A jury including ‘Thor’ actor Tom Hiddleston and film producer Alison Owen (aka Lily Allen’s mum) well and truly spread the love at the Moët British Independent Film Awards last night. The jurors awarded their ten main prizes to no less than seven different films – with ‘Berberian Sound Studio’ (Toby Jones as a sound engineer working on a 1970s Italian horror film), ‘Broken’ (an ensemble London drama starring Tim Roth) and ‘The Imposter’ (a slippery doc about a Frenchman posing as a missing child in Texas) emerging as the biggest winners at a ceremony held at Old Billingsgate Market and hosted by ‘The Hobbit’ star James Nesbitt.
There were laughs, tears and stumbles at an awards dinner famed for its sense of fun and lack of pomposity. Young actor James Floyd blubbed endearingly as he picked up a prize for Most Promising Newcomer for his role in ‘My Brother The Devil’; Andrea Riseborough expressed regret at wearing a revealing dress as she collected the Best Actress prize for ‘Shadow Dancer’ (‘I’ll just get them out,’ she said of her notes for her speech, sending the room into giggles); and Jude Law did his best to make some sense while talking about the importance of ‘creativity’ while picking up an achievement award for his career so far. Nesbitt was hosting the night for the seventh time and began the evening by casually singing a rewritten version of ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, Frank Sinatra-style, in which he pulled off the impressive coup of rhyming ‘Idris Elba’ with ‘peach melba’.
Hats off to the winners – and to the Bifas organisers for pulling off the best night in the British film calendar for the fifteenth year in a row.