What a great BAFTA night this year. An impressive acceptance speech by Steve McQueen for best director in Twelve Years a Slave about the millions today held in slavery is a stark reminder of how freedom has to be fought for. Freedom of thought and speech can get you into trouble in so many places – sometimes even at our place of work.
Talking about place of work – will anyone ever feel the same about stocks sales people (dealers) after seeing the Wolf of Wall Street? Leonardo DiCaprio was so gracious about losing out to Chiwetel Ejiofor of Twelve Years a Slave, for best actor award. I thought DiCaprio’s acting was brilliant in the Wolf of Wall Street. I think it’s his best performance so far.
Alfonso Cuaron won best director with Gravity. Even though he lives in England and makes his films in England many consider his films to be – well – not English. He also made his case for immigration. I don’t think he’d have a problem – he’s made a bunch of people extremely creative and rich here. People – like the stock market – are mainly judged on sentiment in England. It wasn’t so long ago (seventeenth century) that the French were all the rage and English people affected their accent and dress. William Wycherly included such characters in his plays. Voltaire was a great admirer of Wycherley’s plays, and once said of them:
“Il semble que les Anglais prennent trop de liberté et que les Françaises n’en prennent pas assez. It seems that the English take too much freedom and the French don’t take enough. (Englishmen and women take liberties with each other).
If you have talent and self worth and loads of energy, you can succeed anywhere that’s right for you and allows freedom of thought and expression. Congratulations Alfonso Cuaron.