Film, TV and the Arts

Film, TV and the Arts

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).

British films are struggling a little this year despite an exemplary year for British filmmaking. Senna is not on the longlist for the Best Documentary Oscar. We Need to Talk About Kevin is garnering nominations for Tilda Swinton, but hasn’t been as prolific as it deserves. Yesterday’s Critics’ Choice Awards nominated 10 films for Best Picture. Not one of them was British (with the partial exception of the Anglo-originated, US-funded War Horse), which is shocking in a year when we have produced Tinker Tailor, Senna, Kevin, Tyrannosaur and Shame.

Is this a backlash for recent British awards success, after Slumdog Millionaire in 2009 and The King’s Speech last year? Not actively. Both of them were crowd pleasers and none of this year’s Brit crop have that sort of all-round appeal. Also, none of this year’s films have major backing. The King’s Speech had Harvey Weinstein, the perennial Oscar winner, whose support can be vital for a successful Oscar campaign. This year he has put his weight behind The Iron Lady, which is content with Meryl Streep getting nominated for everything under the sun, and My Week with Marilyn, which picked up two nominations at the Critics’ Choice nominations for Ken Branagh and Michelle Williams, who were nominated for SAGs as well.

But, that looks like all we might be getting: some appreciation for Ken and awards for American actresses in British films. We hope that the Golden Globe nominations may shake things up and that Tinker Tailor’s good reception and box office potential fuels a good campaign, but after a very strong year for British film, it seems that BAFTA may be the only place those movies get the recognition they deserve.

No comments:

Post a Comment