Stephen Daldry takes directing award
LONDON — Artist-turned-helmer Steve McQueen’s “Hunger” took the prize for film at the Evening Standard British Film Awards on Sunday.In a night when no pic collected more than one prize, there were triumphs for small indie pics and big-budgeted fare. Director honors went to Stephen Daldry for “The Reader”; Tilda Swinton collected the actress prize for her turn as an alcoholic in “Julia”; and the actor award was shared by Michael Sheen, for his portrayal of David Frost in “Frost/Nixon,” and Pat Shortt, for his role as a simpleton in Irish indie “Garage.” Surprisingly, multiple award winner and Oscar nominee “Slumdog Millionaire” didn’t grab any of the main prizes, picking up just a technical achievement award for production designer Mark Digby. “Happy-Go-Lucky” lead Sally Hawkins nabbed the Peter Sellers award for comedy and pic’s helmer Mike Leigh, a longtime favorite with the Standard judges, got the Alexander Walker special prize for contribution to British cinema and nurturing new talent. Other awards went to Martin McDonagh (screenplay, “In Bruges”) and director Joanna Hogg (newcomer, “Unrelated”). Prizes are decided by a jury of five U.K. film critics. Winners, including Swinton, Leigh, Daldry and McQueen, attended Sunday’s awards dinner hosted by the editor of the London newspaper, Veronica Wadley.