The 39th London Film Critics’ Circle Awards

"The ceremony was notable for the fact that virtually all of the winning films are by/and or about women" Dame Heather Rabbatts

The UK’s leading film critics handed out their annual prizes on Sunday night at the 39th London Critics’ Circle Film Awards presented by Dover Street Entertainment at The May Fair Hotel. Hosted by British comic Judi Love, the black-tie event saw Alfonso Cuarón’s Mexican drama Roma named as Film of the Year, while Cuarón also collected Director of the Year. 

Yorgos Lantimos was on hand as his blackly comical period film The Favourite won four awards, including British/Irish Film and Screenwriter, plus Actress and Supporting Actress for Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz, respectively. The critics’ top prize, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film, was presented to Pedro Almodóvar by Tamsin Greig, who starred in the West End adaptation of his classic film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

Other winners at the ceremony were Richard E Grant, who came along to collect his Supporting Actor of the Year prize for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Ethan Hawke sent a video greeting from New York to accept Actor of the Year for First Reformed. Jessie Buckley was named British/Irish Actress of the Year for Beast. And Rupert Everett sent his costar and friend Emily Watson to collect his award as British/Irish Actor of the Year for The Happy Prince. Agnes Varda also sent a video thank you to claim Documentary of the Year for Faces Places.

Also in attendance were Molly Wright, named Young British/Irish Performer of the Year for her role in Apostasy; Michael Pearce, who won Breakthrough British/Irish Filmmaker for Beast. Pawel Pawlikowski accepted the Foreign-Language Film prize for Cold War, while his cinematographer Lukasz Zal won the Technical Achievement Award. Lara Zeidan’s Three Centimetres was named British/Irish Short Film of the Year. Guests and nominees in attendance included Anya Taylor-Joy, Fionn Whitehead, Liv Hill, Caroline Goodall, Muna Otaru, Deborah Haywood, Daniel Kokotajlo, Gonzalo Maza, Ian Bonhote, Peter Ettedgui, and Jake and Hannah Graf.

The ceremony was notable for the fact that virtually all of the winning films are by and/or about women. Dame Heather Rabbatts of Time’s Up UK said, “We were delighted to see the Critics’ Circle nominate two female directors for Director of the Year at this year’s ceremony, which was hosted by a black woman for the first time. And the Film Section’s current chair, Anna Smith, is the first woman to helm the section in over 40 years and is part of a team working towards gender parity and diversity in criticism. As Time’s Up UK enters its second year, we are as dedicated to raising the profile of female critics as we are the number of female film directors and more women in leadership roles across all parts of the arts industry and beyond. So it is great to see the Critics’ Circle championing women, especially as we turn to the Baftas in a few weeks time”.

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