So the IFTA's are always a laugh, aren't they? I mean, c'mon, we're a small country and the guys who organise it don't have the biggest budget in the world, so we shouldn't expect the Oscars. First of all it's good to see Simon Delaney back, as I thought he did a stellar job last time - despite the show quickly descending into inanity after an impressive opening.
As for the nominations, few would expect The Guard to be trumped; it's the most successful Irish independent production of all time and is, more importantly, a really rather brilliant film. Brendan Gleeson does have stiff competition in the Best Actor category, with Michael Fassbender, Ciaran Hinds and Martin Sheen also up for the gong, but the Howth native would still be the firm favourite to come out on top. The usual suspects are also around in the 'Actress' categories, with Saoirse Ronan up for lead role for her work in Hanna, and last year's winner Amy Huberman nominated in the Best Supporting category for her work in Stella Days. Glenn Close is nominated in Best International category for the Dublin shot Albert Nobbs, while the likes of Bridesmaids and Senna also pick up nominations and both should do well.
We had Pierce Brosnan turn up last year, while Kim Cattrall also made an appearance; I'm sure we'll get some obligatory movie stars with Irish heritage show their mushes again. The 9th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards takes place on Saturday 11th February 2012 at the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD).