There’s been a mixed reaction to BAFTA’s decision to award the Best Film award to Kathryn Bigelow’s THE HURT LOCKER last night, with many expressing surprise that it won out over her ex-husband’s blue epic AVATAR.

I think THE HURT LOCKER is not only a deserved winner, but the right choice. Best Film (or Best Picture at the Oscars, or the Palm D’Or at Cannes) should go to the film that is the best all-round example of great filmmaking. ┬áThat means the best technically, the best script, the best collected performances, the best directed and the best realised.

While that doesn’t mean a film must have all the acting nominations sown up (like Silence of the Lambs), or indeed win Best Director or Cinematographer to justify a win, it does mean that AVATAR’s inherent failures within it’s screenplay – the hackneyed plotting and hugely unsubtle and over-zealous anti-Afghanistan rhetoric – should give pause when considering it the very best film of the year.

Does this mean AVATAR’s Oscar chances are doomed? Unlikely, given Oscar’s reluctance to pay any attention whatsoever to BAFTA’s whims, but it does at least make me proud to be British when we can recognise all-round brilliance in the face of mesmeric and revolutionary imagery.

Congratulations, also, to Kathryn Bigelow for becoming the first woman to collect the Best Director BAFTA and to British talent being celebrated so widely – Carey Mulligan, Colin Firth and Duncan Jones; we salute you!

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    Nope, we got nada!