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It may have been called the British Academy Britannia Awards, but Friday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel the show had a very American accent for its top awards which went to yanks Meryl Streep, Harrison Ford and Amy Schumer. Pictures from the ceremony have been added to the photo gallery with more information on the show and Meryl’s speech below the previews.
The show opened with the presentation of the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award For Excellence In Film to Meryl Streep. Perhaps aware she is currently playing a major historical British feminist in her Suffragette cameo Streep wasted no time in wryly noting the divide in the gender of past winners. “I am honored to receive this award given to a distinguished group of men and women…. Oh wait, men and men,” she said of the honor and irony of being the first woman to receive it. There was much made of the fact she has received many, many awards including this one, “the first she has gotten in five or six hours” as someone said. It is entirely appropiate as she has played many British roles and even won her third Oscar as one of the most famous Brits of all, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She also humbly acknowledged a long list of directors with whom she has worked. One of her most recent helmers, Stephen Frears presented the award for which Streep thanked the British Government for giving her ten work permits to make ten movies. “I started my career 40 years ago and if Stephen Frears does a good job with our new movie, it will not have ended,” she joked.