21 February 2013 11:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Unlike in 2012, the films nominated for best picture have also been crowd-pleasers

Even discounting the Stephen Fry gush factor, anyone watching the Baftas ceremony a couple of weeks ago would be left in little doubt that the film establishment is pretty pleased with the set of titles competing for this year's awards. Fry announced that in all his years as host, he couldn't remember a set of films and performances that he had so admired and enjoyed, and the assembled throng was happy to believe him. This was a night in which the predictable bout of self-congratulation unfolded with a rare hint of genuine conviction.

When it comes to the annual frenzy of award-giving, the film industry likes to suggest that quality is the only consideration, and that the numbers don't count. But, of course, that's not true. Box office, ultimately, is the only validation that matters, the one measurable »

- Charles Gant

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