24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Ralph Fiennes

'Coriolanus,' 'We Need to Talk About Kevin': Betsy Sharkey's picks

January 25, 2012 |  5:50 pm

 

"Coriolanus" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin" -- two exceptional dramas that dropped in briefly in December to qualify for Oscar consideration -- are back in theaters for their real run. And they are certainly worth your consideration as well.

On the one hand there is "Coriolanus," Ralph Fiennes’ modern-day take on Shakespeare’s great war story with its brash mix of fighting, politics, economics and clashing egos.

Fiennes has proven to be as superb a director as an actor; he does both in "Coriolanus." With a talent-packed cast that includes Vanessa Redgrave, Gerard Butler and Jessica Chastain and a truly exceptional Brian Cox, it’s a sprawling story filled with big ideas and bigger action, and definitely worth the big screen.

On a more intimate level, there is the tragedy of Greek proportions with its family betrayals and loyalties stretched to the breaking point in "We Need to Talk About Kevin." It features yet another searing performance by Tilda Swinton, one of the top actresses working in the field today, and a fine job by the talented teenager Ezra Miller.

They play mother and son in this dark, stark disaster. Saturated with despair, it is not easy watching, but it couldn’t be more affecting. Sometimes you just have to let a film break your heart.

RELATED:

Betsy Sharkey's best film picks of 2011

The thrill of 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo': Wow

-- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times film critic


'Tyrannosaur' takes top prize at British Independent Film Awards

December 4, 2011 |  3:06 pm

 Peter Mullan in Tyrannosaur

"Tyrannosaur," a drama about a rage-filled man who finds redemption thanks to a charity store worker,  on Sunday was named best film at the British Independent Film Awards. Olivia Colman won lead actress and Paddy Considine also earned the Douglas Hickox Award for debut director for the film.

Michael Fassbender won the lead actor award for his performance as a sex addict in "Shame." 

Best director went to Lynne Ramsay for "We Need to Talk About Kevin," a drama about a woman with a troubled son.

Veteran Vanessa Redgrave was named supporting actress for her role as the lead character's mother in "Coriolanus," based on the Shakespeare classic. 

Michael Smiley won for supporting actor for the horror thriller "Kill List." And Richard Ayoade won for his screenplay of "Submarine," a comedy about a 15-year-old boy.

Best achievement in production went to the gay love story "Weekend."

 "Senna," a documentary about the late Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, was named best British documentary. Iran's "A Separation" earned the award for best foreign independent film. And Tom Cullen, who starred in  "Weekend," won most promising newcomer.

Special awards were also handed out Sunday. Ralph Fiennes, whose feature directorial debut,  "Coriolanus," opened Friday, earned the Richard Harris Award, which recognizes "outstanding contribution to British film by an actor." Kenneth Branagh, currently in "My Week With Marilyn," received the Variety Award, which "recognizes an actor, director, writer or producer who has helped to focus the international spotlight on the U.K."

Other awards handed out Sunday:

Raindance Award: "Leaving Baghdad"

Short film: "Chalk"

Special jury award: Graham Easton

Technical achievement: Maria Djurkovic for production design for "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" 

The awards were held at the Old Billingsgate Market in London.

RELATED

'King's Speech' tops British Independent Film Awards

'Shame,' 'Tinker' lead British Independent Film Award nominations

-- Susan King

Photo: Peter Mullan stars in "Tyrannosaur." Credit: Stran Releasing.

 


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