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London Film Critics Nominations + Satellite Awards for Box Office Flops

The London Film Critics' Circle's 2009 nominations have been announced. The best thing about this year's crop of nominees is their “internationality”: As usual, Hollywood productions dominate the nominations, but the London critics have found plenty of room for non-American films as well.

Jacques Audiard's French prison drama A Prophet managed to land five nominations, including best film (or “Film of the Year”), best director, and best actor (Tahar Rahim), while Michael Haneke's German-Austrian psychological-political drama The White Ribbon received four nominations, including best picture and best director. Both were also shortlisted in the best foreign film and best screenplay categories.

Additionally, British talent found its way in the non-British categories as well. Carey Mulligan is one of the Actress of the Year nominees for her schoolgirl in Lone Scherfig's An Education (which leads the pack with 7 nods), while that film's screenwriter, Nick Hornby, is also up for the screenwriting award. The In the Loop screenwriters – Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche – were also shortlisted. And so was Australian actress Abbie Cornish for her performance in Jane Campion's romantic drama Bright Star.

The Hollywood contingent is led by James Cameron's Avatar (above), Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker. All three were nominated in the best picture and best director categories. Curiously, none of the three is up for the screenwriting award.

Another curiosity: performances considered “supporting” in the US are here placed in the Actor/Actress of the Year categories, e.g., Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds, Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air, and Mo'Nique for Precious. (Perhaps that would have been Gabourey Sidibe's spot.)

Photo: Avatar (WETA / 20th Century Fox)

Carey Mulligan in An Education
Carey Mulligan in An Education (Kerry Brown / Sony Pictures Classics)

London critics (and several other international voting groups as well) split achievement categories between “Film of the Year” or “Actor of the Year” and “British Film of the Year” or “British Actor of the Year.” That always makes it look as if the British productions are inferior to the international fare. For instance, Carey Mulligan managed to be nominated in both “Actress of the Year” categories, but Helen Mirren was only included in the “British” shortlist for her work in The Last Station. In other words, Mulligan was good enough to run in the international race; Mirren wasn't.

That says something about how the London critics feel about British filmmaking in 2009. None of the five British films of the year – Bright Star, An Education, Fish Tank, In the Loop, Moon – is up for the “Film of the Year” award.

The London critics' have also announced that Quentin Tarantino will be given this year's Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Cinema, and that Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 Vietnam war drama Apocalypse Now (see below) was their best “Film of the Year” winner since the Circle was formed 30 years ago. (I couldn't disagree more with their top-ten choices – none of which would have made my top 50; most of which wouldn't have made my top 5,000. Note: I still haven't watched Distance Voices, Still Lives.)

The London critics' winners will be announced at The Landmark in London on Feb. 18, 2010.

BEST LONDON CRITICS' WINNERS SINCE 1980

1.  Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1980)

2.  Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg, 1994)

3.  The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2007)

4.  Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)

5.  Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)

6.  Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1990)

7.  L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)

8.  Fargo (Joel Coen, 1996)

9.  Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1989)

10. The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983)

Satellite Award winners

Daniel Day-Lewis, Sophia Loren in Nine
Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment) (top); Daniel Day-Lewis, Sophia Loren in Nine (David James / The Weinstein Co.) (bottom)

The Hurt Locker and Nine were named, respectively, best film drama and comedy/musical by the International Press Academy on Sunday evening, Nov. 20.

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who won the IPA's Satellite Award for best director, The Hurt Locker follows a bomb squad through the dangerous streets of an Iraqi city. The film has been winning tons of accolades and it's one of the favorites for the 2010 Academy Awards. Its lead, Jeremy Renner, was named the year's best actor.

Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Stacy Ferguson, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson star in Nine, Rob Marshall's film adaptation of the Broadway musical based on Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical 1963 hit .

earned Fellini a best director Oscar nomination, and was chosen the best foreign-language film of 1963. Both Nine and revolve around a temperamental Italian filmmaker facing various problems in his career and private life, as he must deal with both a dearth of new ideas and with his many women, including his actresses, his mother, his wife, and his lover.

Shohreh Aghdashloo was the surprise winner in the best actress drama category for The Stoning of Soraya M., while Meryl Streep was the expected winner in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical category for Julie & Julia. Michael Stuhlbarg for A Serious Man – not Daniel Day-Lewis – was the best actor in a comedy/musical.

Some of the other top winners were expected: best supporting actor Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (above), best supporting actress Mo'Nique for Precious, best animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox . But there were a few surprises as well: Sebastian Silva's The Maid and Pedro Almodóvar's Broken Embraces shared the best foreign language film award, while Every Little Step – not The Cove – was named best documentary.

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber won the best original screenplay award for the sleeper hit (500) Days of Summer, while Precious' Geoffrey Fletcher was the best adapted screenplay winner.

On the IPA's website, the winners in two categories, film editing and costume design, were still a mystery as of Dec. 21, ca. 1 a.m. (PT)

Photo: Inglourious Basterds (François Duhamel / The Weinstein Co.)

Satellite Awards The Hurt LockerSatellite Awards' winner: 'The Hurt Locker' with Jeremy Renner.

Satellite Awards: 'The Hurt Locker,' 'Nine' are best movies

The nominations for the International Press Academy's 2009 Satellite Awards were announced on Nov. 29. The 2009 Satellite Award winners – among them Best Motion Picture (Drama) The Hurt Locker and Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) Nine, both of which happen to be major domestic box office disappointments – were announced on Dec. 20.

Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker has been a critic's favorite this awards season; Rob Marshall's all-star musical Nine, on the other hand, has been cooly received. See below the full list of nominations for and winners of the 2009 Satellite Awards.

2009 Satellite Awards

Best Motion Picture (Drama)
Bright Star.
An Education.
* The Hurt Locker.
The Messenger.
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
The Stoning of Soraya M..

Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)
The Informant!.
It's Complicated.
Julie & Julia.
* Nine.
A Serious Man.
Up in the Air.

Best Foreign Language Film (tie)
* Broken Embraces.
I Killed My Mother.
* The Maid.
Red Cliff.
The White Ribbon.
Winter in Wartime.

Best Documentary Feature
The Beaches of Agnes.
The Cove.
* Every Little Step.
It Might Get Loud.
The September Issue.
Valentino: The Last Emperor.

Best Motion Picture (Animated or Mixed Media)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
* Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
The Princess and the Frog.
Up.
Where the Wild Things Are.

Best Director
Jane Campion, Bright Star.
Neill Blomkamp, District 9.
Lone Scherfig, An Education.
* Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker.
Rob Marshall, Nine.
Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.

Best Actress (Drama)
* Shohreh Aghdashloo, The Stoning of Soraya M..
Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria.
Abbie Cornish, Bright Star.
Penélope Cruz, Broken Embraces.
Carey Mulligan, An Education.
Catalina Saavedra, The Maid.

Best Actor (Drama)
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart.
Hugh Dancy, Adam.
Johnny Depp, Public Enemies.
Colin Firth, A Single Man.
* Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker.
Michael Sheen, The Damned United.

Best Actress (Comedy Or Musical)
Sandra Bullock, The Proposal.
Marion Cotillard, Nine.
Zooey Deschanel, (500) Days of Summer.
Katherine Heigl, The Ugly Truth.
* Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia.

Best Actor (Comedy Or Musical)
George Clooney, Up in the Air.
Bradley Cooper, The Hangover.
Matt Damon, The Informant!.
Daniel Day-Lewis, Nine.
* Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man.

Best Supporting Actress
Emily Blunt, Sunshine Cleaning.
Penélope Cruz, Nine.
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air.
Mozhan Marno, The Stoning of Soraya M..
* Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.

Best Supporting Actor
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger.
James McAvoy, The Last Station.
Alfred Molina, An Education.
Timothy Spall, The Damned United.
* Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds.

Best Original Screenplay
Jane Campion, Bright Star.
* Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, (500) Days of Summer.
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker.
Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man.
Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, Up.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, District 9.
Nick Hornby, An Education.
Nora Ephron, Julie & Julia.
* Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air.

Best Cinematography
Robert Richardson, Inglourious Basterds.
Guillermo Navarro and Erich Roland, It Might Get Loud.
* Dion Beebe, Nine.
Dante Spinotti, Public Enemies.
Lu Yue and Zhang Yi, Red Cliff.
Roger Deakins, A Serious Man.

Best Film Editing
Julian Clarke, District 9.
* Chris Innis and Bob Murawski, The Hurt Locker.
Greg Finton, It Might Get Loud.
Claire Simpson and Wyatt Smith, Nine.
Angie Lam, Yang Hongyu and Robert A. Ferretti, Red Cliff.
David Brenner and Peter S. Elliot, 2012.

Best Original Score
Gabriel Yared, Amelia.
Marvin Hamlisch, The Informant!.
Elliot Goldenthal, Public Enemies.
Michael Giacchino, Up.
* Rolfe Kent, Up in the Air.
Carter Burwell and Karen O, Where the Wild Things Are.

Best Original Song
* “The Weary Kind” from Crazy Heart (T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham).
"We Are the Children of the World” from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Terry Gilliam).
"Cinema Italiano” from Nine (Maury Yeston).
"I See in Color” from Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire (Mary J. Blige).
"Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog (Randy Newman).
"Down in New Orleans” from The Princess and the Frog (Randy Newman).

Best Art Direction
Terry Gilliam, Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Nathan Crowley, Patrick Lumb and William Ladd Skinner, Public Enemies.
Eddy Wong, Red Cliff.
Chris Kennedy, The Road.
* Ian Philips and Dan Bishop, A Single Man.
Barry Chusid and Elizabeth Wilcox, 2012.

Best Costume Design
Consolata Boyle, Cheri.
* Monique Prudhomme, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Colleen Atwood, Nine.
Tim Yip, Red Cliff.
Sandy Powell, The Young Victoria.

Best Visual Effects
District 9.
Fantastic Mr. Fox.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Red Cliff.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
* 2012.

Best Sound (Mixing and Editing)
It Might Get Loud.
Nine.
Red Cliff.
Terminator Salvation.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
* 2012.

Best Ensemble
Nine.

Outstanding New Talent
Gabourey Sidibe.

Auteur Award
Roger Corman.

Tesla Award (Achievement in Technology)
Roger Deakins.

Mary Pickford Award (Outstanding Artistic Contribution)
Michael York.

Ten Best Films of 2009
Bright Star.
An Education.
(500) Days of Summer.
The Hurt Locker.
Inglourious Basterds.
Nine.
Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
A Serious Man.
The Stoning of Soraya M..
Up in the Air.

 

Jeremy Renner The Hurt Locker image: Summit Entertainment.

The Satellite Awards' International Press Academy website.


         
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