71st British Academy Film Awards – Breakdown

2018, Uncategorized

Last night saw the Royal Albert Hall play host to the 71st Annual British Academy Film Awards, or as they are most commonly know, the BAFTA’S. Although not as coveted as the OSCAR’s, the BAFTA’s are the biggest night in film this side of the Atlantic. Of course, all awards are rather trivial, a chance for the industry to pat themselves on the back, but they are still incredibly important. It’s a great chance to celebrate the previous year in film, and to bring attention to some amazing work that might otherwise go un-noticed. Your favourite film might not win, or even get nominated, which is always frustrating and you could spend your time moaning about this, but where’s the fun in that. Here we will go through all of last nights big winners.

Best Film

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape Of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I’ll admit that I’ve only seen three out of these five movies, but out of the films on this list that I had seen, Three Billboards was a well deserved winner. Dunkirk was great, but maybe lacked the emotional resonance to really compete. The Shape Of Water was also fantastic, for me it was a close race between this and Three Billboards.

Outstanding British Film

Darkest Hour
The Death Of Stalin
God’s Own Country
Lady Macbeth
Paddington 2
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards won again, which makes complete sense that the best film would also be the best British film. Personally, I would have loved to have seen Paddington 2 pick up the award, but there are some great films on this list. All worth a watch.

Best Animated Film

Coco
Loving Vincent
My Life As A Courgette

I loved Coco. It’s another well deserved win. The other two movies are definitely worth checking out, but Pixar are maintaining their dominance over this category. Hopefully, one day they’ll recognise them as the Best Picture.

Best Documentary

City Of Ghosts
I Am Not Your Negro
Icarus
An inconvenient Sequel
Jane

I haven’t seen any of these. I love my documentaries, but I usually wait until after awards season to check out the best the year had to offer.

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049
Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape Of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape Of Water may have missed out on Best Film, but Guillermo picked up his Best Directors award, in a pattern I think will be repeated at the OSCAR’s. The Shape Of Water is a beautifully directed movie, and Guillermo is one of our most unique directors. Nolan must be thinking that he’s another Scorsese, on of the best directors of his time, but never recognised during awards season.

Best Actor

Daniel Day Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kayuula, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Jamie Bell, Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

This was the biggest non-surprise of the night. They’re all great performances, but there was only ever one winner here. Gary Oldman continues his winning streak with his portrayal of Winston Churchill. It’s a shame though that these award ceremonies are okay with the make-up used to enhance Oldman’s performance, but are yet to recognise Andy Serkis’ mo-cap assisted performances.

Best Actress

Annette Benning, Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I,Tonya
Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

When the nominations came out, I thought this might have been the closest run category. The performances here are all fantastic, but McDormand delivers a tour-de-force performance which can’t help but grab all the attention.

Best Supporting Actor

Christopher Plummer, All The Money In The World
Hugh Grant, Paddington 2
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Willem Defoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Again, no real surprises here. Some may have been hoping for an upset with Willem Defoe snatching it, but that would have meant some people actually saw The Florida Project. Sam Rockwell has been great for ages, and it’s nice to see him getting recognised.

Best Supporting Actress

Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Octavia Spencer, The Shape Of Water

Heading into awards season, it seemed that this was a two horse race between Allison Janney, and Laurie Metcalf, but it seems now that Janney is set to sweep the board. Best known for her role in The West Wing, it’s great to see another fabulous character actor get some accolades.

Best Original Screenplay

Get Out
I, Tonya,
Lady Bird
The Shape Of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Whilst we would have all loved to see Get Out win some awards, it’s clear to see that Three Billboards is the most showy screenplay in this category. It’s full of fantastic dialogue, and deals with complex issues. This was the hardest category of the night for me, as they’re all great.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Call Me By Your Name
The Death Of Stalin
Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool
Molly’s Game
Paddington 2

I haven’t seen Call Me By Your Name Yet, and I did really enjoy Molly’s Game, but Paddington 2 should have won.

That’s it for the main categories of the night. It was a predictable night, and I’m hoping for a few more upsets at the OSCAR’s. Three Billboards was the big winner, and now seems most likely for Best Picture at the OSCAR’s, although The Shape Of Water might have something to say about that.

Below you can find the list of all the other winners. Special mention to Daniel Kaluuya for his EE Rising Star Award, and Ridley Scott for his Fellowship.

EE Rising Star: Daniel Kaluuya
Best Original Music: The Shape Of Water
Best Make Up And Hair: Darkest Hour
Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread
Best Editing: Baby Driver
Outstanding British Contribution To Film: National Film and Television School
Best British Short Animation: Poles Apart
Best British Short Film: Cowboy Dave
Best Film Not In The English Language: The Handmaiden
Best Production Design: The Shape Of Water
Best Special Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: I Am Not A Witch
Best Sound: Dunkirk
Best Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049
BAFTA Fellowship: Ridley Scott

 

Black Panther

2018, Uncategorized

Dir. Ryan Coogler

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, and Sterling K. Brown.

 

Black Panther is based on a comic released in 1966, and it’s about time it got its big screen adaptation. In a world where #oscarssowhite was only trending a couple of years ago, representation is a huge issue. Black Panther isn’t the first black superhero to grace our screens, but it is the first black, solo superhero movie in the MCU. I was excited going in, Ryan Coogler is a director with a unique voice, which he isn’t scared to use. He managed to bring his socially conscious film making from Fruitvale Station to Creed, and I was interested to see what he did with an even bigger scope. He also assembled a fantastic cast, and crew, and with Kendrick Lamar on song duties, a rapper whose socially conscious songs seem to gel perfectly with Cooglers M.O., I went hoping for a Marvel movie which offered something more.

 

Black Panther carries on from where we left T’Challa at the end of Captain America: Civil War. After the death of his Father, King T’Chaka, Prince T’Challa heads home to Wakanda. Wakanda is perceived by the rest of the world as a third world African Country, but in fact it’s the most scientifically advanced country in the world. T’Challa is home to take on the mantle of King, and Black Panther. Black Panther is the super strong protector of Wakanda, a role passed on from King to King. Soon, T’Challa sets out to correct one of his Fathers biggest failures, capturing Ulysses Klaue, a thief who stole Wakanda’s precious supply of Vibranium, killing Wakandians whilst doing it. It doesn’t go smoothly though, and T’Challa finds himself facing competition for the throne.

 

Black Panther is a breath of fresh air in the MCU. After going through a phase of releasing homogeneous, if fun, super hero movies (I’m looking at you Doctor Strange), they have started to add some different colours to their palate. Thor: Ragnarok was hilarious, but I felt it suffered within the MCU because of its irreverence. Black Panther though is a film that takes the super-hero genre seriously, and offers an origin story that looks and feels completely fresh. It’s nice to see one of these movies not set in New York, and the Coogler leans heavily into the African influence with fantastic results. The use of colour in this film is incredible, the set design is fantastic, and the score is thunderously good. The brilliant world building of Wakanda means that even though there are ties to the MCU, Black Panther really does stand on its own four feet.

 

The conversation around Black Panther is always going to concern reprentation. It’s one of the great joys of this movie, watching so many talented black actors excelling in roles which have been for so long reserved for white actors. Coogler goes one step further and fills his film with lots of powerful black women. In fact Boseman’s Panther generally comes in second to all he women around him. His sister, played by Latitia Wright is more intelligent. His general,¬†Danai Gurira, is better tactically and perhaps a better fighter, and his ex, Lupita Nyong’o, is arguably morally superior. Coogler does well to create this fictitious African country, but he crucially doesn’t forget the American part of the African-American experience. This comes in the form of a Michale B. Jordan’s villain Killmonger. A boy who grew up in Oakland without a father, Jordan is superb, and completely believable with his righteous anger. Coogler uses his rivalry with T’Challa to impart his social messages, but never in a way that is preachy, both their ideologies are flawed. These are lofty sentiments for a movie of this size, and at times you can’t believe Marvel and Disney let Coogler say these things, but the film is all the better for it.

 

For the most part, Coogler has knocked this movie out of the park. With a firm grip on tone, he swings from family drama to bond-esque spy movie without missing a beat. The action scenes are for the most part fantastic, Coogler bringing his single take, Creed style to the film. The climax does feel slightly under cooked, a savanna fight scene involving some armoured rhinos feeling a little bit like second hand Lord Of The Rings. The film is littered with great performances. Boseman and Jordan are the stand outs, but special mention has to go to Letitia Wright, who is a great deal of fun, and Andy Serkis who seems to thoroughly enjoy not being in a mo-cap suit. Martin Freeman is perhaps the only under-used actor, there for some good jokes, but ultimately feels like a character Coogler doesn’t really care about. Special mention must go to the score and original songs by Lamar. Ensuring that not only does this film look like no other Hollywood blockbuster, it doesn’t sound like one either. I loved the contrast of the organic African drums used in Wakanda, and the processed drum machine used to represent Killmonger.

 

Black Panther is perhaps the best stand alone MCU movie yet. It’s smart, funny, and full of thrilling action sequences. It’s also a movie rooted in family with a whole ton of heart. Coogler doesn’t shy away from using his movie to comment on the African-American experience. His villain is nuanced and complicated. His hero is thoughtful and wary. Coogler offers a depiction of the things that divide us, but has ultimately made a movie that we can all get behind.

8/10