Monday, February 11, 2008

My Thoughts on last night’s BAFTAs.

The ceremony began with a slightly bizarre 300 send-up, with Jonathan Ross emerging from behind all the Spartans to “surprise” us all. He then went on to make a fairly amusing joke about how BAFTA is the world’s best film ceremony… if only the Writer’s Guild Strike had continued, which kind of set the tone for the entire a) ceremony and b) BBC’s televised bit, for it just felt like, to be honest, a slightly crappier version of the Oscars. My thoughts on all the bits that I feel like commenting on, along with how I did on the main categories (“main” here means whichever ones the BBC showed).

The terrible acoustics for the first 15 minutes or so really didn’t help. The microphone was absolutely awful, and everything Jonathan Ross said echoed back and it drove me mad. Being a film critic, JR obviously knows everything there was to know about 2007 in film, and an obvious starting point would be to comment on the plethora of IIIs: Pirates, Rush Hour, Spidey, most of all were quite bad. But when he said something about Rata-three-ee I really had to cringe. Gah!

Anyway, the first award that the BBC showed was the giving of Best British film. I think all the technical awards were either given out before this, or interspersed between the ceremony, but anyway, Sylvester Stallone came on the present it. He walked onto the podium to one of my favourite songs of last year, Kanye West’s Stronger, but quite frankly, seeing how chubby he was and the quality of his last couple of performances, Crapper or Fatter would be a better song for him. (Yes, I really hate Stallone). Something about his presenting that made me laugh was when he said “the award for Best Film goes to…” As if BAFTA would get someone as lardy as him to present Best film! It’s British Film, Stallone. Get it right.

Anyway, This is England wins, as I’d predicted. I haven’t seen it, but Shane Meadows is an absolute legend. And there’s a shot of Paddy Considine in the audience, looking hot.

Scoreline: Emma 1, Bung 0.

Next, it’s the Rising Star Award, which last year went to Eva Green but in my eyes, should have gone to Emmy Blunt. Eva presents it today, and I must say she is looking a lot better than she did last year when it looked like she was wearing a bee’s nest on the top of her head. The clips they show for the Rising Star award are pretty cool, and I genuinely like four of the nominees (only Sienna Miller is a thumbs down in my books). Anyway, Shia Lebeouf (Shia The Buff, as I call him) wins, but he can’t be bothered to show up. So rude! Anyway, I’m glad he won, I would have been happy for any of the four other than Miller to win it – Tang Wei was amazing in Lust Caution, Ellen Page totally made Juno the adorable movie it was, Sam Riley was really convincing in Control (and looks like a boy I used to have a crush on) and Shia Labeouf made Transformers watchable.

Scoreline: Emma 1, Bung 1.

Best foreign film went as I’d predicted, with The Lives of Others taking it. Thandie Newton presents this award, and she walks on to some chavvy Lily Allen song. One of the speakers accepting the award gave an amazing speech, talking about how for years no-one would get his film made, because of the subject matter, and telling all aspiring film-makers never to give up. That really resonated with me.
Scoreline: Emma 2, Bung 1.

Adapted Screenplay I actually got right, which surprised me as I thought any of the 5 might take it. Also, I expected the scriptwriter of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly to be French for some reason.

Scoreline: Emma 3, Bung 1.

Marion Cotillard comes on to present Best Supporting Actor, and she has a very alluring English accent. And Javier Bardem wins it as we’d expected. When he collects his award, I saw Cotillard and Bardem stand next to each other and they make an amazing couple; I reckon they need to make a film together. And skinny ties seem to be the new black, because 70% of the men at BAFTA, Bardem included, are sporting one. Tres, tres chic. Annoyingly, there’s a shot of Daniel Radcliffe looking smug in the middle of Bardem’s speech, which kills the sophisticated, European mood that had existed a second ago. Bardem’s speech is lovely, and he makes a reference to Camden burning, which proves that the whole thing is live. :p

Scoreline: Emma 4, Bung 1.

Next, Jonathan Ross bungs up a joke about how Orlando Bloom (the next presenter) is in so many films with CGI that he “only eats at CGI Fridays.” It’s really cringey, and he repeats it because no-one laughs. Ahhhhhhhh. Yeah, so, Orlando Bloom comes on, and he has all the commanding charisma of a slippery amphibian; yuck. I can’t remember what he presented now anyway.

Oh yes, I forgot to mention that, like at the Oscars, BAFTA show a mini-montage of the five films that are nominated for Best Film, and for Atonement, there was footage of Keira Knightley talking about the film in an interview, and for some reason she’s keeping up her pseudo-clipped accent that she had in the film. That girl really grates. And then Jonathan Ross makes a naff joke about “Atonement 2: Dead Man’s Chest,” and you can practically feel the audience in the Royal Opera House shudder with disdain. Come on JR, you’re way too good for this!!

Emmy Blunt presents Best VFX. Emily Blunt, who completely rules. I just think she’s lovely and worship her. And today, she’s at her most stunning today, wearing eye-poppingly gorgeous earrings and a shimmery blue dress. Oh my, that girl’s got Je ne Sais Quoi. Anyway, the award for VFX goes to The Golden Compass, which I felt was slightly undeserved. I thought this even more when the bloke that did the VFX on the film completely and utterly bums himself, practically taking credit for the visuals (cinemtog, etc) of the entire film. He then proceeds to go down in my estimation by quoting Stanley Kubrick. Bung. Why do the BBC leave out important things like Cinematography and Film Music to show us this? Are you havin’ a laff?

Scoreline: Emma 4, Bung 2.

The next award is Supporting Actress. I love Kelly Macdonald’s clip, and it’s refreshing that the woman who does the speaking over the clips actually knows how to pronounce Saoirse. Useless fact that I only realised there and then: “Clayton” rhymes with “Swinton”. And it’s Tilda Swinton who takes the award, completely and utterly undeservedly, she was so under whelming in Michael Clayton! And wtf was she wearing? Guh? Guh? Anyway, if there’s any bright side to her completely robbing Saoirse, it’s that a) maybe, just maybe, Saoirse will win the Oscar out of the surprise factor and b) it means that the Supporting Actress category at the Oscars will be harder to predict. Blanchett has the Golden Globe, Amy Ryan has the Critic’s vote, Dee has the SAG and Swinton has the BAFTA. Saoirse Ronan has the amazing, transcendent performance. Is that worth something?

Scoreline: Emma 4, Bung 3.

--- After the news---

Animated film went to Ratatouille, which was like the most predictable thing ever. However, I find consolation in the fact that when they showed a clip from The Simpsons Movie, with Homer making the pig do the spiderpig, I heard a hearty guffaw from the audience. It’s cheap humour, I know, but at least The Simpsons Movie actually made me laugh!

Scoreline: Emma 5, Bung 3.

One of BAFTA’s most bizarre choices this year was the nomination for that mediocrity American Gangster in the Best Film Category. It’s a better pick than Michael Clayton though, I suppose. Anyway, there’s a shot of Ridley Scott looking reaalllly grumpy – probably because he knows his film won’t win a thing.

Hugh Laurie announces the award for Best Original Screenplay, and he is looking mighty dapper in a suit. Juno takes the award, which I’m delighted about, it’s rare that you actually get intelligent teen films nowadays, least of all ones where the wordless scenes are the most beautiful and poignant. But don’t think I’m not onto you, Diablo Cody. I now all about your past in the sex industry, and how you got into writing movies.

Scoreline: Emma 6, Bung 3.

There’s then a commemoration of all the talents that left us last year. The Heath clip at the end, of him and Jake arguing in Brokeback Mountain reminds me why Ang Lee’s masterpiece is my 6th favourite film of all time, and it makes me moist-eyed with sadness and nostalgia at the 2006 awards season when I completely went OTT with my Brokeback campaigning and when BBM won both Best Director and Best Film at BAFTA, something that rarely happens. (It didn’t this year!)

Daniel Radcliffe presents the award for British contribution to cinema, but he’s just so try-hard and irritating that I switch over to MOTD 2 for a couple of minutes, and miss all of that. Sowwie.

Best Director goes to two people, but only Joel’s there. His speech is very good and there’s a shot of Kelly Macdonald looking absolutely radiant in pregnancy. Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones didn’t turn up though. Humph. I think this was deserved, and it also excited me because I know that BAFTA very rarely give Best Director and Best Film to the same work, so all of a sudden, Atonement has just had a huge boost. Whilst this means that a couple of my predictions were wrong, I don’t mind because it means that Atonement might win Best film!

Scoreline: Emma 6, Bung 4.

I’m wrong again with Best Actress, which I thought BAFTA’s British vein would have them lean towards Christie. In fact, Marion Cotillard gets it. She looks shocked to take it and when she walks up I think “OMG, she’s well pretty!” I love her hair, I love her dress. Although I’ll admit I secretly was hoping that Ellen Page would take it (not to mention that Tang Wei deserved a nomination), I really loved her speech, it was so discomposed and really makes a break from people who know they’re gonna win and just stand there, all blasé. You can tell the award means a lot to her and she seems genuinely over the moon with it, which is really sweet.

Scoreline: Emma 6, Bung 5.

Kate Hudson presents Best Actor, which goes to Daniel Day-Lewis. His hair’s a bit greasy and he’s wearing a gay-looking earring, but somehow, this man still exudes eloquence. In his speech, he begins a litany of places that he’s lived and grown up in: Charlton, Lewisham, Millwall. South East London, FTW!!! He also mentions Paul Dano, who I feel was one of the unsung heroes of 2007. He was really good in There Will be Blood too, you see. (Not as good as DDL, but very little is.) Although a little part of me feels bad for James McAvoy for getting absolutely nothing for his mantelpiece this year, I just have to think about the intensity of Day-Lewis’ performance in There Will be Blood to realise that it is pretty much deserved. (A thought that I retracted a second later when Day-Lewis bigged him Daniel Radcliffe. Bung.)

Scoreline: Emma 7, Bung 5.

Finally, it’s the big ‘un: Best Film. I had a sneaking Suspicion that Atonement would take it seeing as No Country for Old Men had already gotten Best Director, but obviously, it was far too late to change my predictions. Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Spacey present this award, and I have to say that I’m not convinced by their “chemistry”. They’re too bloody smug., Anyway, the award goes to…


It’s quite bizarre that Atonement won Best Film at BAFTA considering how its only other award was for Production Design, but as one of the Working Title producers said, it’s all about the final product. In my eyes, Atonement might be outdone by There Will Be Blood in terms of acting, outdone by many films in terms of script, outdone by NCFOM in terms of directing outdone by Lust Caution in terms of music, and outdone by The Assassination of Jesse James in terms of cinematography, etc, but in terms of final product, it is my favourite film of 2007. It resonated with me emotionally more than any other, I enjoyed watching it more than any other.

The “minor” awards weren’t shown in full, only a quick edit of the winner and parts of the speech at the end of the ceremony. Ricky Gervais even said, “it doesn’t matter if the other nominees don’t win, because you won’t make the telly”, which, whilst I found funny, thought was a bit rude as well.

Final score: Emma: 7, Bung: 6.
And that’s it really. I wasn’t overly impressed by JR’s jokes, and some of the weirder choices, but overall it’s BAFTA, it’s our British film awards, and even if it is not as glam as the Oscars, with some completely different choices it was still a lot of fun to watch, and that’s just our way. We do things differently here.

P.S. - there was gonna be more lovely photos to show you, but the bell's gone so I really have to go.


Anonymous said...
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Besty said...

Ah, cut her some slack. Emily's gorgeous

Catherine said...

What's with the Michael Clayton hate? I was shocked when Swinton won, not because of the performance but because she doesn't seem like a very BAFTA-ish winner. But well done her at any rate; she looked completely shocked, which I dig.

I enjoyed the ceremony, despite Wossy doing his level best to fuck it up for me. Javier Bardem is so amazingly awesome.

Best acceptance speech: Marion Cotillard.

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke said...

Thanks, Emma. Your witty (and very unique) analysis has given me the biggest laugh of the day.

Kayleigh said...

I had good fun watching the show last night. Jonathan Ross was much better than last year when he just totally crashed and burned! My favourite moments were:

* Marion Cotillard's speech.
* Shane Meadows having a good laugh.
* The Lives Of Others' win.
* Tilda Swinton's speech (She was wearing one hideous dress but she admitted if she knew she was going to win she wouldn't have worn it)
* Daniel Radcliffe mucking up his bit (Mwahahaha!)
* Atonement getting Best Film!

Banana Raccoon said...

@ Catherine: I don't really hate Michael Clayton, but I was kind of bored when watching it, hence my not being able to understand it getting nominated for Best Film at the Oscars. But I'll admit I was a bit overly-churlish to Tilda yesterday. That dress itself formed a lot of amusement.

Anonymous said...

What does bung mean?!

Besty said...

It's the new Zummer, apparently.

Anonymous said...

Just a made up word then

Banana Raccoon said...

Lol sorry, it's just a word. An annoying word I'm obsessed with.

Anonymous said...

Ok, then what's "Zummer" mean?

EllenPageFan said...

if you wanted a more appropriate song for Stallone to come onto how about that one from our school's very own Jose Vanders "Faces Going Places?" It's bout a tramp, which he is. :P

Cassie said...

Oh, I love Jose Vanders!

Anonymous said...

Emma goes to the same school as Jose Vanders?

What is it, some sort of super-school for obscenely talented geniuses?

Jose's songs are a breath of fresh air and Emma's blog is one of my favourites.

I'm sending my children to this school.

EllenPageFan said...

I wouldn't really recommend that, I can tell you as an Oxbridge reject, and I'm sure Emma too will tell you that our school are the biggest glory hunters ever; when I was applying for Oxford, they loved me but as soon as I got rejected they treated me like dirt.

Banana Raccoon said...

@ EllenPageFan
I think I know who you are! ;)

What you say is certainly not far off the mark but I still geniunely believe that the reason they push so hard is cos they want the best for us.