‘King’s Speech’ rules BIFAs, ‘Ghost Writer’ sweeps EFAs

Posted by · 5:03 pm · December 6th, 2010

Apologies for getting to both these announcement so late: my laptop is currently (perhaps terminally) hospitalized, so posting is rather spotty on my end. The timing is particularly bad, since this past weekend’s awards activity included two major European ceremonies that I should have been all over.

That said, if you paid even vague attention to the nominee lists for the British Independent Film Awards and the European Film Awards when they were announced, you probably could have guessed how they panned out without much help from me.

In both ceremonies, the nomination leader emerged easily as top dog. With the BIFA voters throwing fewer curveballs than usual for them, “The King’s Speech” won five of its eight bids, including Best British Independent Film and three of the four acting races. It was left to scrappy sci-fi sleeper “Monsters” to disrupt the yawnfest, as debut helmer Gareth Edwards pipped Tom Hooper to the Best Director prize. (He lost Best Debut Director the same night, incidentally — such is the spread-the-wealth logic of juried awards.)

Elsewhere, in what will likely remain the high point of the film’s awards journey, Carey Mulligan took Best Actress for her sterling work in “Never Let Me Go,” marking her second straight BIFA win in that category. (Over in the supporting category, in the ceremony’s most dubious decision, Helena Bonham-Carter consolidated the career achievement award she won the same evening by beating Lesley Manville — proving just how little the BIFAs dig Mike Leigh this year.)

The European Film Awards, meanwhile, were even more of a one-film lovefest, as “The Ghost Writer” greedily grabbed six of the seven awards for which it was nominated, losing only in the Best Film Editing category. (That deservedly went to “Carlos,” by the way — the most lickety-split five hours you’ve ever sat through in the cinema.) Although I’ve expressed slight befuddlement over the increasingly reverential treatment accorded this spry but slight thriller in Europe, I’m not surprised this time round — the EFA voters somehow conspired to assemble a slate of nominees so feeble that Roman Polanski’s film could hardly fail to cruise to victory.

If “The Ghost Writer” had a leading actress, you can bet she would have won too. Happily, however, Sylvie Testud took Best Actress honors for her sly, subtle turn in Jessica Hausner’s largely under-rewarded “Lourdes” — the only major award not to go to Team Polanski and by far the night’s most inspired choice.

Check out the full list of BIFA and EFA winners at The Circuit.

[Photo: Summit Entertainment]

→ 21 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

21 responses so far

  • 1 12-06-2010 at 9:33 pm

    Jake G. said...

    My Best Actress nod predictions are:
    Anne Hathaway~Love and Other Drugs
    Annette Bening~ TKAAR
    Jen Lawrence~WB
    Nic Kidman~Rabbit Hole
    Nat Portman~Black Swan….WINNER

  • 2 12-06-2010 at 11:41 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    And that has anything to do with this post because… ?

  • 3 12-06-2010 at 11:53 pm

    red_wine said...

    I saw the European ceremony, and if you think Oscars are poorly staged, the Europeans made me gag, it was a borderline school awards distribution function. Well not as bad as that but pretty bad.

    But whoa, The Ghost Writer is a European masterpiece (according to them) , it is THEIR Social Network. They clearly (and rightly if I may add) worship Polanski. But a great film, The Ghost Writer is not.

    The Ghost Writer does have a glorious performance in what could be claimed to be a lead role, it is along with the score, the most successful element of the film.

  • 4 12-06-2010 at 11:56 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Agree about Williams, as you know. She was a victim of the EFA’s curious refusal to add supporting acting categories.

  • 5 12-07-2010 at 12:04 am

    The Great Dane said...

    Williams should be the frontrunner to win Best Supporting actress this year… Well, at least she’ll get in with the BAFTAs.

  • 6 12-07-2010 at 12:18 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I wouldn’t be so sure of that.

  • 7 12-07-2010 at 2:09 am

    Dominik said...

    The ceremony was horrible to watch, but honestly, past EFA-Shows weren´t hardly any better.
    Of course it sucks big time if the recipients of the top prizes don´t mind to attend the show. Polanskis absence makes clear that the reputation of the EFA is not that high, unfortunately.
    I was also puzzled about the nomination-list, especially the snub of “Carlos” and “Another Year” in the top category, clearly two of the best movies you can see all year long.
    But I disagree about “Ghost Writer”. It might obviously not be among Polanskis premium work, but it´ s still a fascinating old school thriller with lots of charme, and certainly a pleasure to watch.
    And one final observation: I´m german, I know Anke Engelke quite well, but she is not funny, not at all. Please choose some different hosts next time, EFA!

  • 8 12-07-2010 at 3:50 am

    Michael W. said...

    I agree with what has been said a couple of times. The European Film Awards ceremony was borderlining unwatchable. But it has been pretty bad other years too. A few times I had a very hard time understanding the English the presenters were trying to speak. But being from Denmark, I’m very proud to say that Nikolaj Lie Kaas, who was lucky to present screenplay and director to Polanski’s Skype-face on the big screen, was the one who did best… :-D

  • 9 12-07-2010 at 5:34 am

    JJ1 said...

    Does this mean that Polanski fans (hello, The Pianist) and European voters within AMPAS could give ‘Ghost Writer’ a nudge that we haven’t been expecting?

    Could it be this year’s ‘In Bruges’ — a wonderfully cold drama that got released back in Feb/March?

  • 10 12-07-2010 at 6:06 am

    Joe7827 said...

    JJ1 – actually, I think “In Bruges” is a pretty good comparison. Liked your phrase “wonderfully cold”. Maybe the Globes nods will tell (they really helped “In Bruges”). Speaking of, when do the HFPA nominations come out – next week?

  • 11 12-07-2010 at 7:02 am

    Keil Shults said...

    I like The Ghost Writer, but would have to say that In Bruges is quite a bit better. Of course, I’ve only see GW once and IB four or five times.

    That being said, I would be surprised if GW gets ANY Oscar nominations. I don’t think most Academy voters will see in Olivia Williams’ performance what so many others apparently do. I don’t recall anything memorable about it, but then again, it’s been quite awhile since I saw it, and I didn’t have any awards buzz in my ear telling me to take special note of her acting. Eager to see the film again, though.

  • 12 12-07-2010 at 7:32 am

    Joe7827 said...

    Keil: I would also say “In Bruges” is much better, but weren’t you still surprised when it got all those Globes and Oscar nominations? For comparison purposes, I think it’s worth wondering if the same thing could happen to “Ghost Writer”. The main difference: “Bruges” was considered a comedy, whereas I doubt “Ghost Writer” will be put in that category.

  • 13 12-07-2010 at 8:25 am

    Keil Shults said...

    I was certainly surprised at the nominations for In Bruges, only because it seemed like the film hadn’t been seen or discussed by many people. Even I didn’t get around to seeing it until it hit DVD, at which point I fell in luff with it. Two F’s.

    But yes, the fact that In Bruges is primarily a comedy made its chances for Globe success more likely than Ghost Writer’s will be in the more jam-packed, cutthroat Drama category.

    Hmm, wonder if and when Martin McDonagh will deliver his sophomore effort.

  • 14 12-07-2010 at 9:23 am

    marco70go said...

    Along with Sylvie Testud’s win for “Lourdes”, for once, I found the most inspired choice of this year’s EFA was the People’s Choice Award… Yes, the very same award that in the past recognized Roland Emmerich as best european director for Godzilla… This year it went to Jaco van Dormael’s Mr. Nobody

  • 15 12-07-2010 at 10:00 am

    billybil said...

    Wondered where you were. Hope your laptop revives soon!

  • 16 12-07-2010 at 1:27 pm

    Paul Outlaw said...

    Yay, Helena Bonham Carter! And Manville should have been in the lead category, anyway.

  • 17 12-07-2010 at 1:30 pm

    Maxim said...

    “Yes, the very same award that in the past recognized Roland Emmerich as best european director for Godzilla.”

    Seriously? That’s… wow. I wish I could unread that.

  • 18 12-07-2010 at 3:58 pm

    Katie said...

    A little off topic, I recently finally saw “Ghost Writer” and really liked it. Especially the mood/atmosphere, the subtlety, and of course, the ending.

    Did In Contention review the film? I’m dying to read the review, but I couldn’t find it when I searched the site.

  • 19 12-07-2010 at 4:18 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Sadly, Kris was not too keen on it. And I don’t remember there being a review from Guy or not.

  • 20 12-07-2010 at 11:02 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I never got to review it, unfortunately, as I missed the film at Berlin and only caught up with it post-release.

  • 21 12-08-2010 at 10:25 am

    Katie said...

    OK, thank you.

    (I personally loved it.)