Category Archives: Awards and prizes

Brits awards 2018: Stormzy and Dua Lipa beat elders to snatch top prizes

London grime MC honoured on night when artists carry white roses in protest against sexual harassment

Dua Lipa and Stormzy, two of Britain’s most exciting breakthrough pop acts, have beaten much more experienced competitors to the top prizes at the ceremony at London’s O2 Arena.

Stormzy, AKA 24-year-old south London grime rapper Michael Omari, beat big names including Sheeran and Liam Gallagher in the best British male category, thanks to the piercing flow and emotive balladry showcased on his debut album Gang Signs and Prayer. That LP also won the most prestigious award of the night, British album of the year, again beating Sheeran as well as Rag’n’Bone Man, J Hus and Lipa.

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Who is the best Oscar winning lead actor of all time?

Stewart? Poitier? Scofield? De Niro? Day-Lewis? Our chief critic selects a victor from his nominees – and reveals who you chose as your people’s champion

The best actor Academy award has always had a totemic fascination. Peter O’Toole was tortured throughout his career by getting nominated eight times without winning, and actually considered turning down a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2003 — at the age of 70 — on the grounds that he was “still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright”. (He never did, though was nominated for the last time in 2007.) Holding the Oscar in your hand is something that many actors daydream about. The first ever best actor winner, Emil Jannings, was the German silent movie actor later disgraced for his propaganda associations with the Nazi regime: when Allied troops entered Berlin in 1945, he is said to have stood in the rubble, holding up his statuette and piteously calling out: “I have Oscar!” His successors have been considerably more respectable, providing performances that have thrilled and captivated movie audiences over decades. Here is my fantasy lineup of best actor nominees in my Oscar-of-Oscars ceremony.

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Frances McDormand: two defining roles, two decades apart

Her reaction to an Oscar for Fargo suggested a complex attitude towards fame. With Three Billboards, it will be tested again

Winners of the Oscar for best actress can pretty much choose what to do next. But, when Frances McDormand won in 1996 – for her performance as an eccentric but unfoolable Minnesota cop in Fargo – she made choices that surprised Hollywood.

The best thing about the award, she told interviewers, was that she was now famous enough to be cast in a Sesame Street video giving tips to children who got lost. Then, at a point where she could have picked any film, she chose to go to the Gate theatre in Dublin for a revival of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. She specifically asked the Gate not to mention her Oscar in the programme.

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Who is the best Oscar-winning lead actress of all time?

Elizabeth Taylor? Meryl Streep? Frances McDormand? Our chief critic picks a winner from his five nominees – and reveals who you chose as your champion

The Academy award for best actress confers a burdensome glamour on its recipient, in most cases a career-high but sometimes a career-end, a longed-for prize that nothing can top, making its winner a pampered jewel in a very male prestige display. Like almost everything about the Academy Awards, it rewards tragedy rather than comedy, and grandiloquence rather than subtlety, so there is something operatic in lining up a five-part fantasy league of the best actress winners. But these are some of the most glorious and intensely pleasurable performances it is possible to watch.

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Get Out triumphs at Writers Guild of America awards

Jordan Peele’s smash-hit horror film and the gay coming-of-age movie Call Me By Your Name take top prizes at Oscars bellwether

Get Out and Call Me By Your Name took the top prizes at the Writers Guild of America awards, in one of the final major awards-season bellwethers before next month’s Oscars.

Get Out, the smash-hit satirical horror written and directed by Jordan Peele, triumphed in the best original screenplay category, beating I, Tonya, Lady Bird, The Big Sick and current Oscar best picture favourite The Shape of Water. However, another best picture frontrunner, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, was ineligible at the WGAs because it did not meet the organisation’s signatory rules.

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Gary Oldman, the Grammys and doubts over Hollywood's #MeToo commitment

While the industry applauds a new era of female empowerment, a controversial actor is poised to win an Oscar and men dominated music’s big night

Casey Affleck, under fire for sexual harassment allegations, has withdrawn as an Oscars presenter. James Franco, accused of sexual misconduct by five women, was snubbed from the nominations.

Little of the #MeToo pressure, however, has landed on Gary Oldman, a nominee who was once accused of abusing an ex-wife and who previously used racist and sexist slurs in an interview while railing against “political correctness” and defending Mel Gibson’s antisemitic comments. On the contrary, Oldman is expected to win the top prize, his first best actor trophy, which critics say is something of a lifetime achievement award.

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Greatest Oscar winners ever: who is the best director of all time?

Capra? Coppola? Bigelow? Our chief film critic crowns one of five nominees the Oscar of Oscars champion – and reveals who you picked as your winner

After announcing the nominees last week, we begin our Oscar of Oscars all-time list with best director. In no other category has this choice been more painful, because, rightly or wrongly, the director is often seen as a film’s all-powerful creator: a film director’s authorial rights are even enshrined in EU law. The director liaises with the casting director and works with the actors, rehearsing them, shaping their performances. The director consults with the cinematographer, framing shots, and decides which take to use. The director makes decisions under pressure on set and on location about the look and feel of what is being shot. And of course the director accumulates prestige and respect — part of what an Oscar is there to offer.

So to the contenders. Frank Capra’s legendary lightness of touch was never more exquisitely judged than in his great early picture It Happened One Night from 1934. In its pre-Hays Code sexual daring and droll repartee, It Happened One Night set a rarely reached gold standard for romantic comedy – with a great script by Robert Riskin. It is not simply the dash and sweep with which Capra takes us from the initial, hilarious yacht escape to the intimate encounters in buses and motels, and then the extraordinary wedding finale; it’s his handling of the actors, too. When Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert fake being quarrelling marrieds in front of the detectives and burst out laughing when they’re gone, you can’t help but laugh with them, as if you have witnessed a real miracle: the icy heiress turns out to be a great actress, gamely going along with the gag. Then there’s the melting of the meet-cute ice and the growing love between them. Capra orchestrates these two alpha-stars with masterly flair.

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Best of the red carpet and beyond: the 2018 Grammy awards – in pictures

The 60th Grammys in New York featured awards for Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Kendrick Lamar, and performances from U2, Rihanna, Elton John, Kesha and Lady Gaga. Many wore white roses to show support against sexual harassment

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'Already iconic': David Adjaye's black history museum wins design of the year

The British architect and four practices triumph for their bold addition to the Washington DC Mall, inspired by African sculpture and chronicling slave history. Is it a worthy winner?

Standing proudly on the Mall in Washington DC, looking like a shimmering bronze pagoda, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has been named design of the year 2017. It is only the second time in the award’s 10-year history that a building has taken the title, following on from Zaha Hadid’s 2014 win for the Heydar Aliev centre in Azerbaijan – a decision that sparked protest over allegations of forced evictions and human rights abuses.

This year’s winner – the work of four practices though often credited to Britain’s Sir David Adjaye, as he was the creative force behind its genesis – stands as a gleaming temple of abuses of a different kind. The museum’s emotionally charged basement charts the horrific treatment suffered by African Americans over the centuries, with leg irons, whipping posts and slave auction blocks graphically spotlit, as visitors are taken through the history of the struggle for racial equality, rising to the sunnier upper levels of funk, soul, hip-hop and contemporary art.

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Casey Affleck withdraws from presenting best actress award at Oscars

Last year’s best actor winner, who has previously faced accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior, will not attend this year’s ceremony

Casey Affleck has decided not to present the Oscar for best actress at this year’s ceremony.

Related: Oscar nods pour in for The Shape of Water in year coloured by #MeToo

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