What entices Hollywood Yanks to the British Academy Film Awards? "Fun, fun, fun," explained last year's Best Actress Oscar winner, Boys Don't Cry star Hilary Swank. "And English beer."

While cold champagne outdrew warm ale after the Feb. 25 ceremony, London's 53rd annual BAFTAs didn't lack for sizzle. New mom Kate Winslet drew envious gazes in a low-cut Dolce & Gabbana. "I've just been breast-feeding, so I thought, 'Why not?' " she said. Presenter Elton John flashed rude gestures to the cameras, cracking, "I've been with Eminem for a couple of days."

But the night belonged to Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell, 14, who scored an upset—and a smooch from presenter Goldie Hawn—with his best actor win. "Russell Crowe just told me that if I won I ought to thank him," Bell joked, "but that's just so that he didn't beat me up outside." Crowe professed no hard feelings despite having flown in from Australia. "I might not have won a BAFTA," he said, "but I've certainly got a few air miles."