'The Artist' sweeps BAFTAs, winning best picture, director, actor
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.
"The Artist," the mostly silent black-and-white film made by a French cast and crew, was named best picture of the year at the Orange British Academy Awards on Sunday.
The picture swept Britain's top film awards, taking home seven of the 12 awards it was up for, including a prize for Jean Dujardin as lead actor and two for director-writer Michel Hazanavicius. Dujardin was also recently named lead actor by the Screen Actors Guild, while Hazanavicius took home the Directors Guild of America's top prize last month.
After receiving honors from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, it seems increasingly likely that both Frenchmen have a viable shot of scoring Oscar statuettes on Feb. 26.
The battle for lead actress is less clear, as Meryl Streep was given the BAFTA award for her portrayal of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." She beat out Viola Davis, who won the SAG award for her performance in "The Help," while Streep was named lead actress in a drama at the Golden Globes.
Meanwhile, two locks seem to be award season favorites -- Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer -- who received the BAFTA supporting actor and actress prizes. Plummer, 82, won for his role as an elderly gay man who reveals his sexuality to his son in "Beginners," while Spencer was recognized for her part as a fiesty maid in "The Help."
Other awards Sunday went to "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" for outstanding British film and to Pedro Almodóvar's "The Skin I Live In" for foreign-language picture. "Rango," featuring a lizard voiced by Johnny Depp, won for animated film.
Last year, eventual Oscar best picture winner "The King's Speech" took home the top prize at the BAFTAs, which took place at London's Royal Opera House.
Here's a full list of the BAFTA winners:
"TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY," Tomas Alfredson, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo,
Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
"TYRANNOSAUR," Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
"THE SKIN I LIVE IN," Pedro Almodóvar, Agustin Almodóvar
"SENNA," Asif Kapadia
"RANGO," Gore Verbinski
"THE ARTIST," Michel Hazanavicius
"TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY," Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan
"THE ARTIST," Ludovic Bource
"THE ARTIST," Guillaume Schiffman
"SENNA," Gregers Sall, Chris King
"HUGO," Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo
"THE ARTIST," Mark Bridges
MAKE UP & HAIR
"THE IRON LADY," Marese Langan
"HUGO," Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman, John Midgley
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
"HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS -- PART 2," Tim Burke, John Richardson, Greg Butler, David Vickery
"A MORNING STROLL," Grant Orchard, Sue Goffe
"PITCH BLACK HEIST," John Maclean, Gerardine O'Flynn
THE ORANGE WEDNESDAYS RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
[For the record, 4:27 p.m. Feb. 12: A previous version of this post stated that the Oscars are next weekend. The Oscars ceremony is Feb. 26.]
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Jean Dujardin, left, and Missi Pyle star in "The Artist." Credit: The Weinstein Co.