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BAFTAs 2015: Eddie Redmayne claims best actor as Boyhood named best film

The Theory of Everything

Story by Jack Foley

EDDIE Redmayne continued his awards sweep by winning the best actor prize at this year’s BAFTAs.

The British actor won the accolade for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and now looks a firm favourite to go one step further and claim the Oscar in the same category next weekend.

The Theory of Everything was also named outstanding British film and won a third award for its adapted screenplay.

Upon collecting his award, Redmayne described the evening as the best night of his life, and dedicated the award to his family, for keeping faith in him, his co-star Felicity Jones (who played his wife) and director James Marsh but also – most importantly – to the Hawking family for their trust, generosity, kindness and “reminding me of the great strength of the will to live a full and passionate life”.

However, the big winner on the night was Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which claimed the coveted title of best film, as well as best director for Linklater and best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette.

The coming-of-age drama was unique for having been shot over 12 years with the same cast (including Ethan Hawke, who collected the award on his behalf).

Another of the night’s top awards went to Julianne Moore, who also continued her winning streak by claiming the leading actress prize for her performance as a linguistics professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. She also now looks odds-on to take the Oscar.

The biggest individual film winner on the night was Wes Anderson’s quirky comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel, which took home a total of five, including costume design, production design, make-up and original music and – finally – for Anderson, who won his first BAFTA for original screenplay.

The filmmaker himself was not at the ceremony to collect his prize, having been required at the Directors’ Guild of America ceremony the night before. Ralph Fiennes collected his award in his place, reading out a letter in which he expressed his regret at not being able to be there.

Jazz drumming drama Whiplash also took three awards – for editing, sound and supporting actor for JK Simmons, who thanked director Damien Chazelle for “the gift of this character”.

The best animated film went to The LEGO Movie, while Ida claimed best foreign language picture and Citizenfour was named best documentary.

The outstanding debut award went to Stephen Beresford and David Livingstone for British drama Pride, the true story of gay and lesbian activists who supported striking miners in the 1980s.

And young actor Jack O’Connell won the EE Rising Star award, the only one of the awards to be voted for by the public.

As previously announced, Mike Leigh was honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship while BBC Films was honoured for outstanding contribution to British cinema.

The night was also notable for including a special tribute to the late Lord Attenborough, who died in August.

Two tributes were paid – one from Prince William, who said in a recorded message: “His legacy is his inspiration to young film-makers.”

And a second from Chaplin star Robert Downey Jr, who said: “As a director and mentor his passion was ceaseless.”

The ceremony was held at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday night and was once again hosted by Stephen Fry.

View the winners in full