Cate Blanchett wins best actress BAFTA
Aussie actress boosts hopes of winning a second Oscar after picking up a BAFTA award, while dedicating the accolade to late colleague Philip Seymour Hoffman.PT1M6S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-32uqn 620 349 February 17, 2014
Cate Blanchett's chances of winning a second Oscar have been given a boost after she won a third British film award for her turn as a fallen Manhattan socialite in Woody Allen's tragic comedy Blue Jasmine.
Blanchett was an almost unbackable favourite to take out the leading actress BAFTA and duly beat four other nominees including British stars Judi Dench (Philomena) and Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks).
Phil, buddy, this is for you, you bastard, I hope you are proud.
The 44-year-old Australian dedicated the win to fellow Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died a fortnight ago of an apparent heroin overdose.
Tribute: Cate Blanchett has dedicated her award to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. Photo: Reuters
She said Hoffman's monumental talent, generosity and unflinching quest for the truth would be missed by those who loved him.
"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," Blanchett said when accepting her award at London's Royal Opera House on Sunday night.
"So Phil, buddy, this is for you, you bastard, I hope you are proud."
BAFTAs red carpet
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt make a rare red carpet appearance at the BAFTA awards in London.
Blanchett - who previously won BAFTAs for The Aviator in 2005 and Elizabeth in 1999 - did not speak to reporters as she walked the red carpet before the awards 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 did not name the director specifically but thanked "everyone" who made Blue Jasmine "so memorable and such a game-changer for me".
She picked up a Golden Globe for the film in January and has also been nominated for next month's Oscars.
Chiwetel Ejiofor took out the leading actor award 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."
While Baz Luhrmann missed out on a best director nomination for The Great Gatsby, his wife, Catherine Martin, won two Baftas on Sunday. Martin picked up the production design award along with compatriot and Gatsby set decorator Beverley Dunn, before going on to take the best costume design award too.
A host of other Australians nominated for their work in make-up and hair, costume, visual effects, producing and scriptwriting failed to claim a BAFTA.
The British film awards are seen as a dry run for the Oscars, which take place in Hollywood on March 2.