Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Critical Week: Near, far, wherever you are

This past week, Fox showed UK critics about half an hour of footage from the 3D conversion of Titanic, and it must be said that it looked spectacular: crisp and bright and remarkably inviting. And that scene on the bow of the ship now has a frighteningly vertiginous quality! Producer Jon Landau was on hand to talk about the great lengths James Cameron and his team are going to with this conversion, which has taken some five years (for comparison, they only spent six weeks converting Clash of the Titans). It opens on the 100th anniversary of Titanic's maiden voyage.

Then this morning we had the Bafta nominations announcement. The British Academy Film Awards always seem just a little offbeat, taking what we generally expect from Oscar nods (which come a couple of weeks later) and throwing in several wild cards. Once again, Bafta voters have snubbed some highly acclaimed films (The Tree of Life, Melancholia, Margaret) and performances (Olivia Colman, Vanessa Redgrave, Albert Brooks). More surprising is the way they ignored superior British films like Kill List, Weekend and Dreams of a Life, and there isn't even an technical nod to Wuthering Heights. Why in a year that was so rich for docs are there only three rather tepid nominees? Equally unexpected is the exuberant support for The Help. But it's not surprising to see the big love for The Artist and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which are likely to sweep the boards on awards night. FULL LIST OF NOMINEES >

As for press screenings this week, it was all a bit low key - aside from the family-friendly Sunday morning press show for the deliriously entertaining The Muppets. We also had the quietly horrific Austrian drama Michael, the offbeat British black comedy Acts of Godfrey, the overwrought Australian exploitation thriller X: Night of Vengeance, and the awkward American gay comedy The Love Patient.

Coming up on Thursday is the 32nd London Critics' Circle Film Awards, the organisation of which has occupied much of my time over the past few months. As secretary of the critics, I am welcoming our guests at the door and presenting the Technical Achievement Award. And of course I'll have the news and photos here on Friday.

Meanwhile, this coming week's screenings include Liam Neeson in The Grey, Clive Owen in Intruders, Drew Barrymore in Big Miracle, Melanie Laurent's directing debut The Adopted, the heist comedy Polish Roulette and the documentary Bill Cunningham New York.

No comments: