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“La La Land” takes 5 prizes at British academy awards

image009LONDON—Glamour was shot through with grit at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday.
Frothy musical “La La Land” took five prizes including best picture, but major awards also went to tough welfare-state drama “I, Daniel Blake” and fractured-family stories “Lion” and “Manchester by the Sea.”
In keeping with an awards season that has coincided with a wrenching change of government in the United States, even “La La Land’s” prizes came with a political tinge.
Accepting the best-actress trophy, Emma Stone said that in a divided world, it was vital to celebrate “the positive gift of creativity and how we can transcend borders and how we help people to feel a little less alone.”
“La La Land” also took home prizes for director Damien Chazelle, original screenplay, music and cinematography.
Casey Affleck was named best actor for playing a grieving handyman in “Manchester by the Sea.”
Affleck, who is also Oscar-nominated for the role, thanked writer-director Kenneth Lonergan for creating a film that “dignifies everyday lives and their struggles with great compassion.”
The wintry New England drama also won Lonergan the prize for best original screenplay.
British actor Dev Patel pulled off an upset, beating favorite Mahershala Ali, from “Moonlight,” to win the best supporting actor trophy for “Lion.”
The London-born Patel expressed shock at being a winner at a ceremony he used to watch on TV with his family.
He said “Lion,” which co-stars Nicole Kidman is “a film, about family, about a love that transcends borders, race, color, anything.”
“Lion” also took the BAFTA for best adapted screenplay.
Loach’s “I, Daniel Blake” was named best British film. The 80-year-old director used his acceptance speech to lambast the country’s Conservative government.
Loach said his docudrama about a carpenter trying to get welfare after a heart attack shows that “the most vulnerable and the poorest people are treated by this government with a callous brutality that is disgraceful.”
He was cheered by an audience at London’s Royal Albert Hall that included Prince William, and his wife, Kate.
The U.K. awards, known as BAFTAs, are often seen as an indicator of who will win at Hollywood’s Academy Awards, held two weeks later. “La La Land” already is a dominant force at the Oscars, with 14 nominations. But while the luscious musical was an academy favorite, academy voters also rewarded less escapist fare.

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