The Revenant, a dark drama about survival and revenge, swept Britain’s biggest movie awards on Sunday, grabbing the prize for best film while Leonardo DiCaprio was named best actor and Alejandro G. Inarritu best director.
The movie earned five British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards, including for cinematography and sound, at a ceremony in London, two weeks before it vies for Hollywood’s top honors, the Oscars, Reuters reported.
In the film, which has already picked up several trophies in this awards season and leads Oscar nominations, DiCaprio portrays fur-trapper Hugh Glass, who after being attacked by a bear, is left for dead by his companions during an 1820s expedition. He survives in harsh winter conditions and sets out for revenge.
DiCaprio is heavily favored to win the best actor Academy Award on Feb. 28, which would be his first in five Oscar acting nominations.
In collecting his first BAFTA, he paid tribute to his mother and listed actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Gary Oldman and Peter O’Toole among his inspirations.
“All of this was not expected tonight … Often we have talked about how difficult this movie was to make, and it was, but we are so proud,” he told reporters.
Inarritu, the Mexican director whose film Birdman won last year’s Oscar for best picture, said the prizes were “overwhelming”.
Continuing a winning streak for the portrayal of a young mother held captive with her son in Room, Brie Larson prevailed in the leading actress category and is also favored to win the Oscar.
Kate Winslet won the supporting actress category for her portrayal in Steve Jobs of the late Apple co-founder’s colleague Joanna Hoffman, while Mark Rylance was named best supporting actor for his Soviet spy role in Bridge of Spies.
Action adventure Mad Max: Fury Road was the second biggest winner on the night with four prizes in editing, makeup and hair, costume design and production design.
The Big Short, a movie on the US financial crisis, won for adapted screenplay while Spotlight, about a newspaper investigation into Catholic Church sex abuse, won best original screenplay. Irish immigrant story Brooklyn won outstanding British film.
Lesbian romance drama Carol went home empty-handed after leading BAFTA nominations with Bridge of Spies with nine nods each.
The industry did not shy away from the big theme of the awards season: the outcry over the lack of diversity among Oscar nominees in the four acting categories for the second straight year, which revived the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite.
Several guests poked fun at the controversy and the Oscar organizers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“I have never been invited to the Oscars because, as you know, they are racist,” Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson said as she introduced a BAFTA award.
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