Silent film wins seven awards; Jean Dujardin, Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer take acting honors
"The Artist" was named the year's best film at the Orange British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, sweeping through the ceremony just as it is expected to do at the Academy Awards in two weeks.
The black-and-white silent film was also given awards for director Michel Hazanavicius and leading actor Jean Dujardin (left), and for its screenplay, music, cinematography and costume design by voters from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" won awards for its sound and production design. Scorsese was also honored with BAFTA's Academy Fellowship, an honorary award given for "outstanding and exceptional contribution to film."
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" won an award for its adapted screenplay and was also named Outstanding British Film, an award that usually goes to a film that is nominated for but does not win the Best Film award. ("The King's Speech" was an exception last year, winning both.)
The Margaret Thatcher biopic "The Iron Lady" also won a pair of awards, one for its makeup and one for leading actress Meryl Streep.
In the last 10 years, the BAFTA Best Film winner has matched the Oscar Best Picture winner only four times – but three of those were the last three years in a row, meaning the British voters increasingly are seeing eye-to-eye with their American colleagues.
The film's dominant performance, and its victories in the director and leading actor categories, are additional evidence that Oscar-night triumphs are at this point all but inevitable.
The 82-year-old Christopher Plummer won the Supporting Actor award for "Beginners," and in doing so became the oldest person ever to win a BAFTA Award. Octavia Spencer was named Best Supporting Actress for "The Help."
Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live In" won in the Film Not in the English Language category over the Iranian film "A Separation," which has dominated awards season so far.
Another surprise came in the Editing category, where the auto-racing documentary "Senna" beat "The Artist," "Drive," "Hugo" and "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."
"Senna" was also named best documentary, while Gore Verbinski's "Rango" was named the top animated feature.
The Oscar nominee "A Morning Stroll" was honored in the Short Animation category. "Pitch Black Heist," starring Michael Fassbender, won the Short Film award.
The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award, the only BAFTA Award voted by the public, went to actor/writer-director Adam Deacon over Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Chris O'Dowd and Eddie Redmayne.
Actor John Hurt received the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.
Best Film: "The Artist"
Outstanding British Film: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: "Tyrannosaur," Paddy Considine (director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (producer)
Film Not in the English Language: "The Skin I Live In"
Animated Film: "Rango"
Director: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Original Screenplay: "The Artist," Michel Hazanavicius
Adapted Screenplay: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan
Leading Actor: Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
Leading Actress: Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Original Music: Ludovic Bource, "The Artist"
Cinematography: Guillaume Schiffman, "The Artist"
Editing: "Senna," Gregers Sall and Chris King
Production Design: "Hugo," Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Shiavo
Costume Design: "The Artist," Mark Bridges
Make Up & Hair: "The Iron Lady," Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland, Marese Langan
Sound: "Hugo," Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman and John Midgley
Special Visual Effects: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," Tim Burke, John Richardson, Greg Butler and David Vickery
Short Animation: "A Morning Stroll," Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe
Short Film: "Pitch Black Heist," John Maclean and Gerardine O'Flynn
The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award: Adam Deacon
Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award: John Hurt
Academy Fellowship: Martin Scorsese
(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)