Annal: 2008 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 2008.

Film:Atonement (2007)

Atonement

Joe Wright

In England in 1935, on the hottest day of the year, in the looming shadow of World War II, Briony Tallis and her family live a life of wealth and privilege in their enormous Victorian Gothic Mansion. As the family gathers for the weekend the combination of the oppressive heat and long suppressed emotions coming to the surface create an ominous sense of threat and danger.

Briony, a fledgling writer, is a girl with a vivid imagination. Through a series of catastrophic misunderstandings she accuses Robbie Turner, the housekeeper’s son and lover of her sister Cecilia, of a crime he did not commit.

This accusation destroys Robbie and Cecilia’s new found love and dramatically alters the course of all their lives.

Film:American Gangster

American Gangster

Ridley Scott

Nobody used to notice Frank Lucas (Washington), the quiet driver to one of the inner city's leading black crime bosses. But when his boss suddenly dies, Frank exploits the opening in the power structure to build his own empire. Lucas outplays all of the leading crime syndicates and becomes not only one of the city's mainline corrupters, but part of its circle of legit civic superstars.

Richie Roberts (Crowe) is an outcast cop close enough to the streets to feel a shift of control in the drug underworld. Roberts starts to suspect that a black power player has come from nowhere to dominate the scene. Both Lucas and Roberts share a rigorous ethical code that sets them apart from their own colleagues, making them lone figures on opposite sides of the law. The destinies of these two men will become intertwined as they approach a confrontation where only one of them can come out on top.

Film:The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others: (Das Leben der Anderen)

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

This critically-acclaimed, Oscar®-winning film (Best Foreign Language Film, 2006) is the erotic, emotionally-charged experience Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) calls “a nail-biter of a thriller!”

Before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, East Germany’s population was closely monitored by the State Secret Police (Stasi). Only a few citizens above suspicion, like renowned pro-Socialist playwright Georg Dreyman, were permitted to lead private lives. But when a corrupt government official falls for Georg’s stunning actress-girlfriend, Christa, an ambitious Stasi policeman is ordered to bug the writer’s apartment to gain incriminating evidence against the rival. Now, what the officer discovers is about to dramatically change their lives—as well as his—in this seductive political thriller Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) proclaims is “the best kind of movie: one you can’t get out of your head.”

Film:No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

The story begins when Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) finds a pickup truck surrounded by a sentry of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law—in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell (Jones)—can contain. As Moss tries to evade his pursuers—in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives (Bardem)—the film simultaneously strips down the American crime drama and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines.

Film:There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

Paul Thomas Anderson

A sprawling epic of family, faith, power and oil, There Will Be Blood is set on the incendiary frontier of California’s turn-of-the-century petroleum boom. The story chronicles the life and times of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), who transforms himself from a down-and-out silver miner raising a son on his own into a self-made oil tycoon.

When Plainview gets a mysterious tip-off that there’s a little town out West where an ocean of oil is oozing out of the ground, he heads with his son, H.W. (Dillon Freasier), to take their chances in dust-worn Little Boston. In this hardscrabble town, where the main excitement centers around the holy roller church of charismatic preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), Plainview and H.W. make their lucky strike. But even as the well raises all of their fortunes, nothing will remain the same as conflicts escalate and every human value—love, hope, community, belief, ambition and even the bond between father and son—is imperiled by corruption, deception and the flow of oil.

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