5 December 2013 1:46 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Have British critics gone soft for local films?

On Dec. 8, the U.K. film biz gathers at the British Independent Film Awards to toast the year’s achievements, and Blighty’s film reviewers will be among those cheering.

Wind the clock back 10 or so years, and you’d have found that British movie releases were generally greeted with loud groans from the local press.

This has changed. Look back at the critical reception for the Bifa-nominated films, and you’ll find widespread praise for the efforts of the filmmakers.

The film with the mostnominations, David Mackenzie’s “Starred Up,” was described as the “finest British-made prison drama for a long time” by David Sexton of the Evening Standard. The pic received four stars out of a possible five from Sexton, while his colleague Charlotte O’Sullivan gives the second most nominated film, Clio Barnard’s “The Selfish Giant,” five stars. »

- Leo Barraclough

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