Andrew Garfield, Kristin Scott Thomas among surprising 'London Evening Standard' Award winners
If you're in search of surprises this awards season, look no further than the 2011 London Evening Standard Awards' roster of British cinema winners, which were announced this past Monday, Feb. 7. (See further below the full list of 2011 London Evening Standard Award winners and nominees.)
For instance, the London Evening Standard Award for Best Film? Instead of Tom Hooper's The King's Speech or even Mike Leigh's Another Year, the selected title was Peter Mullan's Neds, a social drama about violent urban youth in 1970s Glasgow that had already taken home the Best Film prize at last year's San Sebastian Film Festival. But there's more.
The Los Angeles-born but British-raised Andrew Garfield was chosen Best Actor for his performances in Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, co-starring Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan, and David Fincher's U.S.-made The Social Network, toplining Jesse Eisenberg. The list of nominees, by the way, included none other than Oscar favorite Colin Firth for The King's Speech.
The London Evening Standard Awards' Best Actress was Kristin Scott Thomas for her adulterous wife having a hot and heavy affair with a builder (Sergi López) in Catherine Corsini's French drama Leaving. This was Scott Thomas' first win this awards season.
The Best Screenplay Award went to Clio Barnard for the unusual (sort of) documentary The Arbor, about the late playwright Andrea Dunbar's life in a housing estate in Bradford.*
Multitasking Gareth Edwards wins technical prize
Roger Allam won the Peter Sellers Comedy Award for his cheating writer in Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe, while jack-of-all-trades filmmaker Gareth Edwards earned the London Film Museum Technical Achievement Award for his cinematography, production design, and visual effects on the low-budget sci-fi thriller Monsters.
Down Terrace co-writer and director Ben Wheatley was named the Most Promising Newcomer.
The London Evening Standard Award Award for Best Documentary went to A Day in the Life, described as a series of “simple, strikingly shot black-and-white shorts made by the film-maker John Krish in the Fifties and early Sixties but released together for the first time in December of last year. These documentaries were sponsored by children's charities, unions and even British Transport. Yet the end products, far from being anonymous 'ads,' are calmly off-beat odes – dreamy, jolting paeans to the innocent and neglected.”
Christopher Nolan gets Special Award
Regarding their unusual choice for Best Picture, film critic Derek Malcolm, one of the London Evening Standard Awards' six judges explained: “Despite our admiration for The King's Speech, the jury felt that Peter Mullan's Neds deserved our prize this year. An original drama of great skill, power and human sympathy, the film reflects directly on the present as well as the past in which it is set.”
* The Arbor was up for a London Evening Standard Award in the Best Film – not Best Documentary – category.
2011 London Evening Standard Award winners and nominees
Another Year (director Mike Leigh).
The Arbor (director Clio Barnard).
The Illusionist (director Sylvain Chomet).
Kick-Ass (director Matthew Vaughn).
The King's Speech (director Tom Hooper).
* Neds (director Peter Mullan).
Never Let Me Go (director Mark Romanek).
Riz Ahmed (Four Lions).
Jim Broadbent (Another Year).
Colin Firth (The King's Speech).
* Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, Never Let Me Go).
Eddie Marsan (The Disappearance of Alice Creed).
Ewan McGregor (The Ghost Writer).
Sam Riley (Brighton Rock).
Brenda Blethyn (London River).
Rebecca Hall (Please Give).
Sally Hawkins (Made in Dagenham).
Keira Knightley (Never Let Me Go).
Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go).
* Kristin Scott Thomas (Leaving).
Ruth Sheen (Another Year).
Tilda Swinton (I Am Love).
Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer).
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (127 Hours).
Ben Wheatley and Robin Hill (Down Terrace).
Robert Harris (The Ghost Writer).
Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass).
* Clio Barnard (The Arbor).
Alex Garland (Never Let Me Go).
LONDON FILM MUSEUM TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
* Gareth Edwards for his cinematography, production design, and visual effects on Monsters.
Jenny Beavan for her costume design for The King's Speech.
Dick Pope for his cinematography on Another Year.
Andrew McAlpine for his production design for Made in Dagenham.
Dickon Hinchliffe for his score for Winter's Bone.
Mark Tildesley for his production design for The Killer Inside Me.
PETER SELLERS AWARD FOR COMEDY
* Roger Allam for Tamara Drewe.
Omid Djalili for The Infidel.
Ed Gaughan for Skeletons.
Robin Hill for Down Terrace.
David Thewlis for London Boulevard.
MOST PROMISING NEWCOMER
J Blakeson writer/director of The Disappearance of Alice Creed.
Tuppence Middleton (for her performances in Skeletons and Chatroom).
Nick Whitfield, director of Skeletons.
* Ben Wheatley, co-writer and director of Down Terrace.
Conor McCarron for his performance in Neds.
* A Day in the Life by John Krish.
Oil City Confidential by Julien Temple.
Enemies of the People by Thet Sambat and Rob Lemkin.
Exit Through the Gift Shop by Banksy.
Land of the Free by Vadim Jean.
No Greater Love by Michael Whyte.
A Day in the Life description and list of London Evening Standard Award nominees via thisislondon.com.
Derek Malcolm quote via The Hollywood Reporter.
Image of London Evening Standard Award Best Actor winner Andrew Garfield in Never Let Me Go: Alex Bailey / Fox Searchlight.
Neds movie image: Film4 / Wild Bunch.