Agence France Presse
New Zealander Peter Jacksonâ€™s â€˜Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" was the big winner at Sundayâ€™s BAFTA awards, Britainâ€™s equivalent of the Oscars, picking up five prizes including best picture and putting it in pole position for the Academy Awards later this month.
The film, which last week picked up the Directors Guild of Americaâ€™s prestigious annual filmmaking award and is vying for 11 Oscars, also won BAFTAs for best adapted screenplay, cinematography, special effects as well as a special award voted by the public for film of the year.
Americans Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson won the best actor and best actress awards for their roles in Sofia Coppolaâ€™s â€˜Lost in Translationâ€™, a gentle comedy set in Tokyo.
Best director went to Australian Peter Weir for â€˜Master and Commander: The Far Side of the Worldâ€™. Bill Nighy was named best supporting actor for â€˜Love Actuallyâ€™, while Renee Zellwegger won the best supporting actress for â€˜Cold Mountainâ€™.
One surprise was the poor showing of Anthony Mingellaâ€™s â€˜Cold Mountainâ€™, which was nominated in 13 categories â€” one more than â€˜The Return of the Kingâ€™ â€” but came away with only two. â€˜The Return of the Kingâ€™ beat â€˜Big Fishâ€™, â€˜Cold Mountainâ€™, â€˜Lost in Translationâ€™ and â€˜Master and Commanderâ€™ to win the ceremonyâ€™s top prize.