"Argo" extends winning streak with BAFTA for best film

Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:32pm EST
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By Estelle Shirbon

LONDON (Reuters) - Ben Affleck's "Argo" was crowned best film at the BAFTAs on Sunday while Daniel Day-Lewis bagged yet another leading actor award for the title role in "Lincoln" as an increasingly familiar awards season script unfolded in London.

Affleck also won the best director trophy for "Argo", about the rescue of American hostages in Iran during the 1979 revolution, and the movie is now in pole position to win the biggest movie award of all on Oscar night.

"You are remarkable at what you do. You're smart and you know what you want but more importantly you love what you're doing," George Clooney, one of the film's producers, told Affleck on stage as they accepted the best film award.

Steven Spielberg's biopic of Abraham Lincoln was nominated in 10 categories but went away with just one award for Day-Lewis, following a pattern seen at the Golden Globes and at other prestigious U.S. award nights.

The reclusive Day-Lewis, a method actor well-known for staying in character during the entire filming period of his movies, began his victory speech by satirizing his own working habits.

"Just on the chance that I might one day have to speak on an evening such as this, I've actually stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years," he said to laughs from the audience at the Royal Opera House.

"Every time I rise from a chair it spontaneously unleashes a soundtrack of thunderous applause, with a few boos and some drunken hecklers."

Emmanuelle Riva, an 85-year-old French actress, won the BAFTA for leading actress for her part as a retired music teacher struggling to cope with the aftermath of a stroke, in Austrian director Michael Haneke's "Amour".   Continued...

Ben Affleck (R), George Clooney (L) and Grant Heslvov celebrate after winning the Award for Best Film for the movie "Argo" at the British Academy of Film and Arts (BAFTA) awards ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT) (BAFTA-WINNERS)