SILENT movie The Artist made a big noise at the Bafta film awards - winning seven awards including Best Film, Leading Actor and Best Director.
The film - a homage to the silent era of Hollywood - swept the board. The only low point was seeing its leading lady Berenice Bejo lose out in the Outstanding Actress award to Meryl Streep.
The director of The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius, picked up the gong for Original Screenplay, saying: “I’m very surprised because so many people thought there was no script because there was no dialogue, so English people are very clever. Congratulations to you.”
Hazanavicius also picked up the Best Director award, while the film’s star, Jean Dujardin, was presented with the Leading Actor award. The Artist also picked up awards for Original Music, Cinematography and Costume Design.
The Orange British Academy Film Awards, held at the Royal Opera House in London, began with a bang with Sir Tom Jones belting out the theme to the James Bond film Thunderball to mark half-a-century of the superspy’s cinema adventures.
The award for Film Not In The English Language was given to Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In. Actor-turned director Paddy Considine and Diarmid Scrimshaw won the gong for Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer for their film Tyrannosaur.
The award for Outstanding British Film was given to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The Supporting Actress award was presented to Octavia Spencer for The Help, while the Best Supporting Actor gong went to Christopher Plummer for Beginners.
Billy Bob Thornton presented John Hurt with the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. The only gong voted for by the viewing public - The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award - was given to Kidulthood actor Adam Deacon.
The award for Best Documentary went to Senna, while the gong for Adapted Screenplay went to husband and wife team Peter Straughan and Bridget O’Connor for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
The night ended with a tribute to British cinema from Raging Bull director Martin Scorsese who was given the Bafta Fellowship.