Lynne Ramsay’s Kevin takes top prize at LFF 2011

Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk about Kevin won the top prize at LFF 2011
Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk about Kevin won the top prize at LFF 2011

The London Film Festival has drawn to a close — with its top prize, the Star of London trophy for Best Film — beging awarded to the director Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s novel, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”.

The jury, chaired by the director John Madden, said the film was a sublime, uncompromising tale of the torment that can stand in the place of love. Although the London Film Festival is in its fifty fifth year, it’s only the third time it’s staged an awards ceremony — and the first time the top prize has gone to a English-language film, which is likely to be as much of a boost for the festival itself as it is for the film, as people are more likely to remember the winner.

The Sutherland Trophy for the best first film went to Pablo Giorgelli for his Spanish-language film Las Acacias. Werner Herzog won the Grierson Award for the best documentary for Into The Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life.

The other trophy handed out on the night was the Best British Newcomer prize, which went to eighteen year old Candese Reid for her first film as an actress, Junkhearts. So excited was she about the honour that she knocked the trophy onto the floor before she’d even had a chance to pick it up.

The BFI — which stages the festival — bestowed its highest honour, the Fellowship, on two directors presenting films over the past two weeks. David Cronenberg’s study of the birth of psychoanalysis, A Dangerous Method, was one of the most high profile films at the festival. The other fellowship was awarded to the actor Ralph Fiennes, whose directorial debut – a modern-day version of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus – was one of the highlights of the first week. He was late for the awards ceremony, coming straight from the London stage, where he’d been starring in another Shakespeare play, The Tempest.

The festival – and Sandra Hebron’s tenure as its Artistic Director – came to an end tonight with Terrence Davies’ adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea.