Weekend Viewing Roundup & Musings on BAFTA Awards 2014

Hi everyone! Did you have a nice weekend? It’s another long weekend for me as I got Monday off for President’s Day. It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as Winter storm is brewing as I’m typing this, glad I didn’t have to drive in this Wintry condition.

Before I get to my thoughts on BAFTA, here’s a summary of what I saw this weekend:

How’s your Valentine weekend? Hope you didn’t have to endure see Winter’s Tale. If you’ve read my review, then consider it a warning. I know it’s early, but it could easily end up being one of the biggest duds of 2014.

AustenlandBannerRobocopPoster

On V-day, my hubby and I opted for a simple dinner and a movie, home cinema to be exact. I’ve been wanting to re-watch Austenland since I saw it last August and so that’s what we did. I still enjoyed it and my hubby liked it, too, there’s a reason I love my man 😉

On Saturday night, we went to see RoboCop, a second time for my hubby as he went with Ted last Monday. He liked it well enough he didn’t mind seeing it again with me. Y’know what, I quite enjoyed it. It’s not as violent as the first one, and it’s not an all-out action movie either. In fact, there’s quite a lot of backstory for the character that made me care about the ‘man inside a machine.’ There’s a lot of heart in this reboot, the humanity aspect as well as his relationship with his family is explored quite well I think. Joel Kinnaman is pretty good in the lead role in that he’s got a commanding presence and effortlessly likable. I might actually give this 3.5/5 if I were to review it, and I agree with Ted that Gary Oldman is my favorite performer in the ensemble, he just always elevates everything he’s in.

BAFTAlogo

I completely missed seeing this LIVE yesterday. I was out and about that by the time I realized BAFTA’s on, it’s already too late. So this morning I was playing catch up on the winners via The Guardian. Let’s start with the acting honors:

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

BAFTA_ActingWinners

Thrilled to see Chiwetel Ejiofor and Cate Blanchett in the Best Leading Actor/Actress category. Both did a superb performance in 12 Years a Slave and Blue Jasmine respectively. I had been rooting for Sandra Bullock before I saw the Woody Allen film, but once I saw Cate’s performance, there’s no doubt in my mind that she should be sweeping all the awards. Classy Cate paid a tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman … “Phil, your monumental talent, generosity and unflinching quest for truth in art and life will be missed by so many people. You raised the bar continually so very, very high and all we can do in your absence is try to continually raise the bar. Phil, buddy, this is for you, you bastard. I hope you’re proud.” [per Deadline] We truly missed a great talent, but it really took one to know one.

Congrats to Barkhad Abdi, what a year it’s been for the former Minneapolis limo driver! Though I think he did a fine job opposite Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips, I had wished that Daniel Brühl would get the honor. Same with Sally Hawkins who should win instead of Jennifer Lawrence who’s absent from the festivities. I’m more disappointed in that than Brühl not winning. I’m REALLY hoping the Academy does right by Hawkins and give her the well-deserved honor.

BAFTA_HelenMirren

Oh… one of my top 3 favorite British Dames Helen Mirren was honored the BAFTA Fellowship Award, yay!! I LOVE that Prince William joked that he should call her ‘Granny,’ referring to her award-winning portrayal in The Queen. I read about her charming speech in that she offered her gratitude to a great teacher who encouraged her to be an actor.

BAFTA_BestDirector_Film_Winners

Now to the question of Best Film of the Year.

Best Film: 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Best British Film: Gravity

Seems that there still is no clear winner and come Oscar I think it’ll still come down to a thriller set in space and a slavery drama. Interesting that there’s a Best Film and Best British Film category, which went to 12 Years a Slave and Gravity respectively. As quoted by Deadline, Alfonso Cuarón said backstage that, “There are rules that make a film eligible for Best British Film. Gravity definitely has all the requirements, except a couple of Mexicans that came here — legally! — and a couple of American stars. It was shot in this country, developed in this country, and with cutting-edge technology developed by British artists.” I have no qualms about the eligibility stuff, obviously the BAFTA deems it eligible and that’s that. Gravity deserves all the kudos, it won six out of the possible 11 noms, including Best Original Score, Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki), Visual Effects, Sound AND Best Director honor for Alfonso Cuarón. It’s my number 1 film of the year so I’d be happy if it sweeps the Oscars as well!  

Other BAFTA winners I’m thrilled about: 

Best Documentary: The Act of Killing
Best Animated Film: Frozen
Best Production Design The Great Gatsby
Best Costumes: The Great Gatsby

BAFTA_JoshuaOppenheimerHuge congrats to Joshua Oppenheimer for winning Best Documentary!! It’s the only documentary that I included in my Top 10 films of the year, and Joshua was gracious enough to grant me an interview. I told him I would be rooting for him come award season, so I’m super thrilled that he’s also up for an Oscar! I love that he dedicated his award to his anonymous crew, “I dedicate this award to them. This film couldn’t be made without people who risked their safety and changed their careers to work on it. Professors, human rights leaders. … They stopped everything they were doing to work on the film, knowing they couldn’t take credit for their work.”  [per Deadline]

Yay for FROZEN, another one of my Top 10 favorites! It’s no contest they will win Best Animated Film at the Oscar, it’s a shoo-in at this point. The production design and costumes of The Great Gatsby are definitely the major highlights of the film so kudos to Catherine Martin! Seems that she’s gotten far more honors in her husband Baz Luhrmann‘s films than Baz himself.

So this is the last major award ceremony before the Oscars on March 2nd. BRING. IT. ON!


So what did you see this weekend? Thoughts on the BAFTA winners?

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53 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup & Musings on BAFTA Awards 2014

  1. Gravity is my favorite film of the year, too, but 12 Years a Slave getting honors is more than fine by me. That’s why BAFTA ignoring Lupita Nyong’o’s stellar work as Patsey remains so stunning. I enjoyed Lawrence’s work in American Hustle, BUT she didn’t come close to out-classing Lupita. No how, no way.

    1. I don’t mind ’12 Years’ getting lots of honors this award season either. Both are such great filmmaking that’ll be remembered for years. After having seen all three of their works, I’d have preferred either Hawkins or Nyong’O. I really thought Nyong’O had it in the bag. I guess the Brits really do love Lawrence.

  2. Exhausting weekend here. Tons of work and a nagging cold set in. I did manage to see a couple of movies though. I rewatched “The Heiress” and of course I watched “The Lego Movie” with my kids (Review for it goes up tonight).

    The BAFTAs were pretty interesting. Really glad to see Ejiofor get some love and I’m proud for Gravity. I’m still bugged over Jennifer Lawrence getting so much praise. I’m definitely a fan of for work but this was one of her lesser performances especially considering the competition. I still think Nyong’o game the greater performance & I’m rooting for her all the way. If you put their performances side-by-side I don’t see how we are talking about Lawrence’s 10 years from now. I could be wrong though. And like you said, Hawkins is more deserving as well.

    1. Hi Keith! Sorry to hear about your weekend man, hope you feel much better now. Oh The Heiress is a good one, I haven’t reviewed it yet since I saw it a couple of months ago. That ending was quite dark. Glad to hear you enjoyed The LEGO movie!

      Yeah I’m with you about Lawrence, she really wasn’t as good as others on the list. I think Nyong’O and Hawkins did a much more memorable performance in my book.

  3. Ted S.

    I watched a couple of movies over the weekend. Rented Captain Phillips Friday night, well made film but I lost interest in the story about half way through and I’m still confuse as to why Arkhad Abdi is getting the praises for his “acting” abilities. Let’s just say I was not impressed with the film or his acting, Hanks was great as always though.

    Then I was on Netflix and saw they’re now streaming an buddy/cop action film I’ve always liked but wasn’t a big hit when it came out in early 90s, The Hard Way. Not sure if you’ve seen it, the story was about an action star played by Michael J. Fox who wanted to tag along a real life detective played by James Wood. It’s a different take on the buddy cop genre and I thought it’s quite good but I think the reason it failed at the box office was it didn’t have a lot of action like other buddy cop action flicks around that time. Then I watched House of Cards for hours, ha ha, I’m hooked on that show.

    Glad you enjoyed the RoboCop remake, it’s definitely more ambitious than the usual remakes we’ve seen lately.

    1. Ahah, I think I saw your tweet about Captain Phillips. Well I thought it was pretty intense from start to finish when I saw it on the big screen. I think Abdi was impressive that he’s able to go toe to toe against the much more experienced and obviously a stellar actor like Hanks, that’s quite a feat for a newcomer, and he’s never done anything before, not TV nor stage or anything.

      No I haven’t heard of The Hard Way. A buddy cop action flick w/ Michael J. Fox? Interesting casting there. I quite like RoboCop, I’d even give it a half more stars than you but I’m usually quite generous in my rating anyway 😀

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah I thought Greengrass did a great job but since I already knew how the real event ends, I just wasn’t interested in the story in the film, this is one instance where I hoped Hollywood would Hollywoodnize the story.

        You might like The Hard Way, it’s more of a comedy than action. I think the reason it failed was probably because the casting of Michael J. Fox as the lead, he’s not known for action. The movie was making fun of actors who wants to “experience” the real life cop and I thought it’s hilarious. The movie’s not perfect of course, I think had a better director made the movie, it would’ve been much better and a box office hit.

  4. Hey Ruth. I saw Austenland this weekend, too. I don’t think it’s perfect, as my review suggests, but I like it.

    I don’t think any of the BAFTA awards are surprising. The only thing that surprised me is that McConaughey wasn’t even nominated.

    Also, I do think there’s a clear favorite for Oscar Best Picture. 12 Years has now won Best Film at the Globes, BAFTA, AFI, The Broadcast Film Critics, and many other critics associations. It keeps racking up the Best Picture type awards, so much so it’d be stunning if it doesn’t win the Oscar, too, I think.

    Just as Cuaron now has to be the favorite for Director (though I think McQueen still has a shot).

    1. Hi Josh! Glad you enjoyed Austenland too, my hubby did too. I’ll check out your review later.

      McConaughey wasn’t nominated? Maybe the film wasn’t eligible for a BAFTA?? Glad that Chiwetel won though.

      I really wish Gravity was the clear winner. I think it’s the better film to be honest so I’d love it to win Best Film AND Best Director.

      1. Given the lack of character development, and the overpowering score, I think Gravity much less emotionally impacting than 12 Years. It is a visceral spectacle and a worthy nominee (Cuaron would also be a worthy victor). But I think 12 Years also successful artistically and more powerful narratively. So I think it the best made flick of the year. I’m glad to see it winning all of these picture awards.

        I’m not sure why McConaughey wasn’t nominated for BAFTA. But I am not the least offended by Ejiofer’s victory. He is really, really good.

    1. Yeah, that was intense from start to finish. That final scene was truly nail-biting, interesting too that Greengrass used a real nurse at the end instead of an actor.

    1. Ahah well he’s not my friend Cindy, I wish he were! He’s such a gracious person and obviously very talented, so I’m glad to see him getting recognition!

  5. Very happy for Blanchett! I loved her in Jasmine and she deserves all the awards (even though I really loved Sandra Bullock); also really liked her speech! Not so thrilled about Jennifer Lawrence winning, even though I LOVE her, her performance in Hustle is SO overrated! I liked Abdi but I agree the award should’ve gone to Bruhl! Happy for the awards Gatsby got, definitely weel deserved. Oh, and what can I say about Lubezki and Cuarón? So happy for them. Well deserved awards for my fellow Mexicans!

    1. Hello Fernando! Yes very happy for Blanchett as well. I love both her and Bullock in general but I think Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine is more deserving IMO. Yes her speech is awesome!!

      I’m kinda tired about all the hoopla about Lawrence, I heard she’s teaming up w/ O. Russell again [yawn] Well I’m not Mexican but I’m super happy for Lubezki and Cuarón, they’re both so talented and Cuarón seems like a real nice guy! 😀

      1. Yes, also rooting for Blanchett. She was perfection in Blue Jasmine.

        Lawrence should collaborate with other directors now! haha Glad you’re rooting for Lubezki and Cuarón. They’re very talented and yes, Alfonso seems like a cool dude.

        1. When I was watching her in Blue Jasmine my jaw dropped seeing how she could disappear into a role like that. It’s not a likable character but it’s fascinating to watch her portray it, y’know.

          I think a true great actor should try to work with different directors so yeah, enough w/ O. Russell, esp. back to back like that.

          Alfonso seems like he has no pretense, and his speech is always hilarious. LOVE him!

          1. Yeah, she’s a terrible person, but it’s so hard to look away. She’s magnetic and totally pours herself into that role.

            Looking forward to seeing her in more films, because I think she’s amazingly talented.

            Yes! Been a fan of him for many years now and I’m thrilled for his awards success with Gravity.

            1. Yah but I still sympathize w/ her character and actually felt sorry for her. Funny that Alec Baldwin seems to be playing himself in it, ahah.

              I’m very curious to see what Cuaron will do next, but I’ll definitely watch it!! His son is also very talented, obviously 😀

              1. Yeah, I felt sorry for her too. I bet losing all her money and “friends” was a huge blow, and she was completely oblivious to the damage she caused everybody with her words.

                Yes! Definitely curious for his next project. And talent runs in his family!

    1. I sure hope so too Rodney, what a stratospheric rise for him but I hope he continues to get roles after this instead of disappearing into oblivion once award season is over.

  6. No massive surprises at the BAFTAs I don’t think. Abdi winning Supporting Actor was probably the biggest surprise, but I’m totally with you on wanting Bruhl to win that one. I’m also very happy that The Act of Killing was recognised too.

    As for my own viewing, I caught up with Dallas Buyers Club which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    1. I’m really bummed that Bruhl didn’t get a single award for his amazing performance, it’s a travesty!! I like Abdi and he was impressive but I think Bruhl was equally if not better in RUSH.

      Looking forward to your Dallas Buyers Club review!

  7. So pleased Barkhad Abdi won Best Supporting Actor – really well deserved. Great news for Cate Blanchett too 🙂 My weekend choices were The Lego Movie and The Monuments Men – loved the former but Clooney’s latest was a disappointment.

    1. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m glad for Abdi though I’m curious about his career longevity after this, let’s hope Hollywood has roles to offer him.

      I just commented on your LEGO movie review, yeah we’re in the same camp on that one and the mediocre Monuments Men.

        1. I think the awards certainly help but you know how it is w/ Hollywood and non-white actors, it’s still tough for them to get roles. I sure hope somehow Abdi could make it. Looking fwd to your Monuments Men review!

  8. I’ve been rewatching Parks and Rec so my movie time is limited, but I did see Only Lovers Left Alive on Valentine’s, so that was a good day 🙂 BAFTAs were crazy, it seems to me people are just afraid to award Gravity BP win because of 12YaS subject matter.

    1. Oh Parks & Rec was hilarious, thou I’ve only seen like 3 episodes. My fave character is definitely Nick Offerman’s! Cool that you got to see Only Lovers Left Alive. I probably have to wait until it’s released on dvd 😦

      Yeah, I have the same hunch about people being afraid of NOT awarding ’12 Years’ because of the slavery topic. It’s too bad as a film should be judged on its own merit. It’s like the opposite of The Passion of the Christ which SHOULD have been nominated for every Best Picture award as it was so well-made and well-acted, regardless of how controversial the topic is.

  9. PrairieGirl

    I’ve been glued to TCMs 31 Days of Oscar (yes, I confess, I broke down and added TCM to my cable lineup again). Saw All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). It’s definitely a war movie about Word War 1, but it’s also an ANTI-war film, which I was not aware of. I don’t care for war films, but this had just enough quieter character development to balance it out. It certainly deserved it’s Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for 1930.
    http://31days.tcm.com/#/day/18/

    1. Ah that’s cool you added TCM again, should be worth it I think. I haven’t seen All Quiet on the Western Front but that sounds good. I saw a classic as well, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, LOVE that story and Jimmy Stewart was superb!

  10. As much as I admire Jennifer Lawrence as a performer the love she’s receiving during awards season is becoming a little too pervasive, and I do wonder what effect it will have on her future career.
    She’ll either pass Meryl Streep’s awards tally before she’s 40, or the backlash will bite with a vengeance and she’ll be chewed up and spat out by the system.

    p.s: I hope the worst of the weather passed you by. Winters are long and hard in your part of the world aren’t they?

    1. I have the exact same sentiment about Lawrence. It’s like *too fast too soon*. Yes she is good but not THAT good, y’know. I feel that the backlash is already starting.

      Well Winter is not over yet but today it’s a balmy 40˚ F! Next week it’s gonna be cold again though 😦

  11. Glad you ended up enjoying RoboCop, Ruth. It certainly exceeded my own expectations, pretty enjoyable flick. 🙂

    As for the awards, it is interesting how there is no definite winner between 12 Years a Slave and Gravity going in, so it’ll be interesting to see which film comes out on top. As for best supporting actress, I’m personally pulling for Julia Roberts, who surprised the hell out of me. Though honestly, so long as either Jennifer Lawrence or June Squibb don’t win, I’ll have no complaints. 😛

    1. Hi Chris! Yeah I quite enjoyed RoboCop, glad I didn’t dismiss it entirely. It was more heart than I anticipated which was nice.

      Julia Roberts was good in A:OC but I feel that Hawkins was phenomenal in Blue Jasmine. I really want her to win as much as Nyong’O.

  12. Oh…didn’t Helen Mirren show off with her speech! But I enjoyed Stephen Fry’s presentation – some good jokes, just wish they hadn’t kicked off the show with Tinie Tempah (cringeworthy if you ask me). I don’t think the Oscars will have the same results in the major categories but it’ll be interesting to find out.

  13. Great run down of the Bafta’s Ruth. I can’t really complain at most of them but it does seem like that kind of year. Every actor and actress were so good that arguing against them winning seems like sour grapes. I haven’t seen Captain Phillips but Abdi winning was a bit of a surprise to me. Like I say, though, it’s hard to complain and the same goes for Best Film too. Too many good ones, that are worthy winners.

    1. Ha..ha.. some bloggers can be such sour grapes around award season 😀 Despite my disappointments I too feel like those nominated deserve to win, of course some more than others. I’m surprised that Abdi won though not surprised he was nominated, I just hope he’d continue to get roles in Hollywood.

      Btw, don’t you wish HER would be nominated too? But perhaps it wasn’t eligible.

      1. Yeah, I didn’t really catch the nominees. I just assumed that they were pretty much the same as the oscars but in my opinion Her should have been nominated and should have bloody won. I just love that film (as you know) 😉

        1. I’m glad you love Her too! I know we don’t see eye to eye on Gravity, but HER was a distant second on my Top 10 list as I think in terms of film-making style it was quite groundbreaking and I found the story to be more emotionally gratifying than you. That said, I’d be totally on board w/ HER winning Best Picture!!

          1. Don’t get me wrong, i do have a lot if time and praise for Gravity but it did start to tumble down my list as more and more great movies appeared at the end of the year. 2013 started off really poorly in my opinion but it finished stronger than most recent years. Lots of good stuff.

            1. Yeah it’s nice isn’t it when there are more and more good films are released as the year progressed. I made a Top 10 in July and only one of them made it to the final 10 of the year which was The Hunt.

              1. I want to see Nebraska before I make my top 10 but I’ve got it assembled already. I’m just waiting to see if Nebraska might make it in. The Hunt is certainly high up on my list and has remained so for quite a whole too. It was my favourite up until recently.

  14. I’m happy about the Gravity and 12 Years a Slave wins, and the acting winners (apart from Lawrence) were very deserving. Let’s hope Gravity does as well at the Oscars! 😀

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