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Joker and Joaquin Phoenix keep awards season momentum going with trio of BAFTA wins

By Benjamin Bullard
Joker makeup

Joker kept the dance going through awards season over the weekend, picking up three fresh trophies from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) on Sunday — including another Best Actor pickup for star Joaquin Phoenix.

With a repeat showing following his win last month for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, Phoenix took home the iconic BAFTA mask with yet another win for Best Leading Actor. Sunday’s BAFTA pickup is just the latest in what’s by now become a routine sweep through the awards season circuit for Phoenix. His portrayal of Arthur Fleck in the Todd Phillips-directed movie also has yielded Phoenix a heavy haul of hardware from the Critics’ Choice Awards as well as the Golden Globes

In a BAFTA ceremony largely dominated by director Sam Mendes’ war epic 1917, Joker managed to pick up two more honors: the award for Best Score, which went to Hildur Guðnadóttir (whose music had previously won her this year’s Golden Globe), as well as Shayna Markowitz for Best Casting. 

While Joker was the brightest spot for genre at this year’s BAFTA proceedings, it had a least a little genre company. Jojo Rabbit earned director Taika Waititi a mask trophy in the Adapted Screenplay category, while do-it-all acting icon Andy Serkis took home the Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, an annual honor given in recognition of overall cinematic achievement.

“Through the creation of such characters as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit series, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes trilogy, the titular gorilla in 2005’s King Kong, and as Supreme Leader Snoke in the recent Star Wars trilogy, Andy Serkis has both pioneered the evolving art of performance capture and widened the parameters of what it means to be an actor in the 21st century,” BAFTA prasied in a statement on its website.

Will Joker’s past award successes help it — and Phoenix — get the last laugh at the biggest movie award ceremony of them all? With Joker carrying 11 nominations into the event, at least we don’t have long to wait before there's an answer. The 92nd Academy Awards are just a week away, slated to hand out this year's Oscar statues on Sunday, Feb. 9.