13 Feb 2012

Silent movie The Artist dominates BAFTAs

1:15 pm on 13 February 2012

Silent movie-era romance The Artist has turned out the runaway star of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards - the British equivalent of the Oscars.

At a glittering ceremony at London's Royal Opera House on Sunday The Artist won the award for best film, Michel Hazanavicius won best director, while best leading actor went to Jean Dujardin.

The French-made romance set in Hollywood in the 1920s and 30s also walked away with the BAFTA for best original screenplay, costumes, cinematography and music, Reuters reports.

Meryl Streep won the BAFTA best actress for her portrayal of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

The actress, looking regal in a sparkling black gown with her hair piled high in an elaborate style, lost a shoe on her way up to the stage to collect her award.

"That couldn't be worse," she said, having recovered her shoe, to laughter and cheers from the audience.

Christopher Plummer won best supporting actor for Beginners and Octavia Spencer won best supporting actress for The Help.

Spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was named outstanding British film, while co-writers Peter Straughan and his late wife Bridget O'Connor won best adapted screenplay.

The BAFTAs are not always an accurate predictor of what is to come at the Oscars, but they are the most coveted film honours outside of the United States.

In January, The Artist was judged best comedy and won additional prizes for lead actor Jean Dujardin and its score at the Golden Globes, and was named 2011's best movie at the Critics' Choice Awards.

The Academy Awards will be held in Los Angeles on 26 February.