Awards ceremonies have been coming thick and fast, but it’s still anyone’s guess as to who will take home the coveted Best Director Oscar. Would the 34th annual London Critics’ Circle Film Awards give us a clue? Steve McQueen was the star of the show, but the brains behind 12 Years A Slave didn’t have it all his own way.
Sadly, the night began with a dark cloud cast over proceedings, as news of the sudden passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman filtered through. Impromptu tributes were paid to the Capote star, who was honoured by the Critics’ Circle two years ago for The Master.
On a brighter note, Sunday night in Mayfair saw a celebration of the very best of British. Dame Judi Dench, who had to send a video message from the set of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2, was named British Actress of the Year. Another highlight was Gary Oldman being presented with the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Acting, by the evergreen John Hurt.
But the evening belonged to one Steve McQueen – well, almost. 12 Years A Slave took three awards in total, the obvious highlight being Film of the Year. Two of the movie’s stars, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o, wallked away as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively. For all of this success, however, the title of Best Director was to evade McQueen for the second time in a little over a week. Once again, that honour went to Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity.
This didn’t seem to dampen McQueen’s spirits one bit though, as he posed for photographs and signed his way through a seemingly endless queue of autograph hunters. When asked who his most important critic was, he replied: “My mum, my mum above all! There’s critics, there’s scholars, but there’s your mum, so I’m very pleased about that.”
So mum’s proud, but who is going to take the Academy Award for Best Director 2014? Let us know what you think!