The film Three Billboards: The Billboards of Revenge triumphed on Sunday evening in London at the Bafta ceremony, the British cinema awards, winning five prizes, including best film, best screenplay and best actress.
While the cinema industry has been shaken by several sexual abuse scandals in recent months, the mobilization movements were widely welcomed during the evening. And as a symbol, it is the American actress Frances McDormand, who plays a mother who fights for justice in Three Billboards: The Billboards of Revenge who was crowned best actress.
“As Martin (McDonagh, the British director) said, I have a little trouble with deference, she said after receiving her award. I stand in solidarity with my sisters in struggle,” she added, referring to the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns.
“This film is both full of hope and anger,” said Martin McDonagh. As we have seen in recent times, anger is sometimes the only way to be heard and to achieve change.
Three awards for Guillermo del Toro’s film
British director Ridley Scott has received the highest distinction from the British Academy of Cinema, rewarding his entire career.
The fantasy movie the shape of water, nominated twelve times, left with three distinctions, including that of best director for the Mexican Guillermo del Toro. He paid tribute to “English culture”, a “source of inspiration”, and in particular to Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, “who could do so much with so little”, as well as to the author Mary Shelley, mentioning his novel Frankestein or the modern Prometheus.
Already awarded at the Golden Globes of the foreign press in Hollywood, Gary Oldman received for the first time in his career the Bafta for best actor,. He hailed the British statesman in his acceptance speech. “In 1940, he was able to maintain the values of honor, integrity and freedom for this nation and the world,” he said. The film also won the prize for best make-up, a tribute to the physical transformation performed on Gary Oldman, which required no less than four hours of daily work.
The issue of sexual harassment raised
The Swiss co-production I Am Not Your Negro by Haitian director Raoul Peck was awarded in the documentary category. The film is a meditation on the representation of African-American identity, an invitation to question the very foundations of what America represents.
Also in competition in the category of best animated film, theValaisan Claude Barras was not awarded. This feature film tells the story of a little boy, Courgette, sent to an orphanage after the loss of his parents. It’s the movie coconut, inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead, the latest achievement from Disney studios, which won the trophy.
The issue of sexual harassment, which has shaken the cinema industry in recent months with the revelation of several abusers, was addressed from the first minutes of the evening. “Our industry has gone through a difficult year. Courageous revelations of harassment and sexual abuse have followed one another,” acknowledged Jane Lush, the director of the academy, in her opening speech. She hoped that the current mobilization, and the recent publication of a charter, would be a “catalyst for lasting change”.
The mistress of ceremonies, actress Joanna Lumley, made the connection between the fight led by the Suffragettes a century ago to obtain the right to vote, and the Time’s Up campaign, seeing in it the same “determination to eradicate the abuse of which women are victims”.
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“Three Billboards: The Panels of Revenge”, big winner of the Bafta