This just in: Director Ken Loach has taken the Special Jury Prize in the 9th Annual British Independent Film Awards, announced in London. Loach has directed "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," set against the early 20th century struggle to birth the modern Irish nation, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May for the film deemed the festival's best. We discussed "Barley" then, and revealed this week that current plans for a March '07 US release preclude the film from Oscar consideration next year.
"The Wind that Shakes the Barley," the story of two brothers in Cork who join the Irish Republican Army during the so-called "Black and Tan War" of the early 1920's, was nominated for the BIFA Awards in Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Technical Achievement, but only Loach won, with the Special Jury Prize. The movie is also up for the European Film Awards, in the categories of Best Film, Director, Actor, Cinematography, and Screenplay, to be given out early next month.
IMHO, it is truly a show of disrespect that the U.S. distributors of the movie have not seen fit to release it in time for Oscar eligibility in '07. It will be released in mid-March, first in New York and Los Angeles, and perhaps other major markets to be determined.
Culture Editor, TheWildGeese.com