Sunday, December 06, 2009

British Indies Are Moonstruck

Over the next few weeks, about a million tiny critics organizations will shout "Best!" The British Independent Film Awards have announced, following the Gothams and NBR across the pond. It's well underway. It shan't stop any time soon.

British Independent Film
Andrea Arnold, Fish Tank
Debut Director
Duncan Jones, Moon
Screenplay In the Loop
British Short Love You More
Best Foreign Film Let the Right One In
  • Big night for Duncan Jones's Moon. David Bowie's son sure built up a lot of goodwill with this first feature. That follow up is going to be tricky, though. How to live up to those expectations?

Actress Carey Mulligan, An Education
Actor Tom Hardy, Bronson
<--- Supporting Actress Anne-Marie Duff, Nowhere Boy
Supporting Actor John Henshaw, Looking for Eric
Most Promising Newcomer Katie Jarvis, Fish Tank

  • Only one of these is going on to Oscar citations for various reasons -- sometimes as simple as no distribution in the States -- but it seems like quite a strong list. And quite a young list, too. Mulligan is 24, Jarvis is only 18 and Hardy and Duff (Mrs. James McAvoy) are in their 30s. A lot of younger actors and actresses made great strides this year, didn't they?

Achievement in Production Bunny and the Bull
Raindance Award Down Terrace
Technical Achievement Bright Star's cinematography Greig Fraser
Documentary Mugabe and the White African
British Short Love You More
Best Foreign Film Let the Right One In

  • I'd love to think that Greig Fraser has a clear shot at an Oscar nomination. His contribution to Jane Campion's poetic romance went a long way in making the film the rich and delicate beauty it is. But I've learned never to assume that newbies are locks with Oscar's below-the-line branches. Those branches can be stingy with new talents and protective of the establishment players. Or at least that's sometimes how it feels from the outside. On a more obscure note I have to say "hurrah" for the win for Love You More (pictured). That's the short that I fought for in jury deliberations at the Nashville Film Festival. It's an expertly tight story of a budding sexual relationship revolving around the purchase and play of a vinyl single by the Buzzcocks. Great great short and it doesn't surprise me in the least that the artist/director Sam Taylor-Wood is already on to feature film acclaim. She followed Love You More with Nowhere Boy, which was also honored by BIFA. Good night for her. No word on when that picture is opening in the States update: The film has the instant global hook of Beatles mania (the film is about John Lennon's adolescence) and will be released by the Weinstein Company next year.

Finally, since critics organizations usually hand out a couple of honorary type awards, I assume to get stars at their end of year dinner parties, actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Sir Michael Caine (both of them entirely bereft of past honors, poor things) and journalist Baz Bamigboye were also lauded.


Unknown said...

Couldn't agree more about Greig Fraser. The guy has had a stellar year (ah bad pun!), not only with Bright Star, but Last Ride and The Boys Are Back. Can't wait to see what he does next.

emmanuel ramos barajas said...

On a different note, I just found this tumblr Make a Movie . You should check it out, it's pretty cool

amir_uk said...

I also couldn't agree more abolut Greig Fraser. Bright Star and The Boys Are Back would make for a breathtaking one-two punch by anyone in any given year.

But I also genuinely believe that Bright Star is one of the best and most beautifully photographed films I have ever (yes, ever) seen.

I just can't believe this guys is such a newbie - and so young!

amir_uk said...

Ergh. Typing. Too. Fast.



cal roth said...

Mulligan also won DC. I see a sweep coming!

Michael C. said...

I just noticed that you gave In the Loop a lowly B/B-.

I'm late for work right now but you and I are going to have words later, my friend. Words.

Anonymous said...

I think Bright Star is such an under appreciated film. It may not be as good as The Piano, but how many movies are? It has so many great elements to it and I am shocked it is not as praised as it should be, given the quality of other films this year.

amir_uk said...

It's better than The Piano.

And it seems I'm not the only one who thinks that judging by the critics' quotations they used on the British edition of the poster.


Michael C -- we can have those words so long as they're not as expletive laden as the ones in the movie ;)

Amir -- ummmm.... NO. nothing is as good as the Piano.

Jon -- well, it's because it's so feminine and so non-violent. those movies have a rough time getting the accolades they deseve.

amir_uk said...

Don't get me wrong, I loooove The Piano. I've kind of come to think of them as her twin masterpieces. Both so so good.

Brian Owens said...

Hey Nathaniel,

NOWHERE BOY is getting a release from Weinstein Co. sometime next year (late Spring/early Summer seems likely) - and it's probably on its way to Nashville - but I shant say anything more at the moment!