Atonement named Best Film at BAFTAs
Atonement, the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's best-selling novel, was named Best Film at the star-studded BAFTAs, Britain's showpiece movie awards. Daniel Day-Lewis was named Best Actor for his role in There Will Be Blood, and French actress Marion Cotillard was the surprise winner of the Best Actress award for La Vie En Rose, in which she played singer Edith Piaf.
The British Academy Film and Television Arts awards took on increased importance this year, after a writers' strike in the United States reduced the Golden Globes, traditionally the second-biggest film awards after the Oscars to a mere news conference.
Overall, though Atonement, a romantic drama about life and love in World War II, had been nominated in 14 categories, it managed to win only two, with the other coming in the Production Design category.
While Day-Lewis was the favourite to win the Best Actor gong, Cotillard's victory meant Julie Christie, for Away From Her, and Keira Knightley, for Atonement, left empty-handed. The former was favourite to win.
Cotillard's award comes after she won a Golden Globe for the same performance, and the 32-year-old has also been nominated for an Oscar. La Vie En Rose finished with four awards -- it also won in the Music, Costume Design and Make-up categories, with Cotillard having to play Piaf as a 19-year-old and, eventually, as a frail woman who died aged 47.
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