Boyhood, the revolutionary film shot with the same cast several days at a time over 12 years, has taken the top prizes at this year’s Bafta Awards.
Praised for its sensitive depiction of six-year-old’s path to the verge of maturity, Boyhood was handed best film, best director for Richard Linklater and best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette.
Although Linklater wasn’t present at London’s Royal Opera House to collect the awards, Ellar Coltrane, who played the boy at the heart of the film, summed up the cast’s feelings.
Accepting the award from Tom Cruise, he commented: “We get asked a lot if we expected the way Boyhood has been received, and the answer is: ‘of course not.’
“The truth is it didn’t really feel like a movie for most of the time that we were making it. It felt more like an exercise of collaboration and vulnerability.
“The fact that a movie like this, that is most interested in the simplicity of human interaction, is being recognized alongside such grand pieces art, to me means that life itself, without anything explosive or tragic, must be more exciting than we let on.”
In what was seen as a battle of the Brits in the best actor category, Eddie Redmayne repeated his Golden Globe coup in trumping Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of World War II code-breaker Alan Turing with his own performance as Stephen Hawking in the Theory of Everything.
While the Theory of Everything also took the Outstanding British Film and Adapted Screenplay honours, Cumberbatch and everyone else involved in Turing biopic The Imitation Game could only watch as they failed to take a single award.
Julianne Moore took the best actress gong for her role as a sufferer of early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, which isn’t released in UK cinemas until March.
JK Simmons proved a popular choice as best supporting actor for his turn as a music teacher who goes to extreme measures in Whiplash, which also picked up best editing and best sound.
The night’s most prolific winner was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which took a total of five Baftas, including best original screenplay for director/writer Wes Anderson.
There was an especially big cheer when The Lego Movie, surprisingly snubbed last month’s Oscar nominations, was announced as best animated film.
As he picked up the award with fellow director Christopher Miller, Phil Lord poked fun at the Oscars, telling Bafta: “You win the award for best academy. You are our favourite academy.”
After appearing in three critically-acclaimed films in 2014, former Skins actor Jack O’Connell rounded off a stellar 12-months by claiming the EE rising star award, voted for by the public.