“The Queen” was crowned best film at the Orange British Academy Film Awards and “United 93” helmer Paul Greengrass took director kudos in a night where the spoils were spread out.
British, American and international fare was feted at the BAFTA ceremony, held for the first time at London’s Royal Opera House, having moved up the road from last year’s venue, the Odeon Leicester Square.
“The Last King of Scotland” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” each landed three prizes, with two wins apiece for “The Queen,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “United 93” and “Children of Men.”
“The Departed” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” despite six and five noms, respectively, went home empty-handed.
The top acting kudos went to Helen Mirren, for her turn as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen,” and Forest Whitaker, for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in “Last King of Scotland.”
“Last King” also scooped the Alexander Korda Award for British film of the year as well as the adapted screenplay prize for Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” proved a big hit on the night, winning the trophy for best film not in the English-language as well as makeup and costume design.
Wins for “Little Miss Sunshine” came for supporting actor Alan Arkin and Michael Arndt’s original screenplay.
“Children of Men” landed two BAFTA awards from its three noms, picking up the production design and cinematography honors.
In addition to Greengrass’ win, “United 93” banked the editing prize.
Dual nominee “Dreamgirls” was a winner for supporting actress Jennifer Hudson.
Andrea Arnold, director of “Red Road,” won the Carl Foreman Award for a first-time British filmmaker. Accepting her prize, Arnold joked, “I hear there is some money that comes with this award, which is great as my boiler’s packed up.”
“Casino Royale” came into the evening with nine noms and high hopes, but went home only with the award for sound design. But the latest Bond girl, French thesp Eva Green, collected the Orange Rising Star award for emerging talent, which is decided by public vote.
Other winners were “Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest” (special visual effects), “Babel” (the Anthony Asquith award for achievement in film music) and “Happy Feet,” in BAFTA’s new animated feature category.
Early on in the proceedings, new BAFTA host Jonathan Ross won over attendees when he saluted the Hollywood execs who had made the trip to London “to escape from Victoria Beckham.”
Ross also drew laughs when he joked some nominees seemed “tenser than Mel Gibson in a synagogue” and that “a good acceptance speech should be like a Scientologist’s birth — no tears and as few words as possible.”
Location manager Nick Daubeny was presented with the Michael Balcon Award for British contribution to cinema.
Film editor Anne V. Coates, whose credits range from 1952’s “The Pickwick Papers” to January’s “Catch and Release,” received the Academy Fellowship, the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy.
The awards were followed by a formal dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
THE ACADEMY FELLOWSHIP
Anne V Coates
THE MICHAEL BALCON AWARD for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema
The Queen – Andy Harries/Christine Langan/Tracey Seaward
THE ALEXANDER KORDA AWARD for the Outstanding British Film of the Year
The Last King of Scotland – Andrea Calderwood/Lisa Bryer/Charles Steel/Kevin Macdonald/Peter Morgan/Jeremy Brock
THE CARL FOREMAN AWARD for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer in their First Feature Film
Andrea Arnold (Director) – Red Road
THE DAVID LEAN AWARD for Achievement in Direction
United 93 – Paul Greengrass
Little Miss Sunshine – Michael Arndt
The Last King of Scotland – Peter Morgan/Jeremy Brock
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Pan’s Labyrinth – Alfonso Cuarón/Alvaro Augustin/Guillermo del Toro
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Happy Feet – George Miller
ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE
Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland
ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE
Helen Mirren – The Queen
ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine
ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE
Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
THE ANTHONY ASQUITH AWARD for Achievement in Film Music
Babel – Gustavo Santaolalla
Children of Men – Emmanuel Lubezki
United 93 – Clare Douglas/Christopher Rouse/Richard Pearson
Children of Men – Jim Clay/Geoffrey Kirkland/Jennifer Williams
Pan’s Labyrinth – Lala Huete
Casino Royale – Chris Munro/Eddy Joseph/Mike Prestwood Smith/Martin Cantwell/Mark Taylor
ACHIEVEMENT IN SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
Pirates of ohe Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – John Knoll/Hal Hickel/Charles Gibson/Allen Hall
MAKE UP & HAIR
Pan’s Labyrinth – José Quetglas/Blanca Sànchez
SHORT ANIMATION FILM
Guy 101 – Ian Gouldstone
Do Not Erase – Asitha Ameresekere
THE ORANGE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)