The big winner at last night’s annual BAFTA evening was without doubt Alejandro G. Inarritu’s ambitious project “The Revenant” with five awards. The gritty western was filmed in harsh conditions that severely tested both the cast and crew to their limits, yet they were rewarded handsomely at Britain’s premier Film event. Highlights included the best film, best director and the best actor award to the clearly highly delighted Leonardo DiCaprio.

Perseverance pays off

After three previous nominations, DiCaprio was finally rewarded for his perseverance with the prestigious prize.

It marks him out as the clear favourite to repeat the feat at the Academy Awards.

Larson jumps for joy

Cate Blanchett, Dame Maggie Smith and the other distinguished nominees for the leading actress gong were all ultimately left disappointed as Brie Larson scooped the honour instead for her role in “Room”. The emotionally-charged movie tells the story of a woman and her son held captive in an enclosed space for several years.

Twenty-six year-old Larson didn’t attend the event in person – she was filming a movie about King Kong’s origins in Australia at the time – but the BAFTA backed up similar previous successes for the American actress at the Golden Globes and SAG awards. She later humbly thanked BAFTA via Instagram as she quite literally jumped for joy at the great news.

Rylance pipped Elba

Idris Elba may have taken the plaudits in the elegance stakes - as the dapper ‘Luther’ star sported a matching black tie, shirt and suit – but he was pipped to the best supporting actor award by fellow Brit Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”). Forty-three-year-old Elba had been hotly tipped for the gong for his part in “Beasts of No Nation” and appeared cheerful despite reportedly recently splitting from Naiyana Garth, the mother of his 22-month-old son.

Winslet shares DiCaprio’s success

There was further British success in the best supporting actress category, as Kate Winslet’s role in “Steve Jobs” took the honours. Fans of the box office smash “Titanic” which famously featured Winslet alongside DiCaprio would no doubt have smiled at their double success on the night.

‘Mad Max’ success

The Royal Opera House ceremony proved to also be hugely rewarding for “Mad Max: Fury Road”, with Tom Hardy in the titular role.

The combined Australian and American venture picked up a pleasing four prizes in total including best production design and best editing.

A-listers in attendance

The evening was hosted by Stephen Fry from London’s Covent Garden with his customary style and diligence. With a plethora of Hollywood’s finest in attendance, rubbing shoulders with the cream of British film excellence, it made for a fitting tribute to the stars from the past twelve months.

Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, DiCaprio and Blanchett were among the A-listers who made the trip across the Atlantic. In that regard, the organisers could be congratulated for bringing the (what turned out to be) star-studded event forward in the calendar.

By placing the BAFTAs a couple of weeks prior to the Oscars, they could in effect be a prelude to the big day itself. In so doing, many stars were clearly eager to push their credentials in person.