The London Film Critics’ Circle awards are due to take place this upcoming January, and the recently announced nominations suggest that this will be one of the toughest years to date.
The ceremony - which awards excellence in film - will acknowledge a range of cinema, with the Film of the Year category proving to be a very close competition indeed.
The ten nominees are as follows: BlacKkKlansman, Cold War, The Favourite, First Man, First Reformed, The Happy Prince, Leave No Trace, Roma, Shoplifters and You Were Never Really Here. As you can see, this year boasts an incredible selection, and each nomination is a triumph in its own right. If it were down to personal opinion, then Paul Schrader’s masterful First Reformed starring the undervalued Ethan Hawke would be a clear winner; but of course, this does not conform to likelihood. Although all of these films have their merits, there are two which stand out as having a particularly strong chance of winning the coveted award.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite has bagged an impressive ten nominations, more than any other film this year, and looks to be a likely winner. The mind behind The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer has been celebrated in recent years for his unique sense of humour, and his new work has only served to cement his status as one of modern cinema’s strangest auteurs. It is a biographical comedy-drama set in 18th century England which stars Emma Stone, Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Nicholas Hoult, and has been a huge critical success. So far in its lifespan it has proven to be an all-round crowd-pleaser, so it would be hard to imagine The Favourite not being in with the highest chance. However, there is one film that has received similarly staggering volumes of praise, but has also topped many critics’ favourite films of the year lists.
(L-R) Actors Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and director Yorgos Lanthimos attend SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations: 'The Favourite' at The Robin Williams Center on November 9, 2018 in New York...
Alfonso Cuaron’s Netflix-distributed Roma poses the biggest threat, and it is these two films which the majority of cinephiles will predict to win the top prize on the lavish evening. This is the film that the creator of Gravity and Children of Men has been conjuring up in his vast mind for over a decade, and the results certainly illustrate this. It’s a very personal piece of work; a semi-autobiographical account of 1970’s Mexico City from the perspective of the maid that cared for Cuaron and his middle-class family when he was young. It also blends social and political aspects, offering audiences a beautifully detailed account of the filmmaker’s childhood and the adults which cared for him. It is impeccably shot and performed, and has won over critics and audiences in abundance. Although it has received major distribution through streaming and limited theatrical release, there is no reason why Roma doesn’t stand the highest chance of taking home Film of the Year.
Some say that Roma’s funding and distribution methods will encourage unnecessary stigma, and that this will work in favour of The Favourite. However, the times are changing, and it seem that everyone is recognising Roma for its quality - we will just have to wait and see. The ceremony will take place in London on 20 January.
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