BAFTAs 2013: Ben Affleck and Argo the big winners

Daredevil star completes journey from joke to directorial heavyweight.

Ben Affleck’s political thriller ‘Argo’ was the big winner at the 2013 BAFTAs, scooping the Best Film and Best Director prizes.

Telling the gripping true life story of 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, it also won a third gong for editing.

[Related story: Complete list of BAFTAs 2013 winners]

[Related story: Skyfall best British film]

Collecting his directing award, Affleck said: “This is a second act for me. This industry has given me that.” Indeed it is remarkable that the man who was once most famous for ‘’Bennifer’ and ‘Daredevil’ was now picking up the biggest prizes in the British film industry.

The win for ‘Argo’ also shortens it’s odds for the Oscars, though Ben himself wasn’t even nominated in the Director category for this year’s Academy Awards. Bizarre.

The big loser of the night was undoubtedly ‘Lincoln’. Daniel Day-Lewis picked up his almost obligatory Best Actor prize for playing the doomed US president, but Steven Spielberg’s epic was snubbed in every other category.

Day-Lewis paid tribute to his director Spielberg in his speech, before wittily alluding to his method acting pretentions: “I have actually stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years.”

The supporting acting prizes went as expected: Anne Hathaway winning for ‘Les Miserable’ and Christoph Waltz being awarded for ‘Django Unchained’.

Not in the script though was Emmanuelle Riva’s surprise victory for Best Actress. The actual presence of both Jennifer Lawrence (‘Silver Linings Playbook’) and Jessica Chastain (‘Zero Dark Thirty’) may’ve lead cynics to believe one of these Hollywood heavyweights would triumph. However it was Riva – not there – who nonetheless picked up the (richly deserved) prize thanks to her brave work in ‘Armour’.

‘Skyfall’ earned a huge patriotic cheer at the beginning of the show after winning a Outstanding British Film prize – shifted to the beginning of the ceremony this year. Collecting the award, Sam Mendes paid tribute to Daniel Craig, who many considered unlucky not to bag a nomination himself for his third stint as 007.

The most bizarre moment of the evening was surely Sally Field’s speech presenting the Original Screenplay award. ‘Les Mis’ star Eddie Redmayne was supposed to co-present, but was “puking his guts out backstage” according to the ‘Lincoln’ actress.