awards, including best film and best British film. (McDonagh has duel British and Irish citizenship.)
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The movie also picked up best original screenplay and individual honors for Frances McDormand (best leading actress) and Sam Rockwell (best supporting actor).
McDonagh missed out on best director, losing to Guillermo del Toro for his work on “Shape of Water.”The BAFTA Awards can be a hit-or-miss indicator of what may come at next month’s Academy Awards. In the past ten ceremonies, there have only been four instances in which the winner of the BAFTA Award for best film did not go on to win best picture — 2008, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Final voting for the Oscars begins February 20. Other big winners Sunday included Gary Oldman (best actor, “Darkest Hour”), Allison Janney (best supporting actress, “I, Tonya”) and “Call Me By Your Name” (best adapted screenplay).
But there were few surprises among the main awards on a night when the main talking point came from the fact most guests wore black in support of the Time’s Up and Me Too campaigns.Three Billboards, set in the wake of a gruesome killing in Missouri, was written and directed by British-born Martin McDonagh and had British financial backing – it was a 50/50 joint production between the UK’s Film4 and US company Fox Searchlight.
The Shape of Water led the Bafta nominations with 12, but came away with three – best director, production design and original music.
This was Gary Oldman’s first Bafta for acting – although he won for writing and directing Nil By Mouth 20 years ago.
Allison Janney, best known for The West Wing, won best supporting actress for I, Tonya – it was her first Bafta nomination.
Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya was a popular winner of the Rising Star award, and paid a heartfelt thanks to his mum in his speech.
At the age of 89, James Ivory – of Merchant Ivory fame – won best adapted screenplay for Call Me By Your Name.
Sir Ridley Scott has never won a competitive Bafta but got his third honorary award with the Bafta Fellowship (he got a “special award” in 1992 and an “outstanding contribution” in 1995).