Ali said at the awards ceremony in London on Sunday night that it was “surreal to get this kind of thing for something you feel so passionate about and grateful for.”
Other winners so far at Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars include Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” for best adapted screenplay, the Bradley Cooper-directed “A Star is Born” for music and Alfonso Cuaron’s lush black-and-white “Roma” for cinematography.
Weisz’s trophy was the fourth award of the night for the royal period drama, in which she plays Sarah Churchill, who was one of the most powerful people in 18th-century England.
The 18th-century royal drama took the first award of Sunday’s ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall. It is nominated in another 11 categories at the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars, including the separate best film prize.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos paid tribute to the films three stars – Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. All three are up for acting trophies at the awards, known as BAFTAs.
The British Academy Film Awards have been criticized for not nominating any women for best director this year. Only one woman, Kathryn Bigelow, has ever been named best director at the British prizes, for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s awards ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Harris said “men seem to find that transition much easier” but that things are changing.
Among them: Amy Adams, a supporting actress nominee for “Vice,” best-actress nominee Viola Davis of “Widows” and Glenn Close, a best-actress contender for “The Wife.”
Richard E. Grant, who is up for best supporting actor at both the British awards and the Oscars, said the recognition of his performance as an affable rogue in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” is “the ride of my lifetime.”
A beaming Grant said: “I’ve been working for 40 years, I’ve never won anything.”
He says he thinks the film about a real-life literary forger, played by Melissa McCarthy, “just moved people” and made them laugh.
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The royal tragi-comedy has 12 nominations, including best picture, for the U.K. equivalent of the Oscars. Olivia Colman is favored to take the best-actress prize for her performance as Britain’s 18th-century Queen Anne.
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, will join Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis and other stars for Sunday’s ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” lunar drama “First Man,” Mexican memoir “Roma” and the musical melodrama “A Star Is Born” each received seven nominations for the prizes, which come two weeks before Hollywood’s Academy Awards on Feb. 24.