Tuesday 28 February 2012

The BFBC Film Awards Winners!

An important film ceremony took place over the week-end. No, not just the Oscars, the first BFBC Film Awards, or British Film Bloggers Circle Film Awards. Taking place is pushing it a little as there was no physical ceremony, not quite yet anyway, next year there will most definitely be one. At the former Kodak theatre in Los Angeles. Or at a pub. Anyway, without further ado, the winners!

Sunday 26 February 2012

A Passionate Woman Review

Plot: This two parts, made for TV film sees Betty, a housewife trapped in an unhappy marriage in Leeds in the 50's, fall for a Polish man that threatens to derail her life and those around her. In part two, we jump thirty years later when the past comes back to haunt Betty's life.

Review: The story of a bored woman trapped in a unhappy marriage, who falls for the charm of a brooding stranger is nothing new, the sort of Madame Bovary material that has been seen countless times, as recently as a few months ago with Terence Davies unsentimental and quietly devastating Deep Blue Sea. So it is a pleasant surprise that A Passionate Woman, a made for TV film that is now getting a DVD release, while threading familiar territory, mostly manages to rise above it.

The 2012 Jessica Chastain Film Awards Go To... Jessica Chastain!

A virtual unkown at this same time last year, Jessica Chastain has been in every other film ever since, the results of many of them getting a delayed release, such as The Tree of Life which was shot over a period of about 27 years, or so goes the legend. Jessica Chastain is exactly what the world of cinema needed, a wonderfully versatile and subtle actress with an ethereal beauty reminiscent of a young Sissy Spacek. The problem with her ubiquity is that despite receiving nominations in most film awards, there are too may films to choose from and spread voting means she is unlikely to win much (except for our very own British Film Bloggers Circle awards!). So it is only fair that a whole film awards is dedicated to her, and I am staging it today, just before the Oscars!

Friday 24 February 2012

The Muppets: The Psychotic Dreamed Life of a Man-Child

When finally watching the new Muppets film at the cinema, I quickly realised that all was not quite as it seemed. In appearance, this is a return to the Muppets' roots we all know and love (after a serie of derivative sequels), that sees them fight an evil oil baron to win their old studios back, a fight punctuated with songs and dances and celebrity cameos just like in the good old days. Except that, scratch that surface and you will quickly realise that underneath lurks the labyrinthine exploration of a man's psychosis.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

The British Film Bloggers Circle Awards Nominations

With the British Film Bloggers Circle just freshly launched, one of the first ideas we had was to hold our very own film awards, dismayed as we were by some of the Oscar nominations, and especially the Baftas, who seemed to ignore the utter brilliance and variety of British cinema in 2011. I do appreciate there might be a whiff of arrogance in simply stating that our choices are "better than the Oscars and the Baftas" but this is not what this is all about. The whole point is the freedom to simply come up with our own choices, free from any kind of influence, only motivated by our passion for film.

The Launch of the British Film Bloggers Circle

Jude Law as an angry blogger in Contagion (2011)

For some, Twitter is a mean of arranging London riots and insulting cheating footballers. Pity those people. For me, the brilliance of Twitter is that it has allowed me to get in contact with a whole bunch of other passionate film bloggers, whose spirited and witty mind as well as endless knowledge are a constant source of mental stimulation and amusement. Spare a thought for  us, poor bloggers, tirelessly spending unpaid hours trying to share our passion and enthusiasm for cinema with the world, all this while being looked down by less charitable, well established journalists... Unlike what that infamous lines from the (godawful) Contagion stated last year, blogging is more than just graffiti with punctuation!

Friday 17 February 2012

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance review

Plot: Johnny Blaze, the half man/half demon is back, this time trying to stop the Devil from taking human form through an evil child.

Review: The first Ghost Rider, while no classic, was an enjoyable and slightly silly adaptation of a lesser known graphic novel with a Faustian anti-hero, Johnny Blaze. A stuntman who signed his soul to the devil, he became a half-man, half-demon that saw him turn into a harbinger of evil justice and collector of souls with a flaming skull at night.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Tribute To An Unlikely Film Tycoon

I was lucky to watch Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me on the big screen again last week, thanks to a David Lynch restrospective at the NFT in London. Not only does the film hold on very well after all these years, it almost works even better as a standalone film, without connecting it to the TV serie that preceded it. But the credits brought some unexpected memories flooding back when the logo of the production company Ciby 2000 came up. It might not mean much to many people these days, but this company, in its brief life in the 90's, is behind some of best arthouse films of the time.

Monday 13 February 2012

Baftas: I Did Not See That Coming

By now you will all have either watched the ceremony or read the results of the Baftas. Full list is here. I tried to predict the winners in 6 main categories yesterday and scored an average score of 4 out of 6. Where did I go wrong? On the one hand I had misjudged the British loyalty for their own acting royalty, which made me predict Gary Oldman and Kenneth Branagh would win it last night. On the other hand I had not So apart from this, was is there to remember from last night?

Sunday 12 February 2012

Baftas 2012 Predictions

Yes the big film event that everybody has been waiting for is upon us. No, not the Oscars, the Baftas. Infamous for being one of the most snooze-inducing film ceremony (well at least they never had Rob Lowe dancing with Snow White), their profile has risen over the last few years as they seemed to have become a more reliable indicator of the Oscars than the Golden Globes, although this year their nominations vary wildly. It is still a shame that they do not solely represent home grown talents, as the majority of film awards in other countries do (in Spain, France, and even Canada) but we cannot ignore them so we might as well discuss them!

Thursday 9 February 2012

Jean Dujardin to star in Skyfall, Die Hard 5, Jack & Jill 2, The Smurfs 2...

Jean Dujardin's charm offensive in Hollywood is in full swing. One of France's biggest film stars, he was a virtual unknown in the Anglo-Saxon world, bar a few fans of world cinema who had caught his wonderful spy spoof OSS117 films. Obviously all changed since that legendary morning screening of The Artist at the Cannes Film Festival this year where his suave charm was unleashed into the world of cinema.

Sunday 5 February 2012

The Most Exciting Film of 2013?

It is great news that the usual female Oscar's winner curse (ask Mira Sorvino and Mercedes Ruehl what happened to their career after their win) does not seem to have stricken this year's hopefuls Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, who, even before their potential win, have been offered a part in several high profile projects. Yes I said potential win as I have a feeling Viola Davis will create an upset at the Oscars. You have read it here first. And if I am wrong nobody will remember this post. But I digress. Among those, the most exciting one is certainly Bong Joon-Ho's Snow Piercer that Octavia Spencer has just joined. In fact, I would go as far as saying that this is my most anticipated film of 2013!