Brokeback Mountain dominates BAFTAs

Gay cowboy movie Brokeback Mountain was the big winner at the BAFTAs tonight on a night of disappointment for British Oscar hopes.

The Constant Gardener, one of the most acclaimed British films of recent years, had led the field with 10 nominations.

But it missed out on every major prize and ended up with just one award for best editing, a bad omen for British hopes in next month’s Academy Awards.

The film’s stars Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes left empty-handed.

Instead the best actress prize went to Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line, while Philip Seymour Hoffman was named best actor for his performance in Capote.

There was success for British actress Thandie Newton, who won best supporting actress for her role in LA race drama Crash.

Brokeback Mountain took home the two biggest awards of the evening, best film and best director for Ang Lee.

The gay love story between two cowboys, based on a short story by Annie Proulx, also won best adapted screenplay and best supporting actor for Jake Gyllenhaal.

In the British-only categories, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit was named outstanding British film of the year.

Joe Wright was named best British director for Pride and Prejudice.

George Clooney was another of the evening’s big losers.

The Hollywood star had four personal nominations – three for his McCarthy-era drama Good Night, And Good Luck (best director, best original screenplay and best supporting actor) although the film was up for another three – and a second supporting actor nomination for Middle East thriller Syriana.

Before the awards he joked of his multiple nominations: “It means I automatically lose whatever happens.”

Stephen Fry hosted the awards from the Odeon in Leicester Square.

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