Paddy Considine’s debut feature as writer/ director, Tyrannosaur, is an undeniably bleak tale of drink, wife-beating, violence and dog killing. Although it’s superbly made and hyper-realistic, I found it a bit over-bleak and in need of a crack of light to soften the darkness. Nevertheless, it’s been well-received the world over and has won numerous film awards.
It’s full of great performances and although the plot ostensibly follows the excellent Peter Mullan’s character Joseph as he kicks, spits and drinks his way through life on a desperate council estate, it’s Olivia Colman’s extraordinary turn as the spousal abuse victim Hannah that steals the show. It’s a perfectly-pitched performance of absolute conviction and completely sincere and believable. For an actress principally known for comedy it’s a revelatory turn and one which deserves recognition.
Yet the BAFTA nominations for 2012 are noticeably and bafflingly missing her name.
As I write, Olivia Colman is trending on Twitter for the simple reason that thousands of people are as amazed as me that she hasn’t been recognised by the British Academy of Film and Television for an incredible performance in a non-more British film. Other nominees are Berenice Bejo for The Artist (an Argentinean in a French film), American Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn, American Viola Davis in American film The Help, Martian Tilda Swinton in UK/US production We Need Ttalk About Kevin and – somewhat inevitably – American Meryl Streep for her turn as the daughter of Satan in The Iron Lady. Now, the nominations should reflect the quality of the performances and not be biased by the nationality of the nominees or the productions, but I reckon Colman should (and may well) receive an Oscar nod for her performance and wouldn’t it be ironic if the Yanks spot a great British performance that BAFTA passed over?
I’ve not seen all of the nominated performances (I’ve decided against seeing The Iron Lady at the pictures as the cost of replacing a cinema screen after I’ve been unable to stop myself slashing it would be prohibitive) but I would be truly amazed if any are better than Olivia Colman’s in Tyrannosaur and, judging by the response to the nominations on the social networks, I’m not the only one surprised by the omission. It looks like the good people at BAFTA have got this one very wrong.
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