BAFTA 2012 – my picks

BAFTA announced their short list this morning. Here are my picks.

BEST FILM
THE ARTIST
THE DESCENDANTS
DRIVE
THE HELP
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

Not sure about ‘The Help’ being nominated, it was a nice film but I didn’t think it was an awards worthy film. Disappointed ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ got missed off. ‘The Artist’ will walk away with it (and deservedly so).

BRITISH FILM
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
SENNA
SHAME
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN

This one is a bit trickier, I think ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ has the edge but ‘Shame’ and ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ are both worthy of the awards. I would hate to have to decide this category.

DIRECTOR
THE ARTIST – Michel Hazanavicius
DRIVE – Nicolas Winding Refn
HUGO – Martin Scorsese
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY – Tomas Alfredson
WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN – Lynne Ramsay

Again, tricky. ‘Drive’ is one of those films that people have touted highly in their best of’s but I don’t think it will pick up a gong, Martin Scorsese is another strong candidate but he seems to get the awards because he hasn’t had the awards (his win for ‘The Departed’). I think Michel Hazanavicius or Lynne Ramsay will walk away with the statue.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
THE ARTIST – Michel Hazanavicius
BRIDESMAIDS – Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig
THE GUARD – John Michael McDonagh
THE IRON LADY – Abi Morgan
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS – Woody Allen

I don’t understand how ‘Bridesmaids’ is in any way original. Surprised that ‘Shame’ hasn’t been nominated in this category, particularly as I don’t think ‘The Iron Lady’ had a very strong script. I would love ‘The Guard’ to win for this as that was a fantastic script but I think ‘The Artist’ might just get it, which would be awesome just for “silent movie wins original screenplay” headlines.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
THE DESCENDANTS – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
THE HELP – Tate Taylor
THE IDES OF MARCH – George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon
MONEYBALL – Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY – Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan

I can’t see them not giving a George Clooney film an award but I think the clear winner in this category is ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’.

ACTOR
BRAD PITT – Moneyball
GARY OLDMAN – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
GEORGE CLOONEY – The Descendants
JEAN DUJARDIN – The Artist
MICHAEL FASSBENDER – Shame

Another tricky one but I think Jean Dujardin was brilliant and the role required more acting as it was silent. He couldn’t just rely on very good dialogue.

ACTRESS
BÉRÉNICE BEJO – The Artist
MERYL STREEP – The Iron Lady
MICHELLE WILLIAMS – My Week with Marilyn
TILDA SWINTON – We Need to Talk About Kevin
VIOLA DAVIS – The Help

Meryl Streep was very good and if the film had been better I would be touting her to pick up the awards but I think Tilda Swinton gave a career defining performance. She was outstanding.

SUPPORTING ACTOR
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER – Beginners
JIM BROADBENT – The Iron Lady
JONAH HILL – Moneyball
KENNETH BRANAGH – My Week with Marilyn
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN – The Ides of March

I want Kenneth Brannagh to win just because he is Kenneth Brannagh and who else could play Olivier? Jim Broadbent was very good in ‘The Iron Lady’ but it’s the film that lets me down. Bit disappointed that Alan Rickman didn’t get short-listed again this year.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
CAREY MULLIGAN – Drive
JESSICA CHASTAIN – The Help
JUDI DENCH – My Week with Marilyn
MELISSA MCCARTHY – Bridesmaids
OCTAVIA SPENCER – The Help

As much as I absolutely hated ‘Bridesmaids’, I thought Melissa McCarthy was excellent as Megan who was without a doubt the best and most surprising character. Carey Mulligan is brilliant in whatever she does and is probably the strongest contender in this category.

2011 BAFTA Awards Winners

The BAFTAs are all wrapped up, and once again I made the mistake of accidentally spoiling it. I thought they were being broadcast live on BBC3 but it turned out that was just the red carpet coverage *sigh*. Oh well, once I realised my mistake I stopped reporting the results on Facebook but continued to geek out with my fellow film geeks on Twitter who were watching @BAFTA.

Biggest upset of the night for me was David Fincher taking home the Best Director award. ‘The Social Network’ was a fairly ordinary film. It was well directed, sure but what about Tom Hooper? He got outstanding performances from Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter (and that showed by all three of them walking away with the acting awards) – yes, they are good actors but a good director gets more out of his cast and Tom Hooper proved that. How can the film that walked off with all the acting awards*, original screenplay, best British film and best film but not pick up best director? Big mistake from BAFTA there.

So how did I fair? If you look at my previous entry, I think I did pretty well. ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ really surprised me by beating ‘Of Gods and Men’ and ‘The Secret in their Eyes’ to foreign language film. I put a bet on this year, and I only got 4 / 7 right… should have gone with my BAFTA predictions rather than the favourites really 😉 (I picked Lesley Manville for Supporting Actress [5/2], Christian Bale for Supporting Actor [4/11] and Darren Aronofsky for Director… there was no chance for Aronofsky really but the odds were 66/1).

My Oscar pics are (odds from Coral, correct as of 13th Feb)

Best Film: The King’s Speech (1/66), or ‘The Social Network’ (5/2)
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky (33/1), or Joel and Ethan Coen (40/1)
Best Actor: Colin Firth (1/66), or Jesse Eisenberg (33/1)
Actress: Natalie Portman (1/14)
Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush (5/1), or Christian Bale (1/9)
Supporting Actress: Helena Bonham Carter (6/1), or Jackie Weaver (50/1)

 

*By that, I mean all the acting awards it was nominated for.

BAFTA time! :)

They announced the BAFTA nominations this morning, and I think it’s going to prove to be an exciting year.

Best Film
Black Swan
Inception
The Social Network
The King’s Speech
True Grit

Verdict: I know ‘Never Let Me Go’ wasn’t nominated and it’s a shame, but as it wasn’t longlisted I’m going to assume that while it was eligible for this years awards they’ve decided to put it up next year. ‘True Grit’ is released on the 11th Feb, so it should be interesting to see how it does – I saw the trailer the other day and my first thought was “oooh”, my second thought was “wait, you seem to be telling me the whole film in the trailer…” which worries me a bit (and no I haven’t seen the original). Of these films, I think Black Swan or The King’s Speech deserve to win – ‘The Social Network’ seems like an ordinary pedestrian drama, albeit a very well made one and I think the award should go to the film that is not only technically brilliant, but creative/original and visually compelling.

Outstanding British Film
127 Hours
Another Year
Four Lions
The King’s Speech
Made in Dagenham

Verdict: This year has been a really strong year for British films and the only one on this list that I wasn’t blown away by was ‘Made in Dagenham’. It was a good film, very competent but it felt very much like a channel 4 weekend drama (of which there is nothing wrong with). I haven’t seen ‘127 Hours’ but I think that Another Year or The King’s Speech will walk away with the award.

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
The Abor
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Four Lions
Monsters
Skeletons

Verdict: I’ve only seen ‘Four Lions’, but considering the applaud Banksy gets for his graffiti (not a fan) I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Exit Through the Gift Shop comes away with this award, but I would very much like it to be Monsters. I think ‘Monsters’ was an ambitious project that required a lot of skill and commitment in order to get it out of the water, especially as it risks being compared to something like ‘District 9’ which had much more money behind it.

Director
Danny Boyle for 127 Hours
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Christopher Nolan for Inception
Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
David Fincher for The Social Network

Verdict: I feel the same way about the award for direction as I do about the best film, it should go to the film that was technically brilliant, creative/original, cleverly designed and paced and produced some brilliant performances. Christopher Nolan made a visually brilliant film with some very clever elements but I think Darren Aronofsky just beats him to the post. I think also Tom Hooper could be in with a big chance here as well.

Original Screenplay
Mark Heyman, Andrés Heinz and John McLaughlin for Black Swan
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson for The Fighter
Christopher Nolan for Inception
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for The Kids are All Right
David Seidler for The King’s Speech

Verdict: I guess the term ‘original screenplay’ is a tricky one as two of them are based on true stories (‘The Fighter’ and ‘The King’s Speech’), one is inspired by a ballet (‘Black Swan’) and the other owes a nod to many science fiction authors (I actually have money on Harlan Ellison suing, I don’t think he did ever write anything like ‘Inception’ but you never know!) I don’t obviously hold that against any film because I firmly believe there is no such as an original idea, in this case I think Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg wrote a script that was funny, moving and, I thought, realistic – I believed in Nic and Jules, and their life together. I also wouldn’t be surprised if David Seidler wins, for mostly the same reasons.

Adapted Screenplay
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy for 127 Hours
Rasmus Heisterberg and Nikolaj Arcel for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Michael Arndt for Toy Story 3
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for True Grit

Verdict: This is actually pretty interesting, I knew that ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ had been longlisted but I really wasn’t expecting to see it on the shortlist! I think the adaption was very well done, there’s so much material in that book and yet they managed to turn it into a very good thriller without loosing too many elements. That saying, I don’t think it’ll win, I think Aaron Sorkin will win for ‘The Social Network’ because to turn the Facebook story into anything close to an interesting and compelling story is worth an award.

Film not in the English Language
Biutiful
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I am Love
Of Gods and Men
The Secret in their Eyes

Verdict: I’ve only seen two of these but based on reviews and various reactions, I would say Of Gods and Men will be picking up the prize. I really enjoyed ‘The Secret in their Eyes’ and fully understand why it beat ‘A Prophet’. ‘A Prophet’ was good but it didn’t really have a story, it became a character exploration and to be honest I found it hard to be interested in what he was going through, I loved ‘The Secret in their Eyes’ though. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for a thriller with a clever twist.

Animated Film
Despicable Me
How to Train your Dragon
Toy Story 3

Verdict: Toy Story 3. No competition really. It’s unfortunate they didn’t put it in for best picture because as much as I loved ‘Despicable Me’ (don’t judge me, it made me giggle) I don’t think it’s any competition for ‘Toy Story 3’. I wasn’t so enthralled with ‘How to Train your Dragon’, it was cute and I very much liked the story but I went away praising the sheep.

Leading Actress
Annette Bening for The Kids are All Right
Julianne Moore for The Kids are All Right
Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Noomi Rapace for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit

Verdict: I’m very happy they’ve chosen to nominate Julianne Moore and Annette Bening together, and I think it’s an interesting nomination for Noomi Rapace. Rapace was oustanding as Lisbeth but I don’t think she’ll be picking up the BAFTA, why? Because of the upcoming English language adaptation. Natalie Portman gave an utterly convincing performance as Nina and so did Annette Bening as Nic.

Leading Actor
Javier Bardem for Biutiful
Jeff Bridges for True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
James Franco for 127 Hours

Verdict: Colin Firth, no question asked. Last year I think he should have won the Oscar for ‘A Single Man’, Jeff Bridges gave a brilliant performance in ‘Crazy Heart’ but it was a Jeff Bridges performance, he plays the grumpy guy with a heart who has fallen on bad times very well. Javier Bardem is picking up a lot of compliments for his performance in ‘Biutiful’ but I really do believe that Colin Firth gave the performance of the year.

Supporting Actor
Christian Bale for The Fighter
Andrew Garfield for The Social Network
Pete Postlethwaite for The Town
Mark Ruffalo for The Kids are All Right
Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech

Verdict: I haven’t seen ‘The Town’, but the film itself didn’t receive great reviews, saying that given that Pete Postlethwaite sadly passed away this year I think BAFTA will honour him. If they aren’t going to be sentimental, I think Geoffrey Rush or Mark Ruffalo for the win.

Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams for The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter for The King’s Speech
Barbara Hershey for Black Swan
Lesley Manville for Another Year
Miranda Richardson for Made in Dagenham

Verdict: This one is quite tricky, I thought Helena Bonham Carter was brilliantly understated in ‘The King’s Speech’ and Barbara Hershey was creepy, conflicted and menacing as the mother in ‘Black Swan’ but really, I think Lesley Manville gave the best performance in ‘Another Year’.

What do you think?

BAFTA Predictions 2010

This years BAFTAs are now hours away. I popped over to the Royal Opera House between shows to admire the scaffolding, and wonder why people want to spend the night in the freezing cold just to catch a glimpse of famous people… but hey, everyone has something. My plan for Sunday is to lounge in front of the TV (or stream it on the laptop if I can) with a pot of tea and watch the ceremony, so here are my predictions:

Film: The Hurt Locker
British Film: In the Loop
British Writing, Producing or Directing: Duncan Jones
Director: Katheryn Bigelow
Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker
Adapted Screenplay: In the Loop
Film in a Foreign Language: A Prophet
Animated Film: Up
Actor: Andy Serkis
Actress: Gabourey Sibide
Supporting Actor: Christian McKay
Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique
Music: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (technically cheating I suppose but it was one hell of a film!)
Cinematography: The Road
SFX: Star Trek
Animated Short: The Gruffalo

Popularity Contest

I’m starting to think that awards like the Golden Globes and the Oscars are really awards for most popular or highest grossing film, particularly the ‘Best Picture’ category.

Just take a look at the nominations for the Best Drama Golden Globe: ‘Avatar’, ‘The Hurt Locker’, Inglorious Basterds’, ‘Precious’ and ‘Up in the Air’, which to you screams best drama? Is it the over-hyped visual MMO gamers wet dream, the powerful but disturbing ‘Precious’ (only read the book, not see the film), the clever and witty ‘Up in the Air’ or the tense war drama ‘The Hurt Locker’… (sorry haven’t seen ‘Inglorious Basterds’ so can’t comment as I know nothing about it)? Yes, you got ‘Avatar’ won for Best Drama! It also won Best Director, beating Kathryn Bigelow, Clint Eastwood, Jason Reitman and Quentin Tarantino!

The nominations for the BAFTAs are announced on the 21st Jan, lets hope that these don’t turn into giant popularity contests (although ‘Avatar’ has been long listed for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Cinematography as well as a ton of technical awards). Incidentally, the BAFTA long list is actually kind of interesting:

Best Film: Avatar, District 9, An Education, Gran Torino, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Invictus, Moon, Precious, The Road, A Serious Man, A Single Man, Star Trek, Up and Up in the Air.

I think the five films we’ll be seeing in nomination list are: An Education, The Hurt Locker, Moon, Precious and Up in the Air. (I wish I could believe ‘Star Trek’ was worthy of a Best Film BAFTA, but much as I love it the sci-fi film that deserves that accolade is ‘Moon’).