'12 Years a Slave' leads London critics' nods, Gary Oldman receives career honor

Posted by · 2:59 am · December 17th, 2013

We’re currently swimming in critics’ group awards and nominations, but if these mean a little more to me than the rest — well, that’d be because I voted in them. The London Film Critics’ Circle nominations have been announced, and Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” comfortably leads the field with nine nominations. Gary Oldman, meanwhile, has been named the recipient of the Circle’s annual Dilys Powell Award for Contribution to Cinema.

Recent recipients of the career honor include Helena Bonham Carter, Nicolas Roeg and Kristin Scott Thomas. Oldman, who won the Circle’s Best Actor award in 1987 for “Prick Up Your Ears,” will accept the award at our awards ceremony on February 2, 2014. He offered this statement of thanks: “I am truly honoured, and humbled to be named for this prestigious award, especially when one considers both who is doing the awarding and also the inspirational list of past recipients. I can”t wait to be there.” 

London voters may share their US colleagues enthusiasm for the likes of “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity,”but elsewhere, we’ve done things a bit differently. Two foreign-language titles — Cannes hits “Blue is the Warmest Color” and “The Great Beauty” — made the cut for Film of the Year. So did two low-key American contenders from earlier in the year, “Frances Ha” and “Blue Jasmine” — with Greta Gerwig joining Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Sandra Bullock and Adèle Exarchopoulos in the Actress of the Year race.

Different distribution avenues allowed us a unique nominee in the Actor of the Year race: Emmy winner Michael Douglas makes the grade for “Behind the Candelabra,” which was a theatrical release in the UK. He’s nominated alongside Bruce Dern, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tom Hanks — who also managed a supporting nod for “Saving Mr. Banks.”

Speaking of double nominees, Dench and Ejiofor both also placed in the British Actress and British Actor fields, with Supporting Actor nominee Michael Fassbender also joining his co-star in the latter category. (Yes, we say this every year: Irish actors are also eligible for these categories, so they can be a bit of a misnomer, but the industries and talent pools are closely tied.) Two Supporting Actress nominees also placed in the British Actress of the Year field: Sally Hawkins for “Blue Jasmine” and, in a pleasant surprise, Naomie Harris for her fiery turn as Winnie Mandela in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” (Her co-star and compatriot Idris Elba, however, was passed over.)

The British acting categories, incidentally, can represent either an individual performance or a body of work over a given year — so “Beautiful Creatures” gets its first (and probably only) awards mention of the season for Emma Thompson’s riotous supporting performance, and I couldn’t be more pleased. (Of course, I put Alden Ehrenreich on my Best Actor ballot, but you can’t have everything.)   

Another point of interest: Paul Greengrass made the Director of the Year lineup despite “Captain Phillips” failing to place in the critics’ collective Top 10. And I’m rather proud of our unusual Technical Achievement of the Year lineup, determined by the Circle’s smaller awards committee (of which I’m a member): it’s the only category on the circuit where you’ll see the cinematography of “Frances Ha,” the costumes of “Stoker” and the visual effects of “Gravity” competing side-by-side. 

Winners will be announced at the Circle’s awards ceremony in London on February 2, 2014. Full list of nominees on the next page. Catch up with all season’s awards so far at The Circuit.

Film of the Year
“Blue is the Warmest Color”
“Blue Jasmine”
“Frances Ha”
“The Great Beauty”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Director of the Year
Alfonso Cuaròn, “Gravity”
Paul Greengrass, “Captain Phillips”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Paolo Sorrentino, “The Great Beauty”

Actor of the Year
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”

Actress of the Year
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Adèle Exarchopoulos, “Blue is the Warmest Color”
Greta Gerwig, “Frances Ha”

Supporting Actor of the Year
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
James Gandolfini, “Enough Said”
Tom Hanks, “Saving Mr. Banks”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Supporting Actress of the Year
Naomie Harris, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Screenwriter of the Year
Spike Jonze, “Her”
Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, “Philomena”
John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”
Terence Winter, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Foreign Language Film of the Year
“Blue is the Warmest Color”
“Caesar Must Die”
“The Great Beauty”
“A Hijacking”

Documentary of the Year
“The Act of Killing”
“Beware of Mr. Baker”
“Stories We Tell”
“We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks”

British Film of the Year
“A Field in England”
“The Selfish Giant”

British Actor of the Year (for body of work)
Christian Bale, “American Hustle” and “Out of the Furnace”
Steve Coogan, “Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa,” “The Look of Love,” “Philomena” and “What Maisie Knew”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Michael Fassbender, “The Counselor” and “12 Years a Slave”
James McAvoy, “Filth,” “Trance” and “Welcome to the Punch”

British Actress of the Year (for body of work)
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Lindsay Duncan, “About Time,” “Last Passenger” and “Le Week-end”
Naomie Harris, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Emma Thompson, “Beautiful Creatures” and “Saving Mr. Banks”

Young British Performer of the Year (for body of work)
Conner Chapman, “The Selfish Giant”
Eloise Laurence, “Broken”
George Mackay, “Breakfast with Jonny Wilkinson,” “For Those in Peril,” “How I Live Now” and “Sunshine on Leith”
Saoirse Ronan, “Byzantium,” “The Host” and “How I Live Now”
Shaun Thomas, “The Selfish Giant”

Breakthrough British Director of the Year
Jon S. Baird, “Filth”
Scott Graham, “Shell”
Marcus Markou, “Papadopoulos & Sons”
Rufus Norris, “Broken”
Paul Wright, “For Those in Peril”

Technical Achievement of the Year
Judy Becker (production design), “American Hustle”
Howard Cummings (production design), “Behind the Candelabra”
Mark Eckersley (editing), “Filth”
Sam Levy (cinematography), “Frances Ha”
Tim Webber (visual effects), “Gravity”
Trish Summerville (costume design), “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
T-Bone Burnett (music), “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Kurt Swanson and Bart Mueller (costume design), “Stoker”
Sean Bobbitt (cinematography), “12 Years a Slave”
Johnny Marshall (sound design), “Upstream Color”

Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film
Gary Oldman

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