And so the round of award ceremonies, with their insincere heartfelt thanks and validation for those who demand more than most, begins with the Stephen Fry Show or the Baftas if you prefer to call it by its lesser known name. This year there has been a surfeit of great films-most released in the last two months in case the voters have short memories I presume- and most managed to take home a major prize thus ensuring no one film emerged as a runaway winner, although both Gravity and 12 Years A Slave triumphed several times in their nominated categories. There was even an ongoing joke about the Duke of Cambridge being Helen Mirren’s grandson-the Duke and the other Queen, Fry, made lame attempts to induce some hilarity out of this- due to a role she once memorably played. Oh, how we didn’t laugh!
However Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street missed out on its best chance of an award for Leonardo DiCaprio’s outstanding performance as Jordan Belfort and of all the major contenders was the only film to leave empty handed. I was disappointed that probably one of the most underwhelming films I have seen in the last year , Philomena, win the best adapted screenplay but was delighted to see Jennifer Lawrence win for her supporting role in American Hustle as she was my favourite character and performance in this film which had so many to choose from.
Chiwetel Ejiofor may have deservedly won for 12 Years A Slave-DiCaprio would have been my first choice-but I thought Michael Fassbender may also have walked off with best supporting actor as his performance was of such an intense and commanding nature he stole most scenes he was in. The supporting actor award however went to relative newcomer Barkhab Abdi for Captain Philips, a film I have not seen due to the fact I am a total Tom Hanks phobic and find it impossible to sit through anything he is in.
Cate Blanchett came up against stiff competition in her category –Amy Adams and Judi Dench although the least said about Sandra Bullock the better- but waltzed off with the Best Actress prize for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.
Controversy reared its head over Gravity winning the Best British Film category with it being directed by the Mexican Alfonso Cuaron and starring Bullock and George Clooney, both big Hollywood players, but it was filmed in England with a British crew and most of the post production effects were added here so it seems quite fitting it won this category. If any film in the last year has been about the effects then Gravity was it.
Usually seen as less prestigious dry run for the Oscars next month it will be interesting to see whether there is as much diversity in their choices or whether one film will dominate above all others. Personally I feel it will be a close call between 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle but as I am unaware of insider industry politics and who has been kissing the most asses over the last twelve months it is hard to predict any inevitable outcome. Lat night merely showed that quite rightly several different films need to be commended on individual achievements and as such it made more sense that with such a strong line up each received awards recognising this.
As a footnote let it be noted that the dresses were, in the main, quite awful. Brad and Angelina looked good in their matching tuxedos though. A lesson in glamour so many could learn from that might, in the future, prevent them from looking like dropped trifles.