Electricity & Lust

Awards Discussion

Posted in BAFTAs, Sam by Sam Unsted on February 11, 2008
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Well, I suppose not really a discussion with it only being me here but hell, I’m gonna have a darn good go. Awards season is in full swing now with all sorts of critics circles and guilds throwing awards left, right, centre and backwards. Concentration though has been heavily on the BAFTAs and the upcoming Oscars as we anticipate a night of easy predictions.

The precursors to the Oscars have been solid enough this year, mostly following a pattern of trying to give awards to everyone and their mother. The BAFTAs did this to the nth degree, handing out the awards so thinly across the major categories that the eventual big winner on the night was the flawed one woman show La Vie En Rose. That Marion Cotillard is incredible in the film is undoubted, but the prestige that holds hands with winning the most BAFTAs perhaps shouldn’t have been bestowed on a film that came nowhere close to a Best Film nod.

That said, Cotillard is my new favourite person. Her speech was about as cute as watching two tiny pups try to climb into a bobble hat. Better was the surprise on the faces of people in the audience who expected us stuffy Brits to awards our own and give the talentless Keira her award. Julie Christie would have been more deserving but Cotillard was better. Mainly though thanks should go to all and sunder who did not give anything to Knightley. The woman can’t act and has the body of a thirteen-year old boy.

Anthony Hopkins winning a fellowship was very touching but here’s the mistake. No clips at all from Fracture, The Edge or The Human Stain. The first is a masterclass in cheeky winking, the second sees him call a bear a ‘motherfucker’ and the third, well, he plays an African-American. Yeah. That’s right. But otherwise he deserved it. Remains of the Day contains his finest performance of the lot, a work of emotional art.

Best moments of the night though. First was Daniel Day Lewis’ slightly eccentric but very enjoyable speech about South London and then playmates. The man might be a little odd but his performance in There Will Be Blood is undersung despite the praise. Best since De Niro in Raging Bull or at least Spacey in American Beauty. Then there was This Is England, the visceral and touching work of personal socio-politics by Shane Meadows which won Best British Film. Deserving in every way.

The most lovely though was Javier Bardem’s marvellous speech after winning for No Country For Old Men in which he referred to the Coens as ‘Mummy and Daddy’. His performance deserved the win and so it felt only fair that he should have his moment.

So onwards to the Oscars and we will have predictions soon. On this form, Atonement looks good for the picture win even if it wins nothing else. Day Lewis is a shoe-in and Cotillard is far from a dark horse now. I suppose the most interesting category will be Supporting Actress. I was certain Cate Blanchett would sweep everything as Dylan but darn if Tilda Swinton didn’t nab one away in her bizarre Japanese bee costume.  More awards talk soon. Tuck up folks, see you soon.

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