‘King’s Speech’ leads BIFA nods, ‘Another Year’ snubbed

Posted by · 6:48 am · November 1st, 2010

Mike Leigh has long bemoaned the fact that he gets more respect from American awards bodies than those in his homeland. He received further proof of that this morning, as his broadly acclaimed new feature, “Another Year,” was snubbed in the top category at the British Independent Film Awards in favor of, among others, Matthew Vaughan’s dismal po-mo superhero movie “Kick-Ass.”

The BIFAs are, of course, to the BAFTAs what the Indie Spirits are to the Oscars. They can always be relied upon to make some interesting calls, but while some of this year’s surprises are laudable, others are just perverse.

Leigh receives some compensation in the shape of a Best Director nod, plus a trio of acting bids (which interestingly place Ruth Sheen in lead and the much-fancied Lesley Manville in support). But Leigh’s omission from the Best Screenplay category — when the pleasant but join-the-dots writing of “Made in Dagenham” makes the cut — is, if anything, even more of a jawdropper than the Best Film miss. The BIFAs were similarly cool on “Happy-Go-Lucky” two years ago, somewhat anticipating the film’s BAFTA whiteout — here’s hoping we’re not setting ourselves up for a repeat.

(More thoughts, and the full list of nominations, after the jump.)

Meanwhile, probable Oscar heavyweight “The King’s Speech” rules the roost with eight nominations — though along with the multi-nominated “Kick-Ass” and “Never Let Me Go,” it raises the question of how to define a film’s “independence.” (All three, laden with stars and supported by hefty studios, may as well come from a different planet to, say, Clio Barnard’s experimental docudrama “The Arbor.”)

The royal biopic’s dominance here may seem to portend a big win on the night, but the BIFAs don’t always follow the script, much less the US awards buzz — largely because the winners are determined by a select jury, not a large votership. Back in 2006, “The Queen” entered the ceremony as the odds-on favorite, only to lose the top prize to “This is England,” while even Helen Mirren endured one of her few defeats of the season to little-known “Red Road” lead Kate Dickie.

As mortified as I am by some of these nominations (the “Kick-Ass” travesty aside, Rowan Joffe’s bungled “Brighton Rock” deserves little credit, least of all for John Mathieson’s gimmicky lensing), the list below at least gives me a few reasons to cheer.

I’m particularly thrilled to see such a healthy haul, including a Best Film nod, for Gareth Edwards’s thrillingly resourceful genre-soup exercise “Monsters,” which hit US screens last week. And it’s nice to see the first awards mention of the season for my beloved “The Illusionist,” though it deserves better than a paltry technical citation. Interesting, too, to see “Winter’s Bone” as the sole American entry in the Best Foreign Film category, furthering my conviction that Debra Granik’s film is the real indie spoiler to watch in the Oscar race.

In the performance categories, it’s delightful to see Rosamund Pike get recognition for her sweet but subtle supporting turn in “Made in Dagenham” — all the more surprising, given that her scenery-chewing (and Oscar-tipped) co-star Miranda Richardson was left off the list. And I’m pleased to see a mention for newcomer Conor McCarron, the lone representative for Peter Mullan’s otherwise shockingly ignored “Neds.”

Anyway, on we go. The 2010 British Independent Film Awards will take place in London on December 5. The full list of nominations is below.

Best British Independent Film
“Four Lions”
“The King’s Speech”
“Never Let Me Go”

Best Director
Mike Leigh, “Another Year”
Matthew Vaughn, “Kick-Ass”
Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”
Gareth Edwards, “Monsters”
Mark Romanek, “Never Let Me Go”

Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director)
Debs Gardner Paterson, “Africa United”
Clio Barnard, “The Arbor”
Rowan Joffe, “Brighton Rock”
Chris Morris, “Four Lions”
Gareth Edwards, “Monsters”

Best Screenplay
Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell and Christopher Morris, “Four Lions”
Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn, “Kick-Ass”
David Seidler, “The King’s Speech”
William Ivory, “Made In Dagenham”
Alex Garland, “Never Let Me Go”

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins, “Made In Dagenham”
Carey Mulligan, “Never Let Me Go”
Andrea Riseborough, “Brighton Rock”
Ruth Sheen, “Another Year”
Manjinder Virk, “The Arbor”

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed, “Four Lions”
Jim Broadbent, “Another Year”
Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Aidan Gillen, “Treacle Jr”
Scoot McNairy, “Monsters”

Best Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham-Carter, “The King’s Speech”
Tamsin Greig, “Tamara Drewe”
Keira Knightley, “Never Let Me Go”
Lesley Manville, “Another Year”
Rosamund Pike, “Made In Dagenham”

Best Supporting Actor
Andrew Garfield, “Never Let Me Go”
Bob Hoskins, “Made In Dagenham”
Kayvan Novak, “Four Lions”
Guy Pearce, “The King’s Speech”
Geoffrey Rush, “The King’s Speech”

Most Promising Newcomer
Joanne Froggatt, “In Our Name”
Tom Hughes, “Cemetery Junction”
Conor McCarron, “Neds”
Andrea Riseborough, “Brighton Rock”
Manjinder Virk, “The Arbor”

Best Achievement in Production
“The Arbor”
“In Our Name”
“Streetdance 3D”

Raindance Award
“Jackboots On Whitehall”
“Son Of Babylon”
“Treacle Jr”

Best Technical Achievement
Tim Barker (sound), “The Arbor”
John Mathieson (cinematography), “Brighton Rock”
Sylvain Chomet (animation), “The Illusionist”
Eve Stewart (production design), “The King’s Speech”
Gareth Edwards (visual effects), “Monsters”

Best Documentary
“The Arbor”
“Enemies of the People”
“Exit Through the Gift Shop”
“Fire In Babylon”
“Waste Land”

Best Foreign Film
“I Am Love”
“A Prophet”
“The Secret In Their Eyes”
“Winter’s Bone”

[Photo: Sony Pictures Classics]

→ 35 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

35 responses so far

  • 1 11-01-2010 at 6:53 am

    amanda said...

    Wait they picked Kick Ass over Another Year for best Picture??? WUT?

  • 2 11-01-2010 at 6:57 am

    Andy said...

    Lesley Manville in supporting. A hint of things to come?

  • 3 11-01-2010 at 6:58 am

    Julian Stark said...

    And here comes the category confusion with Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen… *sighs* I still think that Manville will get in lead

  • 4 11-01-2010 at 7:16 am

    Michael W. said...

    I had no idea that Kick-Ass could be considered a “British Independent Film”!!!

    Well, you learn something new every day :D

  • 5 11-01-2010 at 7:23 am

    Ben M. said...

    Ironically, I think Another Year is the fifth best film I’ve seen this year and Kick-Ass is the fifth worst. Glad to see Montsters on there also, it is not on my top ten of the year but I really liked it, and was blown away by the production value displayed despite a minimal budget.

  • 6 11-01-2010 at 7:27 am

    Jim T said...

    “Yeah” for Dogtooth!

    I’m really curious. I’m not sure what “independent” means, but I never thought a film as expensive as The King’s Speech, with A-list stars and a realatively “big” director and a – from what I’ve read – mainstream-ly executed story would be an independent film. It obviously is, but it seems odd to me.

    I mean, is the “independent” label only about people who gave the money? I’m really asking.

  • 7 11-01-2010 at 7:50 am

    Graysmith said...

    LOL Kick-Ass. I don’t think Kick-Ass is a bad movie per se, but it doesn’t belong here.

    I must also confess, I didn’t particularly care for Four Lions. It just wasn’t all that funny.

    Interesting to see so much love for Never Let Me Go since it sounded like it was getting a shrug over there in England. Also interesting to see Rosamund Pike nominated for Made in Dagenham, not Miranda Richardson.

  • 8 11-01-2010 at 7:50 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Jim T: As I say in the updated article, I’m as unsure as you are — and not just with reference to The King’s Speech.

  • 9 11-01-2010 at 8:30 am

    Michael W. said...

    Regarding the eligibility questions, they write this on their website:

    “A film will be eligible for an Award if:

    It is intended for theatrical release, AND has had a public screening to a paying audience either on general release in the UK OR has screened at a British-based film festival between 1 December 2009 and 30 November 2010.

    Where there is any major studio substantially funding a film, the total budget must not exceed $20M .

    It has been produced or majority co-produced by a British company OR is in receipt of at least 51% of its budget from a British source or sources OR it qualifies as a British film under the DCMS guidelines AND includes sufficient creative elements from the UK.”

  • 10 11-01-2010 at 9:04 am

    red_wine said...

    I liked Kick-Ass more than Another Year, so I don’t see a great fuss about these nominations. Another Year was good but not as good as some of Leigh’s other movies. Its no surprise to me that other people might feel this way too.

    Wikipedia lists The King’s Speech budget to be about 4.5 million pounds which I find to be absurd. Further it lists the budget of Hooper’s last film (The Damned United) to be higher than a King’s Speech at 5 million pounds which I think is even more absurd. These budget figures are confusing to say the least, specially when a film like It’s Complicated has a budget of 85 million dollars.

  • 11 11-01-2010 at 9:16 am

    RyanT said...

    When I heard Kick-Ass got nominated for Best Film, I was terrified to see the rest in fear that they were going to actually give that film an acting nomination. Thank goodness they didn’t.

  • 12 11-01-2010 at 9:19 am

    JJ1 said...

    Not that these awards are the be-all-end-all, but this again shows that Miranda Richardson’s buzz is too low if they have any idea of an Oscar push. The only mention of her in the supporting race that I’ve heard (still) is from our Kris.

    Also, I think it’s time to ramp up the Manville-for-Supporting-Actress campaign. She’s mentioned supporting in so many places, now. The trailer doesn’t show much of her. Bening, Portman, and others seem primed for the Best Actress win.

  • 13 11-01-2010 at 9:37 am

    Cragsby said...

    Yay for Four Lions!

    Told you it would gain some notice! :D

  • 14 11-01-2010 at 9:38 am

    Michael said...

    MONSTERS!!!!! I am in love with that movie, and I would probably not have heard about it if it weren’t for this website. (Guy mentioned that he really like it back in June at the Edinburgh film festival and I immediately made every effort to keep an eye out for it. When it was released on iTunes in September I immediately rented it and watched it two times in a row.) If you haven’t seen this gem of a movie, please watch it now! At the very least you will be entertained, you might even really love it.

    Also, I am interested to see what comes of the Manville-for-Supporting-Actress campaign. I haven’t seen the film yet but it is interesting that no one is in complete agreeance about where she should be placed but everyone is assuming that she should be put in supporting where she has a greater chance to win. I am also interested if Miranda Richardson will walk away without a nomination and if it were to be snatched up by Rasamund Pike instead. That would really surprise me but I love both of those actresses so I would really want them to both get a nomination (which I know would never happen.)

    It is crazy that there are only 2 months left in the year and most of the movies that are listed on the sidebar have yet to be seen by the majority of the public. It is hard to have a say in any of the awards conversations right now and we pretty much just have to take everyone’s word for it at this point, but hopefully by January we will be on an equal playing field so we can really understand if a film is snubbed or if a film is wrongfully rewarded.

  • 15 11-01-2010 at 9:40 am

    Michael said...

    *I should clarify that in my above statement not everyone is assuming that she should be put in supporting where she has a greater chance of winning, but that there seems to be a very vocal group forming to strenghten the campaign in that direction.

  • 16 11-01-2010 at 9:54 am

    Carlo said...

    kick-ass gets some love finally! i’m so sorry i have to disagree with you guy:)

  • 17 11-01-2010 at 10:26 am

    Dooby said...

    Saw Made in Dagenham the other day and I’ve got to say that Sally Hawkins was excellent, her character managed to give so much more depth to what would have just been a light and frothy movie.

    I expect Best Actress would be between her and Carey Mulligan.

  • 18 11-01-2010 at 10:32 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Without Manville, that Best Actress category is a total crapshoot. Something tells me the jury system — which I should have explained in the piece is how the winners are decided, hence the frequent surprises — will favour Manjinder Virk. Lots of respect in the industry for The Arbor.

  • 19 11-01-2010 at 10:43 am

    Dominik said...

    Great to see “Exit through the Gift Shop” nominated. I´m not sure if this may be a good omen for the Academy Awards (I bet it won´t have any influence), but it´s a very funny and provocative doc that deserves some accolade.

  • 20 11-01-2010 at 11:21 am

    Matt said...

    You movie snobs can stick your noses up at Kick-Ass as much as you want. Doesn’t change the fact that it’s the most entertaining movie I’ve seen all year.

  • 21 11-01-2010 at 11:29 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Just so we’re clear, it’s not a matter of snobbery — I welcome the idea of a film like Kick-Ass being nominated. I just think the film itself is lousy.

    After all, Monsters is hardly highbrow fare, and I’m thrilled it’s on the list.

  • 22 11-01-2010 at 11:39 am

    Maxim said...

    I cannot help but wonder if Leigh is a victim of his own consistency. If you’ll pandon the unintentional pun, they might think something along the lines of “another year, another Leight film”. Red wine’s comment makes it clear that sometimes, it’s more important to be making something different and thus differentiable from your other output, no matter if what you’ve already made is already good. I’ll be interested to go back and look up how “Topsy Turvy” fares a decade back.

  • 23 11-01-2010 at 11:45 am

    Joseph said...

    Except for Another Year not being up for best picture, these are great nods.

    Sheen and Broadbent in lead is great.

    Rosamund Pike getting nominated for supporting actress instead of Miranda Richardson is as it should be.

    The love for Never Let Me Go and all its actors is great too.

  • 24 11-01-2010 at 11:45 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Maxim: “Topsy-Turvy” was similarly treated by BIFA in the 2000 awards, actually — snubbed in the top category (and for screenplay), but nominated for Best Director and Best Actor.

    “All or Nothing” was almost entirely ignored (just an acting nod) in 2002, but “Vera Drake” swept the board two years later. By the time “Happy-Go-Lucky” came round, they were out of love with Leigh again — only acting nods. There’s no pattern.

  • 25 11-01-2010 at 12:15 pm

    Jake G. said...

    I loved Kick ASS

  • 26 11-01-2010 at 12:42 pm

    Maxim said...

    That’s very interesting, Guy. I have always suspected that, whether intentionally or not Independent Awards tend to want to spread the love so to speak, resulting in few double or triple nominees but making a up for that by sheer numerical multitude of works cited.

    And, sometimes, it’s the more acclaimed works that get snubbed. I still remember when Aronofsky didn’t get an Indipendent Spirit nomination for “The Wrestler”.

    Still, what is perhaps more notable to me this year is all the love for “Never Let Me Go”. They seemed to go for it in a big way.

  • 27 11-01-2010 at 1:05 pm

    Eli said...

    Wow, when’s the last time a film (anywhere) was nominated for both Best Documentary and Best Actress?

  • 28 11-01-2010 at 2:11 pm

    Patryk said...

    ‘Bout time Guy Pearce gets some recognition.

  • 29 11-01-2010 at 2:13 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Eli: It’s an interesting case, isn’t it? In case you don’t know, the film features actors lip-synching to the recorded testimony of the real-life figures they’re playing — so it really covers both bases. I’m not as high on the film as most critics, but I do like the adventurous spirit behind Virk’s nomination.

    Patryk: Not for this performance, dare I say?

  • 30 11-01-2010 at 3:40 pm

    Angry Shark said...

    I think Kick-Ass is a godawful film, and it’s the type of awful where it annoys me beyond rationality that anyone could love it. And I’m hardly a movie snob. I’m not afraid to admit there’s a lot of blockbuster stuff I like. For example, I love The A-Team. It’s sloppy, but well-crafted summer entertainment with a gleefully insane performance from Liam Neeson and memorable villainy from Patrick Wilson.
    Just on the level of being a superhero movie, Kick-Ass sucks. What TONE IS IT TRYING TO GO FOR? It’s all over the map, scenes where a wannabe superhero is beaten into near-death, or where the kid wanks off to National Geographic pictures, or pretends to be gay so he can rub body lotion on his crush’s back. Or where a little girl straight-up murders something like 30 or so people while GIRL POWER rock plays. Are you defending this shit? Honestly?

  • 31 11-01-2010 at 6:50 pm

    mikhael said...

    too bad Kick-Ass kicks Another Year’s ass. I really love that movie though I haven’t seen Another Year, but is Kick-Ass a british movie?

    Man, love to see Never Let Me Go got a lot of recognition here.

  • 32 11-01-2010 at 9:05 pm

    Glenn said...

    Kayvan Novak!

  • 33 11-02-2010 at 4:40 am

    Kane said...

    It’s Gareth Edwards, not Gareth Thomas. Just an FYI :P

  • 34 11-02-2010 at 4:46 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Ugh, I don’t know how “Thomas” slipped in there. Thanks for the correction.

  • 35 11-03-2010 at 7:41 pm

    Leocdc (Chile) said...

    Really happy for Kick-Ass, one of my favourite movies of this year. Awesome movie from beginning to end. Kinda weird to see it on the BIFAs, but every nomination is good for a fan :D