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The very best of British when it comes to flags of convenience

WHEN is a film billed as British genuinely British?

So adept has Bafta become at wrapping winners in the flag of its choice it could teach Scotland's yes and no campaigns a thing or 10.

In lean years, a winner has been proclaimed as British if the costume designer once danced with a boy who danced with a girl who could spell the name of the Prince of Wales's son.

There was the same dance of the seven flags going on last night. Thus Gravity, with a Mexican director and a leading man and lady from Hollywood, picked up the outstanding British film award and many another.

That said, the extremely special effects which so wowed audiences were created by a London firm and the movie was shot in Britain, so that will do for Bafta.

Indeed, the academy was so busy applauding Gravity it looked as though that other British contender, 12 Years A Slave, a film shot in America but with a British director in Steve McQueen and a British leading man in Chiwetel Ejiofor, would be forgotten, but it won the big two in best film and best actor.

Last night showed that when it comes to partisanship the Baftas have learned at the feet of the Oscars. But should these successes be repeated at the Academy Awards on March 2, don't be too surprised if the flags of awards convenience change once again. In movie awards, as in movies, anything can happen.

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