Belfast Telegraph

McQueen 'thrilled' by critics prize

Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave was the toast of British film critics after it scooped two prizes at the UK Regional Film Awards.

The drama, which is up for nine Oscars and ten Baftas, was named film of the year, while leading man Chiwetel Ejiofor was voted actor of the year for his portrayal of Solomon Northup.

"I am thrilled that 12 Years A Slave has been named best picture by the UK regional film critics. This means so much to me. Thank you for your help in making the film such a success throughout the UK," Steve said.

Stephen Frears' Philomena, starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, was chosen by the public as British film of the year.

The actress said: "A huge thank you to the public for awarding British film of the year to Philomena. It was a great honour to work with so many talented British cast and crew on this once-in-a-lifetime project. I am so proud that our work has been recognised by this wonderful award."

Gravity, which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, won two awards, including gongs for Alfonso Cuaron as director of the year and for its visual effects.

Alfonso said: "It's particularly gratifying to receive this honour from the UK regional film critics. Your encouraging words helped pave the road for audiences to really embrace the film. Gravity was produced, shot and all the post-production done here in the UK."

Cate Blanchett's winning streak continued as she took the best actress award for her performance as a disgraced socialite in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.

Other winners included Spike Jonze (screenwriter of the year), Frozen (animated film of the year), Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks (best on-screen duo for Saving Mr Banks) and George MacKay ( British Breakthrough).

The winners were announced by Miquita Oliver at London's Cafe de Paris.

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