A gracious monarch and a charismatic dictator took the top prizes at the
British Academy Film Awards on Sunday.
"The Queen" clinched best film and
Helen Mirren got best actress for her portrayal of the monarch, while "The Last
King of Scotland" scooped three awards.
In contrast, the latest James
Bond movie failed to shake or stir, picking up just one of the nine BAFTA
nominations it received -- winning the sound quality category.
The other main victor on a night of glitz and glamor in London's
theater-packed West End was "Pan's Labyrinth" which also picked up three awards.
All eyes were on Mirren as she accepted the mask-shaped trophy at a
star-studded BAFTA award ceremony at the Royal Opera House.
Mirren paid tribute to Britain's Elizabeth II, whom she said she "hugely
respected" and whose character she had been trying to reach through her
"That's the person I'm trying to constantly fight my way to being, not like
my own chaotic Helen Mirreny self," she said. "Just to be nominated on that
great powerhouse of talent was fantastic."
Mirren dedicated her award to British actor Ian Richardson, who died last
Mirren, 61, beat Judi Dench, nominated for her role in the school sex drama
"Notes on a Scandal," Penelope Cruz in "Volver," Meryl Streep in the fashion
comedy "The Devil Wears Prada" and Kate Winslet in "Little Children."
"Scotland" was honored with the Alexander Korda Award for outstanding British
film of the year, one of the seven awards hosted on the night to be voted for by
the BAFTA jury. It earned actor Forest Whitaker the much-coveted best actor
trophy for his tour de force as the despotic Ugandan dictator, seeing off
competition from Daniel Craig, Leonardo DiCaprio, Peter O'Toole and Richard
Whitaker paid tribute to director Kevin MacDonald, executive producer Tessa
Ross and co-star James McAvoy in his acceptance speech. "I have to thank
(McAvoy), his support made my work shine," the actor said.
also won the best adapted screenplay award for writer Peter Morgan and Jeremy
"Labyrinth," set against the postwar repression of Franco's Spain,
took home awards for best film not in the English language, best costume design
and best makeup and hair.
"Little Miss Sunshine" won Alan Arkin the best supporting actor award and
also took the award for original screenplay for Michael Arndt ahead of
competition from "United 93" and "Queen."