‘The Artist’, ‘A Separation’ wow London critics

Michael Fassbender was named British actor of the year for ‘Shame’ and ‘A Dangerous Method’

By Ray Bennett

Entertainment’s “The Artist” and Artificial Eye’s “A Separation” were the big winners with three prizes apiece at the 32nd annual London Film Critics Circle Awards presented on Thursday.

French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius was on hand to collect the awards for best film and best director joined by star Jean Dujardin, who was named actor of the year.

“A Separation” won as best foreign language film and the film’s director Asghar Farhadi won for best screenplay. The film’s Sereh Bayat was named best supporting actress. The two could not attend and producer Negar Eskandarfar accepted the awards on their behalf.

Director Lynne Ramsay accepted the Attenborough Award for British film of the year for Artificial Eye’s “We Need To Talk About Kevin”. Director Asif Kapadia picked up the prize for best documentary for Universal’s “Senna”.

Michael Fassbender (pictured) was there to accept the award as British actor of the year for Lionsgate’s “Shame” and Momentum’s “A Dangerous Method” and Olivia Colman picked up the Moet & Chandon Award for British actress of the year for Fox/Pathé’s “The Iron Lady” and StudioCanal’s “Tyrannosaur”.

Donald Sutherland presented the Dilys Powell Award to Nicolas Roeg

There were video messages from Anna Paquin and Meryl Streep who tied as best actress. Paquin won for 20th Century Fox’s “Margaret” and Streep was honoured for “The Iron Lady”.

Kenneth Branagh accepted his award as best supporting actor for Entertainment’s “My Week With Marilyn” and Craig Roberts was on hand to receive his prize as young British performer of the year. Production designer Maria Djurkovic accepted the new Sky 3D Award for technical achievement for her work on StudioCanal’s “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”.

“Don’t Look Now” star Donald Sutherland presented the Dilys Powell Award for excellence in film to that film’s director, Nicolas Roeg.

London Film Critics Circle Chairman Jason Solomons, of The Observer, hosted the awards at BFI Southbank, in aid of their charity the BFI Archive and its work on the “Rescue the Hitchcock 9” campaign to restore Alfred Hitchcock’s silent films.

Solomons said the quality of the films and performances honoured at the event showed the increased influence that critics have on the major industry awards.

“Our wide-range of viewing has thrown up great surprises and championed small films, shining a light on new, exciting, challenging and thrilling work from around the world of film. Without the enthusiasm of critics, terrific films such as ‘The Artist’, ‘A Separation’ and ‘Margaret’, and amazing performances such as those by Olivia Colman and Michael Fassbender would not be receiving the wider, global attention occasions such as this can inspire,” Solomons said.

This story appeared in Cue Entertainment; Thanks to the London Film Critics Circle for the photos.

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