Firstly may I begin by noting that I was not, I repeat not, disappointed with the presentation of the BAFTAs. As I seem to have acquired a mild obsession with the wonderful Stephen Fry, it would be hard to be left unsatisfied with that aspect – despite his poor attempt at an impression of Stephen Hawking which mustered up a few uncomfortable laughs. I was also thoroughly pleased to see Linklater and co awarded for the 12-year accomplishment that is Boyhood.
Unfortunately these two small things did not redeem BAFTA or compensate for David Beckham’s poor attempt at reading from an autocue. Yet again some great achievements were overlooked, namely Pride, gaining a respectable few nominations but hardly as many as it deserved. Time and time again I’ve observed at these award shows a huge disservice to some of the great films of the year. Big blockbusters disguised as thoughtful dramas starring Benedict Cumberbatch gain an excessive number of nominations. Has cinema’s scope really become so narrow that it’s following the latest celeb obsessions? I don’t know about you, but I thought it was film’s job to inspire and lead the way in the field of creativity. Seems to me like following a cliché formula and utilising an attractive actor is sufficient to warrant great acclaim these days.
Well maybe I can overlook the ignorance on this count. Surely it could be the case that really people just weren’t exposed to treasures such as Pride enough by local Cinema companies and talk show hosts. It’s not their fault. Perhaps my real disappointment, nay outrage, comes from the abomination of The Grand Budapest Hotel beating out Birdman, Boyhood, Whiplash, Nightcrawler and, (yes again), Pride for the best original screenplay award. This is a film competing with some of the best pieces of art the year has had to offer. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to be biased in this field. Over the years I have laughed, cried, chortled etc etc at many a Wes Anderson film. Moonrise Kingdom was a work of sheer genius highlighting the complexity of children which is often underestimated, The Royal Tenenbaums is a cult classic with its signature dry humour. The list could go on. Though similar in style of writing, costume, scenery and cast, The Grand Budapest Hotel seems more like a film masquerading as one of Wes Anderson’s great works rather than one actually written by him. Despite the all star cast, as always, there was something very lacklustre about the GPH (yes, I’m using acronyms now). There was something left to be desired, it didn’t contain Wes’s usual passion and for lack of a better word, ‘pizzaz’. Yet the film’s mediocrity is only the tip of the iceberg. What hurts the very most is that poor old Wes Anderson’s other achievements have gained little to no recognition during award season. My theory? This film has been viewed through some severely rose tinted specs, merely seeing the ‘cute’ and ‘quirky’, which in actuality has been surfacing in films of its kind for years.
Luckily there were few other snubs of more deserving actors (excluding my beloved Ethan Hawke) and the Imitation Game did go home empty handed, or this post might be a little longer.