In Contention


Beatty, Bonham Carter among 2011 BAFTA LA honorees

Posted by Guy Lodge · 1:37 pm · September 7th, 2011

I’ve never been precisely sure what BAFTA Los Angeles is, or what it is that they do — I do know that I’m wary of any group that is chaired by “So You Think You Can Dance” overlord Nigel Lythgoe, but that could be irrational on my part.

I do know, however, that have their own annual awards, which have very little to do with the actual BAFTAs over in my part of the world — though that won’t stop many members of the “Harry Potter” cult from flipping out over the news that latter-day franchise helmer David Yates is to receive their John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing. Pop the champagne corks, if you’re so inclined, while Lynne Ramsay weeps quietly in a corner. Or not, probably.

In a semi-related win, Helena Bonham Carter will receive the British Artist of the Year award, which seems a tad random even if you include her Oscar-nominated work in last year’s “The King’s Speech.” (What have Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender done this year, anyway?)

Ben Stiller gets the Excellence in Comedy award, while John Lasseter, fresh from directing Pixar’s least popular film to date, gets the Worldwide Contribution to Filmed Entertainment award. Both are presumably career honors, which makes a little more sense.

Or perhaps not, given that their main career achievement award — the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film — has been reserved for Warren Beatty. No argument there, particularly since it happily comes shortly after Beatty announced his own return from filmmaking hibernation.

Anyway, just some early grist for the mill. You’ll have forgotten all about this by the time the awards ceremony takes place on December 4.

[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures]




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→ 7 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

7 responses so far

  • 1 9-07-2011 at 1:44 pm

    will said...

    BAFTA Los Angeles …? The hell? We don’t have enough awards’ bodies?

  • 2 9-07-2011 at 1:45 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Quite.

  • 3 9-07-2011 at 2:03 pm

    Squasher88 said...

    Is there an AMPAS London??

  • 4 9-07-2011 at 2:28 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Ha! No.

  • 5 9-07-2011 at 8:53 pm

    Danny said...

    As a member of the “cult”, I always thought if Harry Potter Oscar noms were in the works, it would be the BAFTA members in the Academy most responsible for making it happen. These Yates/Carter may be a murmur of a harbinger or not, we’ll see, but at the very least it shows that BAFTA members are greatly in the Potter camp.

    And the film/franchise deserves some recognition. It only is the generally best reviewed, biggest grossing movie of the year. That’s gotta help somewhat against fantasy franchise bias.

  • 6 9-08-2011 at 2:17 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I can’t say I know precisely what the phrase “generally best reviewed film of the year” means, but let’s acknowledge that there’s a difference between a film many critics don’t object to, and a film many critics actively adore.

  • 7 9-08-2011 at 5:53 am

    Danny said...

    Yes, let’s acknowledge that, and can you finally acknowledge the facts about HPDH2′s critical reception?

    It has the highest aggregate scores of reviews in the year by almost any measure, both in amount of good reviews and average rating. If you look at Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes and read all those reviews you see that HPFH2 is a movie many critics “actively adored”. Certainly not merely “don’t object to”. Metacritic score of 87. Nine 100 scores. Nine out of 41 on Metacritic. 97% score on RT. Travers (among others) urges the Academy to nominate the film for the Oscar. And the Time critic recently said on NPR that HPD2 was his favorite surprise of the summer, just to quickly bring up two specific examples.

    As a critic and pundit I would expect you to know (most of) this and not quibble with he phrasing of “generally best reviewed film of the year”. Name me a film this year that has a better track record, including the amount of rave, real rave, reviews.

    The Fantasy Franchise factor will always be an acknowledged handicap Oscar wise, fine. But let’s give credit where credit is due.