Hat-trick for Campion, a double for Will Smith in weekend of awards

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It was a glorious weekend for Jane Campion, who scored a hat-trick with her psychological drama, ‘The Power of the Dog’, winning the honour for best film at the DGA Awards on Saturday night (U.S. Pacific Time), followed immediately by trophies for best film and director at the BAFTA Awards and Critics Choice Awards, both held on Sunday night in London’s Albert Hall and in Los Angeles, respectively.

For Will Smith, it was a double with best actor wins both at the BAFTAs and the Critics Choice Awards, which were held on the same night, although in different time zones. It meant that the BAFTAs took place earlier in the evening, but it also prevented both Campion and Smith from attending the event in London, which will be remembered for the show’s host, Rebel Wilson, pointing her middle finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin for his war on Ukraine.

Accepting her trophy at the Critics Choice Awards, Campion said: “It’s absolutely stunning to be here tonight among so many incredible women.” She gave a shout out to See Her award winner Halle Berry, saying that the actress recited her speech earlier in the night (and “absolutely killed it”).

‘The Power of the Dog’, reports ‘Variety’, nabbed a total of four trophies during Sunday’s ceremony, with a win for Campion’s adapted screenplay, best cinematography (Ari Wagner) and best picture. Campion returned to the stage to accept that trophy, the evening’s final award, alongside stars Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, with producer Roger Frappier.

“I’ve still got some PTSD from critics earlier in my career … some deep wounds, but I’ve also been championed by them,” Campion said in her acceptance speech, concluding it on a stirring note with: “I’m like the grandmother of the women’s movement in film now, but I’m still here!”

Campton, reports ‘Variety’, also called out ‘King Richard’ subjects Venus and Serena Williams, saying that she was honoured to be in one room with them. The filmmaker then narrated some killer tennis jokes about how she has recently taken up the game and could use some lessons from Smith if he wants to come over.

“Venus and Serena, you’re such marvels but you don’t play against the guys, like I have to,” Campion quipped.

The New Zealander wasn’t the only person bowled over in the presence of the Williams sisters. When ‘King Richard’ lead star Will Smith was named best actor at the Critics Choice Awards, he pointed out Venus and Serena Williams and their sister and the film’s executive producer, Isha Price, sitting at the film’s table in the ballroom.

“Thank you for entrusting me with your story,” Smith told the trio. “What your family was able to do inspired everyone in this room, everyone in this country and everyone around the world. You all define the American dream.”

He also dedicated the award to their mother, Oracene Price, who played a very “quiet role” in their family’s story for years.

“Your father didn’t do it alone; it would be disingenuous for me to accept this award without acknowledging [celebrated actress and producer] Aunjanue Ellis,” Smith added, as the room burst into applause and cheers.

Around this time the ‘Please Wrap Up’ signal began to flash and Smith joked: “I think Best Actor should get a little more time.”

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