David here, bringing you the least live 'live blog' in TFE's history. Nowhere on the planet are the British Academy Film (and Television) Awards broadcast live - not even in their home country. No, we Brits struggle along with the rest of you as the BBC stubbornly refuses to move with the times and shows the edited ceremony two hours after its begun.
But let's make the best of it. Over the next few hours I'll bring you a melange of results and commentary, mostly surmised until the ceremony comes in, which will hopefully have some individual flavour worth reporting. The celebrities have already walked up the foaming red carpet in London's famous torrential rain, so, to kick off, here are a few highlights from the BBC's brief coverage so far.
Marion Cotillard couldn't even muster a brave face as she was persuaded to stop racing down the carpet and pose for a few photos. Has it ever NOT rained on BAFTA night?
Marion's here tonight as a Best Actress nominee for Rust & Bone - BAFTA also nominated Helen Mirren, leaving Quvenzhane Wallis and Naomi Watts on the sidelines for tonight - but it's Emmanuelle Riva, who wisely skipped the long route into the building, who I've got my fingers crossed for tonight. Can she add a little flavour to the Best Actress race by surprising J-Law here?
Helen Mirren. Pink hair. The interviewer here oddly didn't even attempt to ask what's going on with this. MORE...
One of the best things about awards season: unexpected photo ops! Bradley Cooper received the most deafening cheers of the fashion parade, possibly because George Clooney showed up with a beard. But anyway: look, Joaquin is smiling!
Meryl, you are not excused:
For those who are worrying, Meryl Streep was unable to join us tonight because of the weather and her flight from the U.S. being cancelled.— BAFTA (@BAFTA) February 10, 2013
Stephen Fry's opening monologue includes a weirdly hilarious joke where he misprounces "Hug Jackman"'s name, and an instruction to J.Law to give the viewers some love, as Brad Pitt did last year:
Outstanding British Film, presented by Best Actor nominees Bradley Cooper and Ben Affleck (oh, yes, that happened), is up first. Many have decried the popularisation of a category that used to award independent British productions, but BAFTA have defiantly shifted into the Oscar prediction calendar and this category went with it.
Les Mis is up for the main award too, but can it really deny the behemoth that is Skyfall? No. Bond takes a gong!
Best Short Film and Best Short Animation have no Oscar crossover, and they'll almost certainly be edited from the broadcast and shoved into the coda at the end. Lynne Ramsay's (We Need To Talk About Kevin, the supreme Movern Callar) short for the Olympics, Swimmer, wins Best Short Film, which you might be able to watch here, if you're not in the UK, where it's been blocked by a UK broadcaster. Best Short Animation is award to The Making of Longbird.
The new Q Ben Whishaw and hasn't-happened-yet-but-keep-trying Alice Eve present Best Costume Design to the obvious winner, Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina. Can Joe Wright's film sweep the techs tonight?
Best Make-up and Hair is tonight's first award for Les Miserables as Lisa Westcott accepts the BAFTA. How many can Les Mis pick up tonight, and will it restore some grease to its Oscar wheels?
Wreck-It Ralph, the Oscar frontrunner, is absent from the nominees for Best Animated Film, allowing Pixar's Brave to get a foot back in the door. The race is still on here! (Come on, ParaNorman, slow and steady sometimes wins it...)
BAFTA don't split their opinion of sound in two, so Les Mis steps ahead in two more Oscar races as the team accept the award for Best Sound.
Best Editing now, often a good indicator of where the big prize might be headed. And Argo's William Goldenberg takes it! It could be another great night for Ben Affleck...
Best Cinematography could go to any of Anna Karenina, the British connaisseur's pick; Skyfall, the British populist pick; Life of Pi, the technical marvel with a monstrous UK box office tally; or Les Mis, tech leader thus far. (And there's Lincoln too.) But it's Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi who takes the prize! Could we have a tussle on our hands tonight? Life of Pi has been a huge success on these shores and this could be the beginning of its run for the big one.
Almost the same fight is on for Best Original Film Music, although sub out Les Mis for Desplat's Argo scoring. Thomas Newman beats out the competition for his Skyfall score, and it's set to be a big night for Bond. Can he finally win an Oscar this year?
Sally Field, who looked rosy as ever on the red carpet earlier, is presenting Best Original Screenplay. Is this where Amour might make its move? With Django, Moonrise Kingdom, The Master and Zero Dark Thirty, it's hard to make a bad choice here. But it's my runt of the litter, Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained, who takes the prize. He looks all set for the Oscar, surely?
Our first acting award of the night is, as ever, Best Supporting Actor, and Jennifer Lawrence is up to present. Her co-star Robert De Niro isn't on tonight's roster, and, in an unpredictable (if still deadly boring) category, that could prove vital. Skyfall's Javier Bardem is his replacement in the line-up, and wouldn't a win for him bring some pizazz?
But BAFTA follow the Globes' lead and give it to Christoph Waltz, whose odds for another Oscar are narrowing fast. But... really?
The lenghtily-titled Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer award is up next. An odd bunch, sadly omitting the writers of Sightseers (but including the director of The Muppets! If Kermit appears, I'm down with that), but my guess is that The Imposter's Bart Layton and Dimitri Doganis take it. And I'm right! For once in my life, I'm right!
Chris Tucker - not often mentioned, but very good in Silver Linings Playbook - is presenting Special Visual Effects. We're yet to find out what makes them special. Life of Pi probably has this locked down, but one of the blockbusters can always surprise. (Prometheus, your only moment is here.) And, yes - Life of Pi is having that Oscar engraved now.
Anne Hathaway's about to have all her dreams come true, because presenting Best Supporting Actress is silver fox George Clooney. I've used up all my wishes on Emmanuelle Riva, but I'd love to see Hunt or Field surprise here. (Now you know Nat isn't writing this.) Obviously, Hathaway takes it. We'll have to wait to find out how many buckets of tears she wept during her speech, but I'll take your bets now.
Let's take a brief respite to bring you news of Helen Mirren's pink hair:
@randomfurlong Is this at the BAFTAs? When she was on Graham Norton she was asking one of Little Mix about her pink hair!— Andrew Oakes (@magic_treehouse) February 10, 2013
(Little Mix, for the unaware (that's all of you, probably), are the winners of the UK's X Factor from 2011. And style gurus, apparently.)
Simon Pegg and Jennifer Garner (WILL SOMEONE GIVE HER A GOOD PART ALREADY?) are up to present Best Adapted Screenplay. You may be aware that Garner's husband's film is up for this award, although since he didn't write it, the potential cringe has been avoided. And it goes to David O. Russell! Despite only garnering three nominations tonight, there's clearly love here for Silver Linings Playbook. The race for this Oscar is going to be tight.
Danny Boyle presents the award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema to Film4's Tessa Ross, who's headed the company through some very talent-rich years. Announced in advance, Ross had the chance to make a speech-of-sorts beforehand:
It’s a surprise and a great honour to have been given this award by Bafta. I owe it of course to the wonderful film makers I’ve had the privilege of working with – and to my team at Film4, with whom I share it. We’re very lucky to be so supported by Channel 4 and by David Abraham who continues to champion our work. There are incredibly talented people working within our industry, as well as outside it – and 30 years ago Film4 was built to find these people, nurture them and help contribute to our British film culture. It’s a privilege to try to keep this idea alive.
Tim Roth and Gemma Arterton are presenting what better be the duh award of the night: Film not in the English Language. BAFTA's rules for this are that it requires a UK release during the previous year, so probable 2014 Oscar nominee The Hunt is rubbing shoulders with Amour and Rust and Bone. Amour triumphs! But will that be its sole reward tonight?
Wreck-It Ralph may have been omitted from the Animation category, but promo for the film - which just opened here - goes on as John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman present the Rising Star Award. A wonderful set of nominees - Elizabeth Olsen, Alicia Vikander (my pick), Juno Temple, Andrea Riseborough and Suraj Sharma - here. The usual pattern of it going to a young, urban British male (Noel Clarke, Adam Deacon) is off the table here, while Sharma has the biggest hit. But Juno Temple takes it! Her star has been rising for a few years now, and, after a stunning turn in Killer Joe and a very busy Sundance, this is very well deserved.
It's almost 9:00pm here in London, which is when the BBC start broadcasting the ceremony - things are about to get rather confusing.
Searching for Sugar Man continues its march towards the Oscar with a win in Best Documentary Feature.
Next up, Tom Hiddleston and Saoirse Ronan present Best Production Design. Surely set for Anna Karenina's intricate theatrical settings, but Les Mis or Life of Pi could start running away with the big tally right here. And Les Miserables snatches it! The Brits are getting behind their own.
We're getting to the nitty gritty now as Ian McKellan presents Best Director. The score: Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, Quentin Tarantino IN, Steven Spielberg OUT. Can one of the two mainstays, Ang Lee or Michael Haneke, make a stand for their film here?
No. Ben Affleck continues the march for Argo and takes the last prize he's up for this season. Can he match it later with the Best Film award?
Jeremy Renner is presenting Best Actress. Will the Silver Linings Playbook spill over and give starlet Jennifer Lawrence her expected triumph? Can Jessica Chastain get a foot back in the door? Can the Emmanuelle Riva march start here? Please?
EMMANUELLE RIVA WINS BEST ACTRESS FOR AMOUR!
There it is, then, ladies and gents: we officiallly have a race for Best Actress. BAFTA responds to the sublime performance of French veteran Emmanuelle Riva, and suddenly Jennifer Lawrence may be on the backfoot. (Contrary to earlier suggestions, Riva is not at the ceremony, so Renner can savour this one for a bit.)
Meanwhile, Sarah Jessica Parker, of all people, is here to present Best Actor to Daniel Day-Lewis. Probably. Obviously. Yes. Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis wins and now has enough awards to build a lifesize replica of the Kodak Theatre.
Samuel L. Jackson, who I'm glad to learn hasn't actually started to look like his character in Django Unchained, has the honour of presenting Best Film. Can BAFTA kick this race about a bit too, or will Argo practically seal the deal?
ARGO WINS. Well. Is that the Oscar a done deal then?
The final award is the Fellowship, in which BAFTA inducts a member into their hallowed halls in a manner that isn't nearly enough like a cult in my opinion. We already knew this was going to Sir Alan Parker, who Nat celebrated a few days ago in his wonderful Posterized series.
And, with that, I'm going to actually go and watch the show now. As soon-to-be Oscar® Winner Emmanuelle Riva might say: au revoir.