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.
Dir: Joe Wright
St: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Romola Garai, Vanessa Redgrave, Saorise Ronan
Unfilmable novels are often, as you can imagine, tricky subjects. It says so on the tin. The worst example ever would have to be the incredibly awful, stupifyingly pointless Battlefield Earth. Novels which become well or easily adapted tend not to pass 400 pages at tops. They tend to have linear narratives, little in the way of heavy flashback exposition or historical context far beyond the passing line. They also, I suppose, tend not to be called unfilmable.
Well, I am actually so, sorry about the lie. Still, like the saying goes, every lie is sweeter if you mix some Van Halen in.
So the Oscars were announced today and, as you can see my my middling to good predictions, a few interesting surprises occurred. No major ones really in the Picture category, much of that could have been predicted but I like to mix things up. The best director nods too were fairly on the nose with the notable exception of Joe Wright losing out to Jason Reitman for Juno.
The main surprises occurred among the best actors and actresses. Perennial nominee Laura Linney nicked one for The Savages, knocking out Angelina Jolie’s fantastic performance as Mariane Pearl. Then again, Angie already has an Oscar and gets to go home to Brad so she’ll likely be floating around her house singing ‘C’est La Vie’ by Bewitched. The actor category goes one better and delivers two surprise nods for Viggo Mortensen and Tommy Lee Jones. Jones has likely been rewarded for his work in both In The Valley of Elah and No Country For Old Men but Viggo’s is puzzling. It’s a major snub for McAvoy in Atonement, joining Knightley on the list of Brits given the cold shoulder.
The big loser for the nods is Sean Penn whose Into The Wild was roundly disliked. Really nice however to see Sarah Polley given an adapted screenplay nod for Away From Her but annoyance reigns in me for Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead being shoved to the side.
No real surprises in the other categories so onwards to the ceremony folks. Enjoy!!
So I won the Golden Globe competition. It was a strong victory, having to come from behind after losing the TV round in what must have been among the least successful crystal balling we’ve ever done. So, small victories in mind, Tom won the TV round by getting two right to Betty and Me’s one each. But I managed to triumph in the film round, slamming home a cool eight against Tom’s six and Betty’s four. Just for the record, I get nothing for my visionary genius.
More awards nominations! This time for the BAFTAs 2008. Atonement has a massive FOURTEEN nominations… really should watch that now, shouldn’t I? I really think This Is England should win for Best British Film, and I’m happy Juno‘s Ellen Page has nods, and Diablo Cody is in there too. You can watch the Press Conference with all the announcements here.
The ceremony will be on Sunday Feb 10th at the Royal Opera House in London, and the show will be presented by Jonathan Ross.
Okay, I warn you – it’s a long list. More follow under the cut…
AMERICAN GANGSTER – Brian Grazer/Ridley Scott
ATONEMENT – Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner/Paul Webster
THE LIVES OF OTHERS – Quirin Berg/Max Wiedemann
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN – Scott Rudin/Joel Coen/Ethan Coen
THERE WILL BE BLOOD – JoAnne Sellar/Paul Thomas Anderson/Daniel Lupi
BEST BRITISH FILM
ATONEMENT – Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner/Paul Webster/Joe Wright/Christopher Hampton
THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM – Frank Marshall/Patrick Crowley/Paul L Sandberg/Paul Greengrass/Tony Gilroy/Scott Z Burns/George Nolfi
CONTROL – Orian Williams/ Todd Eckert/Anton Corbijn/Matt Greenhalgh
EASTERN PROMISES – Paul Webster/Robert Lantos/David Cronenberg/Steve Knight
THIS IS ENGLAND – Mark Herbert/Shane Meadows
GEORGE CLOONEY – Michael Clayton
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS – There Will Be Blood
JAMES McAVOY – Atonement
VIGGO MORTENSEN – Eastern Promises
ULRICH MÜHE – The Lives of Others
CATE BLANCHETT – Elizabeth: The Golden Age
JULIE CHRISTIE – Away From Her
MARION COTILLARD – La Vie en Rose
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY – Atonement
ELLEN PAGE – Juno