Monday, February 17, 2014

Dear BAFTA.....you can do better!

I was looking forward to the UK Film BAFTA awards ceremony last night. The show is overseen by the 'national treasure' Stephen Fry. Sadly it is quickly becoming as safe and welcome as a comfy pair of your favourite old slippers. 
The show has become slick now that it is 'on the circuit' just ahead of The Oscars......In seeking industry approval the BAFTA's has in my opinion lost its edge and bite. I would put this down to the format which is yawn inducing - a parade of the cinematic 'great and good' roll up to deliver an increasingly short introduction to each montage of nominees. Mr F oversees the whole thing much like your favourite cuddly uncle....the ceremony has become tedious.
Another element that I find part of this is the 'downgrading' of the perceived less important categories which appear at the end of the televised main event. These awards are those which surely give an awards ceremony it's unique appeal.....I wanted more on the best animation, best foreign film, best documentary and other categories. By the end of the evening we had seen large chunks of the main contenders which shared the major categories in a great piece of free(ish) publicity.
It was good the see the best newcomer category.
I also felt for the excellent UK film The Selfish Giant whose lead actors in their teens had never acted on film before. It was up against the huge global super brands....Gravity, 12 Years a Slave et al. It really should have been in a category where it could have shone amongst its true peers.

Then there were the obituaries.....I realise that this cannot show everyone, however some major players were overlooked ....James Gandolfini, Mel Smith and the excellent Roger Lloyd Pack for example.

While it is unlikely that the BAFTA format will change.... the film industry and BBC appear happy with the status quo. I will certainly think twice before joining the back slapping event next year....the upcoming Oscars show that the billion dollar film moguls will edit the show very much in the way 'the studios' used to do in the 40's and 50's ..........please BAFTA think again, the cream will come to the top, but let's see the real heart and upcoming talent.....

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