‘King,’ ‘Queen’ share British film throne

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first_imgA gracious monarch and a charismatic dictator took the top prizes Sunday at the British Academy Film Awards. Dame Helen Mirren was crowned best actress for playing Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen,” which also was named the year’s best picture. Forest Whitaker took the best actor prize for his riveting turn as Idi Amin in “The Last King of Scotland,” the story of a young Scottish doctor’s entanglement with the Ugandan dictator. “Last King” was also named the best British film and took the prize for best adapted screenplay. Peter Morgan, who wrote “The Queen” and co-wrote “The Last King of Scotland,” joked that the double triumph might spawn a sequel. “Idi Amin wrote love letters to the queen. He offered himself as her lover,” Morgan said. “Forest, if you’re willing, I think there may be some takers.” Whitaker beat Daniel Craig (“Casino Royale”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Departed”), Richard Griffiths (“The History Boys”) and Peter O’Toole (“Venus”) for the top prize for an actor. Director Kevin Macdonald, however, said he initially doubted Whitaker was right for the role. “He seemed such a sweet, gentle, lovable sort of person,” Macdonald said. “He proved he did have those depths of anger and paranoia and terror in him.” Mirren, 61, beat out a strong field that included Dame Judi Dench (“Notes on a Scandal”), Penelope Cruz (“Volver”), Kate Winslet (“Little Children”) and Meryl Streep (“The Devil Wears Prada”). Mirren thanked her co-stars, including the corgis. – Associated Press 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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