As such, Zhao has become the second woman to win Best Director in 53 years of Bafta history.
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Elsewhere, Sir Anthony Hopkins made history when he picked up the Best Actor gong for his role in The Father, making him the oldest-ever male acting winner. And Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman, a rape-revenge comedy starring Carey Mulligan, took the awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best British Film.
The award for Best Supporting Actress, meanwhile, went to Minari’s Yuh-Jung Youn, Best Supporting Actor to Daniel Kaluuya for his memorable performance in Judas And The Black Messiah, and the talented Bukky Bakray – who dazzled us all in Rocks – was named Bafta Rising Star.
Here, then, are the seven standout moments from this year’s Bafta Film Awards.
Sir Anthony Hopkins was a Zoom no-show
Hopkins did not appear to accept his Best Actor award… because he was busy painting, apparently.
Popping up on video at a press conference later, the actor said that he was “astounded” to have won, and had been busily working on his canvases at the time of the announcement.
“I am sitting here covered in paint,” said Hopkins, “and I heard a massive cheer next door. I thought it was a football match.”
Bukky Bakray paid tribute to DMX
Bakray made sure to honour all of those who have died over the past year, including American rapper DMX.
“Sleep well to everyone else who died last year and this year, who went to bed indefinitely,” she said. “I truly believe it is the love and the light that you have left on this universe which is holding us all today.”
Later, speaking to Digital Spy after winning the award, Bakray opened up about not expecting Rocks to be the break-out hit that it was.
“When we filmed Rocks, I thought 100 people would watch the film, maximum. I didn’t think it would have this reach,” she reflected.
“I was texting [co-star] Kosar Ali today. I said, ‘This is actually mad, walking around in the Savoy Hotel, speaking to you right now is insane.’ I didn’t imagine any of this, I couldn’t have.”
Emerald Fennell kept things honest and hilarious
Nibbling on a melting chocolate Bafta in a very lavish hotel room, Fennell made sure to pay tribute to everyone involved in the making of Promising Young Woman.
“Oh wow, this is too much, just looking at all the other films nominated I just can’t believe our film was among so many incredible films,” she said.
“I’m so grateful to every single person who made this film, it was really a labour of love, pretty much everyone did this film for a packet of crisps!
“There are so many people I want to come to your house and kiss you which I can’t do for various reasons!”
Youn Yuh-jung made sure to thank us “British snobs” for liking Minari
In one of the night’s best speeches, the 73-year-old Minari star said: “Thank you so much for this award. Every award is meaningful, but this one, especially [to be] recognised by British people, known as very snobbish people, and they approve me as a good actor.
“So I’m very, very privileged and happy.”
Chloe Zhao made film awards history, again
Zhao didn’t just become the second woman to win the Bafta for Best Director; the Nomadland creator also made history as the first Chinese filmmaker to ever win the award.
“We would like to dedicate this award to the nomadic community who so generously welcomed us into their lives,” she said.
“They shared with us their dreams, their struggles and their deep sense of dignity. Thank you for showing us that aging is a beautiful part of life, a journey that we should all cherish and celebrate.
“How we treat our elders says a lot about who we are as a society and we need to do better.”
Daniel Kaluuya gave an incredibly chilled acceptance speech
Looking positively flawless in his slick white suit, Kaluuya appeared at the ceremony virtually with a huge smile on his face.
“It’s early in the morning here, I’m just here chillin’,” he said. “It’s a vibe”.
Speaking about his role as Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton, he continued: “It’s an honour to be a vessel for him.”
Kaluuya then went on to thank three key cultural figures from his childhood: “Cathy Tyson, Roy Williams and Ashley Walters, for being a light and guiding the way.”
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.
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