Spacey and Bening Score For Beauty

But there's no joy for Mendes at his hometown awards

by Willow Green |
Published on

Sam Mendes' American Beauty swept the board at this year's BAFTAs winning a total of six awards, including the big three - Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress. But the director himself was to find no joy himself at the awards in London when he was overlooked for Best Director - that accolade going instead to Pedro Almodovar for All About My Mother. Hugh Grant presented the award for Best Actress to Mena Suvari on behalf of Annette Bening while Cate Blanchett gave the Best Actor award to Kevin Spacey who said 'it's so much less nerve-wracking sitting through a ceremony like this when they leave champagne in your chair. I've been drinking throughout and I'm feeling a lot better. I just want to know why there isn't a cash prize to go with this award.' Dustin Hoffman came on stage to present the award for Best Film - taking time out to give his taxi driver from the day before a mention, 'Thanks Dave.' He presented the award to Bruce Cohen and Dan Jinks for American Beauty. 'We must thank the extraordinary Sam Mendes, we're in awe of his talent.' The final award of the evening was the Fellowship of the Academy to Michael Caine, which was presented by Kate Winslet. Caine received a standing ovation from the awards crowd. 'I'm getting used to standing ovations,' he quipped, 'and I like it. It's very difficult to win an award round here so thank God they gave me one. They do make some funny decisions, but now I'm a member of them and there will be hell to pay.' Referring to Liz Taylor's speech last year as 'strange' but noted that since her rant the government had changed the quarantine laws, 'so never underestimate the power of BAFTA.' 'It's an honour to be invited in from the cold,' he said,' I hope I deserve the honour in the years to come. It has been cold out there, maybe I feel a little more welcome in my country than I have up to now.

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