BAFTA 2014 Winners
The British Academy Film Awards 2014 were just last night and were presented wonderfully, once again, by the great talent that is Stephen Fry. You can still catch them on BBC iPlayer if you're in the UK and if not the nominees and winners are right here with a few comments from myself.
I would like to say something about the BAFTAs before we continue though. They are not a run-up to the Oscars, they aren't just another indicator of who will win the Academy Awards. Let's not forget what both of these awards ceremonies are shall we?
The Academy Awards, or Oscars, are the awards from and for the American film industry, the British Academy Film Awards, or BAFTAs, are the awards from and for the British film industry. See the difference there?
Don't drop the BAFTAs under a shadow of being a run up to the Oscars for they are totally different and while they may share similar titled categories they are no indicator of each other. In fact I have always found that the BAFTAs celebrate film and content much more than the Oscars which tend to go for Hollywood and the veneer.
So forget the Oscars, here are the BAFTAs, and let's give them the attention they deserve in their own spotlight away from such phrases as "indicator of the…" or "run up to the…". These are the British Academy Film Awards for 2014, the nominees and the winners.
12 Years A Slave
Well I wasn't really surprised by that choice, were you? There were some good films that it was up against but 12 Years a Slave does stand out from the rest of the competition quite clearly.
Outstanding British Film:
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Saving Mr. Banks
The Selfish Giant
This had me perplexed, as do a few of the entries here. I would have thought that if we were measuring British-ness of these films that perhaps Philomena (Filmstalker review) was the most British out of the lot, and that is a great film. There are some wholeheartedly British films that didn't even appear on the list, never mind the other choices. Mind you Gravity (Filmstalker review) does have a British special effects team behind it, it was filmed in British studios, and one of the producers is British. I'm sure there's more British-ness there but on the surface it doesn't seem that British does it?
The Act Of Killing
The Armstrong Lie
We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks
Despicable Me 2
Gravity - Alfonso Cuarón
12 Years A Slave - Steve McQueen
American Hustle - David O. Russell
Captain Phillips - Paul Greengrass
The Wolf Of Wall Street - Martin Scorsese
It's funny to discuss this one as others may think that 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street or American Hustle were better directed but I have a couple of things to say on that subject. First Wolf of Wall Street was more Martin Scorsese, and while that isn't a bad thing for fans overall the film had some issues that held it back from being great, even amongst Scorsese films. However to see why Gravity (Filmstalker review) won you have to look at the work that Alfonso Cuarón had to do in order to direct the film - this was an effects rich film with some huge technical requirements that really pile the work on the director and his team. I think it won out over the others for that reason alone. Well that and he managed to tackle those technical requirements and win.
Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years A Slave
Bruce Dern - Nebraska
Christian Bale - American Hustle
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf Of Wall Street
Tom Hanks - Captain Phillips
Was that really in doubt? Chiwetel Ejiofor is a superb actor who is forever underated. I'm just glad he led a film that gave him the plinth on which to stand and be seen for his talent.
Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Amy Adams - American Hustle
Emma Thompson - Saving Mr. Banks
Judi Dench - Philomena
Sandra Bullock - Gravity
I must admit that this was a close call. Personally I would have given it to Judi Dench for she was amazing in Philomena (Filmstalker review) but then I absolutely adored that film and everything about it. Still other ladies in this category all deserved it, well perhaps Sandra Bullock a little less than the others but again the technical work she had to deliver while always being green screened and imaging 90% of the scene meant she really was showcasing her talents.
Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper - American Hustle
Daniel Brühl - Rush
Matt Damon - Behind The Candelabra
Michael Fassbender - 12 Years A Slave
Jennifer Lawrence - American Hustle
Julia Roberts - August: Osage County
Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years A Slave
Oprah Winfrey - The Butler
Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine
Isn't it amazing that Jennifer Lawrence can hold down a teen friendly role in The Hunger Games series and still get picked for films and roles such as in American Hustle, and deliver fanatastic performances to boot? I can't imagine where she's going to be in years to come, owning the awards ceremonies perhaps?
The EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public):
Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer in 2014:
Kieran Evans - Kelly + Victor
Colin Carberry, Glenn Patterson - Good Vibrations
Kelly Marcel - Saving Mr. Banks
Paul Wright, Polly Stokes - For Those in Peril
Scott Graham - Shell
Film not in the English Language:
The Great Beauty - Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima
The Act Of Killing - Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Blue Is The Warmest Colour - Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval
Metro Manila - Sean Ellis, Mathilde Charpentier
Wadjda - Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
American Hustle - Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine - Woody Allen
Gravity - Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Inside Llewyn Davis - Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Nebraska - Bob Nelson
Philomena - Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
12 Years A Slave - John Ridley
Behind The Candelabra - Richard LaGravenese
Captain Phillips - Billy Ray
The Wolf Of Wall Street - Terence Winter
I'm surprised that Rush didn't make it here but and while I'm not surprised that Philomena (Filmstalker review) was nominated I am surprised that it was voted over 12 Years a Slave. Saying that I'm delighted though, I did think it was a masterful peice of writing and it shows off so much talent from Steve Coogan.
Gravity - Steven Price
12 Years A Slave - Hans Zimmer
The Book Thief - John Williams
Captain Phillips - Henry Jackman
Saving Mr. Banks - Thomas Newman
Gravity - Emmanuel Lubezki
12 Years A Slave - Sean Bobbitt
Captain Phillips - Barry Ackroyd
Inside Llewyn Davis - Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska - Phedon Papamichael
It's interesting to think, how much of this is cinemtography and how much is down to special effects? Is there even a line between the two?
Rush - Dan Hanley, Mike Hill
12 Years A Slave - Joe Walker
Captain Phillips - Christopher Rouse
Gravity - Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
The Wolf Of Wall Street - Thelma Schoonmaker
The Great Gatsby - Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
12 Years A Slave - Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
American Hustle - Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
Behind The Candelabra - Howard Cummings, Barbara Munch-Cameron
Gravity - Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woollard
The Great Gatsby - Catherine Martin
American Hustle - Michael Wilkinson
Behind The Candelabra - Ellen Mirojnick
The Invisible Woman - Michael O'Connor
Saving Mr. Banks - Daniel Orlandi
Make Up and Hair:
American Hustle - Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell, Kathrine Gordon
Behind The Candelabra - Kate Biscoe, Marie Larkin
The Butler - Debra Denson, Candace Neal, Robert Stevenson, Matthew Mungle
The Great Gatsby - Maurizio Silvi, Kerry Warn
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater
Gravity - Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro
All Is Lost - Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian Arthur
Captain Phillips - Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver Tarney
Inside Llewyn Davis - Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Paul Urmson
Rush - Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse
Special Visual Effects:
Gravity - Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug - Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3 - Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick
Pacific Rim - Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel Sumner
Star Trek Into Darkness - Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton
I don't think I, or anyone, could argue with the last two choices. Gravity (Filmstalker review) did have fantastic sound and effects.
British Short Animation:
Sleeping With The Fishes - James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa
Everything I Can See From Here - Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam Taylor
I Am Tom Moody - Ainslie Henderson
British Short Film:
Room 8 - James W. Griffiths, Sophie Venner
Island Queen - Ben Mallaby, Nat Luurtsema, Emma Hughes
Keeping Up With The Joneses - Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina Lim
Orbit Ever After - Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len Rowles
Sea View - Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot
You can watch the two hour programme over on BBC's iPlayer in standard and high definition until 22:59 on Sunday the 23rd of February, so there are a few days left yet.
Meanwhile, what do you think of the winners? Is that a good list, representative of the British Film Industry? Is Gravity a British made film? There's definitely a lot of talk about whether it should be classed as such and whether it should have won an award.