Late last night, the power brokers of the film industry met to recognise the best in the business at the 85th Academy awards, or to you and me, “The Oscars”.
Some surprises were in store on an unpredictable evening, with the top categories (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress) all going to different films. This just shows the calibre of the films and talent in contention.
Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage thriller, Argo, won the Oscar for Best Film, following the nominees being introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama from the White House.
Daniel Day-Lewis picked up the Best Actor award for a record-breaking third time for his portrayal of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. He previously won in 1989 for My Left Foot and in 2008 for There Will Be Blood and has secured his place amongst the all-time acting greats.
Argo was named Best Film at last nights EE British Academy Film Awards hosted by Stephen Fry, held at London’s Royal Opera House. Ben Affleck won the Director BAFTA and the film also took the Editing award.
Les Misérables won four BAFTAs, Production Design, Sound, Make Up & Hair and Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway.
Christoph Waltz won Supporting Actor for his performance in Django Unchained and the film’s writer/director Quentin Tarantino won the Original Screenplay BAFTA.
Early yesterday morning, the 70th Golden Globes awards ceremony took place at the Beverly Hills Hilton, Beverly Hills, California. Big winners included Argo (two awards) and Les Misérables (Three Awards).
The acting awards went to Daniel Day Lewis (Best Actor), Hugh Jackman (Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy), Jessica Chastain (Best Actress), Jennifer Lawrence (Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy) and Ben Affleck took the best director prize for his hostage thriller, Argo.
This morning, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), announced the nominees for the 2013 awards ceremony, honouring luminaries in the Film and Television industry. Leading the nominee table is the Steven Spielberg directed biopic of Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, with ten nominations.
The highest grossing film in UK Box Office history, Skyfall, has garnered eight nominations, including, Outstanding British Film, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Production Design.
If you’re a fan of French cinema, Michael Haneke’s Amour is a must-see film this November. As soon as it screened at the Cannes Festival, it was clearly very special and was the obvious choice to win the Palme d’Or. But be prepared, it’s a gritty, matter of fact look at what happens in later life as the aging process takes over a couple’s world.
The Austrian director has united French cinematic legends Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva in this study on the beauty of spending your life with another person and how one copes with the suffering of a loved one. The acting is stunning. Emmanuelle Riva gives possibly the best screen performance I’ve ever seen as Anne, a piano teacher, whose life degenerates when she suffers a series of strokes. Trintignant’s tenderness as her husband Georges and his resolve to care for her as she becomes increasingly incapable is incredibly moving.
On the final Sunday of the festival, Michael Haneke’s film was the winner of the coveted main prize – The Palme d’Or and it’s not difficult to see why it was the choice of the jury. It is also Haneke’s second golden palm in three years (after 2009’s The White Ribbon), a spectacular achievement for one of Europe’s most singular film-makers.
So what of the film itself? It’s predominantly a two hander between an elderly married couple, who have to confront the wife’s deteriorating health and facing her inevitable death. It’s no spoiler to say she dies, it’s made clear in the very opening scene. The next two hours detail how the situation affects them both in very different ways.