“Inside the BAFTA Awards, Where It Was All About Love—and Diversity”

“With the BAFTA Awards falling on Valentine’s Day, it stands to reason that this year’s edition of the starry event seemed surrounded by love.

The evening opened with what host Stephen Fry described as a “Kiss Cam”—like at American sports games, he kindly explained. When the cam landed on rumored couple Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender, the two refused to rise to the occasion. Luckily Stanley Tucci saw the humor in the idea and embraced Cuba Gooding Jr.with full force, Leonardo DiCaprio and Dame Maggie Smith shared pecks on the cheek, and Bryan Cranston went for the comedy make-out session with Julianne Moore.

When guests weren’t talking about love, the conversation shifted to the ever-important conversation surrounding Hollywood and diversity.

When Rebel Wilson presented the award for best supporting actor, she joked: “I have never been invited to the Oscars. Because, as you know, they are racist. But the BAFTAs have diverse members, and that’s what we all want to see in life isn’t it, diverse members,” she said, emphasis on the double meaning. “Idris Elba is making me nervous, I’m just sociologically programmed to want chocolate on Valentine’s Day.”

Sacha Baron Cohen also took his presenter duties as an opportunity to speak out: “The main reason I agreed to present at this awards ceremony is because BAFTA has shown none of the discrimination and prejudice that is so shamefully on display at the Oscars. It gives me great pride that each year BAFTA makes sure at least one of the nominees for best actress is a Dame.” He continued, “And the nominees for best white actress are …”

As for the awards, the big winner of the evening was The Revenant, which took home the top prize, best film, as well as winning best director for Alejandro González Iñárritu and best actor for DiCaprio.

He gave a tender speech, dedicating the award to his mother: “I didn’t grow up in a life of privilege. I grew up in a tough neighborhood in east Los Angeles and this woman drove me three hours every day to a different school to make sure I had a different opportunity. To my mother, it’s her birthday today, this is for you…”



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