Focus Features, Universal Pictures Int’l

Best Picture: Atonement

Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster

WHY - Focus Features left its best till last this year, opening Joe Wright’s heartbreaking period drama in the US in December, to strong critical response and word of mouth. Ian McEwan’s story of doomed love seems to touch a nerve with audiences in the manner of Doctor Zhivago, Out Of Africa and The English Patient.

CHANCES - Awards bodies love a period epic, especially one as rich as Atonement; Joe Wright has proved his mettle at the Oscars where his debut Pride & Prejudice won four nominations, the Globes where it won two and the Baftas where he won the Carl Foreman Award and the film saw a further five nominations. A Working Title Films production, Atonementcould mark the company’s fourth best-picture nomination after Four Weddings And A Funeral, Fargo and Elizabeth.