The London Film Critics’ Circle has announced the nominations for its 35th annual awards ceremony, with Mike Leigh’s historical biopic Mr Turner leading the way with seven nominations, including Film of the Year and British Film of the Year.
Close behind in the race for the awards, voted on by 140 of the UK’s leading print, online and broadcast film critics, is Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu’s Birdman. The film-industry satire scored six nominations, including Film of the Year, Director of the Year and Actor of the Year for star Michael Keaton.
The nominations were announced today at London’s May Fair Hotel by Jeremy Irvine and Phoebe Fox, stars of the upcoming The Woman in Black: Angel of Death. The black-tie ceremony on 18 January will be hosted by Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, who won the Breakthrough British Filmmakers award for their screenplay for 2012′s Sightseers.
In the acting fields, Julianne Moore scored a rare double in the Actress of the Year category, earning two nominations for her contrasting roles in David Cronenberg’s black comedy Maps to the Stars and Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland’s Alzheimer’s-themed drama Still Alice.
Other actors cited twice are Timothy Spall (Mr Turner), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), all three of whom will compete for both Actor of the Year and British Actor of the Year.
Among the ten films shortlisted for Film of the Year are Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin and James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything. All four films scored five nominations apiece, as did Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, which will compete for British Film of the Year alongside Mr Turner, Under the Skin, The Theory of Everything and Pride.
Rounding out the 10 nominees for Film of the Year are American independents Nightcrawler and Whiplash, as well as foreign-language contenders Ida and Leviathan.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday 18 January 2015 at The May Fair Hotel, which is sponsoring and hosting the proceedings for the third year running. Last year’s ceremony saw Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave crowned Film of the Year, while veteran actor Gary Oldman accepted the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film.
35th LONDON CRITICS’ CIRCLE FILM AWARDS NOMINATIONS
FILM OF THE YEAR
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Theory of Everything
Under the Skin
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
Norte, The End of History
Two Days, One Night
BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Under the Skin
DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
20,000 Days on Earth
Next Goal Wins
Night Will Fall
ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Timothy Spall – Mr Turner
ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Essie Davis – The Babadook
Scarlett Johansson – Under the Skin
Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Riz Ahmed – Nightcrawler
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
JK Simmons – Whiplash
SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Marion Bailey – Mr Turner
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Agata Kulesza – Ida
Emma Stone – Birdman
BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Tom Hardy – Locke, The Drop
Jack O’Connell – Starred Up, ’71 & Unbroken
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Timothy Spall – Mr Turner
BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
Emily Blunt – Into the Woods & Edge of Tomorrow
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game, Begin Again & Say When
Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl & What We Did on Our Holiday
YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR
Daniel Huttlestone – Into the Woods
Alex Lawther – The Imitation Game
Corey McKinley – ’71
Will Poulter – The Maze Runner & Plastic
Saoirse Ronan – The Grand Budapest Hotel
DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin
Alejandro G Iñárritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Mike Leigh – Mr Turner
SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler
Alejandro G Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris & Armando Bo – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILMMAKER
Hossein Amini – The Two Faces of January
Elaine Constantine – Northern Soul
Yann Demange – ’71
Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard – 20,000 Days on Earth
James Kent – Testament of Youth
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
’71 – Chris Wyatt, editing
Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki, cinematography
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, visual effects
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen, production design
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges, costumes
Leviathan – Mikhail Krichman, cinematography
Mr Turner – Dick Pope, cinematography
A Most Violent Year – Kasia Walicka-Maimone, costumes
Under the Skin – Mica Levi, score
Whiplash – Tom Cross, editing]]>
Rolene Strauss, representing South Africa, has been crowned as the 64th Miss World at this year’s final in London.
Rolene says her family made her who she is today. A 4th year Medical student, she praises her father’s influence, interesting her in medicine, her mother taught her the power of the mind, and her brother, compassion and patience. With a holistic approach to living, she hopes to create a business along these lines focusing on women’s health, alongside her plan of studying for an MBA and becoming a doctor. In her spare time Rolene enjoys playing the sports golf, netball and cycling, and reading inspirational and educational books. She is also musically minded, and can play the flute, piano and guitar.
In second place was Hungary’s Edina Kulcsár. In third place was USA’s Elizabeth Safrit. This year’s event was presented by Tim Vincent and Megan Young, the first reigning Miss World to ever host her own final show.
Julia Morley, Miss World Chairman, said:
“It was great to bring the 64th Miss World Final back to London and where it all began 63 years ago. I’m looking forward to travelling with Rolene, the new Miss World, to visit countries around the globe to support this year’s finalists Beauty with a Purpose fundraising projects.”
In an action packed three weeks since arriving in London the contestants have taken part in the Miss World Challenge Events. These included a sports, top model and beach fashion competition, a talent contest, Beauty with a Purpose and a debate at the Oxford Union. The live event, broadcast to a global audience of more than one billion was a sell out at ExCel London.
Interview with third place runner up Miss United States Elizabeth Safrit below:
Interview with People’s Choice winner Miss Thailand Maeya Nonthawan Thongleng below:
A glittering array of talent turned out this evening for the 17thMoët British Independent Film Awards. The winners were announced at the star-studded ceremony, held at Old Billingsgate, which was hosted by The Inbetweeners star, Simon Bird.
The lucky winners took home the iconic award designed by Fredrikson Stallard and created by Swarovski as well as a personalised, Swarovski crystal encrusted magnum of Moët & Chandon.
Best British Independent Film was won by PRIDE. Yann Demange won Best Director for ’71, Gugu Mbatha-Raw won Best Actress for BELLE and Brendan Gleeson won Best Actor for CALVARY. Andrew Scott collected his award for Best Supporting Actor for PRIDE and Imelda Staunton took home her award for Best Supporting Actress also for her role in PRIDE.
PRIDEwon the most awards on the night, picking up Best British Independent Film, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor.
Joint Directors; The Moët British Independent Film Awards Johanna von Fischer & Tessa Collinson said: “In our final year as Directors it is terrific to see such an amazing mix of the established and new being represented in our honourees tonight. The range of diverse and unique talent in this country is awe inspiring. Our jury has had some truly tough decisions to make. We hope these results will excite audiences and encourage more people to search out these films creating a greater demand for British Independent cinema. 2014 also sees us celebrate five years of a fabulous partnership with title sponsor Moët & Chandon, who add that extra sparkle each year for which we are incredibly grateful.”
As previously announced, Emma Thompson was awarded the coveted Richard Harris Award for outstanding contribution by an actor to British film, and Benedict Cumberbatch the Variety Award, which recognises an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to shine the international spotlight on the UK. The Special Jury Prize went to John Boorman.
The Raindance Award was won by LUNA. Elliot Grove, Founder of BIFA and the Raindance Film Festival added; “British filmmakers are at the top of their game and amongst the most creative in the world, covering a diverse range of stories, passionately told and featuring outstanding acting talent. BIFA is proud to lead the celebrations at the start of the Award season.”
The Moët British Independent Film Awards are proud to announce the following winners for 2014 (highlighted below in red):
BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM Pride
BEST DIRECTOR Yann Demange – ’71
BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard – 20,000 Days on Earth
BEST SCREENPLAY Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan – Frank
BEST ACTRESS Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle
BEST ACTOR Brendan Gleeson – Calvary
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Imelda Staunton – Pride
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Andrew Scott – Pride
MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER Sameena Jabeen Ahmed – Catch Me Daddy
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION The Goob
BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT Stephen Rennicks – Music – Frank
BEST DOCUMENTAR Y Next Goal Wins
BEST BRITISH SHORT The Kármán Line
BEST INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM Boyhood
THE RAINDANCE AWARD Luna
THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD Emma Thompson
THE VARIETY AWARD Benedict Cumberbatch
THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE John Boorman
Now in its 17th year, the Awards were created by Raindance in 1998 and set out to celebrate merit and achievement in independently funded British filmmaking, to honour new talent, and to promote British films and filmmaking to a wider public.
Previous winners of the prestigious Best British Independent Film Award include METRO MANILA, TYRANNOSAUR, THE KING’S SPEECH, MOON, CONTROL, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, THE CONSTANT GARDENER and THIS IS ENGLAND.
Proud supporters and patrons of The Moët British Independent Film Awards include Mike Figgis, Tom Hollander, Adrian Lester, Ken Loach, Ewan McGregor, Helen Mirren, Samantha Morton, James Nesbitt, Michael Sheen, Trudie Styler, Tilda Swinton, Meera Syal, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone and Michael Winterbottom.]]>
In the third instalment of The Hobbit trilogy, finally completing the epic Tolkien franchise, the battle continues to rage for the riches of the fabled Mountain Kingdom of Erebor. Diminutive Hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins and the forces of good stand against an ancient evil and a deadly array of monstrous foes. As Dwarves, Men, Wizards, Dragons and Elves each play their part in shaping the destiny of middle earth…
After literally decades of production, patient Tolkien fans finally have a complete six film saga with the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies both at last complete. The Battle of The Five Armies is a satisfying final piece of that vast fantasy adventure, delivering the usual mix of CGI wizardry and shamelessly epic storytelling.
Those that found the earlier Hobbit films lacking in pace will be pleased to see the final chapter open with a spectacular action sequence. As the wicked dragon Smaug brings down fiery death and destruction on the poor inhabitants of middle earth. From this literally explosive beginning, the film moves quickly, pulling together now familiar faces from the entire saga to give fantasy fans and blockbuster crowds the precisely promised climactic battle. The near constant fighting in this film equals the technically high standards of the previous films, but offers enough new adversaries and memorable moments to distinguish it beyond simply repeating successful CGI formulas.
The returning cast including firm fan favourites like Sir Ian McKellan’s Gandalf and Orlando Bloom as princely elf warrior Legolas each deliver excellent performances with effortless ease. Sherlock star Martin Freeman remains perfectly typecast as unlikely hero Bilbo Baggins and Evangeline Lilly is suitably enchanting as elf heroine Tauriel. Richard Armitage also has a chance to flex some dramatic muscles between wielding his sword in battle, as Thorin confronts his inner demons.
Those who failed to feel the magic of Peter Jackson previous middle earth epics are perhaps unlikely to suddenly discover it here. Jackson’s impressively crafted battle scenes will not win over those uninspired by whimsical adventures so absolutely detached from real life. Likewise those left numb by the franchises notoriously long running times will likely still find the film’s comparatively trimmed down 144minutes a little daunting. If you lack patience or an appetite for the fantasy genre then this won’t be an easy ride.
In particular those already watching the clock may find that interrupting the action for frequent slow motion reaction shots and expositional dialogue leaves them more frustrated than emotional. Being perhaps overly cynical it’s noticeably convenient just how often characters manage to have friendly chats, bickering arguments or exchange lingering gazes in the midst of war torn battlefields.
Though the film has poignant conclusions to a number of character arcs, it feels obliged to include occasional instances of heavy handed but ineffective humour. Weasley coward Alfrid played by Ryan Gage is guilty of most of this. As with the Lord of the Rings it simply feels like the film would have been a shorter more compelling adventure without these pointless moments of attempted levity.
That being said the film does similarly find time to wade through lengthy melodrama, as clearly heroic characters like Dwarf leader Thorin, battle greed and paranoia long before they ever draw swords with an actual enemy. Though these struggles all play out in the context of a wider saga and expansive journeys for the various characters, the corrupting madness of power is an all too familiar theme for this franchise.
Though the film boasts largely impressive special effects there are occasional moments where less convincing CGI proves distracting. Legolas unbelievably defying the laws of gravity even more than usual is a specific example of this. Without ignoring the amazing digital achievements and artistry behind the film, the sheer scale of the action means it sometimes lacks the tactile credibility of practical effects.
The Ugly Truth:
The Hobbit trilogy has stood on the impressive shoulders of the cinematic Lord of the Rings saga which preceded it, to at least match its technical brilliance. This action packed final chapter will delight devoted Tolkien fans and casual blockbuster crowds equally. The series violent conclusion is propelled with a sense of urgency towards an undeniably satisfactory finale. Jackson gives fans a must see middle earth adventure, possibly for one last time.
Check out full London Press Conference Interviews below:]]>
This weekend the winners will be announced for the British Independent Film Awards. The Imitation Game, Pride, ’71, Mr Turner and Frank lead the field with multiple nominations. Benedict Cumberbatch is set to be honored with this year’s Variety Award, while Emma Thompson receives the Richard Harris Award. Full nominations list below:
Matthew Wolf and Daniel Wolfe for Catch Me Daddy
Hong Khaou for Lilting
Iain Forsyth and JanePollard for 20,000 Days on Earth
Morgan Matthews for X + Y
Yann Demange for ’71
J.J. Abrams has finally given Star Wars fans their first glimpse at the first chapter in the new trilogy of the Star Wars Saga with an 88 second long teaser trailer for Episode VII The Force Awakens.
Watch it yourself below but here’s Five of the obvious talking points:
1. Is that Benedict Cumberbatch?
The ominous voice over bears an uncanny resemblance to the vocal charms of Sherlock and Star Trek star Benedict Cumberbatch, seemingly restoring credibility to the early suggestion that he may still play a major role in the new saga.
2. New Faces
While Luke, Han and Lea are nowhere to be seen the trailer does introduces John Boyega in a storm trooper suit, Daisy Ridley on a speeder & Oscar Isaac in an X-wing. Firmly establishing our next generation of heroes.
3. Old Ships
In just 88 seconds the trailer manages to give us Three X-wing’s, Two Tie-Fighters and one glorious hunk of junk… the Millennium Falcon. Though they might be more CGI now than plastic model kits, the return of these classic designs instantly injects the new saga with a nostalgic style that was so sadly missing from the prequels.
4. Lightsaber Broadsword
The lightsaber remains one of the most iconic elements of the Star Wars universe. Arguably Episode I’s sole redeeming feature was the invention of the double ended lightsaber, as wielded by fan favorite Darth Maul. Episode VII will apparently introduce the first lightsaber to have a crossguard. Turning it into more of a claymore style medivial bade. While fan’s are already fiercely debating the combat effectiveness of this subtle modification, it is at least a stylish riff on the familiar designs.
5. Is The Empire still the bad guys?
The inclusion of ominous ranks of battle ready storm troopers and Tie Fighters taking shots at a rapidly maneuvering Millennium Falcon suggests that perhaps the galactic war rages on and the Rebel Alliance may still be facing up to the might of the Evil Empire.
Episode VII in the Star Wars Saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, opens in theaters December 18, 2015. Till then re-watch the trailer below endlessly while awaiting more news/footage. It is your destiny…
Richard O’Brien is set to adapt his much maligned Rocky Horror Picture Show follow up Shock Treatment into a new stage production to premiere at London’s King’s Head Theatre in April 2015. Speaking of the news creator O’Brien said
“Shock Treatment has been waiting patiently in the wings for a stage premiere since the film was released in 1981. Just as Rocky began life upstairs at the Royal Court, it seems a perfect fit for Shock Treatment to start its stage life in the effervescent atmosphere of the astounding King’s Head Theatre.”
The original film released in 1981 was a critical and commercial disaster, failing to gain wide release or the cult classic status of O’Briens Rocky Horror Picture Show. The sequel once again features hapless couple Brad and Janet, this time caught up in a sinister 24h tv gameshow that aims to imprison them in an insane asylum. The film failed to connect to fans perhaps mostly because it featured few of the characters from the original and lost most its main stars like Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Meat Loaf and Tim Curry.
It will be interesting to see how O’Brien updates the show for the stage and whether it resonates more with a contemporary audience all too familiar with the concept of reality television which the original film ominously predicted.
Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudekis return as the hapless trio with another plan to deal with their unpleasant upper management. After deciding to launch their own business, Nick Kurt and Dale are soon double crossed by ruthless businessman Bert Hanson (Christoph Waltz), prompting the boys to try their hand at kidnapping to get their payback.
After becoming such a huge hit in 2011, it was inevitable that Horrible Bosses would get a sequel. Three years later, the boys are back, along with some help from their previous targets. Instead of murder though, Nick, Kurt and Dale have turned to the less harmful threat of kidnapping (or ‘kidnaping’ as Kurt spells it). But make no mistake, Horrible Bosses 2 is definitely bigger than it’s predecessor. With Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz joining the cast as father/son business partners as well as appearances from Jennifer Aniston’s raunchy sex addicted dentist, Kevin Spacey’s (now incarcerated) easily angered Dave Harken and Jamie Foxx’s cool, calm and collected Motherf**ker Jones.
While the target is down to one this time round, the story does seem to have grown with it’s cast. Kidnapping it seems, is tougher to pull off, even with the help of the kidnapped (Pine). The inept trio of criminal masterminds provide plenty of laughs with their successfully establish formula of bungling banter and slapstick. From awkwardly positioned shower pressure pumps, to an even more awkward car chase involving the longest train in the world, there’s certainly more than enough comedy highlights throughout the films 108 minute runtime to keep fans happy.
Though Horrible Bosses 2 introduces some interesting new ideas as well as some genuinely funny new characters, they often have to make room for the elements which made the first instalment such a hit. Chris Pine does have plenty to do and brings gags aplenty, but Christoph Waltz feels drastically underused. It’s a shame seeing as he’s proved his comedic timing is good in his more serious roles (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds to name two) yet he isn’t given much to do here. This is understandably due to the fact that fan favourites are given maximum screen time to please fans.
The return of the Jennifer Aniston’s nympho sexpot and Kevin Spacey’s foul mouthed bully are both welcome, but at times they threaten to overshadow the gang’s new adversaries. After a certain point it begins to feel more like a reunion than an actual sequel, which is a real shame as there is enough to set up a well thought out redirection for the story before it slips into it’s amusing comfort zone. .
The Ugly Truth
Horrible Bosses 2 is a satisfying comedy sequel packed with just as much fun and perhaps a bit more mayhem than the successful original. While it offers up promising new ideas and characters, it’s the returning cast that inevitably steal the show.]]>
Michael Bond’s beloved bear is brought to the big screen for christmas with the help of Ben Wishaw’s gentle voice (Skyfall). From dark Peru to rainy London, Paddington is on a journey to find a new home. But when an evil taxidermist (Nicole Kidman) begins hunting him down, and nothing but his natural instincts and trusty marmalade sandwich (to be used only in an emergency) to help him, it seems he may be out of his depth!
It seems incredible that it’s taken so long for such an iconic character as Paddington Bear to arrive on the big screen, but what an arrival he makes. Gags aplenty and some fine british acting talent are sure to make Paddington an instant classic.
Ben Wishaw dons the red hat and duffel coat (figuratively speaking) to provide the voice of the titular grizzly ball of accidents waiting to happen. It certainly seems Wishaw was the right choice after the ‘conscious uncoupling’ from Colin Firth. Though we may never get the chance to see what could have been, Wishaw’s younger voice fits Paddington perfectly enough that it’s hard to imagine anyone else trying.
There’s also an impressive line up of supporting actors including Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters as the Brown family, and the voices of Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton adding to the list of CGI beariness. And it can’t go unmentioned that current Doctor Who, Peter Capaldi also pops up and seems unable to keep away from telephone boxes for too long…
A simple yet extremely fun storyline keeps Paddington consistently funny and thoroughly entertaining while adding some genuinely heart warming scenes along the way. While it’s not likely that we’ll see it overtake this years already strong selection of children’s films, it’s certainly good enough to warrant more marmalade madness.
Technically, Paddington is too frequently sweet and adorable to have anything bad to say about the film critically. However it must be noted that there are some scenes that are rather dark and seem to warrant the PG rating. Mild threat pops up more than once (one notable scene of which includes a fantastic Mission Impossible reference) which may be a bit too frightening for some younger children. Not much of a criticism, more a warning for nervous parents…
The Ugly Truth
Everyone’s favourite bear is back to bring a whole new generation to his fan base. With a great cast to join him and a constant flow of laughs and charm, Paddington will surely be an instant classic. More please!]]>
The ten contenders for the 2014 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award on 14 December have been announced, with this year’s shortlist predictably featuring a mix of Olympic heroes and sporting superstars.
Rory McIlroy, Gareth Bale, gymnast Max Whitlock, swimmer Adam Peaty, skelton star Lizzy Yarnold and Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton all made the cut. Boxer Carl Froch, dressage victor Charlotte Dujardin , athlete Jo Pavey and Paralympic skier Kelly Gallagher with her guide Charlotte Evans are also nominated.
The public vote to determine the ultimate winner will take place by phone and online on the night, with the ceremony taking place in Glasgow.]]>