2017 BAFTA Awards: Top Moments From the Ceremony

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 14 Feb 2017

Memorable moments from the 70th British Academy Film Awards. - Michael Rosser

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Stephen Fry

Dame Meryl

Hosting the BAFTAs for the 12th time at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Stephen Fry opened the night by declaring Meryl Steep “one of the greatest actresses of all time” and added that “only a blithering idiot would think otherwise.” He then received a kiss from the Florence Foster Jenkins star after stating she would have been made a Dame five times over if she were British. He added: “Underrated, is what I’d say.”

Launching into the prizegiving, Fry said: "Let’s crack on with the awards and find out who the Russians have decided have won."

Ken Loach

Loach Brands Government "Callous, Brutal and Disgraceful"

I, Daniel Blake picked up the first award of the night, Best British Film, and director Ken Loach used the platform to call out the British government. "Thank you to the Academy for endorsing the truth of what the film says, which hundreds of thousands of people in this country know, and that is that the most vulnerable and poorest people are treated by this government with a callous brutality that is disgraceful," he said. "It’s a brutality that extends to keeping out refugee children that we promised to help, and that’s a disgrace too."

It was the first of several politically-charged speeches of the night.

Viola Davis

Black Lives Matter

Fences star Viola Davis won Best Supporting Actress and used her speech to recall her late father, a former horse groomer who died of cancer while working as a janitor at McDonald’s. "One of the most devastating things that went through my mind when he took his last breath was: did his life matter?," said Davis.

Davis added that Fences writer August Wilson had helped prove that “our lives matter as African Americans. The horse groomer, the janitor, the people who grew up under the heavy boot of Jim Crow. The people who did not make it into the history book but they have a story, and those stories deserve to be told because they lived.”

Kenneth Lonergan


Picking up the prize for Best Original Screenplay, Manchester by the Sea writer-director Kenneth Lonergan said that his daughter "woke up in tears" the morning after the presidential election. "She turned 15 two weeks ago, and she’s been on five protest demonstrations in that time. I'm very proud of her."

Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel

"That Just Happened"

When Lion star Dev Patel was named Best Supporting Actor, there was an audible gasp of surprise from the press room. The young actor appeared pleasantly surprised too and stated: "Wow. That just happened." He went on to thank his agents, who he said "had this insane task of getting this Indian guy, this noodle with wonky teeth, a lazy eye and floppy hair, work in this really hard industry."

Emma Stone

"Celebrate the positive gift of creativity"

Emma Stone, winner of Best Actress for La La Land, used her speech to celebrate the power of film in dark times. "This country and America seem to be going through a bit of a time," said Stone. "And in a time so divisive it’s especially important that we were able to come together and celebrate the positive gift of creativity, how it can transcend borders and make people feel a little less alone."

Isabelle Huppert

"Back So Soon"

Elle actress Isabelle Huppert got one of the biggest laughs of the night. The French actress, who presented the outstanding contribution award to Curzon Cinema, said: "After receiving most promising newcomer in 1978, I really had no idea I’d be back so soon."

Hugh Grant

Actress Hugh Grant

Florence Foster Jenkins star Hugh Grant took to the stage to present Best Supporting Actress and revealed why he felt such "solidarity" with female performers.

He said: "My school was all boys and I all almost exclusively played female parts. I should say female roles, as that sounds better. That’s why I’ve always felt a great solidarity with actress because I was one for quite a long time."

Linus Sandgren, Emma Stone, Fred Berger, Justin Hurwitz, and Jordan Horowitz

'La La Land': Inspiring People to Drink

Jordan Horowitz, producer of La La Land tripped over his words when presented with the Best Film award, suggesting the feelgood musical could drive viewers to the bottle. "I think it’s our responsibility as artists and creators to create work that inspires joy, and hope, and empathy, and challenges people to drink," he said. Realizing his mistake, he styled it out with a jovial assertion that film "inspires people to drink."

Mel Brooks

"Harvey... Thanks for butting out."

Accepting the BAFTA Fellowship, comedy legend Mel Brooks joked: "I want to thank Harvey Weinstein for having nothing to do with this award tonight. Thanks for butting out."

After receiving the prestigious honour from Prince William, Brooks added: "I want to apologise to the duke and the duchess tonight, and Prince Philip, for the American revolution. We were young."

John Hurt

In Memoriam

British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason played "Hallelujah" as clips of those we lost over the past year were shown. They included Gene Wilder, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and Anton Yelchin among many others. The segment ended with John Hurt, who died last month (Jan. 25).