Leigh leads the way at the London Film Critics nominations

Story by Jack Foley


IN WHAT proved to be a good year for the Brits in Hollywood (and in general) during 2002, some of the cinema industry’s leading lights feature prominently among the nominations for the London Film Critics’ Awards, which are announced in February.

Mike Leigh came out best, landing five nods for his latest, All Or Nothing, starring Timothy Spall, while the likes of Christopher Nolan and Sam Mendes also feature among the directors.

All Or Nothing has been nominated as best British film, while Leigh is vying for best British director and screenwriter. Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen complete the nominations in the best British actress and best British supporting actress categories, respectively.

Of the other major contenders, Sam Mendes’ superb Road To Perdition, starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, and Ken Loach’s gritty Sweet Sixteen, starring newcomer Martin Compston, both landed three nominations.

Road To Perdition is up for best film, alongside brilliant Australian flick, Lantana, and as well as indie flicks, Donnie Darko, Bowling For Columbine and About Schmidt (which has yet to be released in the UK).

In the acting stakes, Sir Michael Caine will be waving the British flag for his performance in The Quiet American against the high-profile likes of Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt) and Al Pacino (Insomnia).

Oscar winner and Bond girl, Halle Berry, has been nominated for best actress for her performance in Monster's Ball, and will compete alongside Kerry Armstrong (for Lantana) and Stockard Channing (for The Business of Strangers).

The awards will be handed out at a ceremony in London on February 12.

The London Film Critics' awards always prove a popular attraction in the awards calendar for the way it divides films into British and non-British sections.

As such, the popular comedy, About A Boy, starring Hugh Grant, and Sweet Sixteen will compete with All Or Nothing in the best British film category - making way for the bigger, more expensive, guns of Hollywood in the major best film category.

Likewise, in the acting categories, Samantha Morton (Morvern Callar), Miranda Richardson (Spider) and the aforementioned Lesley Manville are in the running for best British actress, while Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things), Hugh Grant (About A Boy) and Ralph Fiennes (Spider) are competing for the best British actor award.

Looking abroad, New Zealander, Peter Jackson, has been nominated as best director for Lord of the Rings, along with Phillip Noyce (for both The Quiet American and Rabbit Proof Fence) and Pedro Almodovar (for Talk To Her).

The best foreign language film will be played out between Talk To Her, Y Tu Mama Tambien and The Son’s Room.

The nominations in full:

Film of the year

The Road to Perdition
About Schmidt
Donnie Darko
Bowling for Columbine

British film of the year

All Or Nothing
About a Boy
Sweet Sixteen

Best foreign language film
Talk to Her
Y Tu Mama Tambien
The Son's Room

Best director
Pedro Almodovar (Talk to Her)
Phillip Noyce (The Quiet American/Rabbit Proof Fence)
Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings)

Best British director
Sam Mendes (Road to Perdition)
Christopher Nolan (Insomnia)
Mike Leigh (All Or Nothing)

Best screenwriter
David Self (Road to Perdition)
Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding)
Andrew Bovell (Lantana)

Best British screenwriter

Paul Laverty (Sweet Sixteen)
Mike Leigh (All or Nothing)
Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things)

Best actress
Halle Berry (Monster's Ball)
Kerry Armstrong (Lantana)
Stockard Channing (The Business of Strangers)

Best British actress

Samantha Morton (Morven Callar)
Lesley Manville (All Or Nothing)
Miranda Richardson (Spider)

Best actor
Sir Michael Caine (The Quiet American)
Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt)
Al Pacino (Insomnia)

Best British actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dirty Pretty Things)
Hugh Grant (About a Boy)
Ralph Fiennes (Spider)

Best British actress in a supporting role
Ruth Sheen (All or Nothing)
Emily Watson (Red Dragon)
Shirley Henderson (24 Hour Party People)

Best British actor in a supporting role
Jude Law (Road to Perdition)
Kenneth Branagh (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind)

British newcomer of the year
Keira Knightley (Bend it Like Beckham)
Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen)
Asif Kapadia (The Warrior)

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