Rampling repeats Berlin success in Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Film Festival has honored Berlin nominee 45 Years with its Best British Feature Film award, and honoured its lead actress Charlotte Rampling as one of two Best Performances in a British Feature Film.

Charlotte Rampling, with Sir Tom Courtenay, in Andrew Haigh's 45 Years
Charlotte Rampling, with Sir Tom Courtenay, in Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years

The jury said 45 Years – a drama about a couple approaching their forty fifth wedding anniversary – was a “quietly explosive film which represents classic film-making at its best.” They said the “measured yet provocative film, a masterclass in understated acting” was the unanimous choice of the jurors.

Its director, Andrew Haigh, who’s previous film Weekend earned critical claim and a variety of awards, said it was “a real honour and made even more special when you consider the list of British films that have won before.”

Rampling – who picked up the equivalent award at Berlin – was unable to collect her trophy in person, but in a statement, she thanked the film-makers and her fellow cast and said, “It is an extraordinary moment when you are singled out when the craft that you have been perfecting throughout your life is appreciated and rewarded. It is thrilling and humbling and I thank you so much for giving me the chance to feel so proud.”

She shared the Best Performance award with Scottish actor James Cosmo, for The Pyramid Texts. He was there to receive his award from fellow Scot, his Trainspotting co-star Ewen Bremner.

The Festival gave its Best International Feature Film prize to Marielle Heller’s The Diary of a Teenage Girl; the international jury said the film was “imaginative, both visually and narratively, emotionally gripping and completely unapologetic in tone.” Heller noted that while the film was American, it was made by an international group, including British actress Bel Powley.

A documentary about a group of six brothers who had to entertain themselves in their New York flat, called The Wolfpack, was name the best documentary and the best short film was Mike Hoolboom’s Scrapbook, which the jury said was “incredibly unique” and “singularly captivating.” The Best New British Animation honour went to Ainslie Henderson for Stems and Black Mountain Poets, by Jamie Adams, won the Student Critics Jury Award.

The Festival’s Audience Award is announced on the closing night, this Sunday.