#CulturePH - Glamour and Grandeur: A Recap of the 2024 BAFTAs

As the BAFTAs 2024 celebrated the magic of film, die-hard Pinoy entertainment buffs tuned in to the action live via Lionsgate Play.

Easily the most highly anticipated award show in the UK, the BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) never fails to deliver a night of glamour, excitement, and emotional acceptance speeches. This year's BAFTA ceremony was no exception. Here are some of the highlights from this star-studded event:

1. Host David Tennant set the tone with his signature charm and wit

The charismatic David Tennant (Doctor Who, Good Omens), started the night with a skit with cameos from fellow celebrities Michael Sheen, Stanley Tucci, Himesh Patel, Tom Hiddleston, Dame Judi Dench, and a puppy named Bark Ruffalo. The skit set the tone for the rest of the evening — fun, lighthearted, and unapologetically British. Throughout the night, Tennant would playfully skewer the year's top films, keeping things light even when addressing more serious issues.

2. The big winners: Oppenheimer and Poor Things

Oppenheimer struck gold with seven accolades, while Poor Things nabbed five. Acceptance speeches ranged from the personal, such as Emma Stone tearfully thanking her mother; to the political — Christopher Nolan, who won Best Director for Oppenheimer, honored the scientists and activists who've dedicated their lives to combating nuclear warfare.

Meanwhile, western crime epic Killers of the Flower Moon, Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, romantic fantasy film All of Us Strangers, dark comedy Saltburn, and the other half of Barbenheimer Barbie found themselves BAFTA-less, despite multiple nominations.

3. The return of "Murder on the Dance Floor"

Even though Saltburn ended the evening sans rewards, the film's soundtrack made quite an impression. The film featured Sophie Ellis-Bextor's 2001 hit "Murder on the Dance Floor" prominently, and what better way to celebrate a Brit hit going global (albeit over 20 years after its debut) than with a live performance? Ellis-Bextor treated the audience to a glittery rendition of the song, and based on the social media reactions, it was a crowd-pleaser.

4. Samantha Morton

Acclaimed British actor, writer, and director Samantha Morton (Minority Report, The Serpent Queen) was awarded a Fellowship -- the highest honor BAFTA gives an individual. In her touching acceptance speech, Morton talked about growing up in poverty, dedicating her award to children living in foster care.

“Film changed my life, it transformed me,” she said, citing how seeing Ken Loach's 1969 film Kes changed her life. "Seeing poverty and people like me on the screen, I recognized myself," she said. "Representation matters."

5. A poignant moment

For the In Memoriam segment, Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham performed a haunting rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time". The performance left viewers misty-eyed as they remembered film industry greats who had passed away over the past year.

6. Michael J. Fox

Some of the night's celebrity presenters included Cate Blanchett, David Beckham, Idris Elba, Dua Lipa, Hugh Grant, and Lily Collins, but the presenter that made the biggest impression was a complete surprise: Michael J. Fox.

When Fox took the stage, the atmosphere shifted from starstruck awe to something far more profound. Despite the challenges of living with Parkinson's disease, the Back To The Future icon shocked all by appearing to present the Best Film award. He arrived in a wheelchair, but stood up at the podium, prompting the whole room to rise on their feet in a standing ovation.

"There's a reason why they say movies are magic, because movies can change your day," Fox said. "They can change your outlook, and sometimes even your life."

Live with Lionsgate Play

Though the awards were unfolding halfway across the world, die-hard Filipino film buffs watched the BAFTAs in real time on Lionsgate Play. And for anyone who wants to watch the BAFTAs 2024 -- either for the first time or simply to relive the best moments -- Lionsgate Play has your back. You can rewatch BAFTAs anytime, anywhere on the app.

Entertainment buffs can count on Lionsgate Play, the home of awards, to give them front-row tickets to the glitziest nights in show business.  Earlier this year, the platform streamed the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards and the 81st Golden Globe Awards. For many more cinematic adventures, Lionsgate Play is just a click away. 

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