BAFTAs 2008

9.00pm The BAFTAs begin and we’re told by our host, Jonathan Ross, that this is has been a great year for films. We see a montage of clips from various films. For some reason, Transformers is in there.
9.01pm It’s clear that the sound is completely out of kilter with the left and right channels being out of sync with the centre channel.
9.04pm Someone has turned off the centre channel leaving those with surround sound systems at least hearing the sound without it appearing to eminate from a goldfish bowl.
9.08pm The sound’s fixed!
9.10pm Shane Meadows wins the Korda award, and gets it presented by Sly.
9.15pm The “Orange” Rising Star award must surely go to Ellen Page. Or maybe Wei Tang. Instead Shia LaBeouf gets it, although he’s not here to collect it. He starred in Transformers…
9.25pm The Lives of Others wins the best foreign film, and the director gives an impassioned speech (and hopes that it makes the final edit. It obviously does).
9.28pm Adapted screenplay must go to No Country For Old Men surely? It’s a tough category though with most of the best film contenders seemingly being in there.
9.29pm It goes to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly… which I haven’t seen (well it only came out on Friday in about three screens). Ronald Harwood announces that he’s no longer on strike and forgives those BAFTA members who didn’t vote for him!
9.34pm Best Supporting Actor, and as usual, there are some pointless words about what it means to be a supporting actor. Javier Bardem gets my vote…
9.36pm …and that of BAFTA!
9.39pm Dreadful “CGI Fridays” gag that for Brits isn’t funny, and for the rest makes no sense.
9.40pm Orlando Bloom introduces a “package” which is something I though F1 drivers had. If 30th Century Man wins, then I’ve got it on my Sky+. In fact Matt Greenhalgh wins for Control, which is arriving in the post tomorrow on DVD. The Hollywood A list don’t know who Tony Wilson is when Matt dedicates his award to him.
9.47pm We get a “clip” of a winning sixty second film.
9.48pm Emily Blunt couldn’t look like any more like she was reading off a screen if she tried. A crap joke about Matthew McConaughey doesn’t help. The Golden Compass wins best visual effects. Lots of them, lots of thanks.
9.53pm Cuba Gooding Junior is introduced as once having been in Jerry Maguire. That’s a damning indictment on his career since. The winner of best supporting actress is Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton.
9.55pm A “red button” indicator is telling me that I can watch red carpet coverage on interactive. I think I might just stick with the awards thanks.
9.57pm It looks like we’re getting ready for a news break, as there’s another montage of films – largely better ones than previously – and some dreadful puns.
9.58pm There’s a trailer for Mad Men which is still “coming soon.” From the first couple of episodes it looks like a cracking series. I’m looking forward to seeing it in full.
10.00pm Don’t go peeking (I haven’t). Back here at 10.20pm.
10.20pm We’re back – a bit too suddenly because we caught a glimpse of a couple of frames between the news and the weather, and nobody backed it up. Still Eddie Izzard’s on to present the animated award, but he’s doing a short set first. As I’ve seen none of these films, I don’t really care who wins.
10.22pm Ratatouille won. “Put the bloody mic up.” Brad Bird couldn’t be here.
10.26pm Another failed crack about Final Draft. Not many writers in then. Still loved the intro to Hugh “ITV3’s Jeeves & Wooster” Laurie. He makes an epithelial membrane gag at which point we cut away to a stony faced Rhys Ifans. Juno should win this.
10.29pm It does! (If you’ve seen the film, download the script here. If you haven’t, go and see it first!)
10.33pm The “in memorium” piece ends with Heath Ledger, and there do seem to be some genuine tears in eyes.
10.37pm The Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema award goes to Barry Wilkinson for props. He might have worked for 40 years, but the only film clips shown come from films made in the last 20.
10.41pm The David Lean Award for best director. I suspect it’ll go to Paul Thomas Anderson, although possibly the Coen brothers. They’re both exceptional films.
10.42pm The Coens win! Joel collects the award. If he’s prepared his speech, it doesn’t sound like it.
10.48pm Harvey Keitel presents the leading actress. Ellen Page would be my choice…
10.49pm But Marion Cotillard wins. She thanks Olivier! I guess this is by far the most surprising result of the evening so far (not that we’ve seen a whole host of awards that we’ll no doubt get in an “earlier…” segment). At least it was Keira Knightley.
10.51pm We were led to believe that all the Hollywood glitterati would be turning out tonight because of the writers’ strike (now as good as over). So Kate Hudson seems an odd choice to present the leading actor award. I loved her in Almost Famous. But since? Daniel Day Lewis is a shoe-in isn’t he?
10.53pm And he gets it. They cut away to James McAvoy who didn’t look overly impressed. Not sure about the piratical earrings, but he leads us on a lovely story about his childhood before getting to his acceptance.
10.57pm Best film now. Jeff Goldblum and Kevin Spacey are plugging their play… sort of.
11.00pm Atonement wins. Which I find amazing, since nearly all the others in contention were better. I’m beginning to think that whichever film gets the biggest whoop in the auditorium is the likely winner. Ridley Scott looked decidedly unimpressed when they cut away to him. He literally had his nose in the air.
11.03pm Dickie comes out to present the Fellowship, and begins with the football scores. Anthony Hopkins is getting it. Was this a surprise? We get a Hopkins “medley.” I’d have thought that again, a few earlier examples of his work might not have gone amiss.
11.10pm I did enjoy the fact that he decided not to read his speech, and instead thank Lord Attenborough. He goes into a speech anyway… obviously.
11.13pm And that’s it… nearly. Now we get the “other awards.” Ricky Gervais begins with a joke about it. The camera really has to search the back of the auditorium to find the winners. I was pleased that Roger Deakins won the cinematography award for No Country. He’s amazing! The Bourne Ultimatum got the best sound and editing awards which were deserving.
In summary then, La Vie En Rose seems to have really been the evening’s big winner with several craft awards. Was it worth blogging it? Probably not.

3 Comments

  1. Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed the sound was wonky at the beginning!! I thought I was going mad for a while. Mind you, it was the most exciting part of what was a tediously dull affair!!

  2. Awful production; bad jokes that fell flat (like the Gladiator nonsense at the start); terrible , terrible sound and no pictures of the frocks.
    What is the sense of the two seconds of behind the scenes footage as people walked off ?
    Someone at WhizzKid Entertainments needs shooting over this. At a time when all the other award ceremonies has been canceled we presented a shambolic image to the world.

  3. The sound always seems to be a problem, in every event relying on a PA system, despite forking out for the “best staff” it never works 100% smoothly, even at the larger Radio Academy events where sound is the business in hand.
    Is it a phenomenon kindred I wonder to our volunteers who arrive jauntily with their BA/MA in hand and know nothing about radio compared to those who’ve simply left school and got on with it? Increasingly we are sending back requests for work experience with NA next to their MA!

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