tv Review 2021 BBC News December 24, 2021 8:30pm-9:01pm GMT
new records for covid in the uk — the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began and an estimated 1.7 million people are reported to have had the virus on a single day last week. millions around the world face travel disruption over christmas, as the surge in omicron variant cases sees flights cancelled due to staff shortages. united airlines says it's contacting impacted passengers ahead of them coming to the airport. at least 39 people have been killed after a packed ferry caught fire in southern bangladesh. the number of casualties is likely to increase as many of the passengers have severe burns. and the queen is expected to give a very personal christmas message this year, her first since the death of her husband prince philip. the annual broadcast was recorded last week, before the queen's decision to stay in windsor castle because of concerns about the pandemic.
now on bbc news, review 2021: the year in film. mark kermode looks at the movie releases that made it onto screens, big and small, and sorts the crackers from the turkeys in his review of 2021. hello and welcome to this review of the year in film. i'm mark kermode and i'm here at the beautiful cinema museum in south london, where i'll be rounding up the highs and lows of 2021.
in a year when cinemas once again struggled with the closures, cancellations and uncertainties of covid, the biggest film story was surely the long—delayed release of no time to die. why would i betray you? we all have our secrets. we just didn't get to yours yet. originally slated to open in early 2020, daniel craig's final outing as 007 became the first high—profile release to announce a major covid—related postponement last year. for many uk cinemas, the new november 2020 opening date was a mast to which to tie their hopes
to april �*21 and then again to autumn. shall we cut to the chase? so when craig's bond swan song was finally unveiled at the albert hall at the end of september �*21, the sense of relief was palpable, not least because the film didn't disappoint. ably directed by beasts of no nation helmer caryjoji fukunaga, no time to die opened to strong reviews and solid box office. although, in yet another indication of how much the world has changed in recent years, a streaming release came hot on the heels of its theatrical debut, meaning that, right now, viewers can choose to watch no time to die in cinemas or at home, the model of the future. open the door. open the door! so now that craig's bond tenure is ended, who will be next to fill 007�*s shoes?
speculative front runners have included idris elba, tom hardy, henry cavill and riz ahmed, the last of whom is currently on a roll. at the 93rd academy awards, which took place later than usual this year in april, ahmed was one of the five nominees for best actor for his role in sound of metal, an engrossing drama about a drummer whose life is turned upside—down by the onset of deafness. i can't hear you! i'm deaf. you've got to wait for me. although he ultimately lost out to anthony hopkins, who took the statuette for the father... do you know, i'd give everything i own for a glass of whisky. don't you agree? ..ahmed established himself as one of the brightest talents of his generation, an actor, writer and musician who further expanded his range in the psychological thriller encounter and whose provocative
2020 short film the long goodbye, directed by aneil karia, continued to garner attention and awards throughout 2021. my tribe is a quest to a land that was lost to us. and it's name is dignity. so where i'm from is not your problem, bruv. but elsewhere at the 93rd 0scars, chloe zhao became only the second woman to win best director for nomadland. one of the things i love most about this life, there's no final goodbye. let's just say, "i'll see you down the road." and i do. i see them again. following in the footsteps of kathryn bigelow, who'd won for the hurt locker back in 2010, zhao, who more recently helmed the marvel blockbuster the eternals, delivered a box—office outsider that nonetheless earned stellar reviews, a moving portrayal of america's
modern travelling community, which also won best picture and best actress for frances mcdormand. i need work. i like work. other significant 0scar wins included emerald fennell, best known to some for playing camilla in the crown, picking up the award for best original screenplay for promising young woman... i thought we had a connection. 0k. how old am i? what are my hobbies? what's my name? sorry, maybe that one's too hard. daniel kaluuya, winning best supporting actor forjudas and the black messiah. deputy chairman fred hampton . of the illinois black panther party. ..and korean screen legend youn yuh—jung winning supporting actress for minari, the tale of a korean family making a new start in �*80s arkansas.
these wins had been prefigured at the baftas, which took place just a couple of weeks earlier at the start of april �*21, and which also correctly predicted the award for what the oscars now call best international feature, which went to danish film—maker thomas vinterberg's another round. mischievously unruly in tone, yet shot through with a flinty shard of sadness, vinterberg's best film since 1998's festen is a heady cocktail of ecstasy and grief, a tale of four middle—aged men experimenting with daytime drinking centring on the performance of a lifetime from mads mikkelsen, in a role that sees him literally dancing through the heart of darkness. as always, the international categories proved the most eye—opening part of award season,
providing an important platform forfilms like quo vadis, aida? which was nominated for both baftas and oscars and which recently won top honours at the european film awards. they are killing people outside. a harrowing drama set during the srebrenica massacre of 1995, writer—director jasmila zbanic�*s film lent a human heart to a horrifying tale, ensuring that we keep on watching — a notable achievement for a movie that is centrally concerned with the spectre of looking away. while quo vadis, aida? opened in the uk back in january 2021, another round bowed here injuly, around about the same time that the 74th cannes film festival was kicking off across the channel. serving as the festival's curtain—raiser was annette, a brilliantly bonkers musical written and scored by sparks, in which stars like adam driver and marion cotillard were arguably upstaged in the title role by a puppet. the film, which earned leos carax a cannes best director award,
was the culmination of a long—standing cinematic dream for ron and russell mael, a dream that had been brilliantly captured in edgar wright's wonderfully exhaustive documentary the sparks brothers. who are sparks? we are sparks. what are sparks? sparks are a band. are you a real band? next question. are you an english band? we are not an english band. dude. indeed, 2021 would see the release of not one but two features by wright, the second being last night in soho, a ghostly, giallo—tinged love letter to london's cinematic past that is perhaps best described as peeping tom's midnight garden. # downtown, things will be great when you're # downtown, no finer place for sure # downtown... # back at the cannes festival, french film—makerjulia ducournau, who'd made a splash with a brilliant
2016 feature debut raw, became only the second woman to win the palme d'or with her electrifying follow—up, titane. a full—blooded horror fable which channels the controversial spirit of david cronenberg's crash, a cannes scandal back in the �*90s, titane — released on boxing day in the uk — is a magnificently head—scrambling movie that reconfirms ducournau as a genuinely fearsome screen talent. be warned, titane is not for the faint—hearted, but if you're feeling adventurous, you're in for a treat. incidentally, the first woman to win the palme d'or was new zealand auteurjane campion, who triumphed with the piano back in 1993, sharing top honours with chen kaige. don't think. this year saw the release of the power of the dog, campion�*s first feature film in over a decade, which has been
hailed by critics as her best since the piano. benedict cumberbatch, kirsten dunst and kodi smit—mcphee star in a low—key, psychologically—driven western set in montana but filmed in new zealand — something you'd never know from watching the film. now, gentlemen, look, see, that's what you do with the cloth. 0h! it's reallyjust for wine drips. 0h! you got that, boys? only for the drip. now get us some food. as summer rolled around, the surprised seasonal hit turned out to be summer of soul, ahmir "questlove" thompson to be summer of soul, ahmir "questlove" thompson's rediscovery of footage from the 1969 harlem cultural festival, featuring jaw—dropping performances by nina simone, stevie wonder, sly and the family stone, mahalia jackson and more.
are you ready, black people? are you really ready? are you ready to listen to all the beautiful black voices, the beautiful black feeling, the beautiful black waves moving in beautiful air? and are you ready, black people? are you ready?! a sundance festival award winner, summer of soul makes such acclaimed films as woodstock and gimme shelter, long considered definitive documents of the highs and lows of 1969 pop culture, seem like a footnote to the main event. having effectively been written out of the history books, questlove�*s joyful film puts these amazing acts back in centre stage, creating what may well be the best concert movie of all—time. we wanted progress. "we're black people and we should be proud of this." we were coming together to say, "this was our world, and how beautiful it was." we're going to try toi sing a song together. don't wait for your neighbour,
cos your neighbour might - be waiting for you. are you ready? we believed in what we felt in here. so when we went out, "let's go! "let's go do it!" on into august, and welsh film—maker prano bailey—bond took audiences back to the �*80s heyday of the video nasties with her thrillingly distinctive feature debut censor. didn't that get to you? some of those scenes were so excessive. i do it to protect people. maybe enid could watch my latest frederick north submission. - i'm sure you could slip me a 15. it's harmless, i promise. niamh algar plays the film censor who is both repulsed by and strangely drawn to some of the more outre horror titles she classifies. as her macabre fascination grows, so fiction and reality blur. examining the power of horror to confront our deepest fears,
censor combined a sharp eye for period detail with a refreshingly irreverent attitude to nerdy fanboy facts, mixing themes of trauma, repression and liberation, all mediated through the deliciously tactile medium of illicit video tapes and pre—internet media panics. censor was just one of a number of british features that reminded us how vibrant our home—grown film industry remains even in these trying times. a few months earlier, english—pakistani film—maker aleem khan's brilliant feature debut after love had opened in uk cinemas, a tale of secrets and lies with a superb central performance by joanna scanlan. pardon, madame. i'm s o rry , i you are here for the cleaning? she plays mary, a white english muslim who converted many years ago to marry ahmed. but when ahmed dies,
mary discovers that he had another life and family in france, a revelation that causes her worldview to crumble. after love recently swept the board at the british independent film awards — or bifas — where its trophies included best british independent film, best director and best screenplay alongside best actress forjoanna scanlan. there were significant wins, too, for the documentary poly styrene: i am a cliche, which opened here in march and which told the story of the punk icon and x—ray spex frontwoman through the eyes of her daughter, celeste bell. i find a kind of solace in retracing herfootsteps,
barely visible as they are in the sands of time. the other big winner at this year's bifas was the tense one—shot drama boiling point, which uk audiences can see in the new year. how do you wash your hands, love? i know... sorry, what? in the sink. in the sink? which sink? andy... no, hang on, carly. no, carly, waita minute, love... stephen graham stars as the chef on the verge of a nervous breakdown, struggling to hold his personal and professional lives together over the course of one frantic evening, all captured in a breathtaking single take by cinematographer matthew lewis and director philip barantini. yes, chef. so what's that sink for, kid? food. for what? food. what do you not do in that sink? wash your hands. wash your what? hands. wash your hands, yeah. british acting talent was also at the heart of the green knight, a masterful adaptation of the middle english chivalric poem from american film—maker david lowery.
dev patel, kate dickie, sarita choudhury and sean harris are the top line players in a haunting epic that takes the viewer on a mythical quest that condenses the emotional weight of peterjackson�*s entire lord of the rings trilogy into just over two hours of pure screen magic. now, off with your head. amazingly, for such a richly cinematic work, the green knight almost missed out on a theatrical showing, having lost its august uk cinema release due to covid and finally opening simultaneously in cinemas and online in september. my planet arrakis is so beautiful when the sun is low.
rolling over the sands, you can see spice in the air. the outsiders ravage our lands in front of our eyes. on the subject of spectacular cinema, october saw the uk release of dune, denis villeneuve�*s long—awaited adaptation of frank herbert's �*60s sci—fi novel, or at least the first half of it. god in heaven. get everything with guns off the ground. go! this is an extermination. they're picking my family off one by one. let's fight like demons. like bond, dune�*s release had become a moveable feast, originally slated to open in cinemas in november 2020 but pushed back numerous times, before finally arriving in the immediate aftermath of no time to die.
in the us, dune opened simultaneously in cinemas and on hbo max, a decision that dismayed villeneuve, who declared that dune won't have the chance to perform financially in order to be viable and piracy will ultimately triumph. he went on to say that warner bros mightjust have killed the dune franchise, although the announcement that dune: part two is now in the works would seem to suggest that that isn't the case. once again, the future looks increasingly like a hybrid environment in which cinema and streaming services must co—exist, for better or worse. look at you! put on some muscle? idid? no. of course, in the modern movie marketplace, films don't have to have a theatrical release to have an impact. take disney pixar�*s luca, one of my favourite animations of 2021, which was originally due to open in cinemas but ended up going straight to
the streaming service disney+. alberto scorfano. luca paguro. he speaks italian it's a human thing. i'm kind of an expert. what does it mean? a tale of two boys who are really sea creatures keeping their true identity secret, the film was interpreted by many, myself included, as a parable about coming of age and coming out. director enrico casarosa has said that he took inspiration from memories of his childhood in genoa, his love of federico fellini and his admiration for the hand—drawn animations of hayao miyazaki. while movies like encanto may have become big screen favourites, luca won my heart on the small screen. # please don't take my sunshine away... # the same was true, in a very different way, of greenland, one of the surprise treats of 2021 and another film that went direct to streaming services in the uk.
do not stand in the open. originally announced with chris evans as star and neill blomkamp of district 9 as director, greenland turned out to be the perfect vehicle for gerard butler and director ric roman waugh, reuniting after angel has fallen for a sharply written and grippingly executed apocalypse pic that punched well above its mid—budget weight. and while we're talking guilty pleasures, let's not forget nobody, a riotously entertaining affair in which better call saul star
bob odenkirk plays a down at heel schlub who looks like a soft target but turns out to be anything but. for 12 years, i worked for some very dangerous people. everybody, get to the basement. what is happening? don't call 911. along with the blockbuster marvel movie shang—chi and the legend of the ten rings, one of the biggest selling films of the year, nobody featured the best bus fight scene of 2021. now that's what i call getting a ticket punched! what are you still - doing here, old man? looking ahead to 2022, what can we expect to be making waves at the baftas and oscars? # there's a place for us... # spielberg's west side story may well be a contender, having opened to disappointing box office but extremely positive reviews in december.
also shaping up as an awards favourite is belfast, kenneth branagh�*s black—and—white evocation of the town in which he grew up, which has been delighting audiences at film festivals. it opens here injanuary. this is the time to make a new start. mama says if we went across the water, they wouldn't understand the way we talk. shouldn't be a problem. i've been married to- your granny for 50 years. i've never understood a word she said! - will smith and aunjanue ellis, who play the father and mother of upcoming tennis champions venus and serena williams in king richard, are both shaping up as possible players... you going to show them how dangerous you are? ..as is peter dinklage in the new version of cyrano... the world will never accept someone like me. ..and kristen stewart, who plays princess diana in the fable from a true tragedy spencer. three days. that's it. i'm thrilled to report
that there's also a lot of awards buzz around paul thomas anderson's licorice pizza, a nostalgic love story that has something of the crazy romantic charm of my favourite anderson movie, punch drunk love. do you know who i am? yeah. do you know who my girlfriend is? barbra streisand? barbra streis—and. sand. yeah, like sands, like the ocean... barbra streisand? no, streisand. sand. of course, as with every year, 2021 has also had its fair share of stinkers. back injanuary, we had stardust, a film about david bowie that featured neither the music, lyrics, wit, charm or sheer entertainment value of its subject. who or what is david bowie? a few months later, the dismal shoplifters of the world came to uk streaming services, garlanded in praise from morrissey, which made sense because this preposterous fanboy drama is, forsome, exactly the film he deserves. fast forward another few months, and uk audiences got to enjoy
wild mountain thyme... it's not normal. i don't care. you take afterjohn kelly. and that man was mad as the full moon. - ..featuring christopher walken and co doing the worst irish accents since mickey rourke in a prayerfor the dying. why did you leave? i saw myself laying on the street, dying, not wanting to die. and right now, uk cinemagoers are being treated to jared leto making what sounds like italian whale noises in the otherwise entertaining house of gucci. we're a family. gucci is my name too! but let's finish on a high note with my very favourite film of 2021, a modern fable from french film—maker celine sciamma, creator of girlhood and portrait of a lady on fire and now the wonderful petite maman.
whether you're six or 60, this astonishingly insightful and heartbreakingly hopeful film about two young girls who share a magical bond will pierce your heart, broaden your mind and gladden your soul — even as you wipe away tears. just 73 minutes long and rated suitable for all by the bbfc, petite maman is a u certificate masterpiece that reminds us of the universal power of cinema to transform and engage audiences, transcending boundaries of age, gender or nationality. if we can have just one movie this good every year, then the future of cinema still looks bright. that's it from me for 2021. i hope you've enjoyed this round—up of the year in film. thanks for watching. stay safe and
i'll see you in the new year. # what a life, what a night # what a beautiful, beautiful ride # don't know where i'm in five, but i'm young and alive... # hello. it's scotland that will see the sunny skies on christmas day. elsewhere, a lot of cloud around — and from that cloud will be mainly rain, rather than snow. and this is how things are looking as we get into tonight — cloud and outbreaks of rain heading a little bit further north and east through wales and england. another batch of rain running into south wales and southwest england that could be quite heavy,
it's mild here. the lowest temperatures are in scotland, the clearest skies here — so frost into the morning, but some sunshine to follow. for england, wales, and northern ireland, expect a good deal of cloud around. some outbreaks of rain turning wetter and northern ireland in the afternoon, some heading north and east through wales, and england as the day goes on. mild to the southwest, coldest in scotland despite the sunshine. elsewhere, feeling quite chilly where you've got the cloud and a freshening breeze, as well. and overnight and into boxing day, we see some rain pushing into that colder air, delivering some snow into the pennines, the southern uplands. and that could be blowing about in strengthening winds.
this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. new records for covid in the uk: the highest number of daily cases since the pandemic began — and an estimated 1.7 million people are reported to have had the virus on a single day last week. millions around the world face travel disruption over christmas, as the surge in omicron cases sees more than 2,000 flights cancelled globally due to staff shortages. at least 39 people are killed after a packed ferry caught fire in southern bangladesh. the most powerful telescope to ever be launched into space is due to blast off on christmas day. and the queen is expected to give a very personal christmas message this year, her first since the death of her husband prince philip.