It’s February 10th, 2013, aka the day when the cream of the Hollywood crop embark on a trip to drizzly old London town for some ceremonial back-patting at the BAFTAs. It’s an event much like the Oscars, only with drabber scenery and more Stephen Fryisms. George Clooney will be there, Helen Mirren will be there, Harvey Weinstein will be there. I won’t be there. I haven’t been invited. Not after last time.
So, should we care about this grandiose display of self righteousness? Well, probably not. After all, they’re only films, right? WRONG! Irregardless of the winners and losers this evening (it’s guaranteed that there will be both), here are three films from this past year which have been woefully left out of the limelight. They may not get the opportunity to win a clunky little gold fella, but it doesn’t stop them from being nuggets of cinematic majesty.
First to come rolling through town is Ben Wheatley’s hilarious follow up to Kill List, Sightseers. The story of an an odd who go on a romantic getaway across pastoral England in a charming little caravan. The romcom romp is injected with Wheatley’s brilliant sinister edge when the pair reveal themselves to have a bit of a murderous streak. Embarrassingly, BAFTA completely turned it’s back on this lovely picture. It’s my favourite British film of 2012 and well-worth your shillings. See it.
Tabu is Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes’ trangsressive homage to the F.W. Murnau film of the same name. An evocative black and white picture that revolves around an ageing women’s twilight memories, it’s told through sensuous flashbacks, forwards, and odd-assides that combine together to create a poignant, hermetically evocative film. BAFTA’s ‘Films not in the English Language’ category is particularly strong this year (bet your bottom dollar on Haneke’s Amour to sweep up), but I think it would have shown some truly big bollocks if the academy did the right thing and gave Tabu the love it not only deserves, but needs. More people should know about this film and experience it, so go do that already.
It baffles me how little plaudits have been sent Rian Johnson’s way. Following on from The Brothers Bloom, Looper is the most ingenuous science fiction film I’ve seen for years. It’s an inspired, twisty time travel story which sees Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a smouldering hired gun, given the toughest whack-job of his career when his mob bosses transport his future self (played brilliantly by Bruce Willis) back to kill and ‘close the loop’. Yes, this is a metaphysically perplexing film, but an incredible one nonetheless. It really could have been up for any BAFTA nom but, if I were to be choosey, the ambient-electro soundtrack is right up there with my albums of the year. Then there’s the stunning visuals, cinematography, costume design, performance, script…You’ve probably seen it by now, but see it again, it really warrants second, nay, four viewings.
So, those are some films then. I’m off to shine my shoes, buy a tux, slip on said tux and head out to the red carpet to meet my date for the evening, Marion Cotillard. On second thoughts, my slouch Sunday attire, leftover curry and episodes of House of Cards will probably be just as great. Probably.