Not a dry eye

Bafta 2006: The winners
For a full list of winners from the rain-lashed Odeon Leicester Square go here. But the big ones were:

Best film
Brokeback Mountain

Had to be. There is such a momentum behind this film now. I sometimes find myself taking it for granted, having got used to it being around, but try to remember what cinema was like before it came along. It’s not that long ago.

Best British film
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit

A real surprise – and we must cherish those on a night like this. Up against The Constant Gardener and Pride & Prejudice, Nick Park and co can hardly have written a speech. All hail the unfashionable choice.

Best actor in a leading role
Philip Seymour Hoffman – Capote

Haven’t seen it, like 99.9% of the British public, thus making the usual mockery of the Baftas. I can’t wait to do so, and Hoffman looks like the man to beat at the Oscars, but why must we include so many American films that aren’t yet on release in the UK, just to make us look good? It’s such a transparent con.

Best actress in a leading role
Reese Witherspoon – Walk The Line

Well deserved. And at least it’s out at the pictures.

Best actor in a supporting role
Jake Gyllenhaal – Brokeback Mountain

Why this is a supporting role and Heath Ledger’s is not is beyond me. Surely this film is a two-hander. Pah! We quibble over technicalities! A good show by someone who was unknown just a couple of years ago.

Best actress in a supporting role
Thandie Newton – Crash

Well, at least this gave us a weeping winner, and every internationally syndicated awards show needs one. Clearly not a bad performance in a film that’s chockful of them, but the very best of a category that included Brenda Blethyn, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand? I suspect she got it because her character is sexually assaulted and that makes the male members of the Academy feel guilty by gender association (I expect some of them are male), and thus extra sympathetic for Newton. We’re a funny bunch, aren’t we? And it must be noted, with some alarm, that Thandie Newton is getting thinner and thinner. She was thin enough when she was in ER as John’s whiny girlfriend, but that was obviously before she went on the diet.

Original screenplay
Crash – Paul Haggis/Bobby Moresco

Correct. A brilliantly drawn piece, with many different stories to tie up. This is the very essence of a great original screenplay. It never once felt like a book or a play that had been squeezed into film shape.

Adapted screenplay
Brokeback Mountain – Larry McMurtry/Diana Ossana

Get all that out of a short story; win an award.

The David Lean Award for achievement in direction
Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain

A shame George Clooney wasn’t honoured, but I have come to the conclusion that Good Night, And Good Luck (I love a film with punctuation!) is going to be one of those nominated films. It’s appreciated, but not loved.

The Carl Foreman Award for special achievement by a British Director/Producer or Writer in their first feature film
Joe Wright (Director) – Pride & Prejudice

Excellent choice. You’d never know it was his first film. And he’s a very scruffy man, which is good.

Walk the Line

Of the “technical awards” this is worth noting – I thought the sound in Walk The Line was superb. The opening shot where we approach Folsom Prison and the sound of the Tennesse Three playing to a hallful of cheering, stamping prisoners gradually reveals itself as such from a dull thudding dirge is a defintive modern movie sound moment.

Academy Fellowship
David Puttnam

Hard to believe he isn’t a Fellow already, so not much a surprise, but Best Speech of the night, by a long chalk. Puttnam managed to provide all the expected genuflection and luvvyism whilst making his citation utterly personal with a tale of his deceased father and the final scene from The Sixth Sense. Honestly, I know actors will go moist-eyed at anything when a camera’s nearby (and Duncan Kenworthy was crying for most of the evening), but the shots around the auditorium during the climax of this speech revealed what I suspect was a real emotional reaction. Statuettes all round!


5 thoughts on “Not a dry eye

  1. Quite agree about Ralph, Beth. Although, much as I loved Constant Gardener, his is not an award-winning performance is it? It’s solid. (Maybe the Academy went off him when they found out, via the Sunday tabloids, that he is a love rat.)

  2. Hello. Is it possible to get an RSS feed for this blog? I am a vair lazy LiveJournal reader, and if this appeared on my friendslist I would remember to read it much more often. (Sorry Andrew. Nuffink personal.)Oh yes, and to be pertinent about the BAFTAS:- I do like a boggled/humble face on a winner, thus Jake & Thandie win in my heart- heh-heh, spinning claymation rabbits- that Odeon has Manics fan leopard print seats, acenessThankyou kindly.

  3. Hey, Anonymous. I had a word with my resident web guru and there seems now to be a button marked RSS on the right there. Is that all it takes? Do let me know. (I still don’t know what it is.)

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