London Film Critics’ Circle awards nail it: Almost

20 Jan

The Artist cemented itself as the Oscar frontrunner at last night’s London Critics’ Circle awards, picking up prizes for film of the year, best director for Michael Hazanavicus and best actor for Jean Dujardin.

It continues the run of awards success that the silent film has enjoyed in recent weeks, having scooped three Golden Globes last weekend.  Its only apparent competition for Academy glory, the Alexander Payne film The Descendants, which also scored three globes, drew a telling blank.

The other big winner of the night was Iranian sleeper hit and critical darling A Separation, which won foreign language film of the year, screenwriter of the the year for Asghar Farhadi and supporting actress of the year for Sareh Bayat.

Perhaps sensing that BAFTA drew a few clangers in their nominations that were announced earlier this week, London’s critics seemed determined to make amends.

Olivia Colman, so brazenly overlooked by BAFTA picked up the British actress of the year award for her work in Tyrannosaur and The Iron Lady, whilst Michael Fassbender, who is enjoying a Ryan Gosling-esque year of greatness deservedly won British actor of the year for Shame and A Dangerous Method.

One suspects more so for the former, a performance that the Academy are bound to recognise in terms of a nom, but that is probably too challenging for overall success.

That contest is likely to turn into a two way slog between Dujardin and George Clooney for The Descendants.

Jean Dujardin with his best actor award for The Artist (Picture: PA)

There were splendid wins too for the incredible Senna for documentary of the year, which beat stiff competition from the excellent Dreams of a Life, and for Andrew Haigh who won breakthrough British film-maker for the much admired Weekend.  This was a particularly commendable achievement, considering he was up against Paddy Considine for Tyrannosaur and Richard Ayoade for Submarine.

The biggest and perhaps most pleasant surprise of the evening came in the very strong actress of the year category, where Meryl Streep added to her globes and presumably Oscar success, but only in the form of a tie with Anna Paquin, whose turn in Margaret had spawned a Team Margaret campaign amongst critics to ensure she was duly recognised.

So, a faultless ceremony?  Well, almost.

The only real blemish came in the British film of the year category, where somehow the ludicrous We need to Talk about Kevin triumphed over the far superior Shame, The Guard, Kill List and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

One can only hope BAFTA make up for this one slight oversight.

The full list of winners and nominees follows:

FILM OF THE YEAR

The Artist

Drive

A Separation

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

The Tree of Life

BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR

The Guard

Kill List

Shame

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

We Need to Talk About Kevin

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR

Mysteries of Lisbon

Poetry

Le Quattro Volte

A Separation

The Skin I Live In

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Dreams of a Life

Pina

Project Nim

Senna

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

Asghar Farhadi – A Separation

Michel HazanaviciHus – The Artist

Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Lynne Ramsay – We Need to Talk About Kevin

Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR

Asghar Farhadi – A Separation

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Kenneth Lonergan – Margaret

Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash – The Descendants

BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILM-MAKER

Richard Ayoade – Submarine

Paddy Considine – Tyrannosaur

Joe Cornish – Attack the Block

Andrew Haigh – Weekend

John Michael McDonagh – The Guard

ACTOR OF THE YEAR

George Clooney – The Descendants

Jean Dujardin – The Artist

Michael Fassbender – Shame

Ryan Gosling – Drive

Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia

Anna Paquin – Margaret

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin

Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn

SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR

Simon Russell Beale – The Deep Blue Sea

Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn

Albert Brooks – Drive

Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Michael Smiley – Kill List

SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

Sareh Bayat – A Separation

Jessica Chastain – The Help

Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR

Tom Cullen – Weekend

Michael Fassbender – A Dangerous Method , Shame

Brendan Gleeson – The Guard

Peter Mullan – Tyrannosaur , War Horse

Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

Olivia Colman – The Iron Lady , Tyrannosaur

Carey Mulligan – Drive , Shame

Vanessa Redgrave – Anonymous , Coriolanus

Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin

Rachel Weisz – The Deep Blue Sea

YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

John Boyega – Attack the Block

Jeremy Irvine – War Horse

Yasmin Paige – Submarine

Craig Roberts – Submarine

Saoirse Ronan – Hanna


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