Though he has lost every other award leading up to the BAFTA Film Awards, Chiwetel Ejiofor was able to take home that prize for Best Actor. The awards were presented last night in London, and offered film fans a handful of surprises.
Ejiofor won the Best Actor award for the first time this season, while Barkhad Abdi from Captain Phillips, also won Best Supporting Actor for the first time, which were two of the biggest surprises of the night. Gravity also took home several awards, and may take some of that momentum into the upcoming Academy Awards.
Chiwetel Ejiofor won the award for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave. The film is a chilling tale of a free black man who is forced into slavery for 12 years, and the outrageous things that he is forced to endure.
The film is directed by Steve Mcqueen, a black man who is a native of Britain, and wanted to bring the real life story of Solomon Northup to the knowledge of everyone. In addition to Ejiofor, the film is host to a number of Hollywood stars including Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, and others.
Finally! Chiwetel Ejiofor wins Best Actor for 12 Years a Slave. #BAFTAs
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) February 16, 2014
The film also welcomes newcomer Lupita Nyong’o to the scene, and while she was also nominated for a BAFTA, Jennifer Lawrence won the award for her role in American Hustle.
Chiwetel Ejiofor drew huge cheers when he went up to the podium to accept his award, and after losing at the Golden Globe Awards, Critics Choice Film Awards, and the SAG Awards, he may have thought that his time would not come during this year's award season. In addition to Ejiofor's Best Actor win, 12 Years A Slave won the award for Best Film.
He has had a tough time in previous award shows, and continues to do so because of the stiff competition that he faces this year. 2013 was a strong year for film, and it continues to show, since no film or actor seems to have emerged as a front-runner yet. The Academy Awards is only two weeks away.
At the BAFTA Awards, McConaughey was eliminated from the competitive field, but in order to earn the award, Ejiofor had to beat out veterans Christian Bale, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Bruce Dern.
Leonardo DiCaprio gave a sweet tribute to Bruce Dern during his Golden Globes acceptance speech, and during last night's awards show, he can be seen giving Ejiofor a standing ovation.
The acting awards have been split between Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, and Chiwetel Ejiofor so far, and any of them could get the Oscar, and possibly even someone else.
As much as I love DiCaprio & Chiwetel Ejiofor, the Academy Award for Best Actor would be a deserved win for McConaughey. #DallasBuyersClub
— Mark Navarrete (@MarkNav1) February 17, 2014
Image via Youtube