Slumdog Millionaire triumphs at London Film Critics Circle Awards held in aid of NSPCC
Press Releases - 05 February 2009
A successful awards season continued for Slumdog Millionaire tonight (4 February) at the 29th London Film Critics' Circle Awards, sponsored by first direct, in aid of the NSPCC.
Slumdog Millionaire scooped three prizes, winning The Attenborough Award for British Film of the Year, British Director of the Year for Danny Boyle, and Screenwriter of the Year for Simon Beaufoy.
An NSPCC Award for Young British Performer of the Year was presented for the first time. Its inaugural winner was 16-year-old Thomas Turgoose for two very different roles; a teenager escaping a bad home life in Somers Town, and a ferocious yob in Brit shocker Eden Lake.
Kate Winslet's 2009 awards success continued, winning Actress of the Year for her performances in both The Reader and Revolutionary Road. While Kristin Scott-Thomas picked up the award for British Actress of the Year for her formidable bi-lingual performance in I've Loved You So Long.
Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler won Film of the Year, with the award for Best Actor going to leading man Mickey Rourke for his portrayal of an ageing prize-fighter. Meanwhile, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won Director of the Year for David Fincher, and British Actress in a Supporting Role for Tilda Swinton.
A raw portrayal of IRA prisoner Bobby Sands in Hunger scooped director Steve McQueen the award for Breakthrough British Film Maker, with its star Michael Fassbender winning British Actor of the Year
Foreign Language Film of the Year went to Ari Folman's searing depiction of the 1982 Lebanon conflict, Waltz With Bashir. And the award for British Actor in a Supporting Role went to Eddie Marsan for his obsessive driving instructor in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky.
Finally, The Dilys Powell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema was presented to Dame Judi Dench, for over 40 years of unforgettable performances in classic British films such as A Room with a View and Shakespeare in Love. Dame Judi continues to reprise her role as M in the James Bond films and is currently filming Nine, based on the 1982 Tony Award-winning musical of the same name.
Chairman of the London Film Critics Circle Jason Solomons said: "This was a brilliant night of awards, with the UK's leading critics recognising some truly outstanding work from around the world. I'm delighted the critics have seen things differently to many other awards bodies but I'm also thrilled that we can add our chorus of approval to those receiving rightful acclaim elsewhere.
"The high calibre of film makers and actors who attended the ceremony was very gratifying, and it proves just how much winning the respect of this disparate, diligent and discerning group of critics still matters in the film industry.
"It was very special to have Dame Judi Dench with us to celebrate our highest honour and I think the entire industry was on its feet to acknowledge the immense contribution she has made to the acting profession.
"I was excited, too, by the close battle for the inaugural NSPCC award for Young British Performer. It's a category bristling with talent and, while we were honouring a cinema legend tonight, I think everyone also enjoyed having these gifted young actors around to witness the future of film stretching out before us."
The awards were hosted by broadcasters Mariella Frostrup and Paul Gambaccini at London's Grosvenor House Hotel and are the only film awards that raise money for charity.
For further information and a wide selection of images, please contact the NSPCC Media Office on 020 7825 2516 / 2514 Out of hours mobile 07976 206635.
Notes to editors:
Full list of winners for the 29th Critics' Circle Film Awards
Film of the Year
Attenborough Film of the Year
Director of the Year
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
British Director of the Year
Actor of the Year
Actress of the Year
The Reader / Revolutionary Road
British Actor of the Year
British Actress of the Year
I've Loved You So Long
British Actor in a Supporting Role
British Actress in a Supporting Role
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Screenwriter of the Year
The NSPCC Award: Young British Performance of the Year
Somers Town / Eden Lake
Breakthrough British Film-Maker
Foreign Language Film of the Year
Waltz With Bashir
The Dilys Powell Award
Dame Judi Dench
- Irish performers and film-makers are eligible in British categories of the London Critics' Circle Film Awards.
About the NSPCC
The NSPCC is the UK's leading children charity specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children. The NSPCC's purpose is to end cruelty to children FULL STOP. Its vision is of a society where all children are loved, valued and able to fulfil their potential. The NSPCC runs 180 projects and services across the United Kingdom and Channel Islands, including ChildLine, the UK's free, confidential 24-hour helpline for children and young people. The NSPCC helps over 10,000 children and their families every year.
About the Critics' Film Circle
The London Critics' Circle, the film section of the Critics' Circle, has over 100 members who write for newspapers and magazines published all over the United Kingdom. Many of whom also appear on national and local radio and television.