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Sunday, 9 April, 2000, 23:35 GMT 00:35 UK
American Beauty shines at Baftas
Kevin Spavey and Cate Blanchett
Kevin Spacey received his award from Cate Blanchett
Smash hit film American Beauty has repeated its Oscars success by taking six Bafta awards at the UK's most prestigious movie ceremony.

The late maverick director Stanley Kubrick and veteran actor Michael Caine were also honoured with Bafta fellowships marking their cinematic achievements.

American Beauty - which won five Oscars - was named best film and its stars Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening were named best actor and actress.

I am forever grateful for Sam Mendes for casting me in this role. It's the most incredible part I've ever been given

Kevin Spacey
But the hit's British film-maker, Sam Mendes, missed out on the best director title at the glittering bash in London.

Instead the honour went to Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, whose All About My Mother was also named best foreign film.

Spacey, who flew in for the ceremony, said: "I am forever grateful for Sam Mendes for casting me in this role. It's the most incredible part I've ever been given.

"I have to say that when I step before a camera I am grateful for every single moment of my stupid little life."
Another triumph for Sam Mendes's film
Before the ceremony began, Mendes told the BBC he was pleased that this time, other people involved in the film had been nominated.

And he described the time since his Oscar triumph as "one of the nicest and most chaotic periods of my life".

The stars - kitted out in their most glamorous outfits - were greeted by cheers from crowds waiting at London's Leicester Square.

Director Stanley Kubrick, whose last film Eyes Wide Shut was released within months of his death last year, was given a posthumous Bafta fellowship - one of the British movie industry's top accolades.
Michael Caine won a Bafta fellowship
Screen veteran Michael Caine, who won the best supporting actor Oscar two weeks ago, used his acceptance speech for his fellowship award to attack the British movie establishment.

Because of his working class roots - he was born in south London, the son of a fish market porter - and non-stage school route into acting, he said: "I never really felt that I belonged in my own country, in my own profession."

Caine, 67, added: "It's a great honour for me. It has been cold out there, maybe I'll feel a little more welcome in my own country than I have up until now."

I never really felt that I belonged in my own country, in my own profession

Michael Caine
However, Caine missed out on the best supporting actor Bafta for his role in The Cider House Rules.

Instead, the tables were turned and Jude Law, whom Caine pipped to the Oscar, was rewarded for his performance in The Talented Mr Ripley.

Clearly overjoyed by his win the black-clad star leapt to the stage and thanked the film's director for giving him the chance to appear in the thriller.

Law said: "Thank you, thank you Bafta for the opportunity to say thank you to Anthony Minghella who made me play this part - and made me play it well."
Jude Law and Sadie Frost
The Talented Mr Law and Sadie Frost
A stream of Hollywood stars including Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett also attended the event, correctly titled the Orange British Academy Film Awards.

American Beauty, a satire on small-town life in the US which follows a dysfunctional family, has taken a string of top awards. The film's haul of Baftas included best music, best cinematography and best editing.

Low-budget British film East Is East took The Alexander Korda award for best British film.
But the most successful British movie of all time, the romantic comedy Notting Hill, was overlooked by both the Bafta voting panel and the Oscars voters two weeks ago.

But its success with film fans around the world was reflected when it took the Orange Audience Award, voted for by cinemagoers themselves, beating blockbusters like The Matrix and The Sixth Sense.

Bafta judges were asked to cast their votes ahead of the Oscars so as not to be influenced by the famous US ceremony.

The BBC's Rosie Millard
"London was the centre of the movie world"
See also:

09 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Kubrick and Caine honoured
09 Apr 00 | Entertainment
The Baftas: In pictures
09 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Full list of Bafta winners
28 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
American Beauty's Oscar triumph
27 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
British bask in Oscar glory
27 Mar 00 | Oscars 2000
The Oscars: In pictures
09 Mar 99 | UK
Kubrick: A film odyssey
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