A GLITTERING line-up of stars came out to play in London last night as the British film industry saluted its prize guys and girls.
Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything was one of the big winners at the annual Bafta awards, held at the Royal Opera House and regarded as a dry run for this month’s Oscars.
It was named outstanding British film while Eddie Redmayne took home the leading actor prize for his portrayal of Professor Hawking.
Accepting his award, Redmayne joked about the “incredibly unfortunate” evening he had to flee a Bafta ceremony to be sick with food poisoning.
He said: “It was one of the worst nights of my life. This is one of the best.”
Redmayne also thanked his own family, his “professional family” on the film and the Hawkings “for their trust in us, their generosity and their kindness”.
Professor Hawking was among the guests in the 2,000-strong audience and helped present the Bafta for special visual effects to Interstellar.
The scientist received a standing ovation as he was joined on stage by actress Felicity Jones, who plays his ex-wife in The Theory of Everything.
Boyhood was chosen as best film, with cast member Patricia Arquette being named best supporting actress.
Thanking its director, she said: “I have been in a work of art here because of you, Richard Linklater.”
Linklater was himself a winner, picking up the gong as best director for Boyhood.
Julianne Moore claimed the title of best actress for her role as a woman struck down by Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. She hailed her Scottish relatives, saying they had “poured love” into her.
The Grand Budapest Hotel landed a clutch of awards, including best original screenplay and costume design.
There were also triumphs for The Lego Movie (animated film), Birdman (cinematography) and Polish drama Ida (foreign film).
Unbroken and ‘71 actor Jack O’Connell bagged the rising star award, the only prize of the evening that was decided by a public vote.
The Bafta for best documentary went to Citizenfour, which tells the story of whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Veteran director Mike Leigh was honoured with a Bafta Fellowship. He told the audience: “How lucky we all are to have been born in this magical age of cinema. To be able to capture life and share it with audiences is glorious, isn’t it?”
The biggest awards event in the British film calendar began in unconventional fashion with a performance from rock band Kasabian.
Famous faces presenting prizes included David Beckham, Tom Cruise and Reese Witherspoon as well as Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci, stars of forthcoming James Bond film Spectre. The event, formally known as the EE British Academy Film Awards, was hosted by Stephen Fry for the 10th time.
Former Bafta president and filmmaker Lord Attenborough, who died last year, was remembered with tributes from Robert Downey Jr and the Duke of Cambridge.
The Duke said: “I hope that everyone who watches his films and learns about him as a person will be encouraged to follow his example.”
But organisers were criticised for not including the late actor Bob Hoskins in the In Memoriam segment.
Famous names from the world of entertainment and showbiz described their anger that Hoskins, who died last year aged 71, was omitted from the package.
Hoskins starred in Hollywood hits such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the homegrown underworld classic The Long Good Friday, while his role as George in the 1986 hit Mona Lisa won him an Oscar nomination for leading actor.
Bafta organisers said Hoskins’ death was included in last year’s academy television awards - which traditionally run later in the year - and that it was common practice only to feature in one ceremony.
Stars hit out at what they considered a snub to the veteran actor.
Writer and actor David Baddiel said: “The omission of Bob Hoskins in the Bafta remembrance montage seems symbolic of the erasure in modern times of the working-class actor.”
Actor Zoe Wanamaker, known for roles in Harry Potter and BBC sitcom My Family, said: “Saddened and disappointed that Bob Hoskins wasn’t mentioned at the Baftas last night. Bad form to say the least.”
Sherlock Holmes actor Eddie Marsan added: “Bafta didn’t remember the great, kind and talented Bob Hoskins last night. But he’ll always be inspirational to us.”
Former journalist and television host Piers Morgan added: “No tribute to, or mention of, Bob Hoskins at the Baftas - seriously?”
Mr Selfridge star Amanda Abbington paid her own tribute. She wrote simply: “Bob Hoskins. I salute you.”
In a statement, Bafta organisers said: “Due to the timing of his death in April last year, and the fact that his credits included television as well as film (he was Bafta-nominated for Pennies from Heaven in 1979), Bob Hoskins was included in the televised obituaries package at the British Academy Television Awards last year.
“Bafta features individuals in televised obituaries only once, sadly due to the number of people we’d like to recognise at any one time, and that means difficult decisions have to be made as to which ceremony they should be included in. As Bob died in April last year, just before the television awards, we felt it was right to remember his wonderful career then, rather than wait until last night’s film awards.”
Hoskins retired from acting in 2012 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.