Sunday, December 05, 2010

The King's Acceptance Speeches Begin

King and Queen of the BIFAs
The British Independent Film Awards forced the reluctant king to the mic again when they gave Colin Firth the Best Actor prize for his stammering royal in The King's Speech. The BIFAs also gave the movie 4 additional prizes: Helena Bonham-Carter and Geoffrey Rush took their first wins of the season and the film won screenplay and the BIFA equivalent of Best Picture "Best British Independent Film."

The smear campaign or truth-telling depending on how you view these things has also begun but the Oscar buzz isn't letting up any time soon.

After the jump the complete BIFA winners list with commentary.

British Independent Film The King’s Speech
Director Gareth Edwards, Monsters
Debut Director Clio Barnard,The Arbor
Screenplay David Seidler, The King’s Speech
Actress Carey Mulligan,  Never Let Me Go
Actor Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Supporting Actress Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Supporting Actor Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech
Promising Newcomer Joanne Froggatt, In Our Name
Achievement in Production Monsters
Raindance Award Son of Babylon
Tech Achievement Visual Effects, Monsters
Documentary Enemies of the People
British Short Baby
Foreign Film A Prophet

Carey & Rosamund @ the BIFAs
Beyond the big dog (King's) the indie genre flick Monsters did quite well for itself. I have the screener right here. Maybe I should watch.

As for Carey Mulligan winning Best Actress for Never Let Me Go, Monty would not approve. And if you ask me Andrew Garfield was "best in show". And I don't understand Helena's win at all. I hope everyone understands that I am in HBC's corner -- I think she's been grossly underrewarded for years and ought to have 3 Oscar noms and an actual statue on her mantle -- but I just don't see it for this performance. There's nothing to it beyond the very typical awards bait of "supportive spouse." If she's nominated it'll be the easiest get outside of Bill Murray's for Get Low; two people doing things they can do with their eyes closed that aren't remotely challenging or interesting.

I have to say that I'm surprised as anyone (maybe moreso) that Geoffrey Rush is the true champ within The King's Speech. How he managed to curtail his usual hamminess into something nearly subtle when it's actually one of his hammiest and most eccentric characters is a minor miracle. But then I'm far more allergic to him than most so perhaps my perception is skewed. Alas, despite my enthusiasm for his turn here comes yet another awards season where the gigantic roles will win the supporting prizes. Poor character actors everywhere can never catch a break.

Moving on. Have any of you seen Monsters? Are you happy that The King's Speech is winning prizes?


Patrick said...

Ugh, I'm so not into Rush either. I haven't seen The King's Speech so I shouldn't judge his performance but seeing as he already has an Oscar, I'd like to see someone else win Supporting Actor.

James T said...

Early prediction: Mulligan will win the BIFA for Shame next year. For shame indeed :p

Anonymous said...

Patrick, isn't that the exact attitude people criticize the Oscars for? Rewarding people on the basis of their filmography than the actual performance?

Walter L. Hollmann said...

I loved Never Let Me Go, so color me excited that Mulligan won something. Yeah, Garfield's best in show (same with Social Network and Parnassus), but the other performances shouldn't be overlooked. Beautifully done film.

And I think Murray did some surprisingly subtle work in Get Low. There was a sadness to his performances, even before his talks about switching sides of the bed with Sissy. I've a sneaking suspicion that I liked both films far more than you did, though.

OtherRobert said...

Monsters sure seems to be doing well for itself in awards season. Any chance of bigger things for this film? It's a genre film that doesn't focus on the monsters, which certainly helps break through to a wider audience (and, in turn, shuts off horror/sci-fi fans for not being about the titular monsters).

stjeans said...

One Word: BORING!

john said...

Sorry to be off topic from the BIFAs, but there is a new Mildred Pierce teaser here:

adam k. said...

I kind of expect both Firth and Rush to win oscars for this film, since it's such a two-hander and since (IMO) that will be the consolation prize for its losing the Best Picture oscar to Social Network.

Rush is definitely a co-lead - and a very good one, at that - but I don't think it's complete and total fraud. Firth is definitely more of a lead - he goes through the arc and changes by the end - and Rush is mainly there as a foil for the king, even though Lionel does have his own story. I'd be pretty happy with him winning, actually.

It's definitely Rush v. Bale. I don't see Garfield, Ruffalo or anyone else puncturing that two-man contest. I think it will depend on how many oscars they feel like giving TKS, how many acting nominations The Fighter gets (if it gets 4, it's winning somewhere), and how much of an ass Christian Bale is on the campaign trail.

Is TKS definitely being submitted as a drama at the GGs? I could actually see the case for calling it a comedy. They probably wouldn't want to anyway, but I think it might not be a bad idea since it'd be a slam dunk for a comedy win, whereas I think TSN would win drama in a head-to-head matchup, further building its momentum. I think the globes will embrace it wholeheartedly - pic/director/screenplay trifecta.

Assuming TKS does go drama, is The Kids Are All Right the de facto frontrunner for comedy? What could beat it?


adam -- well, who knows? The comedy category at the globes is sometimes pure joy because of how unpredictable it is. Vicky Cristina Barcelona?!

MrJeffery said...

i was surprised too how understated rush was. i think it's my favorite supporting performance of the year. i also really loved the film, much more than i thought i was going to. i think i'm an old sap this year.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Ugh...having now seen The King's Speech I can't help but ask the question: What's worse? A through and through bad film or a competently made film with absolutely no reason to see it?

With all the best picture talk, I actually went into TKS expecting something beyond what the trailer suggested. There have certainly been times when my resistance to a film because of the mediocre trailer has me crying mea culpa when the film actually impresses (Michael Clayton being the most recent example). But The King's Speech was just so unremarkable and I'm horrified by the prospect of it winning best picture.

But at the same time, I could see it winning best picture if the audience in the theater reflects the Academy demographic. I saw it on a Thursday morning while I was getting my car serviced. (They said come back in two hours, Arclight Hollywood was right there...why not?) It was me, about two dozen white people in their late 50s or older and one 40-something gay couple (sounds like the Academy, right?). In short, they ate that movie up with a spoon. So, I can see it winning best picture and no I'm not happy with this sweep.

Calhoun said...

I was a fan of The King's Speech personally and all of the actors and actresses involved.
I admit that the story was underwhelming at times and simplistic at best, but it was genuine to me.
I enjoyed Firth in the role but I'm still unable to shake the feeling that this will be the Oscars way of making up for not giving him it for A Single Man.
Rush was fantastic in the role. I don't care much for Geoffrey Rush one way or the other, but the way that he balanced all these different aspects of his character (healer, family man, etc.) won me over.
As for Helena Bonham Carter, I was impressed with her because I think it had a lot to do with contextualizing the character. Yes, she was a supportive wife, but she was also an alarmingly strong female figure.
As for "The Pretentious Know It All", I'm not sure if that's a fair characterization of Academy voters (particularly the gay thing?) but you're entitled to your view.
PS I was underwhelmed by Monsters. It wanted to be a character study rather than a genre flick, but the male lead was so thoroughly unlikeable that I found it difficult to invest in his journey, but it is an impressive feat with that budget.