Belfast Telegraph

DiCaprio now hot favourite for Revenant Oscar after taking Bafta for best actor

By Catherine Wylie

Leonardo DiCaprio said he was "shocked and amazed, honoured" after The Revenant dominated this year's Baftas - winning three of the biggest awards.

DiCaprio (41) was named best actor, the outdoor epic was named best film, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu received the best director gong.

The win will make DiCaprio the hot favourite for an Oscar in two weeks - an accolade that has so far eluded the star, despite three past nominations for Best Actor.

Asked if he was looking forward to winning an Academy Award, he said: "This is one thing that is absolutely beyond my control. We did the work, we put our heart and soul into this movie.

"I can't say we didn't put everything on the table creatively as an entire team in making this movie, so you know, it's up to the world now, and voters to decide.

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"But I'm really happy to be a part of a film like this, because I think that it's a genre, the epic sort of art house film is something that is basically becoming extinct in our industry."

Paying tribute to his mother, he added: "I would not be standing up here if it weren't for this person.

"I didn't grow up in a life of privilege. I grew up in a very rough neighbourhood in East Los Angeles. And this woman drove me three hours a day to a different school to show me a different opportunity. It's her birthday today - Mom, happy birthday, I love you very much."

DiCaprio beat last year's winner Eddie Redmayne, who was nominated for The Danish Girl, as well as Michael Fassbender, Matt Damon and Bryan Cranston.

Mexican director Inarritu, who won the best director Oscar in 2015 for Birdman, said he was "overwhelmed" and described his Bafta win as "a true honour".

Brie Larson was named best actress for her leading role in claustrophobic drama Room.

The American, who was the overwhelming favourite for the award, was unable to attend because she was filming elsewhere.

Collecting the award on her behalf, Room director Lenny Abrahamson said: "Brie, looking for a little bit of something light and nice to do after Room, is wrestling a large gorilla in Australia."

He said she is "incredibly honoured" to receive the award and he described her as "one of the best actors of her generation". Kate Winslet won the best supporting actress award for her performance in Steve Jobs, the biopic on Apple's co-founder.

Collecting her third Bafta, Winslet (40) hailed director Danny Boyle as "amazing" and called the film's lead star Fassbender "an extraordinary actor".

She also mentioned her husband Ned Rocknroll, saying: "Hi babe, happy Valentine's Day."

Fellow British star Mark Rylance was named best supporting actor for his role as a Russian spy in Bridge Of Spies.

The film's director Steven Spielberg collected the award on his behalf as Rylance is performing in the off-Broadway play Nice Fish.

Presenting the award, Australian actress Rebel Wilson had a dig at the Oscars diversity row.

She said: ''Idris Elba you're making me nervous... I'm sociologically programmed to want chocolate on Valentine's Day.''

In a successful night for The Revenant, the film also received Baftas for cinematography and sound.

Brooklyn, the Irish immigrant drama starring Saoirse Ronan, was named outstanding British film, while Amy took the documentary award.

Asif Kapadia, who directed the documentary which told the story of singer Amy Winehouse's life and premature death, said: "In the end it was all about Amy.

"We really fell in love with her when making the film. And our aim and mission was really to try and tell the truth about her. To show the world what an amazing person she was, how intelligent, how witty, how beautiful she was, before it all kind of got out of control and went a bit crazy."

Mad Max: Fury Road took the Baftas for editing and make-up and hair while the award for original music went to Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was awarded for special visual effects. Mad Max: Fury Road won the Baftas for costume design and production design.

The ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry, was staged at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

Main winners on UK film's big night

- Leading actor: Leonardo DiCaprio — The Revenant

- Leading actress: Brie Larson — Room

- Supporting actress: Kate Winslet — Steve Jobs

- Supporting actor: Mark Rylance — Bridge Of Spies

- Best film: The Revenant

- Outstanding British film: Brooklyn

- Director: Alejandro G Inarritu — The Revenant

- Documentary: Amy

- Animated film: Inside Out

- Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer: NajiI Abu Nowar (Writer/Director) Rupert Lloyd (Producer) — Theeb

- Film not in the English language: Wild Tales

- Original screenplay: Spotlight — Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer

- Adapted screenplay: The Big Short — Adam McKay

- Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road — Margaret Sixel

- Production design: Mad Max: Fury Road

- Costume design: Mad Max: Fury Road — Jenny Beavan

- Make- up and hair: Mad Max: Fury Road — Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin

- Sound: The Revenant — Lon Bender, Chris Duesterdiek, Martin Hernandez, Frank A. Montano, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom

- Special visual effects: Star Wars: The Force Awakens — Chris Corbould, Roger Guyett, Paul Kavanagh, Neal Scanlan

- Cinematography: The Revenan

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