Friday 11 February 2011

31st London Critics' Circle Film Awards

The Critics' Circle held its annual film awards last night at BFI Southbank, and it was as glamorous as ever. The new venue made it much more of a cinema event as, rather than holding the ceremony in a hotel ballroom, we were in the BFI's National Film Theatre. As secretary of the Critics' Circle Film Section, I was stationed at the door to welcome all of the nominees and celebrity guests (there are two pics at the end). I also got to present an award in the ceremony to Olivia Williams (above right) as British Supporting Actress for The Ghost. Our top award, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, went to Kristin Scott Thomas (left) and Actor of the Year went to Colin Firth (centre) for The King's Speech.
More winners: Aaron Sorkin (left) represented The Social Network, which picked up four awards: Sorkin won for Screenwriter, then read out a witty acceptance speech from Andrew Garfield for British Supporting Actor and also collected David Fincher's award for Director and the big prize for Film of the Year. Lesley Manville (centre) won British Actress for Another Year, while Conor McCarron took the Young Performer award for his work in NEDs.
Danny Boyle popped in to raise a glass of champagne from our sponsor Moet, whose Toast for a Cause supported our designated charity, the BFI National Archive's project to rescue nine silent Hitchcock films. He's pictured (left) with Jason Solomons, the Critics' Circle Film Section chair and our host for the ceremony. Producer Gareth Unwin (centre) of The King's Speech accepted both Tom Hooper's British Director award and the prize for British Film of the Year. And Sam Taylor-Wood brought Aaron Johnson with her; she presented the Dilys Powell Award.
Special guests included (left to right): Mike Leigh (whose film Another Year had 7 nominations); Manjinder Virk and nominee Christine Bottomley from The Arbor; and Edgar Ramirez, nominated for Carlos.
More nominees on the red carpet (left to right): Rosamund Pike, nominated for her roles in both Barney's Version and Made in Dagenham; Will Poulter (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader); Ruth Sheen (Another Year); and Thomas Turgoose (The Scouting Book for Boys).
And finally, here are a couple of photos of me with two of the night's brightest stars. Other nominees attending last night included David Bradley, Peter Wight, David Seidler, Clio Barnard, Jessica Barden, J Blakeson, Jamie D'Cruz, Georgina Lowe and Tracy O'Riordan. And special guests included Lucy Walker and Dexter Fletcher.

Unable to attend, Gareth Edwards (who won British Breakthrough Film-maker for Monsters) sent a hilarious videotaped speech saying that he would remain true to his British roots, with the Hollywood sign in the background. Etienne Comar (winning Foreign Language Film for Of Gods and Men) sent a terrific video thank you as well, while Annette Bening (Actress of the Year for The Kids Are All Right) sent a written message. The only other no-show was Christian Bale (British Actor for The Fighter), who's filming in China this week.

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