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Colin Firth & Keira Knightley: British Independent Film Awards Nominations

Colin Firth as King George VI, The King's Speech
Colin Firth as King George VI in Tom Hooper's The King's Speech

The fact that The King's Speech rules over the 2010 British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nominations is no surprise.

The story of how King George VI was able to overcome a stubborn stutter after being made king, The King's Speech received a total of eight nods, including Best Film, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Actor (Colin Firth, as the king), Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce), Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Best Screenplay (David Seidler), and Best Technical Achievement for Eve Stewart's production design.

Surprising is the omission of Mike Leigh's Another Year from the Best Film roster (the same happened to his well-received Happy-Go-Lucky two years ago), though Leigh himself earned a Best Director nod. (Since Leigh's films purportedly have no actual screenplays as most of the dialogue is improvised, perhaps it's only fair that Another Year failed to be shortlisted in that category.)

Made in Dagenham is another effort that cannot be found among the shortlisted best films, but Matthew Vaughn's $28 million production Kick-Ass, hardly a critical favorite, is one of the top five.

The other Best Picture nominees are Chris Morris' terrorism satire Four Lions, Mark Romanek's dystopian Never Let Me Go, and Gareth Edwards' sci-fi thriller Monsters.

Last year's BIFA winners were Duncan Jones' Moon for Best Picture, Best Actress Carey Mulligan for An Education, and Best Actor Tom Hardy for Bronson.

Only one British Independent Film Award winner has gone on to earn a matching Academy Award nomination: Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, which also took home the Best Picture Oscar in early 2009.

Photo: The Weinstein Co.

Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Another Year
Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Oliver Maltman in Mike Leigh's Another Year

Here are a few other 2010 British Independent Film Award curiosities:

In addition to the omission of Another Year and Made in Dagenham, others missing in action include Kick-Ass leads Aaron Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz; Made in Dagenham's Miranda Richardson (supporting); Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe in most categories (the only nominee is Best Supporting Actress Tamsin Greig); and Four Lions Chris Morris in the Best Director category (he was replaced by Mike Leigh), though Morris is up for the Douglas Hickox Award for best debut director.

Clio Barnard's experimental The Arbor, about playwright Andrea Dunbar and her troubled relationship with daughter Lorraine, is up for Best Documentary – a special kind of documentary, as it features actual performances. In fact, The Arbor's Manjinder Virk is up for both Best Actress and Most Promising Newcomer for lip-syncing to Lorraine's voice.

Another Year's Ruth Sheen is up for Best Actress while Lesley Manville is up for Best Supporting Actress, though some would categorize Sheen's role as supporting and Manville as a lead. [Correction: I'd inexplicably cast Manville in Made in Dagenham in an earlier version of this post, when the whole point of this paragraph was Another Year's supporting/lead switch.]

Last year's Best Actress winner Carey Mulligan is back with a nod for Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go.

Last year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee A Prophet is up for the Best Foreign Film Award.

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics.

Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Never Let Me Go
Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield, Never Let Me Go

2010 British Independent Film Award winners

BEST BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM
Four Lions
Kick-Ass
* The King's Speech
Monsters
Never Let Me Go

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Dogtooth
I Am Love
* A Prophet
The Secret In Their Eyes
Winter's Bone

BEST DIRECTOR
Mike Leigh - Another Year
Matthew Vaughn - Kick-Ass
Tom Hooper - The King's Speech
* Gareth Edwards - Monsters
Mark Romanek - Never Let Me Go

BEST ACTRESS
Manjinder Virk - The Arbor
Ruth Sheen - Another Year
Andrea Riseborough - Brighton Rock
Sally Hawkins - Made in Dagenham
* Carey Mulligan - Never Let Me Go

BEST ACTOR
Jim Broadbent - Another Year
Riz Ahmed - Four Lions
* Colin Firth - The King's Speech
Scoot McNairy - Monsters
Aidan Gillen - Treacle Junior

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lesley Manville - Another Year
* Helena Bonham Carter - The King's Speech
Rosamund Pike - Made in Dagenham
Keira Knightley - Never Let Me Go
Tamsin Greig - Tamara Drewe

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kayvan Novak - Four Lions
Guy Pearce - The King's Speech
* Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech
Bob Hoskins - Made in Dagenham
Andrew Garfield - Never Let Me Go

MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
Manjinder Virk - The Arbor
Andrea Riseborough - Brighton Rock
Tom Hughes - Cemetery Junction
* Joanne Froggatt - In Our Name
Conor McCarron - Neds

THE DOUGLAS HICKOX AWARD [BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR]
Debs Gardner Paterson - Africa United
* Clio Barnard - The Arbor
Rowan Joffe - Brighton Rock
Chris Morris - Four Lions
Gareth Edwards - Monsters

BEST SCREENPLAY
Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain, Simon Blackwell, Christopher Morris - Four Lions
Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn - Kick-Ass
* David Seidler - The King's Speech
William Ivory - Made in Dagenham
Alex Garland - Never Let Me Go

BEST DOCUMENTARY
The Arbor
* Enemies of the People
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Fire In Babylon
Waste Land

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION
The Arbor
In Our Name
* Monsters
Skeletons
Streetdance 3D

RAINDANCE AWARD
Brilliant Love
Jackboots On Whitehall
Legacy
* Son of Babylon
Treacle Junior

BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
The Arbor - Sound - Tim Barker
Brighton Rock - Cinematography - John Mathieson
The Illusionist - Animation - Sylvain Chomet
The King's Speech - Production Design - Eve Stewart
* Monsters - Visual Effects - Gareth Edwards

BEST BRITISH SHORT
* Baby
Photograph Of Jesus
Sign Language
Sis
The Road Home

THE RICHARD HARRIS AWARD (for outstanding contribution by an actor to British Film)
Helena Bonham Carter

THE VARIETY AWARD
Liam Neeson

THE SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
Announced at the British Independent Film Awards on Sunday 5 December

Photo: Never Let Me Go (Alex Bailey / Fox Searchlight)


         
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