Posts Tagged ‘BAFTAS’

Belfast (2021) BAFTA Outstanding British Film 2022

Dir: Kenneth Branagh | Cast: Judy Dench, Ciaran Hinds, Jamie Dornan, Caitriona Balfe, Drama, UK

Kenneth Branagh’s happy little film glosses over the turbulence of The Troubles to give us a candy-coated memoire of his Protestant childhood in backstreet Belfast of the Sixties.

Most of us remember the endless reports on the telly and radio recounting the horrors of Catholic and Protestant confrontations in the ‘bogside’ area of the capital. And there’s no attempt to brush these under the carpet, but staged in lustrous monochrome set pieces the hostilities seem almost thrilling from his character Buddy’s cheeky 9 year-old perspective (Jude Hill is perfect for the part). Dressed in grey flannel shorts, a shirt and tie he watches it all from the bedroom window of his family’s two-up two down terrace where he grows up with his parents (Dornan and Balfe) and grandparents (Hinds and Dench) and older brother Will (McAskie). It’s a picture of domestic bliss.

The upbeat freewheeling storyline drifts from home to pub to schoolroom with a focus on his father’s constant trips to England to chase lucrative work as a carpenter, before the family eventually moved there. This leaves Buddy time alone to fathom out the religious conflict in his own mind, and dream and scheme about girls with his grandfather Pa, a jovial Ciaran Hinds, Judy Dench bringing them both down to earth with a cutting comment or two. There are trips on the bus and family outings to the ‘pictures’ to see Raquel Welch in One Million Years BC and A Christmas Carol. A redolent score by Van Morrison seems apt for this perfectly pitched family drama telling it just how it was back then. MT

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM | EE BAFTAS 2022 I RED SEA FILM FESTIVAL 2021

 

 

 

Coda (2021) BAFTAs 2022

Wri/Dir.: Sian Heder; Cast: Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Dureant, Amy Forsyth, Eugenio Derbuz, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo; USA 2021, 111 min.

Teenage Ruby Rossi (Jones) is the only person in her family not afflicted by deafness in this fluidly amusing coming of age drama from American writer/director Sian Heder (Tallulah) winning Best Adapted Screenplay at this year’s Baftas 2022.

Ruby Rossi is not much of an academic in her last year at High School, so she’s decided to stick with the family business joining her father Frank (Kotsur) and brother Leo (Durant) who are independent fishermen, and mother Jackie (Matlin) who does the books. But the new music teacher Bernardo Villalobos (Derbez) discovers Ruby’s fine voice and coaches her for the entrance examines at a respected conservatoire in Boston. Love interest Miles (Walsh-Peelo) supports her, but Ruby is torn between a musical career and staying put – particularly since the Rossi’s and other fishermen are planning to break away form the corrupt wholesale agency.

Refreshingly Heder avoids a didactic approach in CODA aka Child of Deaf Adults in a narrative that flows easily with its conflicting emotions, Ruby is not a victim, having to ‘translate’ for her family in sign language – she has a certain agency which she sometimes ruthlessly exploits. She disapproves of her parents’ loud lovemaking and brother Leo’s girlfriend Gertie (Forsyth) who is also over-sexed. When Gertie asks Ruby to tell her the sign language for “I love you”, Ruby shows her a completely different meaning: “I have herpes”. Leo is blown away by the “discovery”.

Set in a blue-collar community, CODA has a ring of true realism without being an agit-prop. DoP Paula Huidobro does a great job in the ‘action’ scenes on the fishing boat, as well as the close-ups. Inspite of the indulgent running time there’s never a spare moment, Heder lets her cast roam around in a feature of setbacks wild emotions; with the overly long drawn out happy-ending perhaps the only point of critique. CODA scooped three Oscars for its worthy topic more than anything else.AS

SIAN HEDER won Best Adapted Script BAFTA | TROY KOTSAR won Best Supporting Actor | EE BAFTAS 2022 | SIÂN HEDER’S CODA WINS 2021 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: LONDON AWARD PRESENTED BY BIFA | 

 

 

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