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Culture, Film

The British Are Coming 

James Pike
The British are coming Christian Bale Letitia Wright Olivia Colman Richard E Grant Rachel Weisz

We Brits have always had a strong presence during awards season and 2019 is no exception. With this year’s ceremonies coming to a close, James Pike takes a look at some of the Great Britons representing the nation, and the roles that have garnered multiple nominations and one big win.

Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved
Rachel Weisz - Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

It’s easy to forget that Rachel Weisz is a recipient of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for 2005’s The Constant Gardener. Generally, despite her busy career over the past 25 years, I find the majority of Weisz’s roles relatively understated. For 2019’s The Favourite, Weisz’s sly and intimate Sarah Churchill reminded us all why she was previously lauded, landing nominations from all the big awards ceremonies and winning the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress.

Christian Bale

Christian Bale Greig Fraser Annapurna Pictures 2018 Annapurna Pictures, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Christian Bale - Greig Fraser / Annapurna Pictures 2018 © Annapurna Pictures, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Christian Bale is no stranger to roles that require full metamorphosis, be it crack-addicts, anorexic insomniacs or masked vigilantes Bale’s almost masochistic approach to his art shows true commitment. For 2019’s Vice, Bale transforms his body yet again to play Dick Cheney. Just when you thought that Bale was a one-trick pony here he shows the breadth of his range and truly immerses himself in his most convincing role to date. His portrayal was recognised far and wide however, a certain Mr Malek was ever-present with a chameleon-like performance of an iconic Brit.

Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman Photo by Atsushi Nishijima 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved
Olivia Colman - Photo by Atsushi Nishijima. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved
Letitia Wright Walt Disney Pictures Marvel Entertainment
Letitia Wright - ©Walt Disney Pictures,
Marvel Entertainmen

Watching Olivia Colman receive the Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite, gave me a sense of pride akin to watching British athletes receive gold at the Olympics. I can remember first seeing Colman in Peep Show way back in 2003 and have seen her steadily (and consistently) improve her craft over the past 15 years in both film and TV, going from strength to strength and garnering awards for roles that have pushed her abilities in new and exciting directions. By now I think it’s safe to say that Olivia Colman is a national treasure, an endearing presence on-screen who, if we haven’t been charmed already, gave us a wonderfully humble and refreshingly real Oscars speech.

Letitia Wright

The Guyanese-born British actress was awarded this year’s BAFTA Rising Star proving that her role in Black Panther was not completely overshadowed by its important and desperately-needed statement on ethnic equality. With Letitia’s career still in its infancy she has already shown that she can shine and make her roles stand out in huge, over-crowded Hollywood blockbusters. Previous winners of the Rising Star Award have gone on to have very successful careers, something that won’t be a stretch for Letitia.

Richard E Grant

Richard E Grant Photo by Mary Cybulski 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved
Richard E Grant - Photo by Mary Cybulski. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

With such an illustrious career behind him it’s hard to fathom that until 2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? Richard E Grant has never won a prestigious award. Nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the BAFTAs, Oscars and Golden Globes and winning several critics’ awards, Grant’s acclaimed portrayal as Jack Hock seems a long time coming. A varied and extremely versatile actor (just check out his résumé!) Grant shows no sign of slowing down but if there is any justice in the world the powers that be would offer out big awards in arrears, I can’t be the only one who feels that Withnail is one of the greatest comedic roles of all time?


Tue 23 Apr 2019

Mark Steel talks rabbits, dry cleaning, Jeremy Hardy and lying boybands with Sam Bennett  I tell Mark Steel that OXsylva is for the 55+ age group.

Thu 18 Apr 2019

Drama, Frustration, Pain and Elation:

Chelsea Flower Show 2019: The Savills and David Harber Garden 

“You need to interact with a sculpture. It’s great to see it being made; the sparks, the metal, the energy, the passion. But it’s also nice to see it doing its job: to sit in an environment and tell a story. I’m very passionate about the fact that the story isn’t necessarily about the piece, but what it reflects and how it works with its environment.”

Thu 18 Apr 2019

From Venetian Opulence

to an Oxfordshire Garden

This spring, style icon Designers Guild are drawing inspiration from the opulent beauty of 16th century Venetian art. Their fresh take on the city’s elegance, soft style and quiet compelling beauty, and the luminous, translucent quality of Veronese’s frescoes is reflected by some of the artists taking part in the Oxfordshire Artweeks festival in May when nearly 1,000 artists open their studios or present free-to-visit pop-up exhibitions in every corner of the county.

Wed 17 Apr 2019

CEWE is calling on those with black and white photos in Oxford, to post their image to Instagram using #ColourMyPhoto, to be in with a chance of having their old images totally transformed. Working