Film, TV and the Arts

Film, TV and the Arts

Monday, 26 December 2011

Film Review of the Year 2011

The temptation to do a Top Ten of the year list is great, but it is easily outweighed by my certain knowledge that I am unable to draw up a satisfactory version: many of 2011’s best films have not yet received a release here, and I am still catching up on a couple. All that is left for me to do is list of some my best and worst moments in my cinematic year in 2011.

Friday, 23 December 2011

The First Hobbit Trailer has Arrived

A quick word on the long awaited trailer for next year’s first instalment of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Kevin Maher, writing on The Times’ Film Spy blog (£), described it “as the tiniest bit underwhelming”, before revealing that he (surprise, surprise) was not a Lord of the Rings fan. I can tell him, as a member of the generation that was blown away by the original trilogy, that he is flat out wrong. In the same way that some people should just change the channel when Jeremy Clarkson comes on, Mr Maher should avoid this film at all costs. He is just going to get upset.

For the rest of us, this was very exciting stuff indeed. Sure, there’s a large thrill out of simply seeing Middle Earth back on screen, but with that nostalgia come many fears as well. How can these films possibly live up to the originals? Will the magic have gone? Will it be Star Wars all over again?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

London's Critics go for a Drive

London Critics' Circle nominate American action thriller and Tinker Tailor for Best Film

Let joy be unconfined: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has secured some nominations! The London Critics' Circle, Britain’s second biggest film awards after the BAFTAs, has given the film six nominations, including Best Film, Best British Film and Best Actor for Gary Oldman, which is great news, though the lack of a nomination for director Tomas Alfredson is distressing.

However, it is also good to see that Tinker Tailor is tied on six nominations with Drive, the American action-thriller which, like the British espionage drama, has been shamefully overlooked so far this awards season. Despite having won the Best Director award at Cannes and receiving a warm critical reception, it has been another strange absentee from the lists of nominees which have been pouring out of the States.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Come back Woody! All is forgiven!

Hollywood is welcoming one of its favourite sons back into the fold

Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris is steadily picking up nominations in the awards season, including a Best Ensemble Cast SAG nomination, and four at the Golden Globes. In all honesty, the warmth of this reception is in part down to the fact that Hollywood has never fallen out of love with Woody. He remains one of America’s most enduringly popular directors, despite that fact that he often turns out disappointing films. His back catalogue has earned him a lot of leeway.

It is also down to the high enjoyment factor of Midnight in Paris. To those that have not seen it, I highly recommend it, but to read any more of this article may ruin it for, as there is a central conceit which has to be revealed in order to discuss it. I would suggest that the film is seen before this is read.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Whither Tinker Tailor?

This has to be one of the most open awards seasons in years. The morning of the Golden Globe nominations is upon us and there is no front runner. If only the Republican field for President was this strong.

However, amongst the numerous winners in the critics’ awards and nominees in the early guild awards, one film is strangely absent. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has just started a limited awards season release in the US, where it garnered the best per-theatre average of the weekend. Unfortunately, it was only on four screens. It has received reviews of a similar high standard as it did in the UK, but it has only picked up a handful of critics nods, and, yesterday, Gary Oldman was omitted (shamefully, I might add) from the Best Actor shortlist for the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards (SAGs).