Not at the Oscars – Catfish

I’ll admit that the list of nominees for Best Documentary at this years Oscars does feature a few Mild Concern favourites in the shape of Exit Through the Gift Shop and Waste Land, but it’s a shame the most talked about documentary is absent.

Catfish is truly moving and completely shocking. Once you’re into the final forty minutes you won’t be able to look away. Clearly this isn’t the most technical documentary, shot on the fly rather than with nay real intent to make a documentary, but the story it tells is one of the most compelling. Rather than the lack of technical prowess what is probably holding Catfish back is it’s believability.

While I buy into the story completely some are more cynical and find the final act revelation too exciting to be true. This brings the feature’s credentials as a documentary into question and makes it much less award friendly. Exit Through the Gift Shop had a similarly dramatic conclusion that many viewers found hard to swallow. It’s validity only confirmed for some but the fact that it was allowed into the Oscars.

A nomination at the Oscars would have given Catfish the seal of approval from the wider film community. As it is it remains a cult hit and something that has to be seen to be believed… and even then not by everyone.

Nominations – The Hits and Misses

Before we had chance to have a proper look at the BAFTA nominations, the Oscars announced their own nominees leaving us in danger of overdoing it with the nomination coverage. In a two for one special let’s take this film by film and see where the two big ceremonies have put most of their nominations. We’ll look at each ceremony nearer the time.

127 Hours – 14 Nominations
Franco, the screenplay, music and editing are all nominated at both ceremonies and could possibly pick up the majority of these awards, though Franco would have to topple King Firth first. While at the Oscars it has a Best picture nomination, at the BAFTAs there is the slightly more specialist Outstanding British Film nomination and Boyle is only nominated for directing at the BAFTAs, benefiting perhaps from the home advantage. A good reception for a film about a man stuck under a rock.

Another Year – 3 Nominations
This beauty has a meagre spattering of nominations from the two institutes. The Oscars are just recognising the screenplay while BAFTA give Lesley Manville a nod for her heart-breaking role. Shame they couldn’t find a bit more room for Another Year in the other categories.

Black Swan – 17 Nominations
Doing particularly well with the BAFTAs this film has nominations for almost all the technical awards, most excitingly for Visual Effects, always good to see something not seen as “effects heavy” getting nominated. Darranofsky and Portman get a nomination at each ceremony as does the film, cinematography and editing. Bonus points again to BAFTA for nominating Barbara Hershey for Best Supporting Actress. Shame no nod for Vincent Cassel.

Blue Valentine – 1 Nomination
More notable here for it’s lack of nominations, receiving just the one for Michelle Williams. Ryan Gosling must be a little hurt, or blue. Lol.

Biutiful – 4 Nominations
A perfect match across the ceremonies with Best Actor and Best Foreign Film nominations in both. Notable for having a lead actor nomination for the first time for a role with no English dialogue.

Exit Through The Gift Shop – 2 Nominations
In this list purely because I saw it at the weekend and though it amazing, and most likely not a hoax. Probably given one nomination for each ceremony in the hope that Banksy will turn up in person.

The Fighter – 8 Nominations
The screenplay and Amy Adams’ supporting role are the only two double nominations, with the Oscars throwing in a nomination for the film in it’s widened category and the BAFTAs nominating our nation’s own Christian Bale.

Inception – 17 Nominations
Thankfully not just getting technical nominations, Inception is also up for Best Film and Screenplay at both ceremonies with just the BAFTAs recognising Nolan’s directorial triumph. Expect plenty of technical wins but nothing for the bigger awards.

The Kids Are All Right – 8 Nominations
One of the least flashy big hitters, hence the lack of technical nominations. Instead there are double nominations for Bening, Ruffalo and the screenplay. The Oscars gives it a chance at Best Film while the BAFTAs gives Moore some deserved recognition. Yes Bening stole the show but Moore was better than Ruffalo, no?

The King’s Speech – 26 Nominations
As if winning one of our awards at the London Film Festival wasn’t enough, this British darling is doing amazingly well, probably for being a “proper” film that is actually enjoyable. Nominated at both awards for everything from acting to sound mixing The King’s Speech is the one to beat. A special note should be made of Rush’s double nominations for supporting actor as he made the film, and the undeserved nominations for Carter who is possibly just being swept up in the film’s tidal wave of praise.

The Social Network – 14 Nominations
My personal favourite of all the nominees has well deserved double nominations for film, direction, screenplay (woo Sorkin!) and Best Actor. Nice to see Jesse Eisenberg nominated, but a shame to see only BAFTA recognising Andrew Garfield’s talents. He needs all the accolades we can give him and this film deserves all it’s nominations. Best Screenplay is a must.

The Town – 2 Nominations
Another film I had expected to do a little better and oddly has different actors being rewarded for their supporting roles in the different events. Perhaps this could be an opportunity for BAFTA to give Pete Postlethwaite a farewell trophy.

Toy Story 3 – 8 Nominations
Pixar continue to break out of the technical categories and get double nods for Best Film, Best Animated Film and Best Screenplay. On a related note Day & Night absolutely has to win best animated short for being the most ingenious thing Pixar have ever done. Ever.

True Grit – 18 Nominations
The Coen Brothers always do well but the alarming lack of respect from the Golden Globes looked set to change that. No worries now that they have been showered with nominations, though Hailee Steinfeld has been relegated to supporting actress by the Oscars while the BAFTAs recognise her leading role status. Hard to say without having seen it but it’s probably awesome.

Waste Land – 1 Nomination
Another Mild Concern favourite getting the attention it deserves, carry on.

Winter’s Bone – 4 Nominations
This dark tale we haven’t seen went by the BAFTA radar but garnered Oscar nominations for acting, film and screenplay. Kudos!

Out Now – 5th March 2010

Time for your recently regular look at the week’s film releases. At least one big release this week, one that we almost didn’t get to see at all.

Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton brings us this 3D adventure in which Alice returns to the “Underland” to find it taken over by the Red Queen. With appearances from all the usual characters Alice must slay the Jabberwock and end the Red Queen’s rule. Sure to be an interesting experience and will make a star out of Mia Wasikowska who shone in TV’s In Treatment. My pick of the week simply because everyone else you know is going to see it, and you don’t want to feel left out. Expect wierdness.


Amanda Seyfried continues her transition to the big screen in this sexual thriller about a wife (Julianne Moore) who tests the fidelity of her husband (Liam Neeson) with the help of a young escort. Expect drama, sex and betrayal.


It’s the end of the world! God sends down angels to bring about the apocalypse while a pregnant waitress is believed to be carrying the new messiah. I’m not sure why God would send a messiah and try to end the world at the same time but I guess that’s what you have to watch the film to find out.  Expect a few epic fight scenes between supernatural things.

Case 39

Renee Zellweger is a social care worker who takes on the case of a ten year old girl which brings on all sorts of horrific events. Expect to see Bradley Cooper horrifically murdered and Zellweger’s face to look odd.

Exit Through The Gift Shop

It’s a documentary about and partially filmed by Banksy, revered graffiti artist. It might be good, IMDb seems to think it is. Expect it not to be out in a cinema near you.


Ondine is a film I heard about for the first time about five minutes ago. It is a modern fairytale starring Colin Farrell as an Irish fisherman who finds a mermaid in his fishing net. Expect authentic accents for a change.

The Father of My Children

As this is a French drama about a film producer struggling with suicidal despair this is only on limited release. I included it here just to use the picture at the top of this post where the lead appears to be a cross between Johnny Depp and Sean Penn. Expect subtitles.