An Evening with The King’s Speech

Baftas 2011

This should be the easiest awards recap ever as The King’s Speech won all the big awards it was up for, completely sweeping the board. Its presence was made all the stronger by the amount of other winners that hadn’t turned up so weren’t given any screen time collecting their awards. The sheer dominance of the film, and the number of awkward moments, made for a less than exciting ceremony.

The King’s Speech does deserve to win awards so it’s hard to complain, though perhaps someone other than Helena Bonham Carter should have won Best Supporting Actress, there were better performances this year. Lesley Manville in Another Year anyone?

I was surprised and pleased to see The Social Network pick up an award for directing, and the screenplay award was just plain right. Aaron Sorkin is a master who cannot be matched. These two awards allowed BAFTA to show that they weren’t too biased towards the Brits.

Speaking of bias towards the Brits, Chris Morris deservedly won Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Four Lions. With Duncan Jones winning last year this is a great award for praising unique filmmaking in Britain that might otherwise go unrewarded.

It’s a shame Andrew Garfield didn’t win the Orange Rising Star Award, but as we forgot to vote ourselves, we can’t really complain. Besides, with Inception being relegated to a collection of technical awards, it was nice to see one cast member up on stage.

It was an evening with more flubbed lines than surprise winners and is likely to be reflected at The Oscars, Portman’s win certainly will be at least.

Four Lions – Review

I’ll be brief. Four Lions is funny, very funny. Darkly funny. From anyone else this would be a wholly satisfying black comedy about suicide bombers but as this came from Chris Morris it felt slightly lacking.

Chris Morris’ humour normally is deeply subversive and ultimately has something to say whether that be about celebrities or paedophiles. The only thing Four Lions could be saying is that terrorists are human too. It is refreshing to be laughing at what normally terrifies us, but the idea is played more for laughs than anything more. Big laughs though, big raucous laughs.

Anyone who’s seen Monkey Dust on BBC3 all those years ago may remember a series of sketches that pretty much follow the plot of this film, on those terrorists were from Birmingham.

If you want a good comedy there’s nothing else out right now, nor probably for a good while as good as Four Lions.