Pre-Oscars Round Up: European Film Awards, BIFA, WAFCA

Lars von Trier's Melancholia was named the best European film at the European Film Awards.

And so we move further along into awards season.

The European Film Awards and the British Independent Film Awards were held this past weekend while the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) announced their nominees and picks for the best films of the year on December 5.

The Artist and Melancholia continue to be named the best films of the year as well as winning ample technical awards. (Sorry Hugo. Though Martin Scorsese did pick up his second best director award from WAFCA and he’ll probably get a few more.)

George Clooney (The Descendants) is still the frontrunner in the lead actor category and Albert Brooks picked up his second award for his supporting turn in Drive. Tilda Swinton (We Need To Talk About Kevin) could face some competition for best actress after WAFCA awarded Michelle Williams best actress for My Week in Marilyn. (These critics really do love movies about movies, don’t they?)

Based on the few critics groups that have announced their winners so far, some other trends are emerging. The ensembles for The Help and Bridesmaids as well as Will Reiser’s screenplay for 50/50 are all inching their ways towards an Oscar nod. Or at the very least, a Golden Globes nomination. (That’s not saying a lot because if Bridesmaids doesn’t receive a Globes nod, there is no hope for society.)

There were some surprises at the British Independent Film Awards. Paddy Considine’s directorial debut Tyrannosaur received three awards at the BIFAs: best picture, best first-time director and best actress (Olivia Colman, edging out Swinton).  Michael Fassbender was named best actor for Shame.

Awards season can seem very American-centric at first, especially once all the critics groups start announcing their winners. (Think about last year when The Social Network was the early critical darling.) While this American-centrism is felt less this year because The Artist and Melancholia are two mostly European productions, the BIFAs are a refreshing change of pace from what trends we have seen so far and the trends that will emerge. It’s also worth noting that last year The King’s Speech received five awards at the British Independent Film Awards and it was the first major award the film received.

Remember The King's Speech? That was a great time last year. It also won some awards.

The round up of this week’s award shows and critics awards winners is below. Share any of your thoughts on the awards season so far in the comments.

The European Film Awards were handed out on Saturday, December 3. Les Winners:

European Film: Melancholia
European Director: Susanne Bier, Hævnen (In a Better World)
European Actress: Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
European Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
European Screenwriter: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Le Gamin au Velo (The Kid with a Bike)
European Cinematographer: Manuel Alberto Claro, Melancholia
European Editor: Tariq Anwar, The King’s Speech
European Production Designer: Jette Lehmann, Melancholia
European Composer: Ludovic Bource, The Artist
The People’s Choice Award: The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper, UK

The British Independent Film Awards were handed out December 5. Les Winners:

Best British Independent FilmTyrannosaur
Best Director – Lynne Ramsay, We Need To Talk About Kevin
The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director – Paddy Considine, Tyrannosaur
Best Screenplay – Richard Ayoade, Submarine
Best Actress – Olivia Colman, Tyrannosaur
Best Actor – Michael Fassbender, Shame
Best Supporting Actress – Vanessa Redgrave, Coriolanus
Best Supporting Actor – Michael Smiley, Kill List
Most Promising Newcomer – Tom Cullen, Weekend
Best Achievement in Production – Weekend
The Raindance Award – Leaving Baghdad
Best Technical Achievement – Maria Djurkovic for Production Design in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Best Documentary – Senna
Best British Short – Chalk
Best Foreign Independent Film – A Separation

The Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association announced their picks on December 5. Les Winners:

Best Film: The Artist
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants
Best Actress: Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks, Drive
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help
Best Acting Ensemble: Bridesmaids
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants 
Best Original Screenplay: Will Reiser, 50/50
Best Animated Feature: Rango
Best Documentary: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Best Foreign Language Film: The Skin I Live In
Best Art Direction: Dante Ferretti, Production Designer, and Francesca Lo Schiavo, Set Decorator, Hugo
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
Best Score: Ludovic Bource, The Artist

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