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3 items from 2010

Peter Bradshaw's best of 2010

1 December 2010 8:50 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Our film critic makes the nominations for his own personal Oscars in a widely underrated year for film

December is the season of list-making and Top 10 compiling, but when I mention this to other critics, it's been getting winces and shrugs and mutterings that 2010 hasn't been a vintage year. I'm not so sure about that. It's true that the huge arthouse hits like The White Ribbon and A Prophet are now a very distant memory — A Prophet in fact was released at the very beginning of this year, but has been so extensively discussed, that I don't mention it below. Some huge crowd-pleasers, like Danny Boyle's 127 Hours, Tom Hooper's The King's Speech and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, haven't yet had a full release and neither has Kelly Reichardt's western, Meek's Cutoff. These things may combine to produce the impression that 2010 is in itself a thin year. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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This week's new films

26 November 2010 4:07 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Unstoppable (12A)

(Tony Scott, 2010, Us) Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Ethan Suplee, Kevin Dunn. 98 mins

This literally one-track action thriller is the perfect fit for Scott, Hollywood's master of manliness and heavy machinery. It's based on a true story that just happens to have a plot like a disaster movie: a massive, unmanned train carrying hazardous chemicals is hurtling towards populated areas; might the prickly railroad veteran and his rookie partner just be able to stop it? Everyone knows where it's going but it's got enough momentum to smash through to the finish, and the purity of the premise is a good fit with Scott's visual excess.

The American (15)

(Anton Corbijn, 2010, Us) George Clooney, Violante Placido, Paolo Bonacelli. 105 mins

Corbijn follows up Control with a sparse, existential hitman thriller in the Le Samourai/Day Of The Jackal mould, with Clooney in picturesque Italy. Apart from the classy visuals, it »

- The guide

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Bafta's Carl Foreman award jury must do better

21 January 2010 5:34 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The prize is supposed to reward outstanding work by a first-time British writer, director or producer. However, it's been too focused on directors

Forget such baubles as best film and best actor - the Bafta that really matters, for people who care about UK cinema, is the one for outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer.

It's not part of the Oscar race, so it gets overshadowed by the hoopla around the big prizes. But it's the award that says most about the present health and future hopes of British film. Ironically, it's given in honour of an American, the Oscar-winning screenwriter Carl Foreman, who fled Hollywood's blacklist to find sanctuary in Britain.

Foreman was a defiantly independent spirit. That's reflected in a prize which celebrates the passion, the determination, the ambition and the sheer bloody-minded desperation that drives first-time film-makers. The nominees often remark that they don't feel like newcomers, »

- Adam Dawtrey

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