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The British Academy Film Awards will be awarded on Sunday.  Here are my predictions along with what I would like to see win in the major categories:

Best Film

  • My Choice: Boyhood
  • Prediction: Boyhood
  • Other nominations: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, The Imitation Gameboyhood-poster

 

David Lean Award for Direction

  • My Choice: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, James Marsh for The Theory of Everything:richard linklater boyhood

 

Best Leading Actor

  • My choice:  Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Prediction:  Michael Keaton for Birdman
  • Other nominations: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything, Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler.ralph fiennes the grand budapest hotel

 

Best Leading Actress

  • My Choice: Reese Witherspoon for Wild (I haven’t seen still Alice)
  • Prediction: Julianne Moore for Still Alice
  • Other nominations: Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl, Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, Amy Adams for Big Eyes.Wild

 

Best Supporting Actor

  • My Choice: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Prediction: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Other nominations: Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Edward Norton for Birdman, Steve Carell for Foxcatcher.j k simmons whiplash

 

Best Supporting Actress

  • My Choice: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game, Emma Stone for Birdman, Imelda Staunton for Pride, Rene Russo for Nightcrawler.patricia arquette boyhood

 

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

  • My choice: Stephen Beresford & David Livingstone for Pride (I haven’t seen Kajaki but have heard great things about it)
  • Prediction: Stephen Beresford & David Livingstone for Pride
  • Other nominations: Elaine Constantine for Northern Soul, Yann Demange &Gregory Burke for ’71, Hong Khaou for Lilting, Paul Katis & Andrew de Lotbiniere for Kajaki.Pride

 

Best Original Screenplay

  • My Choice: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman.richard linklater boyhood

 

Best Screenplay (Adapted)

  • My Choice: Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl
  • Prediction:  Graham Moore for The Imitation Game
  • Other nominations: Jason Hall for American Sniper, Graham Moore for The Imitation Game, Anthony McCarten for The Theory of Everything, Paul King for PaddingtonGillian Flynn

 

Best Cinematography

  • My Choice: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman
  • Prediction: Dick Pope for Mr. Turner
  • Other nominations: Hoyte Van Hoytema for Interstellar, Robert D. Yeoman for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ryszard Lenczewski for Ida: Lukasz Zal,emmanuel lubezki birdman

 

Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film

  • My Choice: Pride or Under the Skin
  • Prediction: Paddington
  • Other nominations: ’71, The Imitation Game, The Theory of EverythingUnder The Skin

 

EE Rising Star Award

  • My Choice: Jack O’Connell
  • Prediction: Shailene Woodley
  • Other nominations: Miles Teller, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Margot RobbieJack OConnell

 

Best Film Not in the English Language

  • Unfortunately, being the only one shown at my local cinema Trash is the only film I have seen so have no opinion on this category.  The nominations are: Ida, The Lunchbox, Two Days, One Night, Leviathan, Trash.Trash

 

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Another busy month with a varied array of films seen:

The Equelizer: Denzel Washington reteams with director Antoine Fuqua to in a film based on the Edward Woodward 80’s TV show.  They won’t trouble the Oscars this time around but the film is good pulpy fun.  It feels like the start of a franchise, the reasonable box-office performance means it probably is.The Equelizer

Gone Girl: David Fincher’s movie based on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel.  Joyfully bonkers dark and twisted and as enthralling as you would expect from Fincher.  Expect an Oscar nomination foir Rosamund Pike.Gone Girl

Dracula Untold: An unnecessary  origin story of Dracula.  It looks good and has some well good set pieces but does nothing new.  Parts of the story make me think the writers have seen lots of  Dracula movies (particularly Francis Ford Coppola’s) but haven’t read Bram Stoker novel.Dracula Untold

The Imitation Game:  The true story Alan Turing, the farther of computing and the man most responsible for cracking Naval Enigma during World War II.  It suffers from a lack of focus, not knowing if it wants to be a biography of Turing or a story of the cracking of Enigma.  Benedict Cumberbatc’s performance is monumental and is well deserving of an Oscar nomination._TFJ0226.NEF

The Maze Runner:  The latest in a long line in dystopian movie based on YA novels.  It isn’t The Hunger Games but is still worth a look. Will Poulter is on great form but  Kaya Scodelario is underused.  Part two is in pre production and will be out next year.The Maze Runner, 2014

’71: A young British soldier gets separated from his regiment and as to negotiate the perils of Belfast at the height of the troubles in 1971. Jack O’Connell again shows why he is one of the most interesting young actors working today.   I have heard it compared to John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 but it really has more in common with Walter Hill’s The Warriors.Jack O'Connell in '71

The Judge: Family drama or crime thriller?  I don’t know, and the film suffers because the filmmakers didn’t seem to know either.  It remains watchable thanks to a great cast headed by Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall.  Billy Bob Thornton makes the most of a small part but Vera Farmiga isn’t given much to work with.The Judge

The Babadook: A dark psychological drama dressed up as a supernatural horror.  At its heart it is a story about despair and depression but to its credit leaves enough ambiguity for audiences to decide it that is the story or the subtext.  A lot of the success of the film is an intense performance from Essie Davis.The Babadook

Annabelle: A sort of prequel to last years The Conjuring.  It offers nothing different from the numerous similar films that have been made in recent years but does have some effective scenes, the 70’s setting is well constructed and looks great.Annabelle

Nightcrawler: Louis Bloom is a socially awkward, possibly sociopathic man, he falls into a career as a freelance cameraman selling footage of car crashes and murders to the TV networks.   Imagine Travis Bickle in Michael Mann’s LA and you will have an idea of and you will get a good idea of Nightcrawler.  Jake Gyllenhaal is at his creepy best and almost unrecognisable.  It is fantastic to see Rene Russo get her first decent part in years.K72A6112.CR2

Fury:  War films changed in 1998 with the release of Saving Private Ryan, Fury’s is a descendant of this new direction.  Set during the final month of war in Europe in 1945 and telling the story of a tank crew.  The film is at its best with the graphic, brutal and visceral war scenes than in the quieter more philosophical moments.1231428 - FURY

Serena: North Carolina, during the depression.  The owner of a timber empire (Bradley Cooper) seems to be complete when he meets and marries Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) but things gradually begin to spiral out of control.  Well acted and stunning looking but the story is hampered by a lack of direction and focus, it plods along to an unsurprising conclusion.Serena

This month it is a near impossible choice, The Babadook and Nightcrawler are probably the best films, but Gone Girl is the movie of the month simply because it’s the one I most want to see again. Gone-Girl-2014-film-poster

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