BAFTA time

So, I live-tweeted the BAFTA awards, mainly as a form of defending myself against them. The evening was planned to “climax” with an Academy Fellowship bestowed on Vanessa Redgrave, who can always be relied to drone on humorlessly until the assembled dignitaries have formed a geological strata. She did not disappoint.

Here are the tweet highlights (this is a low-budget low-effort blog post).


Duncan Jones. First award, first weeper, start as you mean to go on.

3D is the wave of the future. Films used to be 2D, and before that they were 1D. Every movie was just a little dot.

“With no traditional cameras capturing the action” — AVATAR is a bit like a book, then.

James Cameron wins BAFTA, boldly resists the urge to yell “I’m King of the UK!”

I can’t believe they gave best supporting actor to a NAZI.

Good to see Harvey Weinstein putting that weight back on. He’ll soon be back to his old gross national product

Harvey’s mojo is cellulite-based. His fat is like Samson’s hair.

And the BAFTA for MOST costumes goes to…

They should just call Best Costume “the Sandy Powell Award.”

Sandy Powell is the Edith Head of modern Britain. She has more gold masks than the vizier in GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD.

There should be a special Alfred Molina award for Alfred Molina. Or Jim Broadbent.

It seems like British films now scoop up the smaller awards, the way genre films do at the Oscars. Yuck.

Fiona reckons that the short dresses which are worn by some at the BAFTAs prove that it’s not taken as seriously as Oscars.

Still, Britain did well to get a gold face as its award. The body parts were divided around Europe. Estonia got the knees.

“Our vewwy own Wupert Evewett…” the line Jonathan Ross was born to say.

They should make the BAFTA in the likeness of whoever they’re giving it to. Only a hideously distorted likeness. Keep it real.

What’s Andrea Arnold wearing???

Actually, I warm to Andrea Arnold now that she’s started recounting her dreams as part of her acceptance speech. MAD.

(A fellow tweeter tells me that’s AA actually making an effort.)

Green biker jacket. “Effort”? What does she normally wear, topsoil?

They’re rationing their Mickey Rourke reaction shots, but when they use them they really fucking count.

Who’s that with Kate Winslet? Is it Dick Van Dyke?

Have you ever hefted a BAFTA? they weigh a ton. they give Liz Taylor one and it nearly killed her.

You could crack somebody’s skull with a BAFTA. Whereas Oscars are only good for penetrating them sexually.

Fantastically shambolic Kristen Stewart speech. Which I kind of like. You shouldn’t look too much like you know what you’re doing.

Fiona reckons Guy Pearce is looking like Mickey Rooney in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S.

DISTRICT 9 won’t win anything. They didn’t give anything to Districts 1 thru 8.

Jeez, best animation — they ALL deserve BEST FILM

Scary seeing Terry Gilliam applaud. Short arms, huge hands. Can hardly get his hands far enough apart to clap.

Peter Docter has a head like a pinkie. But from within that pinkie came a GREAT FILM.

Why “best film not in the English language”? Why not “best film not in an English multiplex?”

Actually, the BAFTA only has one eye you can peek thru. They should give one to Peter Falk.

Gabourey Sidibe should win the Most Actress Award.

Yay! BAFTA for Deuce Bigelow, the first male gigolo to win best director.

Firth thanks the fridge repairman, which is nice. But what did he dream last night?

Carey Mulligan shouldn’t win, they should give it to somebody who actually NEEDS a gold mask. Like Mickey Rourke.

Mickey Rourke’s topknot is the only thing holding his face up. Can’t read autocue because his eyes are just drawn on.

Rourke: “and genuine…a plum.” He means “aplomb.” GENIUS!

Carey Mulligan mimes barfing when she wins. Possibly as a strategy to avoid snogging Rourke.

Thought for a mo Dustin H was here to give Vanessa Redgrave her gong. But he’d have put his back out handing it up to her.

It’s THE HURT LOCKER’s night! In your aged face, Cameron! rare to find prizes going to good films in major categories & wrong films in small.

Did Kathryn Bigelow CURTSY? seems odd, but nice.

(Prince William takes over Dickie Attenborough’s old BAFTA post. Uma Thurman introduces Vanessa Redgrave.)

“Born into one of Britain’s great theatrical dynasties…” is she talking about Prince William?

Serkis is drifting off.

Is Vanessa Redgrave going to talk for three hours as usual? They’ve allowed 20 mins for her bit…

Vanessa KNEELS before Prince W? I thought she was supposed to be a frickin Marxist revolutionary?

Vanessa should give Gilliam the use of part of her arms, which are long enough to reach through time & tickle her younger self.

(Gilliam’s arms are so short they’re actually indentations. Like opera gloves going into his torso. Negative arms.)

Audrey Tautou has been staring in incomprehension for this whole evening. “Who? What? Eh?”

Redgrave! STOP!! Think of the starving children!

I knew this would happen.

One wants to believe that Redgrave is senile or drunk, but she’s always like that.

Redgrave apparently thought the lifetime achievement acceptance speech should LAST a lifetime.

36 Responses to “BAFTA time”

  1. david wingrove Says:

    As a lifelong fan of Vanessa, I had been expecting a revolutionary Marxist tirade at the very least. So disappointing!

    This one-time firebrand shows every sign of mellowing into a venerable theatrical Dame in the manner of Judi, Maggie or Joan.

    Oh well, at least Vanessa had never recorded an aerobics video or married a right-wing media tycoon. Or do we have that to look forward to?

  2. Oh leave Vanessa alone ! It was worth it for the shot of Franco Nero choking back tears.

    She and Franco finally got married last year, BTW, so there’s no right-wing tycoon in her future.

    What do people have against Carey Mulligan? I thought she was brilliant in An Education and deserves the Oscar that’s going to go to Sandra Bullock for How To Train Your Pet Negro.

    As for Rupert Everett I’d head about his alarming plastic surgery but wasn’t prepared for what I saw last night. His obvious next step is to marry the equally surgery-destroyed Isabelle Adjani and go back into the closet.

  3. of course if you want snarky reports on the fashions at BAFTA a low year I think in standards

  4. Actors and their horrible plastic surgery choices. I saw Cyd Charisse in an interview for the Band Wagon box and I thought she was ready for Madam Tussaud’s or at least Lionel Atwill’s museum. The only thing she could move was her mouth. Now she can’t even move that. It always saddens me to see actors go that route. Hell, some of them look more interesting with a few creases in their face.

    Too bad Vanessa can’t stir a bit of outrage anymore (except for speech length). Maybe she thinks she’s done her bit as a firebrand and now it’s someone else’s turn.

    Maybe Terry G. finally has found the adage “If you do it, you’ll go blind” isn’t true – he found if he keeps doing that, his arms grow shorter until he cant reach it anymore. Plays hell with late night leaks at the toilet.

  5. david wingrove Says:

    Rupert’s latest surgery is truly terrifying…up there with Faye Dunaway, Jennifer Jones, George Chakiris and other famous victims of the knife!

    Guess he’s no longer ‘the man of my life’ after all. Good thing we never met, ran away together and adopted half a dozen cute biracial kiddies.

    Oh well, it was a good dream while it lasted.

  6. Yikes. I hope Rupert kept the receipt for his surgery.

    I rather liked Kristen Stewart’s dazed speech: you can put her in a nice dress but she still looks like she’d prefer to be under the bleachers, and she had the presence of mind to provide careful commentary on crazy Twi-fans…

    Vanessa has a great future as a hypnotist if she ever considers a late-career change.

  7. By paying homage to the sovereign in name only, Vanessa Redgrave is reminding everyone about the fact that Prince William is of a clan of self-anointed privilege at a gathering that dismisses or blurs the line between such divisions. So it might be taken as a form of Brechtian provocation. Or it might just be theatrical tradition which as a Redgrave she felt she should honor. Personally I’ve always favoured the punk kid who’s William’s younger brother, at least he’s not giving illusions about himself though that was before he shipped himself of to Afghanistan.

    Is Ted Turner a right-wing tycoon? It’s a rhetorical question since there can’t be any such thing as a left-wing tycoon as Orson Welles showed in his first film. This is assuming that the reference is to Jane Fonda.

  8. Ted Turner should be given kudos for at least one redeeming component of his fortune and resultant doings: TCM. Especially since it has continued to remain commercial-free since its inception, unlike most everything else offered on that vast mind-numbing wasteland known as American cable television. I realize that outside of this country the quality and quantity of its offerings are considerably less, but I’m always happy to save and burn onto disc those films that my film friends haven’t access to. If I could buy a cable package that offered only TCM alone I would do so, gladly.

  9. Indded Mr. Wingrove. I’ll never forget when Rupert briefly relocated to L.A., right after the success of My Best Friend’s Wedding. He had a house in the hills but spent the btter part of his time trolling the Silverlake leather bars into the wee smalls, tehn finally washing up like a piece of beer-spattered debris at the all-night coffee shop on Santa Monica blvd at sunrise.

    Don’t imagine that’s your scene.

  10. “Vanessa KNEELS before Prince W? I thought she was supposed to be a frickin Marxist revolutionary?”

    And a Trotskyist, for that! (Trotskyism being a particular rebellious branch). Don’t tell me she attended a Royalty hosted event and didn’t build any barricades on the stage! (I’m so disappointed)

  11. I think Carey Mulligan’s terrific. She was the only good Dr Who assistant (apart from Sarah Jane) they’ve had this time. Wasn’t concerned to see An Education on the big screen but read the story and will catch it at some point.

    We didn’t actually note Rupert’s surgery (I need new glasses), we just thought he’s aging oddly.

    TCM is a fantastic thing, so good one can’t believe it’s a success. Things aren’t usually allowed to be that awesome and still turn a profit. It’s certainly a much better way to exploit film libraries than his first idea: colorization.

    Vanessa, at her age, shouldn’t have to kneel in public to anyone, and it seemed like she was trying to send a message: I’m now a loyal royalist! A shame. She’s actually achieved something in her life, William should bow down to her.

    If she’d gone on much longer he’d have wilted and done it by accident.

  12. I felt that Colin Firth and Uma Thurman were the highlights of the night – both class acts! Jonathan Ross should really be removed from hosting duties just in order to spare him the embarrassment at this point (as much as I think all of that manufactured outrage against him a few years ago was overblown in itself, it would be nice to see someone wittier, someone more knowledgable and someone with better dress sense hosting the BBC film show and these awards ceremonies)

    Perhaps the most acutely embarrassing (or at least the one which showed the most contrast) was the best newcomer award with Tahar Rahim and Carey Mulligan up against the kids in Kirsten Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg (as much as they’ve done good work in themselves) – perhaps it was for the best that one of the teen idols won. I presume this is also why the Oscars don’t let foreign films into the main competition, as the comparison would be so ludicrous as to shatter the fabric of reality at this point?

    Congrats to Vanessa, even if all mention of her career studiously avoided mention of The Devils! (Though Mark Kermode covered the red carpet section on the BBC News channel and despite his film-ignorant co-host trying to interrupt him to talk about the dresses, managed to blurt out that her best film was the Devils which Warners have been suppressing! Magnificent!)

    Rather bizarre that Richard Attenborough steps down to be replaced with Prince William – what qualifies him for BAFTA chieftan? (I assume it is an attempt to get the teen girl audience to watch since he has the interchangable pretty boy/twink looks of most of the cast of Twilight – and probably the acting ability to match)

    Perhaps I’m taking too many shots at Twilight but on the verge of turning 30 next month this has definitively shown me that cinema has moved on the younger generation and left me behind! It is also the very first time I’ve heard about a film series that I have absolutely, positively zero interest in seeing at any time now or in the future – normally I try at least to watch something like this to keep ‘cineliterate’ but these films look so godawful on every level that they just make me think “What’s the point?” (Plus didn’t we go through all this stuff with the Buffy TV series a decade ago and should now be able to move on?)

  13. “(A fellow tweeter tells me that’s AA actually making an effort.)”

    Unlike in her films then!

  14. I presume Ross doesn’t write his own material. But he OKs it, for which he should be ashamed. Angus Deaton and Stephen Fry were both genuinely funny when they did it, and got the audience on their side. Ross seems to inspire resistance.

    I’m not an Andrea Arnold fan, but she does try. When you get a sense of how unsympathetic her producers were on Red Road it’s impressive she survived the experience. And I sort of respect her desire to tell dark stories with hopeful endings… I just don’t think she’s pulled it off yet.

    Prince William has the incipient family baldness so his heartthrob status may not last. His half-brother is probably safe from that though.

  15. All hosting duties should be given to Neil Patrick Harris

  16. Re. Turner and colorization, somehow I knew you might go there. I’m sure Ted’s had lots of time to ponder over that one, when was that, late Eighties? As it stands now I think for many if not most it’s all a fairly distant memory. Today no one in their right mind would consider such a thing (although plenty in their wrong minds might).

  17. kevin mummery Says:

    didn’t see the BAFTA show (never do), but it would have been nice if there had been some kind of mention of the passing of Lionel Jeffries, who as far as I know never knelt before royalty. Or was a Trotskyite, although he apparently had something to do with Cavorite.

  18. I think TCM succeeded in part because those of us who remember these movies (from showings back in the ’60s and ’70s) were delighted to see them in full without commercials. They tend to run a lot of “favorites”, especially in February to pull in new people. It’s unfortunate that they’re going away from showing shorts as often as they once did, substituting mini-hagiographies and selling items instead.

    As for colorization, I think the united front filmmakers made at the time along with gaffes like Suddenly (a.k.a Don’t It Make Ol’ Blue Eyes Brown) pretty much killed the idea. The cost must not have helped, either.

  19. The traditional role call of the dead, which we’ve picked up from the Oscars, featured Lionel Jeffries prominently, although weirdly (I thought), it climaxed with Patrick Swayze.

    There are still colorized movies floating about out there, and Ray Harryhausen actually supervized the colouring of several of his b&w movies. One does feel like remonstrating with him, but I guess he’s semi-entitled. But it never took off, for which we can all be grateful.

  20. Randy Cook Says:

    Another thing BAFTA has picked up from the Oscars is the lame, forced patter (either solo or duo) read by trained professionals who should not only know better, but DO better.

    The HUGE difference between the ceremonies, though, is that the BAFTAS supplies a therapeutic champagne split at every seat. Advantage: BAFTA. We were discouraged from swigging during the ceremony, and I am sure that some of us complied.

    This was during the delightful Stephen Fry’s tenure, however—I assume that this practice has been discontinued. If not, why hasn’t Ross been dispatched by a fusillade of empties?

    David, you ought to see AN EDUCATION, as I think you’d enjoy it. Slight, maybe, but Mulligan is very fine in it.

  21. I don’t think it’s all that slight. The heroine is an exceptionally bright young woman who’s perfectyl aware of what’s going on when an attractive roue (Peter Sarsgaard) offers her a lift — and then starts to take her along with his pals on sundry shady outings. It’s all in preparation for a seduction, and she knows it. She also knows she’s going to lose her vioginity sooner or later, and this Non-Prince-Charming is taking her where she wants to go — out of Suburban Hell and into the Good Life. Or reasonable facsimile thereof.

    There’s a wonderful snap to all of Mulligan’s line-readings that brought back pleasant memories of similarly smart girls I used to know in High School back in the early 60’s.

  22. I think the rolecall of the dead is in alphabetical order hence Swayse at the end.

    A friend of mine read the book that An Education is based on ( I personally thought the film too much like well bred brit telly) and the actuall story is much darker creepier and unattractive for ALL the characters. I must source in library.

  23. Tony Williams Says:

    David E. Thanks for the good news about Franco and Vanessa. Did anyone here ever see them in Elio Petri’s A QUIET PLACE IN THE COUNTRY?

  24. Randy Cook Says:


    You’re right…I was being too guarded in my assessment. Shy type. Reserved. Cowardly.

    Had not seen Mulligan before but very taken with her & look forward to following her career, at whatever distance the restraining order dictates.

  25. 1) Yes, the guy in the story is clearly less attractive and alluring than in the film of An Education. Older, too.

    2) Role-call of the Dead began with Jean Simmons = non-alphabetical. If it reverted to the alphabet afterwards I’m afraid that’s too complicated for me.

    3) Shit presenter speeches: Capaldi treated his like he was Henry V and it WORKED. I don’t know what that proves other than the guy’s good. Uma Thurman built to a nice climax with her one too, although the opening preamble wasn’t too lively.

  26. david wingrove Says:

    David E – you’re right that Silverlake leather bars are not my scene. But don’t forget…Rupert would, of course, ‘reform’ when he met me – as every bad boy hero of every cheap and slushy romance novel inevitably does.

    Tragic, I know – but as I say, it was a nice dream while it lasted!

  27. you’e right ! i’d forgotten Id asssumed as Richardson came before swayse that it was in alphabetical order… blame it on being under the weather…

  28. Danny Carr Says:

    Carey Mulligan best Doctor Who companion? Better than Bernard Cribbins? No!

    Perhaps more controversially, better than Billie Piper? No!

  29. It was so nice that the roll call for the dead started with Jean Simmons in a scene from Great Expectations.

    But at that point everyone should have just packed up and gone home because it doesn’t get any better than that.

  30. Piper was clearly a popular companion, but she didn’t do much for me. I like Cribbins very much, but maybe Russell T Davies likes him TOO much, hence all these long redundant “emotional” scenes he’d write for the Cribbster.

  31. They missed out Richard Todd in the Memorial section.

  32. Did they? That’s dreadful.

    You’re right. Actually, it’s a very odd list — chauvinistic, in the sense that a lot of British talent is there that wouldn’t make it onto the Oscars role call, but actually they should take that further — let the Oscars be the Oscars, and use this to celebrate ALL the talent with strong ties to Britain that passed away this year. So yes to Richard Todd and no to Patrick Swayze. This list just doesn’t make sense.

  33. david wingrove Says:

    My final verdict on the BAFTAs…the difference between a good actor and a bad actor is the ability to read from an autocue without sounding as if you’re reading from an autocue.

    In fact, maybe they should hand out a special BAFTA just for the ability to read that sort of drivel with some degree of conviction.

  34. They’re ACTORS — why should they have to read from an autocue at all, why don’t they LEARN it? The ones who were good probably did just that.

    Alternative: the script was lousy, so why deliver it at all? Either don’t take part or make up your own introduction. It’s live, they can’t stop you! Worst case scenario, they don’t like it and you’re not asked back. Is that so bad?

  35. david wingrove Says:

    One night at the Oscars, Susan Sarandon complained that her autocue speech was boring and “can we just cut to the chase?”

    She may not be the most popular lady in Hollywood, but I’m sure she won a few friends that night.

  36. A class act. Some scriptwriter was probably fuming, but that’s what scriptwriters are for. And it’s hard to feel sorry for anyone who writes that guff.

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