She won her new award, presented in partnership with Claridge’s, for her part as a politician in black comedy The Party. “It’s very touching to have another one. Especially as it is the first one I ever got, as most promising newcomer or whatever they called it in those days, 100 million years ago,” she said.
Gary Oldman, Dame Kristin’s co-star in Darkest Hour, lost out in the best actor category to Daniel Kaluuya, for Get Out. The Everyman Award for best film went to God’s Own Country. Writer and director Francis Lee dedicated his win to leading men Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu, who joined him on stage.
The pair play a Yorkshire farmer and a Romanian migrant worker in the love story, which Lee said was influenced by his time working in a south London scrapyard. He said: “One of the guys there was a guy from Romania.
We became really good friends and I was really shocked at his experience of coming to our country but I was amazed with how he dealt with that on an emotional level. He had come from a white-collar job in Romania and the only job he could get here was sweeping up in a scrapyard.”
Gemma Jones, who won best supporting actress for her role as O’Connor’s character’s grandmother, said she was “humbled to be part of this extraordinary little film”. Simon Russell Beale was named best supporting actor for his turn as the Soviet secret police chief Lavrentiy Beria in The Death Of Stalin.
Its director and writer Armando Iannucci, who had huge success with his political satire The Thick Of It, is working on a version of Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield and said he was glad he did not have to think about politics. “A lot of what is happening we would have rejected as basic farce,” he said.
The best screenplay award, donated by Amanda Eliasch in memory of her grandfather Sidney Gilliat, went to Sally Potter for The Party.
Other winners at the event, in partnership with Claridge’s, hosted by Catherine Tate and supported by Aldi and Laurent-Perrier, included director Rungano Nyoni, who won breakthrough of the year for I Am Not A Witch, and Paddington 2, which won the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy. Its production designer, Gary Williamson, won technical achievement.
Dame Kristin won most promising newcomer for 1988’s A Handful Of Dust.