The Artist wins in seven categories, with Meryl Streep the other big success story.
The British Film Academy Awards had a distinctly Gallic flavour last night as The Artist, a French silent movie picked up seven wins including Best Film, Actor and Director. Meryl Streep was also awarded Best Actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.
The Artist, which is now odds-on favourite for the Oscars later this month, had been nominated for 12 Bafta awards.
Director Michel Hazanavicius said: “The format is something really special. The more people can get involved in the storytelling process the better it is,” adding: “Merci beaucoup.”
Martin Scorsese, who was awarded the Fellowship, the academy’s highest accolade, said: “The Artist is a film I admire greatly. It is charming.”
Stars including Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Colin Firth, attended the glitzy ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden to witness the triumph of the silent film.
Jean Dujardin was named Best Actor for his portrayal of the fading silent movie star George Valentin. He said: “I am very proud to receive this award from the country of Sir Laurence Olivier, William Webb Ellis and Benny Hill.”
The Artist also picked up awards for music, costume design, cinematography and original screenplay. Hazanavicius said: “I am very surprised because many people thought there was no script because there was no dialogue.” He added: “So English people are very clever.”
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