National Film Awards 2018 Winners

Kingsman the Golden Circle, Get Out, Tom Cruise, Robert Webb, Johnny Harris, Daniel Kaluuya, Alice Lowe, Johnny Harris, Jane Asher lead the winners list at this year’s prestigious 4th annual National Film Awards UK in 2018.

The National Film Academy announced the winners of the 4th annual National Film Awards UK for 2018 following a record 2.4 million movie fans voting across 18 categories to make up the official shortlist.

Kingsman ‘The Golden Circle’ scored two wins, picking up Best British Film and Matthew Vaughn was voted Best Director. Daniel Kaluuya picked up Best Newcomer and Jordan Peele’s Get Out won the award for Best International Film. Johnny Harris was voted Best Breakthrough Performance for Jawbone and the film itself picked up the Best Action category for 2018. Hollywood superstar, Tom Cruise was voted Global Contribution to Motion Picture.

Some of the celebrity presenters included; Sarah Harding (Girls Aloud), Patterson Joseph, Shappi Khorsandi, Ken Livingstone, Anne Widdecombe, Ricky Wilson, The Vamps, Matthew Horne, Vic Reeves, Penny Smith Teddy Sheringham, Daniella Westbrooke, Jayne Seymour, Duncan James and many more

Anna Sher received a Lifetime Achievement Award for several years of supporting actors, actresses and filmmakers through the Anna Scher Theatre. Former celebrities who attended the Anna Scher Theatre school including; Patsy Palmer, Martin Kemp, and Adam Deacon graced the stage to celebrate and honour of Anna Sher who has contributed so much to the industry.

Full List of the National Film Awards UK 2018 winners include;

Best Actress sponsored by Elevatione
Alice Lowe ( Prevenge)

Best Newcomer sponsored by Gigglewater Prosecco
Daniel Kaluuya (Get out)

Best Supporting actress in association with Serenity & Grace
Jane Asher (Brian Pern: A Tribute)

Best Supporting Actor in association with DeChavel Watches
Robert Webb (Back)

Best Drama sponsored by Thomas Henry
A Caribbean Dream

Best TV Drama Series sponsored by Les Georgettes
The Cuckoo’s Calling

Best Thriller sponsored by Avlon

Best Foreign Language Film sponsored by Thai Square Restaurant
Mersal (India)

Best Action sponsored by AZ Luxe Cars

Best Independent Film sponsored by CollaGin
Rise of the Footsoldier 3

Best ScreenPlay sponsored by Christopher Courtney
Oliver Veysey (Access All Areas)

Best Documentary sponsored by Instant Print
The Moving Theatre

Best British Film
Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Best Actor in association with DeChavel Watches
Craig Fairbrass (Rise of the Footsoldier 3)

Best Comedy sponsored by Bank Republic
Brian Pern: A Tribute

Best Breakthrough Performance
Johnny Harris (Jawbone)

Best Director sponsored by Clara & Wonderland
Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman, The Golden Circle)

Best International Film sponsored by Invest Nation
Get Out

Global Contribution to Motion Picture
Tom Cruise

Lifetime Achievement Award
Anna Sher

Midnight Sun Review

The Plot

A music loving 17 year old girl lives her life behind protective glass and the safety of night time due to a rare illness that keeps her out of sunlight. When she finally meets a local boy the pair strike up a determined romance.

The Good

Midnight Sun is a well-crafted tale of teen romance, armed with a deeply poignant backdrop and a pair of genuinely charismatic leads. In a very similar fashion to film’s like The Faults In Our Stars or Me Earl and The Dying Girl, this film juxtaposes the magically promise of young love with the cruel tragedy of illness. It’s a powerful contrast that gives the film an instant emotional weight, almost certainly leaving a lasting impact on audiences.

Patrick Schwarzenegger may be the son of the world’s most iconic musclebound action star, but his own handsome charms are gentler and well suited for a romantic leading man. In Midnight Sun he does much to prove that he has talent in his own right that go well beyond having one of Hollywood’s most famous last names. His clean cut all American good looks are a perfect fit for duties as the kind and cute boy next door.

Bella Thorne delivers a terrific star turn as Katie Price, the young girl grappling with her medical limitations and the awkward excitements of first love. It’s refreshing to see her graduate from silly supporting roles in more light hearted teen comedies and fully flex her dramatic muscles of a change. Undeniably beautiful Thorne is also able to carry the full weight of responsibility that comes with handling themes of terminal illness with appropriate sincerity and sadness.

Ultimately the highest compliment for Midnight Sun is that its talented and compatible young stars make it impossible to avoid fully emotionally investing in their adolescent romance, despite audiences being fully aware of how tragic and heart-breaking the consequences may prove to be.

The Bad

Midnight Sun is precisely the kind of bittersweet tear-stained romance that will leave some people reaching for tissues and possibly in need of a good hug. Despite the film’s many excellent qualities, it‘s only fair to warn more sensitive souls that the film may leave them more than a little emotionally shell-shocked. While it’s no doubt laudable for a romantic drama to tackle genuine tragedy it’s obviously an acquired taste that won’t appeal as much to those that are more used to using big screen romance purely as a satisfying cinematic escape from real life.

The Ugly Truth

Midnight Sun is a charming tear stained romance that captures the uniquely precious magic of first love. Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger are a pleasingly beautiful young pairing that demonstrate considerable star power together, leading audiences on a memorably bittersweet journey.

Review by Bernadette McIntyre

My Days of Mercy Review

The Plot

Two young women from opposite sides of fierce protests over the death penalty meet on the picket lines outside prisons and form an unlikely friendship. While both deal with their respective personal issues they grow ever closer, leading to dramatic personal revelations, passion and life changing romance.

The Good

My Days Of Mercy is a compelling romantic drama that avoids being merely an issue film. While its death row setting and LGBT themes are important facets in each character’s journey, the film never feels like being only about either ‘issue’. The film also adeptly tackles universal themes of family, unlikely romance and overcoming traumatic grief.

The film makes a very deliberate choice to avoid explicitly endorsing any particular opinions about the death penalty, instead the film does a brilliant job of depicting the true human cost and emotional pain of both sides of the debate. The issue serves as a compelling backdrop for the journey of both central characters, providing contrast and context for their own specific inner turmoil’s. In particular Ellen Page’s character and her resilient family unit serves as a very dramatic illustration of just how emotionally complex and intense the reality of death row is.

Ellen Page and Kate Mara make for an utterly compelling on screen couple, expertly portraying the tension and raw passion that comes from opposites attracting. Page’s character is vulnerably fragile and endearingly shy, while Mara’s bleached blonde upper class character exudes both confidence and a surprising kindness. It’s a testament to the acting talents of both actresses that they are able to pack constant subtext and emotional nuance into even the film’s quieter moments. It’s also worth noting that when the embers of their unlikely romance do finally explode into full on flames their on screen passion is convincingly raw and real.

My Days Of Mercy is a tender and thoughtful piece of cinema that benefits from a well-crafted combination of indie soundtrack and lush cinematography. The film has a calm and compassionate tone that does a great job of treating abstract moral issues as merely one component of character’s lives. Grounding the story and each character in a believable reality allows the film to explore love and loss without resorting to heavy handed melodramatics.

The Bad

Although the film is set against the constant backdrop of the fiercely contested death penalty debate in truth it remains fairly neutral on the issue, focusing primarily on its central love story rather than wading too deeply into direct moral debate. That may slightly disappoint those with strong opinions on the subject who would rather see their views more explicitly endorsed on screen. But it’s a deliberate storytelling choice and in truth the film has little ambition to suffocate audiences with heavy handed moralising.

Likewise while the film’s quiet moments and casual pacing gives it a thoughtful tone and leaves plenty of room for some brilliant acting performances, some people may find this sedate quality less attention grabbing.

The Ugly Truth

My Days of Mercy was a successful addition to TIFF and is now a very fitting opening film for the BFI LGBTQ+ Flare Film Festival. Emotionally compelling subject matter and achingly sincere performances form Ellen Page and Kate Mara makes My Days Of Mercy a memorably passionate and thoughtful love story.

Review by Russell Nelson

Ready Player One Writer Adapts ROM

Writer Zak Penn provided the screenplay adaptation of Ernest Cline’s 1980s inspired Ready Player One for Steven Spielberg and now he’s apparently at work adapting another vintage cult classic for Paramount and Hasbro.

ROM was a toy released in 1979 in response to the amazing success of Star Wars and it’s successful tie in toy collections. Though the toy wasn’t quite as much of an intergalactic success story  it did spawn a series of Marvel comics that saw ROM Spaceknight from the utopian planet Galador do battle with the Dire Wraiths across the cosmos, including on earth.

Penn has also been recently working on a Matrix movie spin-off, though that project still seems quite a long way from starting production.

Captain Marvel Film Cast Grows

Filming has now officially started on Captain Marvel the 1990s set comic book adventure staring Brie Larson as one of marvel most powerful heroes. The cast was already confirmed to include Ben Mendelsohn, Gemma Chan, McKenna Grace, Jude Law and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Now the cast has been confirmed to also include a number of other familiar faces for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Clark Gregg will bring Agent Phil Coulson back to the big screen, taking time out from his continuing small screen adventures with Agents of SHIELD. Likewise Guardians of the Galaxy villains Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) and Korath The Pursuer (Djimon Hounsou) will also make a welcome return. That news is perhaps less surprising given the fact that the Captain marvel film will focus on the Kree empire and its eons long war with the Skrulls.

Captain Marvel is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck with a release date of 8th March 2019.