Annal: 1997 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Film

Results of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award in the year 1997.

Film:The English Patient

The English Patient

Anthony Minghella

Winner of nine Academy Awards and almost every critic’s heart, The English Patient (based on Michael Ondaatje’s prizewinning novel of love and loss during World War II) is one of the most acclaimed films of modern times. Hana, a nurse (Juliette Binoche), tends to an archaeologist (Ralph Fiennes) who has been burnt to a crisp in a plane crash. As their relationship intensifies, he flashes back to his overwhelming passion for a married woman (Kristin Scott Thomas). Meanwhile, Hana begins a new romance with a man who defuses bombs (Naveen Andrews) and Willem…

Film:Fargo

Fargo

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Leave it to the wildly inventive Coen brothers (Joel directs, Ethan produces, they both write) to concoct a fiendishly clever kidnap caper that’s simultaneously a comedy of errors, a Midwestern satire, a taut suspense thriller, and a violent tale of criminal misfortune. It all begins when a hapless car salesman (played to perfection by William H. Macy) ineptly orchestrates the kidnapping of his own wife. The plan goes horribly awry in the hands of bumbling bad guys Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare (one of them being described by a local girl as “kinda funny…

Film:Secrets & Lies

Secrets & Lies

Mike Leigh

If a film fan had never heard of director Mike Leigh, one might explain him as a British Woody Allen. Not that Leigh’s films are whimsical or neurotic; they are tough-love examinations of British life—funny, outlandish, and biting. His films share a real immediacy with Allen’s work: they feel as if they are happening now. Leigh works with actors—real actors—on ideas and language. There is no script at the start (and sometimes not at the end). Secrets and Lies involves Hortense (Marianne Jean-Baptiste), an elegant black woman wanting to learn her birth…

Film:Shine

Shine

Scott Hicks

This tearjerker by Australian filmmaker Scott Hicks is a surprising story about real-life classical pianist David Helfgott, an Australian who rose to international prominence at a very young age in the 1950s and ‘60s, and suffered a psychological collapse after enduring years of abuse from his father (Armin Mueller-Stahl). Hicks has three very fine actors portraying Helfgott at different stages of his life, including the adorably wry and goofy Noah Taylor (Flirting), who takes up the character’s teen years, and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, giving a great…

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