What am I doing posting about the 2015 film and drama IFTA’s, which happened last MAY? It’s simple: I found this post languishing in my drafts folder and decided it was too good to waste. Better late than never…
After last year’s debacle, it seemed that the Irish Film and Television Awards might not be broadcast at all. RTÉ dropped the show, but eventually a deal was made with TV3 for 2015. Oddly though, the awards happened on May 24, and the broadcast did not occur until June 1. Furthermore, it was not a broadcast of the ceremony itself, but a one-hour “Awards Special” with highlights. (For online purposes the show has been further reduced to a series of clips which you can see here.)
Why the delayed broadcast? Extra insurance, I suppose, after the 2014 show went overtime by almost half an hour. They figure that the audience mainly wants to see the red carpet anyway, and the big stars. But they’re taking away the things that make awards shows simultaneously excruciating and interesting: the corny jokes, the suspense, the reaction shots, the thank-you speeches. Yes, I complained about the show last year. But I would like to judge for myself which bits make it worthwhile, rather than be fed a glossy recap by some producer.
I take an interest in the IFTAs because, as you can see, a certain Actor makes regular appearances there. And beyond that, it’s a good look at a group of very creative people, whose work I always gravitate toward anyway. Last year, Ciarán Hinds was nominated as Best Actor for The Sea, but lost to Brendan Gleeson in Cavalry. (He wuz robbed, but I’ll spare you a dive into that water under the bridge.) Still, the lovely Sinéad Cusack won Best Actress for The Sea. Her award was collected by her husband, Jeremy Irons. Other Persons of Interest at the show included Michael Fassbender, who won for 12 Years A Slave, Jamie Dornan (recognized as a “rising star”), and the real-life Philomena, who was escorted to the stage by another of my favorite fellas, Steve Coogan.
This year director Jim Sheridan ( My Left Foot, In The Name of the Father) received a Lifetime Achievement award, presented by Sean Bean.
One of the things I most enjoy about these awards is the overlap between stage and screen. In the room were at least three actors from a play we saw in Dublin last year, Our Few And Evil Days (Charlie Murphy, Tom Vaughan Lawlor and Ciarán Hinds). Stephen Rea, fresh from the critically lauded Ballyturk, was nominated for his supporting role in An Honourable Woman. And “rising star” Sarah Greene received Olivier and Tony nominations for her role in The Cripple of Inishmaan. (Could have seen it, didn’t–aaargh!)
A closeup of Charlie’s dress. She looks stunning, like a brunette Grace Kelly.
And who wins the Worst Dressed award? Sorry, Amanda Byram, but this ice-dancer/feather duster combo is heinous. Better luck next time!