Women make waves at UK film awards

Actress Jennifer Lawrence poses for photographers upon arrival at the BAFTA 2018 Awards in London, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

LONDON — Ferocious female-led tragicomedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” was the big winner Sunday at the British Academy Film Awards in London, where women demanding an end to harassment, abuse and inequality dominated the ceremony.

Martin McDonagh’s film about a bereaved mother seeking justice won five trophies including best film, outstanding British film and best actress, for Frances McDormand.

Producer Graham Broadbent said the movie is “the story of a woman taking on the establishment and status quo.”

“It seems more timely now than we could ever have imagined,” he said.

Writer-director McDonagh said it was fitting, in the year of the “Time’s Up” campaign, that “Three Billboards” is “a film about a woman who refuses to take any s(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) anymore.”

“Our film is a hopeful one in lots of ways, but it’s also an angry one,” McDonagh said. “As we’ve seen this year, sometimes anger is the only way to get people to listen and to change.”

McDonagh won the original screenplay prize for “Three Billboards,” which also netted Sam Rockwell the supporting actor trophy. Allison Janney was named best supporting actress for playing ice skater Tonya Harding’s domineering mother in “I, Tonya.”

Guillermo del Toro won the directing prize for monster fantasy “The Shape of Water,” which also took trophies for music and production design.

Gary Oldman, the favorite among bookies, won the best actor prize for playing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.”

The British prizes, known as BAFTAs, are considered a key indicator of likely success at Hollywood’s Oscars in two weeks’ time.