Film Awards

THE ORANGE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS 2003

By • Mar 28th, 2003 •

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“The Sick Bag please… No, that’s fine, that envelope will do nicely…”

Well, here we are again, another season of gratuitous insincerity, red carpets, tearful and interminable speeches, unwarranted backslapping, forced smiles and nice frocks – and that’s just the men.

Yes, it’s award time. As usual the Golden Globe Awards have set the example that nobody else is inclined to follow, and FIR Editor Roy Frumkes’ report on the NBR Awards can already be found in this features section.

As your British columnist it is of course my duty to report on our humble UK contribution to the media melange, the Orange British Academy Film Awards 2003, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, or the BAFTAs as those in the know call them, not that I think anybody on the western side of the Atlantic really cares (if I’m wrong please let me know). Ultimately of course, and quite soon, we will have the Academy Awards, or the Oscars (a moniker for which we are forever indebted to 1931 Academy librarian Margaret Herrick, bless her cotton socks) this year moved up to February because of poor ratings in it’s usual slot in March (or so I’m told – personally I believe it’s so that the BAFTAs, those awards that nobody in Hollywood cares about of course, don’t influence the judging panel – but that’s just me).

As you can probably tell by now I really haven’t got a lot of time for all these shenanigans, but, again I’m told, they are important to the film industry, and we could all argue this so called point until we are all blue in the face, and they would still go on. So why not let’s just sit back and enjoy, pick holes, disagree with the decisions, ridicule, bad mouth and generally gripe over the whole affair. Besides, it’s a good laugh, it makes good copy and it’s my job. One thing I’ll point out now: I don’t understand this ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role’ or ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role’ thing. If he or she is Best Actor, or Best Supporting Actress, then just say so – which I will.

The, needless to say ‘star-studded’, event was hosted by Mr. Stephen Fry (Wilde, Gosford Park, Bright Young Things (Dir.)), a man the Guardian newspaper once mooted as a “Treasure of the British Empire”, and whose gentle, erudite wit, as always, was a joy to behold. Every word he produces is a precious gem and not a single syllable is wasted. On presenting the nominations for the Best Film, examples from which were shown at intervals during the course of the evening, to remain impartial he had decided not to watch any of the nominated films himself and instead sent his mother, a woman with whom he shares half his genes “and occasionally (his) twin sets and stockings”, to report on them for him. ‘Her’ notes, produced on small scraps of paper were a hoot, in particular her comments on Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World: “Brilliant, a really exciting film. It’s a long time since I’ve seen such a vast quantity of good old fashioned seamen…” There were a few shocked looks on the faces of some of our American visitors with that one I can tell you. We Brits of course are used to such things. It was also noted by Mr. Fry that with titles like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, it had been a record year for the colon.

Luminaries gracing the stage to present the awards included Patrick Stewart, Val Kilmer, Naomi Watts, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellan, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Renée Zellweger, Paul Bettany, Holly Hunter, Scarlett Johansson, Andy Sirkis, Alicia Silverstone, Miranda Richardson, Helena Bonham Carter, John Voight and Sir Richard Attenborough, but the best to me was having the prestigious Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music presented by LL Cool J.

A full listing of the nominations and winners can be found below, for which I thank BAFTA, but in short the evening, not unexpectedly, went to Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which garnered five awards namely Best Film, Cinematography, Special Effects, Orange Film of the Year and Best Adapted Screenplay. Although only getting three awards, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World’s Peter Weir had the satisfaction of beating ROTK’s Peter Jackson to Best Director.

Lost in Translation
also made an excellent showing, getting Best Actor and Best Actress Awards for Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson respectively, plus Best Editing Award, and Cold Mountain trounced in to scoop up the leftovers of Best Supporting Actress (Renée Zellweger) and Best Film Music.

The excellent Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl only picked up Best Hair and Make-up and Mystic River, Big Fish and Girl With a Pearl Earring all got zilch, which is why I get a little disillusioned with these affairs.

BAFTA’s most prestigious award, the Fellowship of the Academy, went to veteran John Boorman, and it was noted that none of the assemble sycophants mentioned Zardoz…
None of these award ceremonies is complete without a tribute to those who are sadly no longer around, and this one was no exception. With a moving collection of stills and film clips we were reminded of the great skills and movie moments of Bob Hope, Robert Stack, Rachel Kempson, Adam Faith, David Hemmings, Brian Gibson, Horst Bushholz, Dame Wendy Hiller, David Lodge, Gregory Peck, Leni Riefenstahl, Michael Kamen, George Axelrod, Patricia Roc, Ron Goodwin, John Schlesinger, Hope Lange, Gregory Hines, Ann Miller, Donald O’Connor Denis Quilley, Elia Kazan, Charles Bronson, Alexander Walker, Hume Cronyn, Sir Alan Bates and last but certainly not least, Katherine Hepburn. Curiously this montage was accompanied by John Barry’s rousing score from Raise the Titanic. Whoever had this bizarre idea was lucky – it worked, and it was good to see and hear what is actually one of Barry’s best themes actually accompanying something of quality, and not the expensive piece of rubbish it was composed for. As producer Sir Lew Grade famously said of his ‘epic’: “It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic”.

If any of the names above are unfamiliar to you, you could do worse than to look them up. As Stephen Fry so rightly said, the world is a poorer place without them, but will always be a richer one because of them.

I will close with some more pearls of wisdom from the excellent Mr. Fry which sum up my final thoughts on the evening:

“The stage as you can see is bedecked with mirrors. An original and charming design idea, or a satirical reference to the self reflective nature of our crazy, vain business?”

“Remember, the evening celebrates one thing above any other, and that is the art of film making. Celebrity and quite preposterous evening wear may incidentally arise from out of this world, but it is the work that remains. A world without films would be unthinkable. Keep going to the cinema – Grow that DVD collection.”

Well said Stephen.

THE ORANGE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS 2003
Winners highlighted

THE ALEXANDER KORDA AWARD for the Outstanding British Film of the Year
Cold Mountain – Sydney Pollack/William Horberg/Albert Berger/Ron Yerxa/Anthony Minghella
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Andy Paterson/Anand Tucker/Peter Webber
In This World – Andrew Eaton/Anita Overland/Michael Winterbottom
Love Actually – Duncan Kenworthy/Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner/Richard Curtis
Touching the Void – John Smithson/Kevin MacDonald

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
ALBERT FINNEY – Big Fish
BILL NIGHY – Love Actually
IAN MCKELLEN – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
PAUL BETTANY – Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
TIM ROBBINS – Mystic River

BEST FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares) – Denise Robert/Daniel Louis/Denys Arcand
Belleville Rendez-vous – Didier Brunner/Sylvain Chomet
Être et Avoir – Gilles Sandoz/Nicolas Philibert
Good Bye Lenin! – Stefan Arndt/Wolfgang Becker
In This World – Andrew Eaton/Anita Overland/Michael Winterbottom
Spirited Away – Toshio Suzuki/Hayao Miyazaki

THE ANTHONY ASQUITH AWARD for Achievement in Film Music
Cold Mountain – Gabriel Yared
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Alexandre Desplat
Kill Bill Vol. 1 – The RZA
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Howard Shore
Lost In Translation – Kevin Shields

MICHAEL BALCON AWARD for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema
Working Title.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Cold Mountain – John Seale
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Eduardo Serra
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Andrew Lesnie
Lost In Translation – Lance Acord
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – Russell Boyd

THE CARL FOREMAN AWARD for special achievement by a British Director/Producer or Writer in their first feature film
SERGIO CASCI, Writer (for American Cousins)
JENNY MAYHEW, Writer (for To Kill A King)
PETER WEBBER, Director (for Girl With A Pearl Earring)
EMILY YOUNG, Director/Writer (for Kiss of Life)

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Big Fish – Dennis Gassner
Cold Mountain – Dante Ferretti
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Ben van Os
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Grant Major
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – William Sandell

ORANGE FILM OF THE YEAR (PUBLIC VOTE)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
Matrix Reloaded
Bruce Almighty
Johnny English
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
X Men 2
Finding Nemo
Calendar Girls
Love Actually

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
EMMA THOMPSON – Love Actually
HOLLY HUNTER – Thirteen
JUDY PARFITT – Girl with a Pearl Earring
LAURA LINNEY – Mystic River
RENÉE ZELLWEGER – Cold Mountain

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
21 Grams – Guillermo Arriaga
The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions Barbares) – Denys Arcand
Finding Nemo – Andrew Stanton/Bob Peterson/David Reynolds
Lost In Translation – Sofia Coppola
The Station Agent – Tom McCarthy

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Big Fish – John August
Cold Mountain – Anthony Minghella
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Olivia Hetreed
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Fran Walsh/Philippa Boyens/Peter Jackson
Mystic River – Brian Helgeland

THE DAVID LEAN AWARD for Achievement in Direction
Big Fish – Tim Burton
Cold Mountain – Anthony Minghella
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Peter Jackson
Lost In Translation – Sofia Coppola
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – Peter Weir

BEST ACTRESS
ANNE REID – The Mother
NAOMI WATTS – 21 Grams
SCARLETT JOHANSSON – Girl with a Pearl Earring
SCARLETT JOHANSSON – Lost In Translation
UMA THURMAN – Kill Bill Vol. 1

BEST ACTOR
BENICIO DEL TORO – 21 Grams
BILL MURRAY – Lost In Translation
JOHNNY DEPP – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
JUDE LAW – Cold Mountain
SEAN PENN – 21 Grams
SEAN PENN – Mystic River

BEST FILM
Big Fish – Bruce Cohen/Dan Jinks/Richard D Zanuck
Cold Mountain – Sydney Pollack/William Horberg/Albert Berger/Ron Yerxa/Anthony Minghella
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Barrie M Osborne/Fran Walsh/Peter Jackson
Lost In Translation – Sofia Coppola/Ross Katz
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World – Samuel Goldwyn Jr/Peter Weir/Duncan Henderson

FELLOWSHIP OF THE BRITISH ACADEMY OF FILM AND TELEVISION ARTS
John Boorman

EDITING
21 Grams – Stephen Mirrione
Cold Mountain – Walter Murch
Kill Bill Vol. 1 – Sally Menke
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Jamie Selkirk
Lost In Translation – Sarah Flack

SOUND
Cold Mountain
Kill Bill Vol. 1
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

ACHIEVEMENT IN SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
Big Fish
Kill Bill Vol. 1
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

MAKE UP & HAIR
Big Fish – Jean A Black/Paul Le Blanc
Cold Mountain – Paul Engelen/Ivana Primorac
Girl with a Pearl Earring – Jenny Shircore
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – Richard Taylor/Peter King/Peter Owen
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – Ve Neill/Martin Samuel

SHORT ANIMATION
DADS DEAD – Maria Manton/Chris Shepherd
DEAR SWEET EMMA – John Cernak
JOJO IN THE STARS – Sue Goffe/Marc Craste
NIBBLES – Ron Diamond/Chris Hinton
PLUMBER – Randi Yaffa/Andy Knight/Richard Rosenman

SHORT FILM
BROWN PAPER BAG – Natasha Carlish / Mark Leveson/Michael Baig Clifford W: Geoff Thompson
BYE CHILD – Andrew Bonner/Bernard McLaverty
NITS – George Issac/Jan Roldanus/Harry Wootliff
SEA MONSTERS – Matt Delargy/Mark Walker/Raphael Smith
TALKING WITH ANGELS – Michael Knowles / Janey de Nordwall/Yousaf Ali Khan

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