Friday, 29 February 2008

2008 Oscar Winners

The acting awards at this year's Oscar ceremony were dominated by European winners, while Joel and Ethan Coen's film No Country For Old Men took four gongs, including best picture and best direction.

British thespian Daniel Day-Lewis was named best actor for his role in There Will Be Blood and French newcomer Marion Cotillard was named best actress for her portrayal of the life of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.

Former Spanish rugby international Javier Bardem was named best supporting actor and Brit Tilda Swinton was awarded best supporting actress for her role in Michael Clayton.

Disney movie Ratatouille took the award for best animated feature and Juno was awarded best screenplay. Best foreign language film was given to Austrian movie The Counterfeiters, a story about forging fraudelent cash for the Nazi's during World War II.

The awards can be seen in full below.

Best picture: No Country For Old Men

Best director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men

Best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis: There Will Be Blood

Best actress: Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

Best supporting actress: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Best supporting actor: Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men

Best foreign language film: The Counterfeiters (Austria)

Best animated feature film: Ratatouille

Best adapted screenplay: No Country For Old Men

Best original screenplay: Juno

Best music (score): Atonement

Best music (song): Falling Slowly - Once (performed by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova)

Best documentary feature: Taxi to the Dark Side

Best documentary short subject: Freeheld

Best visual effects: The Golden Compass

Best cinematography: There Will Be Blood

Best art direction: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best animated short film: Peter and the Wolf

Best short film: Le Mozart des Pickpockets

Best costume design: Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Best make-up: La Vie en Rose

Best sound mixing: The Bourne Ultimatum

Best sound editing: The Bourne Ultimatum

Best film editing: The Bourne Ultimatum

Thursday, 7 February 2008

BBC Radio Gloucestershire

This Friday (8th February) I'll be reviewing a few of the films that are on at my local cinema for BBC Radio Gloucestershire. I'll be talking to Steve Kitchen on his lunchtime show at 12 o'clock. The show is available online from or on 104.7 FM & 1413 AM.

I always knew I had a face for radio...

Tuesday, 5 February 2008


In Hollywood it seems that when something disastrous happens the Statue of Liberty is always the first to get hurt. In JJ Abram's Cloverfield the lady, ironically famous for welcoming immigrants to New York, takes the first blow as the 'big apple' is swept aside by a mysterious creature.

The making of the film had been shrouded in mystery, with only a poster sporting a headless Statue offering any insight into the plot. On the internet the theme of the project was subject to rumour and guessing for some time, following Lost creator JJ Abrams orders to keep the subject of the film highly secret.

Talk of a monster invading Manhattan was rife, reminiscent of Godzilla rampaging through Japan in the 50's, and it proved to be true.

The legend of Godzilla claims he was disturbed by Americans testing a hydrogen bomb, causing him to reak havoc on Japan in an angry response. Cloverfield offers little insight into how this creature, different from Godzilla, arrives in New York. Instead the focus is on a group of friends at a house party who film their version of events through a handheld camera.

When the head of the Statue of Liberty is thrown over skyscrapers and arrives at the feet of their appartment building the band of mates are thrust into action, trying to escape while saving friends and loved ones they've become seperated from.

The journey they embark upon is littered with obstacles such as bizarre creatures, the presence of the military and falling buildings. Fortunately for us they manage to film the whole thing, even offering a few guesses at how the monster might have gotten there, whether it was from out-of-space or under-the-sea.

The entirety of the film is shot on a camcorder which can be a little annoying, especially when accompanied by the commentary of rich American 20-somethings. The end of the film is also somewhat abrupt, which might not suit those seeking a happy ending.

Overall I'd have to actively encourage any film that features monsters smashing up a city or cities, as it's something I never tire of watching. The run-time of 125 minutes and the sudden conclusion were dissapointing for a film which was thoroughly entertaining.