BAFTA Awards’ big winner: ‘Nomadland’ wins four including best picture, actress, director

LONDON – Gig-economy Western “Nomadland” won four prizes including best picture on Sunday at the British Academy Film Awards, which were handed out during a pandemic-curbed ceremony that recognized a diverse array of screen talent.

“Nomadland” filmmaker Chloe Zhao became only the second woman to win the BAFTA for best director, and star Frances McDormand was named best actress. “Nomadland” also took the cinematography prize.

Emerald Fennell’s revenge comedy “Promising Young Woman” was named best British film, while the best actor trophy went to 83-year-old Anthony Hopkins for playing a man grappling with dementia in “The Father.”

An event that was criticized in the recent past with the label #BAFTAsSoWhite rewarded a diverse group of talents, including Black British star Daniel Kaluuya and veteran Korean actress Yuh-jung Youn.

The fact that Britain remains under coronavirus lockdown measures, with its movie theaters still closed, gave the evening a poignant tone, as did the death on Friday of Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, a longtime patron of the British film academy.

Prince William, who had been scheduled to attend and make a speech in his role as president of Britain’s film academy, was absent following the death of his grandfather. The ceremony opened with a tribute to Philip, who was the academy’s first president in 1959.

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