‘Never Let Me Go’ tops London Evening Standard noms

Posted by · 12:05 pm · January 4th, 2011

The London Evening Standard Awards, a particularly bijou set of critics’ honors reserved for British titles and talent, tend to swerve a little left of the expected — chosen as they are by a jury of six disparate, but equally opinionated, critics. So it is this year: obviously “The King’s Speech” and “Another Year” feature heavily, but the list is peppered with pleasing examples of independent thinking.

Indeed, this jury has given a sharp reprimand to the recent BIFA Awards by including Peter Mullan’s lavishly praised indie “Neds” in their Best Film lineup, a highly diverse selection that also includes Sylvain Chomet’s animated wonder “The Illusionist” (yay), Matthew Vaughan’s divisive comic adaptation “Kick-Ass” (boo) and Clio Barnard’s performance-documentary hybrid “The Arbor.”

Frozen out in the Oscar race, “Never Let Me Go” nonetheless had a good day here with a leading five nods, thanks largely to the jury’s regard for all three of its leads.

The performance categories throw up numerous interesting mentions: I’m glad to see Kristin Scott Thomas crack the list for her French-language work in “Leaving” (I think I know which critic pushed for that one), while the appearances of Brenda Blethyn and Olivia Williams on the list are equally pleasant surprises. Some eyebrows will be raised, however, by the listing of Ruth Sheen in place of her “Another Year” co-star Lesley Manville.

Finally, an extra round of applause to the jury for remembering composer Dickon Hinchliffe’s shivery score for “Winter’s Bone” — which I was coincidentally plugging last week — in their technical citations.

This year’s jury included London press critics (only three of whom write for the Standard, lest the name mislead you) Derek Malcolm, Kate Muir, Charlotte O’Sullivan, Anthony Quinn, Tim Robey and David Sexton. Winners, already determined by the jury, will be announced on February 7.

The nominees:

(1/21/11 UPDATE: These are not the nominations, it turns out.  Instead they are a prematurely released long list.  See this post for explanation.)

Best Film
“Another Year”
“The Arbor”
“The Illusionist”
“The King’s Speech”
“Never Let Me Go”

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed, “Four Lions”
Jim Broadbent, “Another Year”
Colin Firth, “The King’s Speech”
Andrew Garfield, “Never Let Me Go,” “The Social Network”
Eddie Marsan, “The Disappearance of Alice Creed”
Ewan McGregor, “The Ghost Writer”
Sam Riley, “Brighton Rock”

Best Actress
Brenda Blethyn, “London River”
Rebecca Hall, “Please Give”
Sally Hawkins, “Made In Dagenham”
Keira Knightley, “Never Let Me Go”
Carey Mulligan, “Never Let Me Go”
Kristin Scott Thomas, “Leaving”
Ruth Sheen, “Another Year”
Tilda Swinton, “I Am Love”
Olivia Williams, “The Ghost Writer”

Best Screenplay
“The Arbor”
“Down Terrace”
“The Ghost Writer”
“Never Let Me Go”
“127 Hours”

Technical Achievement Award
Jenny Beavan (costume design), “The King’s Speech”
Gareth Edwards (cinematography, production design and visual effects), “Monsters”
Dickon Hinchliffe (score), “Winter’s Bone”
Andrew McAlpine (production design), “Made In Dagenham”
Dick Pope (cinematography), “Another Year”
Mark Tildesley (production design), “The Killer Inside Me”

Peter Sellers Award for Comedy
Roger Allam, “Tamara Drewe”
Omid Djalili, “The Infidel”
Ed Gaughan, “Skeletons”
Robin Hill, “Down Terrace”
David Thewlis, “London Boulevard”

Most Promising Newcomer
J Blakeson (writer/director), “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed”
Conor McCarron (actor), “Neds”
Tuppence Middleton (actor), “Skeletons” and “Chatroom”
Ben Wheatley (co-writer and director), “Down Terrace”
Nick Whitfield (director), “Skeletons”

Best Documentary
“A Day In The Life”
“Enemies Of The People”
“Exit Through The Gift Shop”
“Land Of The Free”
“No Greater Love”
“Oil City Confidential”

[Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures]

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12 responses so far

  • 1 1-04-2011 at 12:21 pm

    Maxim said...

    This whole “reserved for British titles and talent” thing is confusing. After all they cited Andrew Garfield for “The Social Network”, which in all likelihood, isn’t eligible by as a film but got in due to his being British Talent.
    And can “The Illusionist” be considered a British title?

  • 2 1-04-2011 at 12:25 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    “The Illusionist” is a largely British production, yes.

  • 3 1-04-2011 at 1:18 pm

    Cragsby said...

    Boo for the lack of Four Lions love aside from Riz Ahmed!

  • 4 1-04-2011 at 1:46 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Did Kick-Ass contain some kind of Briticism that makes the film so much more exceptional to the English? Just wondering since I do believe this the second Best Picture nomination it’s gotten from a UK group. Or are they just sucking Matthew Vaughn’s dick because he’s English?

  • 5 1-04-2011 at 2:01 pm

    caro said...

    they forgot Christian Bale.He’s british after all

  • 6 1-04-2011 at 2:11 pm

    billybil said...

    Do you think there’s any chance NEVER LET ME GO could show up in the Oscar nominations? Cinematography was lovely and I do think all 3 of the leads were quite good. I realize the Best Actress is probably too competitive this year but may Best Supporting Actress for Knightley? And, to be honest, I’d rather see Garfield get nominated for NEVER LET ME GO than for SOCIAL NETWORK (I know – sacrilege!!) I just remember years past when movies seemed to show up out of nowhere at the Oscars and this seems like one that could. Am I totally crazy, do you think?

  • 7 1-04-2011 at 2:14 pm

    billybil said...

    Oh yeah – and what up re: Manville? That don’t make sense, does it? I mean, people seem to be salivating over her performance (by people, I mean several bloggers) but she doesn’t even get mentioned? How is that possible? Would this group actually not nominate someone just to be different? They wouldn’t do that, would they?

  • 8 1-04-2011 at 2:56 pm

    Ibbs said...

    I mean…I’m glad Sheen got mentioned, and I’m glad for the Another Year love in general (and the Garfield nomination), but aside from Sheen I’ve seen Knightley/Mulligan/KST/Williams/Swinton and no way were they better than Manville…I can see how someone might prefer Sheen, though.

  • 9 1-04-2011 at 4:08 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Billybil: Best Cinematography is a remote possibility, Best Original Score a relatively strong one. Nothing more than, I’d say.

    As for Manville, I know a couple of critics (including at least one on this jury) who have issues with her performance. It’s no big deal.

  • 10 1-04-2011 at 6:09 pm

    Maxim said...

    ““The Illusionist” is a largely British production, yes.”

    I see. Thanks! For some reason I was under the impression it was purely French. That makes sense now.

  • 11 1-04-2011 at 6:14 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Happy to clear that up. We actually ran an interview with the film’s British producer just before Christmas.

  • 12 1-05-2011 at 9:47 am

    billybil said...

    Thanks Guy – I’d forgotten about score for NEVER LET ME GO. For some reason, the music nominations always seem so out of reach to me – I mean I know music in movies is what makes or breaks moments all over the place but it’s difficult for me to separate it from the experience. Like somebody wrote, I think, if the underscoring is really, really good the audience won’t even know it’s there. It is very hard for me to step far enough away to perceive it’s contribution – especially the first time through on a good film. I guess I really need to start seeing things more than once if I’m going to have any hope of improving my ability to identify the TOP movie scores of any given year.