While No Country For Old Men has been collecting most of this award season's Best Picture statuettes, the stuffy limeys at BAFTA instead decided to award their prize to one of their homegrown jewels, the weepy Anglophiliac wet dream Atonement. However, the most intriguing award of the night had ostensibly nothing to do with a great performance and everything to do with ensuring that the British Academy of Film And Television's bottom line was sufficiently padded. The award in question, the Orange Rising Star Award, was handed to Shia LaBeouf and presented by the mobile phone company Orange. Now that the normally reserved BAFTAs have cashed in their principles for a taste of the almighty
dollar pound note, can The Oscars be far behind?
The news gets worse. According to BAFTA's site, this year's ceremony was officially renamed the Orange British Academy Film Awards. So not only did the BAFTAs allow their integrity to be compromised by allowing a cellphone carrier to sponsor a single award, they caved and let the sponsor brand the entire ceremony! It's important to note that the academy let their evening be called the "Orange British Academy Film Awards," as opposed to going with something a smidge classier like "Orange presents the British Academy Film Awards." We wait for baited breath for next year's award season, where we just might get a chance to see The Old Navy Golden Globes present Shia LaBeouf with a special Old Navy Best-Fitting Jeans On Screen award!