Oscar nominations for local talent

Pictured: Emma Stone in The Favourite. Photos courtesy Yorgos Lanthimos.

By David Prendeville

This year’s Oscar nominations brought about unprecedented success for local talent. Mespil Road based, Element Pictures’ The Favourite (reviewed on Page 23) carried on its awards season march, scoring ten nominations. That is an unprecedented number for an Irish production.

Some of the major categories it got the nod in were: Best Picture, Best Director for Yorgos Lanthimos, Best Actress for Olivia Colman, Best Supporting Actress for both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, Best Original Screenplay for Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, and Best Cinematographer for Irish director of photography Robbie Ryan.

The Favourite was the joint most-nominated film this year, alongside Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe commented upon hearing the news: “We are in LA and jet lagged so we were wide awake and ready to watch the awards at whatever ungodly hour it was. It’s incredible to get this recognition – maybe because the film has been so challenging to pull together over such a long time it’s all the sweeter. Huge congratulations to all the nominees and we are especially delighted that Yorgos got the nod for director – more than with most movies, it’s all down to him. We are dying to get back to Dublin to celebrate with our gang at Element who have all been such brilliant fellow travellers on the journey. And, of course, huge gratitude to Fox Searchlight, Film4 and Waypoint.”

Elsewhere, two IADT graduates secured nominations in the short film categories. Louise Bagnall’s film Late Afternoon, which she wrote, directed, animated and even provided voice-work for, secured a nomination in the Best Animated Short Film category. The film which tackles the theme of dementia and features the voice work of Fionnula Flanagan was produced by Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon. The film has previously won an IFTA for Best Short Animation, as well as winning Best Animated Short at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival and winning big at the Irish Film Festival London.

Vincent Lambe saw his film Detainment receive a nomination for best live action short. The film, which Lambe wrote and directed, has received wide critical acclaim and already scooped numerous awards along the festival circuit, including winning Best Short and Special Jury Prize at the prestigious Young Director awards in Cannes.

It also won Best Short Film, Best Director and Best Actor at the Richard Harris Film Festival and has picked up distinguished gongs at the Kerry Film Festival, The Odense Film Festival and Irish Screen America, amongst others.

The film, based on the transcripts of the boys who were convicted of murdering James Bulger, has recently attracted some controversy. However, film critics have noted its lack of sensationalism in dealing with the subject and the superb performances from its young actors. The film will hope to follow the lead of previous Irish winners in this category such as Ben Cleary’s Stutterer in 2016 and, going back a bit further, Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy Six Shooter back in 2006.