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Shadows AwardsShadows at the Baftas bafta Bafta 2008 Blow by Blow

N O M I N A T I O N S • Fri 15 Jan 08
Nomination notes by Rich: There aren't any major surprises in this year's Bafta nominations, besides the usual disparity between films that are eligible in the US and UK. Obviously, Bafta voters were going to lean more toward British films like Atonement, Eastern Promises and The Bourne Ultimatum than Oscar voters will next week. Although it's interesting that Marion Cotillard's breathaking performance was enough to raise the otherwise mediocre La Vie en Rose into so many nominations. And why so much love for a poorly received film like American Gangster? Still, I find it hard to imagine Oscar coming up with a better list of nominations than this.

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ross RICH CLINE COMMENTS: It's been a warm day in London with bright sunshine that feels more like April than February, but the temperature plunged just around the time the red carpet chaos started in Covent Garden. Amid the crush of jostling fans and paparazzi, the stars were shivering in their sleeveless gowns, trying desperately not to wear their jackets for their interviews with the bland E! crew (no spark of life with Ruby Wax or Kathy Griffin this year, alas). I was in the area this afternoon and tried to get a glimpse of the arrivals, but the crush of people was impossible so I came home to watch on TV.

green This is the second year the Baftas have been held at the Royal Opera House, a seriously glamorous venue that really makes the event shine. The stage set this year was a bit busy and space-aged, with a gigantic mirror reflecting the grand hall back at the cameras. Jonathan Ross was once again the host, although his flat monologue only made us long for the brighter days of Stephen Fry. It didn't help that he entered through a (literally) flabby 300 joke, or that his jokes had been harshly edited so the audience sounded like a cheesy laugh track. his genuinely funny lines got lost in the shuffle.

labeouf After the introductory montage of films of the year, it's time for the Alexander Korda Award for British Film: This Is England, presented by the ball of muscle that used to be Sylvester Stallone. The equally chunky Shane Meadows hugs Paddy Considine on his way to the stage. Next is the Rising Star, voted by the public and presented by last year's winner, the increasingly Mortitia-like Eva Green. Sadly, Shia LaBeouf is "filming" somewhere . This is followed by the first of five mini-docs about the film nominees - There Will Be Blood.

newton Now it's time for Thandie Newton, elegant as ever in a sleek, lacy number, presenting Foreign Film to a warm and grateful, and very tall, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (plus his pals Quirin and Max). Alfonso Cuaron looks a little rushed and nervous as he presents Adapted Screenplay to a gleeful Ronald Harwood, who gives a big hug to Julian Schnabel and announces, "I'm no longer on strike!" Then it's time for The Lives of Others mini-doc.

bardem In the night's most dramatic gown, a silver and white concoction that still somehow looks gorgeous, Marion Cotillard presents Supporting Actor to an articulate, generous and very funny Javier Bardem, who nicknames the Coens "Mommy and Daddy". Orlando Bloom struggles to get through the lame intro script for the Carl Forman Award for First-time Filmmaker, which goes to Control screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh, who delivers a warm, thorough thank you. And here's the mini-doc for Atonement, followed by the award for a 60-second movie, but the winner isn't there to accept her award. Honestly.

blunt The beautiful Emily Blunt is wrapped in glittery seafoam, perhaps the night's least flattering dress, as she presents Visual Effects to three guys from The Golden Compass. The American thanks everyone on earth, while the two Brits just say hi to their kids. And here's a grinning Cuba Gooding Jr, of all people, putting on specs to present Supporting Actress to the funny, warm and too-cool Tilda Swinton, who is wearing the night's most insane gown. "Proof that I'm astonished," she says, "or I'd never have work this skirt."

swinton After a break for the news, things liven up briefly as Eddie Izzard offers one of his trademark hysterically surreal riffs, presenting Animated Feature to Ratatouille, which is accepted by the other Brad, producer Brad Lewis. The next mini-doc is about America Gangster. And then another deadpan comic, Hugh Laurie, presents Original Screenplay to Diablo Cody, who looks great in leopard skin, but seems nervous - and a bit over-serious - on stage. This is followed by the In Memoriam segment, which includes greats like Ingmar Bergman, Deborah Kerr, Freddie Francis, Betty Hutton and Jane Wyman, plus far-before-their-time actors Brad Renfro, Ulrich Muhe and Heath Ledger.

cotillard A chatty Daniel Radcliffe presented the Michael Balcon Award for contribution to British cinema to prop manager Barry Wilkinson, veteran of Titanic, Indiana Jones and a few Harry Potter and James Bond movies. He nervously reads a brief thank you. And now the dashing Ian McKellen presents Best Director to the Coen brothers; Joel is there to give a short but sweet acceptance. And as if on cue, there's the No Country for Old Men mini-doc. Next is a swaggering, smiling Harvey Keitel, presenting Best Actress to Marion Cotillard, who is overcome with emotion and virtually speechless. "It's been the most incredible adventure," she gushes gorgeously.

day-lewis With her shimmery gold dress, Kate Hudson wins the sheer glamour award, presenting Best Actor to a so-nice-it-hurts Daniel Day-Lewis, who rambles a bit in his speech. Then Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum turn up, trying to be this year's Lewis and Martin, to present Best Film to Atonement, accepted with British ease by three producers and director Joe Wright. And finally, it's the Dickie and Tony show, as the Academy Fellowship is presented by a gushing Lord Attenborough to Sir Anthony Hopkins. Cue the big bear hug and a warm off-the-cuff speech.

hopkins Then, for those of us watching on TV, we see brief clips of the awards cut from the telecast: Ricky Gervais presents Live-action Short to Dog Altogether, accepted by writer-director Paddy Considine, then Animated Short to The Pearce Sisters; Naomi Harris and Rosamond Pike present Make-up & Hair to La Vie en Rose and Production Design to Atonement; Jason Isaacs presents Cinematography to No Country for Old Men's Roger Deakins and Costumes to La Vie en Rose; Paul Dano and Kelly Reilly present both Sound and Film Editing to The Bourne Ultimatum; and Jessica Biel presents Score to La Vie en Rose, which turns out to be the biggest winner of the night with four Baftas.

London, 10.Feb.08

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2008 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
The British Academy Award is based on a design by Mitzi Cunliffe.