Monday, 14 February 2011

The 2011 B.A.F.T. A's

Last night the British Academy Awards took place at the Royal Opera House. The King’s Speech carried off all the major awards with one exception, that for Direction. I was particularly pleased that Geoffrey Rush took the BAFTA for best supporting actor as did Helena Bonham Carter who also played the Queen of Hearts in Alice. The films not only one the Best British Picture but also the Best Picture over all, I was also pleased that David Seidler was awarded for his screen play. He was similarly afflicted as a young person and was influenced by the struggle of the King. He write to the Queen mother to say that he wanted to wrote the screenplay but she responded saying please not in my lifetime. He kept his word and then the struggle was to find the finances for a film which although cost under £10 million was regarded as not having great appeal even though a fantastic cast was lined up as willing to participate, The film also won best music and fo course it became quickly clear that Colin Firth would win the Vest Actor as he had the Golden Globe. And can look forward to a knighthood in later life.

Talking of knighthoods the academy awarded the exceptionally frail and exceptionally talented Sir Christopher Lee, now aged 88 years with its Fellowship. He had appeared in more films than anyone over 250 from hammer horrors, to the Lord Summerisle in the Wicker Man, Scaramanga in James Bond as the man with the Golden Gun and Saruman in The Lord of the Rings. Natalie Portman Herslag is a remarkable Israeli American
who has a degree is psychology from Harvard and for the Bafta and Golden Globe winning Performance in the Black Swan, under her stage name of Portman, swam 1 mile every morning for a year while she trained as a ballet dancer

The Social Network about Facebook Social Interaction and Inception, about dreams and reality, were also rewarded. For various reasons I decided against seeing any of these films in theatre but look forward to seeing them in about two years time on Sky. I did see Alice in Wonderland which won two awards and will see True Grit which also won an award and where I have viewed the originals in the past week. Interestingly the young girl is played by a young girl in her first film role. There was also an honourable mention for Made in Dagenham with Miranda Richardson for support actress for her role as Barbara Castle.

I was disappointed that no way was found to honour Pete Postlethwaite who died during the year although his performance in the Town was included as best supporting actor. There is always a moving list of those who have died over the year and every year there are an increasing number of those whose work I have enjoyed, sometimes loves and whose personalities became well regarded with Tony Curtis perhaps the most well known. Norman Wisdom had his exceptionally funny moments along with much that was silly. Susannah Yorke was an English rose and a political radical while Patricia Neal made fine films. Leslie Neilson was not everyone’s cuppa of tea and much was silly while Dennis Hopper had a good history. Ingrid Pitt was perhaps more notorious than brilliant. I will catch up with the others when the a similar list is remembered at the Oscars.

Another disappointment is that the Kids are Alright where Annette Banning and Julianne Moore were nominated for leading actress did not win in other categories. Girl with a Dragon Tattoo made in Swedish won Best Foreign film and is on my wish list. Other nominated films which I also wish to see are Another Year Mike Leigh and Jarvier Bardem in Biutiful. I have no inclination to see 127 hours which is about a man who had to cut off his arm in order to live and did so.

A special award went to the creator and the film makers of the Harry Potter series for their contribution to British cinema and to national income! More on Harry Potter another day although the series failed to engage to same level as Tolkien.

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