Brooklyn was Best Film and Idris Elba and Maggie Smith Best Actors at the London Evening Standard British Film Awards which saw Alan Bennett earn a Special Award for his contribution to film…
At the star-studded event in London, the British Film Awards announced its high achievers from the world of film in 2015 with Idris Elba earning top honours for his performance in Beasts of No Nation, Maggie Smith getting Best Actress for The Lady in the Van, and Brooklyn taking home Best Film.
The event, which took place at Television Centre in White City, saw a host of stars turn out including Agyness Dean, Idris Elba, Tuppence Middleton, Stanley Tucci, Matthew Perry, Vanessa Redgrave and Tom Courtenay, as awards including Best Documentary (Amy), Rising Star (Maisee Williams for The Falling), and Technical Achievement (Mark Digby, production designer, for Ex-Machina) were given out. Elsewhere, Emma Thompson won the Award for Comedy for her role in The Legend of Barney Thomson while Blockbuster of the Year went to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Maggie Smith’s tragi-comic portrayal of her character in The Lady in the Van saw her picking up the accolade for Best Actress, presented by David Hare. This is now the fourth time Smith has been recognised by the Evening Standard in this category; thirty seven years since she first won the award for her performance in California Suite.
In addition, the Editor’s Award, which celebrates “extraordinary achievement” or a “person that has lit up the industry in the last year”, went to 45 Years starring Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling. This romantic drama, from director Andrew Haigh, features a chilling look at the fault line opening under a long-term marriage. Courtenay and the film’s producer Tristan Goligher picked up the award, which was presented by actress Emilia Fox.
Sponsored by the London Evening Standard, the awards are chosen by a panel of leading film critics including David Sexton, chief film critic at The Evening Standard, Peter Bradshaw, film critic writing for The Guardian, Kate Muir, chief film critic at The Times and Tim Robey, film critic at The Daily Telegraph. The judging panel is overseen by chair and editor of the London Evening Standard Sarah Sands.