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2010 BAFTAs

Posted by: Matthew Turner 19/02/2010 @ 14:55
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 53
Films seen this week: My Name Is Khan, The Crazies, A Closed Book, The Unloved, Dear John, From Paris With Love, Legion

UPDATE! The 2010 BAFTAs have since been announced. See the list of the winners here.

Some last-minute BAFTA predictions
It's BAFTA-time on Sunday, just two weeks before the main event on March 7th, so I thought I'd toss around a few predictions. It's difficult to know how swayed they'll be by Avatar, so Best Film is a toss-up between Avatar and The Hurt Locker. My heart says The Hurt Locker but so much of the BAFTAs is about imitating the Oscars and they'll be terrified of missing the boat, so to speak, so my head says Avatar. I'll be happy to be proved wrong though. I also think they're likely to split Film and Director, so again, it'll be one of James Cameron or Kathryn Bigelow, whichever one doesn't win Best Film. So I'm guessing Bigelow.

Best Actor is a nailed-on certainty for Jeff Bridges, just as it is at the Oscars. I'm a huge Jeff Bridges fan and he deserves it for his performance in Crazy Heart (out this week) so I'll be delighted if (when) he wins, though if Bridges wasn't nominated I'd be rooting for Jeremy Renner. Sandra Bullock (the Oscar front-runner) is conspicuously absent from the BAFTA line-up for Best Actress, so I think that will almost certainly go to Carey Mulligan, again, deservedly so in my opinion. As with the Oscars, the Supporting categories are both sewn up – Christoph Waltz will win Best Supporting Actor and Mo'Nique will win Best Supporting Actress, but if Waltz wasn't nominated, I'd be rooting for Christian McKay. I'd be happy with any of the animated films (Up, Coraline or Fantastic Mr Fox) to win Best Animated Film, but you should never bet against Pixar, so I think Up will win. Best Foreign Film is harder but I hope A Prophet wins. As for Best British Film, I really hope Fish Tank wins (see DVD of the Week below), but I can see BAFTA going for An Education instead. Time will tell...

Films I'm Looking Forward To: Despicable Me
Yet another case of a film I didn't know existed until I got an email about the trailer this week, but it's already shot up my Dying To See list. (Top of that list right now: Kick Ass, but I'm seeing that on Tuesday). Despicable Me is the latest 3D animated adventure from Universal and it features a terrific voice cast that includes Steve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand, Julie Andrews, Jemaine Clement, Will Arnett, Danny McBride and Jack McBrayer. Carell voices Gru, the World's Number One Supervillain, although the trailer below suggests he doesn't remain Number One for long. The actual plot, according to the official synopsis, suggests that he meets three adorable orphan girls who try and dissuade him from his Evil Plan to steal the moon and to adopt them instead.

However, none of the (brilliant) trailers so far give any hints at all in that direction. Instead we have this trailer of Gru with his army of yellow minions in his secret underground lair, this trailer involving the aftermath of one of his more successful schemes and the hilarious trailer below, in which he repeatedly tries to sneak into the lair of new World's Number One Supervillain Vector (voiced by Jason Segel and looking a lot like a certain multimillionaire). Carell seems to be using a comedy supervillain voice for the part – I love his delivery of “You have got to be KIDDING me...” at the end. The music choices on all three trailers are great too and I like the look of the character designs. Unfortunately, it doesn't open in the UK till October 15th, but it looks like it'll be worth the wait.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
It's all change this week, with a couple of high-profile drop-offs (Toy Story 2, A Serious Man) and the disappearance of British serial killer drama Tony (already on DVD and well worth checking out – you can also read our exclusive interview with its star Peter Ferdinando here) making room for two new releases and a release from last week.

First up is Crazy Heart (basically The Wrestler, but with country music), which is almost certain to land Jeff Bridges a long-overdue Best Actor Oscar in a couple of weeks. Second is Samantha Morton's semi-autobiographical directorial debut The Unloved, which has already drawn comparisons to the work of Lynne Ramsay and is, again, well worth seeking out. Finally, there was a bit of an undignified scramble for tenth place, but in the end I went for A Single Man, which is worth seeing for Colin Firth's Oscar-nomination performance and Tom Ford's very stylish direction. The other contenders were The Wolfman, Battle for Terra, My Name Is Khan, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and this week's sword and sorcery flick Solomon Kane.

Speaking of which, you can read our exclusive interview with Solomon Kane star James Purefoy here and our interviews with the stars of Percy Jackson, Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson and Alexandra Daddario. Disappointment of the week: The Lovely Bones. Hilariously terrible film of the week: A Closed Book.

1. A Prophet
2. Crazy Heart
3. The Road
4. Ponyo
5. Up in the Air
6. The Princess and the Frog
7. Youth In Revolt
8. Winter in Wartime
9. The Unloved
10. A Single Man

DVD of the Week: Fish Tank (out now, RRP £15.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Fish Tank, which, for my money, was the best British film of 2009 and was also the best film I saw at Edinburgh last year. Directed by Andrea Arnold (Red Road), the film stars newcomer Katie Jarvis as an angry young teenager whose life changes when her mother (Kierston Wareing) brings home a new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender). This is an extraordinary film, from the heart-stoppingly beautiful direction to the incredible performances – it's also by turns heart-in-your-mouth suspenseful, laugh-out-loud funny and ultimately, deeply moving. In short, it's unmissable. Extras include Andrea Arnold's acclaimed short film Wasp, starring Natalie Press and Danny Dyer.

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