Entertainment & Arts

Evening Standard British Film Awards: Brooklyn wins best film

Image copyright Lionsgate
Image caption Brooklyn is adapted from Colm Toibin's novel of the same name

Brooklyn has been named film of the year at the London Evening Standard British Film Awards.

The film stars Saoirse Ronan in the story of a young Irish girl who goes to the US to seek a new life.

It beat favourite to win, 45 Years starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay.

Idris Elba was named best actor for Beasts of No Nation, while Dame Maggie Smith was named best actress for The Lady in the Van.

The awards, at the BBC's former Television Centre in London, were hosted by TV presenter Simon Amstell.

The event drew in big names from the acting world, including nominees Elba and Courtenay, Tuppence Middleton, Stanley Tucci, Matthew Perry and Vanessa Redgrave.

Brooklyn has also been nominated for best British film at the Baftas and Ronan is up for the best actress Bafta and Oscar. Ronan has already won best actress at the British Independent Film Awards.

The film is based on the novel by Irish writer Colm Toibin and has been adapted for the big screen by About A Boy screenwriter Nick Hornby, who is also up for an Oscar and a Bafta.

Marital strife drama 45 Years had been nominated for three Evening Standard awards. It came away with one, winning the Editor's Award - described by the event's organisers as a "special award to celebrate an extraordinary achievement or person that has lit up the industry in the last year".

Outstanding Contribution

Elba was presented with his best actor award by Redgrave. His film Beasts of No Nation is a harsh exploration of child soldiering in West Africa and Elba plays the charismatic but ruthless commandant of a boys' army.

The Lady in the Van Image copyright AP
Image caption The Lady in the Van is based on Alan Bennett's real-life friendship with an eccentric homeless woman

The Luther actor is also nominated for best supporting actor at the Baftas on 14 February.

Dame Maggie is also up for a Bafta in the best actress category for The Lady in the Van.

The film, written by Alan Bennett, is a tragi-comic portrayal of an eccentric homeless woman whom Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her to park her van in the drive of his London home.

Dame Maggie picked up her Evening Standard accolade from the theatre director David Hare. This is the fourth time Dame Maggie has been recognised by the Evening Standard awards in the best actress category. She first won 37 years ago for California Suite.

Star Wars and Amy

Meanwhile, Bennett himself was honoured with the Evening Standard award for Outstanding Contribution to British Film.

Other winners on the night were novelist Emma Donoghue for her big screen adaptation of her Booker-nominated bestseller Room, which is up for four Oscars including best film.

Emma Thompson won the award for best comedy performance for The Legend of Barney Thompson and Maisie Williams was named the year's Rising Star for her performance in The Falling.

And other winners in the film categories were box office smash Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which won Blockbuster of the Year, and Amy took the Best Documentary award.

Here is the winners list in full:

Best Film

Brooklyn

Best Actor

Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation

Best Actress

Dame Maggie Smith - The Lady in the Van

Best Documentary

Amy

Blockbuster of the Year

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Editor's Award

45 Years

Best Screenplay

Emma Donaghue - Room

Rising Star

Maisie Williams - The Falling

Comedy Award

Emma Thompson - The Legend of Barney Thomson

Technical Achievement

Mark Digby - production designer, Ex-Machina

Outstanding Contribution

Alan Bennett

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