BAFTA Reaction

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I’ve always held the BAFTA’s in high esteem. Being British, it is the only award ceremony I can stay up for and still function at work again the next day, so it is always interesting which films are leading the pack. Also, a precursor to the Oscar’s it gives an interesting insight into the industry mind-set throughout the awards season. He is my very brief review of this morning’s nominations.

I’m in equal measure delighted and surprised that The Grand Budapest Hotel is leading the pack with eleven nominations in total. Especially, because this is a film released almost a year ago and it has still kept itself within the minds of its admirers long before awards season. It is up for Best Film, Best leading actor for Ralph Fiennes and Best Director for Wes Anderson among others. Whether it will win many or any of the awards is the question but it’s still encouraging to see this wonderfully acted and scripted film at the top of the pile.

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The rest of the Best Film nominations are made up by Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything. People will be asking questions regarding the absence of Foxcatcher, Whiplash and Selma but it is a very strong line up still and really tough to determine the winner. Maybe, when the awards season buzz starts to get into full flow we shall start getting an inkling as to who the statues will be going to. Personally, I would really like it to go to Birdman, a film that takes risks and has a great deal of innovation. However, being a British ceremony there is a distinct possibility that they will favour one of their own productions so potentially Theory of Everything or Imitation Game could walk away with the prize. But, like I said, too close to call at the current moment.

Personally, I would have liked to see a few more nominations for Interstellar. Although the technical side of this amazing movie has been applauded, I feel there could be more in the way of script, acting and directing nominations for the cast and crew, especially because it is one of the smartest, emotionally strong and well written science fiction films in recent memory.  There also doesn’t seem to be a place for Mr Turner within Best Film or outstanding British Film which is somewhat of a shock.

On the acting side of things there is an absolute fine selection of talent in the Best Actor category. Again, it’s interesting to note the omission of David Oyelowo for his performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma which was tipped to garner this prize at the Oscars. However, the performances on show here were remarkable. I’d be very happy for any of Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Eddie Redmayne or Ralph Fiennes to win the BAFTA, however if I was pushed it would be Michael Keaton. In terms of best actress it is between Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon and Rosamund Pike. Again, close to call but the way her performance in Wild has been talked about it very well could go to Witherspoon.

Jack O'Connell in '71

The EE Rising Star, which is always an interesting category that shines a spotlight on the upcoming acting talent in the industry, has nominated Jack O’Connell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Margot Robbie, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. There is the question with this category if these are rising stars or they have already risen. Especially a few years ago when Tom Hardy won the award after being in Inception and having already been cast as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. However, it’s great to celebrate new talent of after ’71, Unbroken and Starred Up, this award can only really go to Jack O’Connell, his development over the last few years has been exceptional and it really seems he’s made it to the big leagues now.

With the Oscar nominations still to come on 15th January it will be interesting to see if they sync up in any way with these BAFTAs. It would be a massive surprise if The Grand Budapest acquired that many nominations at the Academy Awards and there will probably be further recognition for Whiplash, Foxcatcher and Selma.

So, let us all brace ourselves for February 8th and the BAFTA awards to see what will come out on top. Presented again by the always wonderful Stephen Fry these awards are always a treat and with most of the nominations being too close to call this year it’s going to be interesting to see which way the awards go. This has just been a brief reaction and I will be back later in the month to comment more extensively on the Oscar Nominations.

BAFTA Nominations in Full:

Best Film

Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory Of Everything

Outstanding British Film

’71
The Imitation Game
Paddington
Pride
The Theory Of Everything
Under The Skin

 

Best Director

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
James Marsh, The Theory Of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

Best Leading Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Leading Actress

Amy Adams – Big Eyes
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Best Supporting Actor

Edward Norton – Birdman
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Best Supporting Actress

Emma Stone – Birdman
Imelda Staunton – Pride
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Rene Russo – Nightcrawler

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman – Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper – Jason Hall
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
Paddington – Paul King
The Theory Of Everything – Anthony McCarten

Best Original Music

Birdman – Antonio Sanchez
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
The Theory Of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson
Under The Skin – Mica Levi

Best Cinematography

Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Ida – Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski
Interstellar – Hoyte van Hoytema
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope

Best Editing

Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
Nightcrawler – John Gilroy
The Theory Of Everything – Jinx Godfrey
Whiplash – Tom Cross

Best Production Design

Big Eyes – Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game – Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Mr. Turner – Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
The Imitation Game – Sammy Sheldon Differ
Into The Woods – Colleen Atwood
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran
The Theory Of Everything – Steven Noble

Best Sound

American Sniper – Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
Birdman – Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
The Imitation Game – John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen
Whiplash – Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann

Best Make-Up And Hair

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon
Guardians Of The Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
Into The Woods – Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
Mr. Turner – Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener
The Theory Of Everything –  Jan Sewell

Best Special Visual Effects

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
Guardians Of The Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley
X-Men: Days Of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer

Best British Short Animation

The Bigger Picture – Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka
Monkey Love Experiments – Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson
My Dad – Marcus Armitage

Best British Short Film

Boogaloo And Graham – Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney
Emotional Fusebox – Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
The Karman Line – Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp
Slap – Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland
Three Brothers – Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

 

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer

Elaine Constantine (Writer/Director) Northern Soul
Gregory Burke (Writer), Yann Demange (Director) ’71
Hong Khaou (Writer/Director) Lilting
Paul Katis (Director/Producer), Andrew de Lotbiniere (Producer) Kajaki: The True Story
Stephen Beresford (Writer), David Livingstone (Producer) Pride
Best Film Not In The English Language

Ida
Leviathan
The Lunchbox
Trash
Two Days, One Night

Best Documentary

20 Feet From Stardom
20,000 Days On Earth
CitizenFour
Finding Vivian Maier
Virunga

Best Animated Film

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
The Lego Movie

The EE Rising Star Award

Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Jack O’Connell
Margot Robbie
Miles Teller
Shailene Woodley

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What’s On The Way In 2015?

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Around this time of year, I often feel it is an ideal opportunity to start looking ahead to next year and see what movies will be released and which will be fighting it out during the awards season. It’s a great deal of fun trawling through many trailers and guessing what the future must watch films are, so here are a few of those films that I am immensely looking forward to in 2015.

Foxcatcher

Ever since seeing this first teaser trailer all those months ago, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher has been the film I’ve been most eager to see. Already achieving a huge amount of critical praise through the festival circuit, including Cannes in which Miller won the Best Director accolade, it will finally be released to the general public in early 2015. Based on a true story in which schizophrenic, millionaire John Du Pont (played by an almost unrecognizable Steve Carell) forms an obsession with wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) winning an Olympic Gold and becomes his coach which leads down some dark roads which I won’t give away to anyone unfamiliar with the real life case. The atmosphere of the trailer is chilling, dark and intense and with Miller’s impressive oeuvre including Capote and Moneyball we can expect a dramatic thriller that will ask some real questions about the story in which it is based.

Mordecai

David Koepp and Johnny Depp reunite for a second time (Secret Window being the first) to bring us a the idiosyncratic Mordecai. It’s based on the 1970’s series of  mystery, cult novels by Kyril Bonfiglioli in which the title character becomes entangled in such plots as an assassination attempt upon the Queen of England and hunting a rapist in Jersey. In this version, Depp’s eponymous art dealer must recover a stolen painting that will lead him to Nazi Gold. Judging from the trailer Depp is perfectly cast as the eccentric Charlie Mordecai and with a stellar cast around him including Paul Bettany, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor  this looks like it’ll deliver on the laughs and the quirkiness.

American Sniper

The trailer to American Sniper is about as intense and dramatic as they come and would you expect anything less from the legendary Clint Eastwood? Bradley Cooper stars in his second film in two years with the prefix American as Chris Kyle from whom the source material comes from. Based on his autobiography of the same name, American Sniper charts Kyle’s tour of Iraq, his pinpoint shooting and the harrowing, quick decisions he must make with his weapon. The film looks smart and will ask questions of the audience they will probably be thinking about for a long time. What would you do in his situation? It will garner Oscar nominations (most likely for Cooper and Eastwood) and I’m very confident the movie will be a precise and interesting commentary on modern warfare.

Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

The trailer itself looks like a masterpiece and Michael Keaton is an early tip for the best actor Academy Award. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, a director with a terrific awards pedigree with 21 Grams and Babel, tells the story of Riggan, an actor who’s best days, playing the superhero character Birdman, are well and truly behind him. Instead of continuing with the Birdman franchise he decides to expand his horizons onto Broadway whilst juggling his homelife and numerous other issues. Keaton is obviously perfect for this type of role considering the downward trajectory his career took after playing Batman in both of Tim Burton’s contributions to the franchise. He is a fine actor and hopefully this will motivate a career resurgence and at least an Oscar nomination. The script sounds sharp and the cast is excellent with a truly original story. If the numerous and positive festival reviews are anything to go by then the film itself could be in with a chance of winning Best Picture.

Jupiter Ascending

Whatever you think of The Matrix sequels, and their directorial efforts since, you cannot deny that the return of The Wachowski Siblings to the genre in which they changed forever is an event. Although expected in July of this year, Jupiter Ascending was delayed until February 2015 so thousands of special effects shots could be completed. The plot revolves around Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) who is revealed to be the heir to the House of Abrasax which is the most powerful alien dynasty in the universe. However, there are three more potential heirs to contend with, including Eddie Redmayne’s Balem, who looks like he is loving every second of playing his character in the trailer. The whole thing looks epic and in every way a blockbuster. It’s asking a lot for The Wachowski’s to repeat what they did with The Matrix, maybe they will, but this looks like a very enjoyable and action packed movie nonetheless.

So there’s the main five films I will be looking forward to seeing next year. 2015 is going to be one of the biggest film years for blockbusters in recent memory with the return of Star Wars, Jurassic World, Terminator and The Avengers and with a huge amount of movies like these at the start of the year, we the audience, are going to be well and truly spoiled, which is not a bad thing at all.