The 67th British Academy Film Awards more commonly known as the BAFTAs, were held on 16 February 2014 honouring the best national and foreign films of 2013.
Although I personally believe that some of the nominations were lacking some of the best films and performances, the awards generally appeared to go to worthy winners.
Here's my view...
Best Documentary: The Act of Killing
One of the most creative, artistic and downright shocking documentaries I've ever seen. A film that's will stay with you for days. Documentary maker, Joshua Oppenheimer, put a lot on the line in the making of this film as he meets a former Indonesian killing squad who went on to establish a powerful right-wing political organisation. A worthy winner. Good to see that Black Fish was also a nominee.
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, American Hustle
The beautiful Miss Lawrence would certainly be my choice for the award this year. Although I didn't particularly love American Hustle, Lawrence was the standout performance. Bringing a huge dash of humour to the role of Christian Bale's neglected wife, Lawrence shows again that she is one of the most versatile acting ladies on the planet. One of many gongs to come her way no doubt.
Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi as Abduwali Muse, Captain Phillips
Great to see a Somali on my blog! I can't believe that I still haven't seen Captain Phillips! However, in this category is a list of nominees that I'm really impressed with:
Daniel Brühl – Rush as Niki Lauda
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle as Richie DiMaso
Matt Damon – Behind the Candelabra as Scott Thorson
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave as Edwin Epps
Abdi's fellow nominees are all excellent in their roles, although I'm disappointed that there's no Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) or Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), and I was particularly pleased to see Matt Damon in there (Behind the Candelabra is one of my favourite films of the year). Thus, in such a tough category, Abdi must have given some performance! I'm really looking forward to seeing Captain Phillips.
Best Actress in a lead role: Cate Blanchett as Jasmine Francis, Blue Jasmine
Despite the controversy that has been surrounding Woody Allen since the Golden Globes, there can be no doubting that Cate Blanchett's performance in Blue Jasmine (written and directed by Allen) is outstanding. Compared to her fellow nominees, there is not even the slightest competition. Some may lay claim to the idea that Sandra Bullock's one-woman-show in Gravity is award worthy but, quite frankly, I found 2 hours of floating around in space a little dull. On a personal note, I would have loved to have seen a little more love for Blue is the Warmest Color's Adele Exarchopoulos, who is quite excellent in the multi-award-winning French flick.
Best Actor in a lead role: Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, 12 Years a Slave
Very disappointed that there was no nomination for Matthew McConaughey for his work on Dallas Buyers Club. However, if the award went to anyone else then it had to be Chiwetel or Leonardo Di Caprio for The Wolf of Wall Street. With every one of Chiwetel's facial expressions you feel the pain or other emotion that his wrongly enslaved character is feeling. A worthy winner.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Whilst I can't deny the artistic achievements of this film, I cannot agree with this award for one simple reason: the movie bored the socks off me! The film was produced in Britain so no great surprise that it won 6 BAFTAs (double the amount of its nearest rival).
Best Film: 12 Years a Slave
Beautiful direction, superb acting, and powerful music all add up to the fact that 12 Years a Slave is the best film of 2013. Great stories are often told on the cinema screen, but can be let down by terrible scripts, poor acting, sloppy directors, or cheesy music. This film isn't. It's cinema perfection and a worthy winner. Very disappointed with the list of fellow nominees for this award; no Wolf of Wall Street, Behind the Candelabra or Dallas Buyers Club, the two films that even come close to 12 Years a Slave, so this award was never really in doubt.
So, overall, good work British Academy. You may have missed a few key nominations but your gang of winners is a respectable bunch. Well done.