Chloe Zhao’s drama Nomadland confirmed its position as an Oscar front-runner with four wins at the 74th BAFTA Awards. The film snagged best film, cinematography, Zhao took best director and Frances McDormand won for leading actress. 

McDormand did not attend the hybrid virtual-in-person ceremony.  Zhao attended virtually.

“Thank you for showing us that ageing is a beautiful part of life,” she said. “A journey that we should all cherish and celebrate. How we treat our elders says a lot about who we are as a society and we need to do better.”

Edith Bowman and Dermot O’Leary co-hosted the event, which featured video beam-ins from nominees. Prince William was set to attend, but dropped out after the death of his grandfather, Prince Philip. “In light of The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, The Duke of Cambridge will no longer be part of BAFTA programming this weekend,” said BAFTA in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this time.”

Other wins included Anthony Hopkins, 83, who became the oldest-ever male acting winner for The Father, beating the heavily favored Chadwick Boseman, who was expected to emerge victorious for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. 

The Father’s screenwriters Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton won best adapted screenplay. Another big winner was Promising Young Woman, directed by Emerald Fennell, which snagged outstanding British film.