Cate Blanchett has dedicated her third British film award to her late friend Philip Seymour Hoffman but didn’t explicitly thank director Woody Allen when she won the leading actress BAFTA for her role in Blue Jasmine.
The Australian’s chances of winning a second Oscar in a fortnight have been given a boost by Sunday night’s win for her turn as a fallen Manhattan socialite.
Blanchett was an almost unbackable favourite to take out the best actress gong and duly beat four other nominees including British stars Judi Dench and Emma Thompson.
The 44-year-old dedicated the win to fellow Oscar winner Hoffman, who died a fortnight ago of an apparent heroin overdose.
Blanchett said Hoffman’s monumental talent, generosity and unflinching quest for the truth would be missed.
“You raised the bar continually so very, very high and I guess all we can do in your absence is to try and raise it continually through our work,” she said in her acceptance speech.
“So Phil, buddy, this is for you, you bastard, I hope you are proud.”
Blanchett – who previously won BAFTAs for The Aviator in 2005 and Elizabeth in 1999 – didn’t speak to reporters as she walked the red carpet before the ceremony.
She has reportedly been keen to avoid questions about recent sexual abuse accusations directed at Allen by his adopted daughter Dylan with ex-partner Mia Farrow.
On stage, Blanchett didn’t name the director specifically but rather thanked “everyone” that made Blue Jasmine “so memorable and such a game-changer for me”.
She picked up a Golden Globe for the film in January.
Chiwetel Ejiofor took out the leading actor award at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday night for his performance in 12 Years A Slave.
The 1840s slave trade story directed by Steve McQueen also picked up the best film BAFTA.
At the start of Sunday’s ceremony host Stephen Fry singled out Blanchett’s performance in the “utterly compelling” Blue Jasmine while making a joke.
“She (Blanchett) plays a woman who finds herself penniless and on the verge of a breakdown after being betrayed by a wealthy, powerful man,” Fry told the star-studded audience.
“It’s loosely based on matters currently unravelling in the French presidency.”
Baz Luhrmann missed out on a best director nomination for The Great Gatsby but his wife, Catherine Martin, won two BAFTAs.
She picked up the production design award along with compatriot and Gatsby set decorator Beverley Dunn, before taking out the best costume design award too.
“This is a very long list of thank yous and also, as I advance in age, I can’t read without my reading glasses so this might take an enormous amount of time,” Martin said on stage.
Fry, who had been hassling people to be quick, immediately proffered his glasses.
A host of other Australians nominated for their work in make-up and hair, costume, visual effects, producing and script-writing failed to claim a BAFTA.
The British film awards are seen as a dry run for the Oscars, which take place in Los Angeles on March 2.