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Elizabeth beats Will at BAFTAs

CATE Blanchett dealt a blow to Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow last night as she took the Best Actress title at the 51st British Academy Film Awards.

The Australian star, who played the title role in Elizabeth, saw her movie triumph over Shakespeare in Love to grab five of the BAFTA awards, including Best British Film.

However Shakespeare in Love, the toast of last month's Oscars, took four trophies including the prized Best Film.

The widely-tipped Michael Caine was snubbed for his powerful role in Little Voice, losing the Best Actor title to Italian star Roberto Benigni, who also took the title at the Oscars.

Dame Judi Dench repeated her Oscar win by lifting the Best Supporting Actress trophy, making it two awards at the ceremony for stars portraying Queen Elizabeth I.

Shakespeare in Love's Geoffrey Rush was named Best Supporting Actor.

Shakespeare had topped the nominations list by figuring in 16 categories to Elizabeth's 12.

The event at the Business Design Centre in London attracted an array of Hollywood stars including Paltrow, Lynn Redgrave, Pierce Brosnan and Elizabeth Taylor, who was receiving a BAFTA fellowship.

British heist movie Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels proved to be the people's choice by taking the Orange Audience award. The title is decided by the cinema-going public.

A number of other winners followed up their Oscar successes last night. They included Jenny Shircore for her make-up and hair in Elizabeth and Sandy Powell, who won Best Costume Design for glam-rock movie Velvet Goldmine. Powell's Oscar was in recognition of her work on Shakespeare in Love.

The Truman Show and Saving Private Ryan also picked up a handful of titles. The Truman Show took three, including Best Director for Peter Weir, and Saving Private Ryan lifted the special effects and sound trophies.

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