Monday, November 1, 2010

BIFA: The King's (Acceptance) Speech and Other Oscar Matters

You guys. I'm so not (quite) ready for this. It's only November 1st and in English language cinema we've already had at least three awards lineups outside of the film festivals: NY's Gotham Awards, Australia's AFI, and now BIFA... which translates to the British Independent Film Awards.

BIFA considers Oscar-buzzing Lesley Manville as "Supporting"

It will surprise virtually no one that the Oscar hopeful Brit films like The King's Speech (and all of its actors), Made in Dagenham and Another Year are in play for various prizes. It may surprise some that the indifferently received Never Let Me Go, the divisive Kick-Ass, and the largely undiscussed Brighton Rock received multiple nominations as well.

A complete list of nominees (with Oscar-adjacent comments) follows after the jump but I shan't clog the main page with these ├╝ber long lists that each awards groups hands out.

Four Lions

  • Kick-Ass

  • The King’s Speech

  • Monsters
Never Let Me Go
Interesting that Another Year did not make the "Best Film" list, despite important nominations elsewhere. BIFA has no problem with "genre" films as evidenced by the inclusion of both Monsters & Kick-Ass. I'm sure there will be pockets of online rejoicing if this film gets an awards run. I'd like to kick the ass of anyone who votes for it though. Metaphorically speaking! I'm mostly a pacifist. Plus an 11 year-old girl could probably kick my ass in real life, even if she didn't have Hit Girl's training.


  • Mike Leigh - Another Year

  • Matthew Vaughn - Kick-Ass

  • Tom Hooper - The King’s Speech

  • Gareth Edwards - Monsters

  • Mark Romanek - Never Let Me Go
Leigh and Hooper are safely in the hunt for Best Director Oscar nominations. The rest of them, well, at least they have this homegrown honor to brag on.


  • Debs Gardner Paterson - Africa United
  • Clio Barnard - The Arbor

  • Rowan Joffe - Brighton Rock
Chris Morris - Four Lions

  • Gareth Edwards - Monsters
I was confused about Rowan's nomination here until I remembered this wasn't Roland Joffe but his son. Clio Barnard (pictured left) recently on "best newcomer" at the  BFI London Film Festival for the same film. It's a documentary that's also apparently an acted biopic (it's one of those uncategorizables) about the playwright Andrea Dunbar and her experience growing up in a housing project in Northern England.


  • Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell, Christopher Morris - Four Lions

  • Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn - Kick-Ass
  • David Seidler - The King’s Speech

  • William Ivory - Made In Dagenham

  • Alex Garland - Never Let Me Go

  • Manjinder Virk - The Arbor

  • Ruth Sheen - Another Year

  • Andrea Riseborough - Brighton Rock

  • Sally Hawkins - Made In Dagenham
  • Carey Mulligan - Never Let Me Go

Good on Ruth and Sally who are both subtly fantastic in their movies.


Colin Firth probably won't stutter during his Oscar acceptance speech
Jim Broadbent - Another Year

  • Riz Ahmed - Four Lions
  • Colin Firth - The King’s Speech
Scoot McNairy - Monsters

  • Aidan Gillen - Treacle Junior
I suspect this is the only place we'll see honors for Jim Broadbent because Ruth Sheen has the screentime in Another Year and Lesley Manville the showiest character. More pointedly: anyone wanna wager how many Best Actor prizes Colin Firth is going to have to accept this year.... 5? 10? 15? 20? 25? All? I always forget to count but I think there's something crazy like 30+ prizes one can win during precursor and Oscar season.


  • Lesley Manville - Another Year

  • Helena Bonham Carter - The King’s Speech

  • Rosamund Pike - Made In Dagenham

  • Keira Knightley - Never Let Me Go

  • Tamsin Greig - Tamara Drewe
Interesting that in the two "local" awards so far (this and the AFI) we've seen Oscar contenders show up in the opposite category in which they've been pegged for Oscar consideration. It's safe to assume that Jacki Weaver would only be Supporting in her American awards run (despite the "lead" vote in Australia, where she's "a national treasure" according to her director and co-stars) but Manville could obviously go either way, depending on how the Another Year campaign plays out. The most interesting inclusion here is Rosamund Pike. She has a couple really great scenes in Dagenham -- and was my favorite supporting actress in the film -- but I had expected that Miranda Richardson, a more well known 'prestige' actress, would be the one to win honors and Oscar traction. Maybe not?


  • Kayvan Novak - Four Lions

  • Guy Pearce - The King’s Speech

  • Geoffrey Rush - The King’s Speech
Bob Hoskins - Made In Dagenham
Andrew Garfield - Never Let Me Go

<-- Hi, Kayvan! Nice to meet'cha. About this list: I'm pleased for Garfield. As you know, I really loved him in that movie. Meanwhile: This is the first memory jog I've been given that Guy Pearce is in The King's Speech since all the buzz and the trailer attention and whatnot is on the central three characters (Geoffrey, Helena and Colin).

Manjinder Virk - The Arbor
Andrea Riseborough - Brighton Rock

  • Tom Hughes - Cemetery Junction
Joanne Froggatt - In Our Name
Conor McCarron - Neds
Riseborough (pictured right in Toronto -- must have been a crazy year for her) was amazing in Never Let Me Go with almost nothing to work with and also highly watchable in Made in Dagenham in another sideshow role so I'm curious if she's even better in Brighton Rock with a big meaty role? Is more truly more with Andrea? I'm intrigued.

The Arbor
In Our Name

  • Skeletons

  • Streetdance 3D

  • Brilliant Love
  • Jackboots On
  • Whitehall Legacy
  • Son of Babylon
  • Treacle Junior


  • The Arbor - Sound - Tim Barker

  • Brighton Rock - Cinematography - John Mathieson

  • The Illusionist - Animation - Sylvain Chomet

  • The King’s Speech - Production Design - Eve Stewart

  • Monsters - Visual Effects - Gareth Edwards


  • The Arbor
Enemies of the People
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Fire In Babylon

  • Waste Land

  • Photograph Of Jesus

  • Sign Language

  • The Road Home

Wow. I've actually seen one of these. Photography of Jesus, about photo archive requests, is cute and interesting and well animated. You can watch it here. Better yet, it doesn't outstay its welcome (which is always a plus whether we're talking short or feature length films).


  • Dogtooth
I Am Love

  • A Prophet

  • The Secret In Their Eyes

  • Winter’s Bone
An odd mix of last year's Oscar nominees (Prophet, Secrets), a current submission (Dogtooth) and two directorial feats that are strangely mostly discussed only in terms of their fine leading actresses (Love, Bone).

The Richard Harris (Outstanding Contribution Award), Variety Award and Special Jury Prize have not yet been announced.

And there you have it. What do you make of all of this?

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