London Critics’ Circle Film Awards Nominations 2015

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

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ida

Leviathan

Mr Turner

Nightcrawler

The Theory of Everything

Under the Skin

Whiplash

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR

Ida

Leviathan

Norte, The End of History

Two Days, One Night

Winter Sleep

 

BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR

The Imitation Game

Mr Turner

Pride

The Theory of Everything

Under the Skin

 

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR

20,000 Days on Earth

Citizenfour

Manakamana

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 Wins Miss World 2014

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:

British Independent Film Awards 2014 Winners

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.

The Hobbit The Battle of the Five Armies Review

The Plot:

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…

The Good:

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.

The Bad:

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:

British Independent Film Awards 2014 Nominations

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:

Best Director

The Douglas Hickox Award [Best Debut Director]

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

Best Screenplay

Best Supporting Actor

Best Technical Achievement

Editing - Chris Wyatt for ’71
Cinematography - Dick Pope for Mr. Turner
Cinematography - Robbie Ryan for Catch Me Daddy
Music - Stephen Rennicks for Frank
Cinematography - Tat Radcliffe for ’71

Best British Independent Film

Best International Independent Film

Best Achievement in Production