Hathaway said she was "overjoyed" at being named best supporting actress for her brief but powerhouse performance in "Les Miserables." She said she was so taken aback that "I almost walked past George Clooney without hugging him."
She also expressed sympathy for co-star Eddie Redmayne, who had been due to present an award but — co-presenter Sally Field informed the audience — was vomiting backstage.
"Feel better," Hathaway said. "I mean I'd be holding your hair back, but, you know..."
Writer-director David O. Russell won the adapted screenplay prize for "Silver Linings Playbook," a comedy about characters confronting mental illness.
"Les Mis" also took trophies for production design, sound and makeup/hair, and "Life of Pi" received honors for cinematography and visual effects.
Before the ceremony, stars including Clooney, Affleck, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper braved a chilly rain that turned to snow outside the Royal Opera House.
For once it was hair, even more than frocks, that drew attention — many stars opted for dark colors, though Marion Cotillard defied the dull weather in a canary-yellow gown. Beards were de rigeur among male stars including Clooney, Affleck and Cooper, while Helen Mirren turned heads with a pink 'do, sported in honor of breast cancer awareness.
Sunday's ceremony also saw director Alan Parker receive a BAFTA Fellowship, the academy's highest honor, for a career that includes "Midnight Express," ''Fame" and "Mississippi Burning."
Jill Lawless can be reached at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless
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