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Martin Scorsese Mafia Thriller Tops Latest Critics' Awards

2006 Florida Film Critics Circle Award winners: December 22, 2006

Best Film: The Departed directed by Martin Scorsese
Best Foreign-Language Film: Pan's Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro
Best Director: Martin Scorsese, The Departed
Best Actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Best Supporting Actor: Jack Nicholson, The Departed
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Best Screenplay: William Monahan, The Departed
Best Non-Fiction Film: An Inconvenient Truth by Davis Guggenheim
Best Animated Film: Monster House directed by Gil Kenan
Best Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro, Pan's Labyrinth
Pauline Kael Breakout Award: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Golden Orange for Outstanding Contribution to Film: Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman, director and producer of the Florida-centric documentaries Cocaine Cowboys (2006) and Raw Deal: A Question of Consent (2001), for their continued dedication to South Florida's film industry.

Florida Film Critics Circle Site

There was nothing new in the list of winners from the St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association, except for Ryan Murphy's unfunny and undramatic family comedy-drama Running with Scissors, which was named best overlooked film of 2006.

Among the St. Louis critics' nominees, however, there were quite a few surprises. Among those were Jill Clayburgh — one of the greatest and most underused actresses of the past 30 years — for her supporting performance in Running with Scissors; the British faux documentary Brothers of the Head as one of the best overlooked films of the last year; and Robert Greenwald's Iraq for Sale in the best documentary category. Greenwald's attack on the Iraq War profiteers has been thoroughly ignored by year-end award-giving groups.

2nd St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards - 2006

The 2nd St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association award nominations were announced on December 22, 2006.

The 2nd St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association award winners were announced on January 7, 2007.

† Films, performances, etc. nominated "on the floor," i.e., during the voting process 

Best Picture
Blood Diamond
* The Departed by Martin Scorsese
Flags of Our Fathers
The Good Shepherd
The Queen
United 93
† Dreamgirls
† The Last King of Scotland
† Notes on a Scandal

Best Foreign Language Film
Apocalypto
The Lives of Others
* Pan's Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro
Volver
Fateless
Three Times

Best Documentary
* An Inconvenient Truth by Davis Guggenheim
Why We Fight
Iraq for Sale
The Heart of the Game
The Heart of the Game
† Deliver Us from Evil

Best Director
Clint Eastwood (Flags of Our Fathers)
Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond)
* Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
Paul Greengrass (United 93)
Robert DeNiro (The Good Shepherd)
Stephen Frears (The Queen)
† Clint Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima)
Bill Condon (Dreamgirls)

Best Actor
* Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond)
Matt Damon (The Good Shepherd)
Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness)
Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson)
Aaron Ekhart (Thank You for Smoking)
Edward Norton (The Painted Veil)
† Leonardo DiCaprio (The Departed)

Best Actress
Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal)
* Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Kate Winslet (Little Children)
Annette Benning (Running with Scissors)
Juliette Binoche (Breaking and Entering)

Best Supporting Actor
Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers)
Ben Affleck (Hollywoodland)
* Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond)
Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls)
Jack Nicholson (The Departed)
Steve Carell (Little Miss Sunshine)
† Chalo Gonzales (Quinceanera)

Best Supporting Actress
Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine)
* Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)
Jill Clayburgh (Running with Scissors)
† Shareeka Epps (Half Nelson
† Lili Taylor (Factotum
† Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal)

Best Screenplay
Bobby
Little Children
Little Miss Sunshine
Thank You for Smoking
The Departed
* Peter Morgan, The Queen
† Notes on a Scandal

Best Cinematography
* Stuart Dryburgh, The Painted Veil
Blood Diamond
Flags of Our Fathers
The Departed
Babel
† Letters from Iwo Jima

Best Comedy or Musical
* Little Miss Sunshine by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Keeping Mum
Dreamgirls
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Thank You for Smoking
Jackass: Number Two
† A Prairie Home Companion

Best Animated or Children's Film
Happy Feet
Over the Hedge
* Cars by John Lasseter and Joe Ranft
Monster House
Charlotte's Web

Best Special Effects
The Fountain
Pan's Labyrinth
* Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
V For Vendetta
Superman Returns
District B-13

Best Overlooked Film
Brick
* Running with Scissors by Ryan Murphy
Brothers of the Head
Mountain Patrol: Kekexili
Keeping Up with the Steins
† Deliver Us from Evil
† Lonesome Jim

Most Original, Innovative or Creative Film
The Science of Sleep
Little Miss Sunshine
Brick
* United 93 directed by Paul Greengrass
† Little Children
† Zen Noir 
† Pan's Labyrinth

Chicago winners

With nine nominations, including Best Film and Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Babel seems to be the Chicago Film Critics Association's favorite 2006 flick.

Among the other multiple nominees are The Departed and The Queen, both of which are in the running for Best Film and Best Director (Martin Scorsese and Stephen Frears, respectively).

The two biggest surprises among the Chicago critics' list were the inclusion of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gavin Hood's Tsotsi.

There are six nominees for the Best Actress slot — I'm assuming that's how Gyllenhaal was able to sneak in for her performance as an ex-con who discovers motherhood in the little-seen Sherrybaby. She has also been nominated for a Best Actress - Drama Golden Globe, and was up for a Satellite Award in the same category (she lost to, who else, Helen Mirren in The Queen). Additionally, Gyllenhaal has won Best Actress awards at festivals in Karlovy Vary and Stockholm.

Tsotsi (2005) by Gavin Hood, with Presley Chweneyagae, Terry PhetoAs for Tsotsi, the Academy Award-winning South African social drama about a thug and a baby has thus far been thoroughly ignored by U.S. critics' groups. (Tsotsi, however, could use some publicity. The film was hardly a major hit on U.S. shores, earning only about US$3 million. But it's already won an Oscar, so why bother? Critics want to predict the future, not reiterate the past.)

Letters from Iwo Jima and Apocalypto, for their part, continue to receive nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category, a great way to keep as many awards as possible within the Hollywood circle.

And that brings me to the use — or uselessness — of film award nominations. In addition to working as a self-promotional tool, those nominations can be useful if they call attention to deserving movies and individuals that would generally be ignored by the media and the public. When it comes to U.S. film critics, however, nods for little-known talent are rare. This year, apart from a handful of unusual acknowledgments — e.g., the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's choice for Best Supporting Actress, Luminita Gheorghiu for the Romanian comedy-drama Moartea domnului Lazarescu / The Death of Mr. Lazarescu — only the San Diego Film Critics Society has dared to take a step away from mainstream groupthink for several of their top choices.

Most film critics' groups don't have that much to lose if they opt for the unconventional. Since it's not as if the planet — or even Chicago — is baiting its breath waiting for the results of the Chicago critics' picks for 2006, it's both disheartening and irritating that instead of using their brief media spotlight to help lift deserving films out of obscurity, those film critics have made safe choices that will (they hope) label them accurate Oscar prognosticators.

The Chicago winners — can we wait that long? — will be announced on Dec. 28.

The 19th Chicago Film Critics Association Award nominations were announced on December 19, 2006. The 19th Chicago Film Critics Association Award winners were announced on December 28, 2006.

Best Picture
Babel
* The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen
United 93

Best Foreign Language Film
Apocalypto
* Letters from Iwo Jima
Pan's Labyrinth
Tsotsi
Volver

Best Director
Clint Eastwood for Letters from Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears for The Queen
Paul Greengrass for United 93
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel
* Martin Scorsese for The Departed

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Departed
Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole for Venus
Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness
* Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland

Best Actress
Penélope Cruz for Volver
Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhaal for Sherrybaby
* Helen Mirren for The Queen
Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet for Little Children

Best Supporting Actor
Ben Affleck for Hollywoodland
* Jackie Earle Haley for Little Children
Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson for The Departed
Brad Pitt for Babel
Michael Sheen for The Queen

Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza for Babel
Cate Blanchett for Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine
Toni Collette for Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls
* Rinko Kikuchi for Babel

Best Original Screenplay
Babel — Guillermo Arriaga
Letters from Iwo Jima –Iris Yamashita
Little Miss Sunshine — Michael Arndt
* The Queen — Peter Morgan
United 93 — Paul Greengrass

Best Adapted Screenplay
* The Departed — William Monahan
Little Children — Todd Field & Tom Perrotta
Notes on a Scandal — Patrick Marber
A Prairie Home Companion — Garrison Keillor
Thank You for Smoking — Jason Reitman

Best Cinematography
Babel — Rodrigo Prieto
* Children of Men — Emmanuel Lubezki
The Departed – Michael Ballhaus
The Fountain — Matthew Libatique
Letters from Iwo Jima — Tom Stern

Best Original Score
Babel — Gustavo Santaolalla
* The Fountain — Clint Mansell
Letters from Iwo Jima — Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens
Notes on a Scandal – Philip Glass
The Queen — Alexandre Desplat

Best Documentary
Deliver Us from Evil
* An Inconvenient Truth
Jesus Camp
Shut Up & Sing
Wordplay

Most Promising Performer
Ivana Baquero for Pan's Labyrinth
* Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Shareeka Epps for Half Nelson
Rinko Kikuchi for Babel
Keke Palmer for Akeelah and the Bee

Most Promising Director
* Rian Johnson for Brick
Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris for Little Miss Sunshine
Gil Kenan for Monster House
Jason Reitman Thank You for Smoking
James McTeigue for V for Vendetta

Chicago nominations

Babel by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Dec. 20: With nine nominations, including best film and best director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Babel (above) seems to be the Chicago Film Critics Association's favorite 2006 flick.

Among the other multiple nominees are The Departed and The Queen, both of which are in the running for best film and best director (Martin Scorsese and Stephen Frears, respectively).

The two biggest surprises among the Chicago critics' list were the inclusion of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Gavin Hood's Tsotsi.

There are six nominees for the best actress slot – I'm assuming that's how Gyllenhaal was able to sneak in for her performance as an ex-con who discovers motherhood in the little-seen Sherrybaby. She has also been nominated for a best actress - drama Golden Globe and was up for a Satellite Award in the same category. (Gyllenhaal lost to, who else, Helen Mirren in The Queen). Additionally, Gyllenhaal has won best actress awards at festivals in Karlovy Vary and Stockholm.

Presley Chweneyagae in Tsotsi

As for Tsotsi (above, with Presley Chweneyagae), the Academy Award-winning South African social drama about a thug and a baby has thus far been thoroughly ignored by U.S. critics' groups. That is unfortunate, as Tsotsi could use some publicity. The film was hardly a major hit on U.S. shores, earning only about US$3 million. But it's already won an Oscar, so why bother? Most critics want to predict the future, not reiterate the past.

Letters from Iwo Jima and Apocalypto, for their part, continue to receive nominations in the best foreign language film category, a great way to keep as many awards as possible within the Hollywood circle.

And that brings me to the use – or uselessness – of film award nominations. In addition to working as a self-promotional tool, those nominations can be useful if they call attention to deserving movies and individuals that would generally be ignored by both the media and the public. When it comes to U.S. film critics, however, nods for little-known talent are rare.

This year, apart from a handful of unusual acknowledgments – e.g., the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's choice for best supporting actress (Luminita Gheorghiu, for the Romanian comedy-drama The Death of Mr. Lazarescu) – only the San Diego Film Critics Society has dared to take a step away from mainstream groupthink for several of their top choices.

Most film critics' groups don't have that much to lose if they opt for the unconventional. Since it's not as if the planet – or even Chicago – is baiting its breath waiting for the results of the Chicago critics' picks for 2006, it's both disheartening and irritating that instead of using their brief media spotlight to help lift deserving films out of obscurity, those film critics have made safe choices that will (they hope) label them accurate Oscar prognosticators.

The Chicago winners will be announced on Dec. 28.

'United 93' Tops Phoenix Critics

The 2006 Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards were announced on Dec. 19, 2006.

Best Film: United 93 directed by Paul Greengrass.

Runners-up (in alphabetical order):
Babel.
Bobby.
Borat.
Children of Men.
The Departed.
The Last King of Scotland.
Letters from Iwo Jima.
Little Miss Sunshine.
The Queen.

Best Foreign-Language Film: Letters from Iwo Jima directed by Clint Eastwood.

Best Director: Martin Scorsese, The Departed.

Best Actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland.

Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen.

Best Supporting Actor: Jack Nicholson, The Departed.

Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal.

Best Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine.

Best Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan, The Departed.

Best Ensemble Acting: Little Miss Sunshine.

Best Documentary: An Inconvenient Truth directed by Davis Guggenheim.

Best Animated Film: Flushed Away directed by David Bowers and Sam Fell.

Best Cinematography: Dean Semler, Apocalypto.

Best Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker, The Departed.

Best Production Design: K. Barrett, Marie Antoinette.

Best Costume Design: Milena Canonero, Marie Antoinette.

Best Visual Effects: Superman Returns.

Breakthrough Performance - On-Screen: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls.

Breakout Performance of the Year - Behind the Camera: Emilio Estevez, Bobby.

Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Male: Jaden Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness.

Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role - Female: Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine.

Best Live-Action Family Film: Charlotte's Web directed by Gary Winick.

Overlooked Film of the Year: Hard Candy directed by David Slade.

Best Stunts: Casino Royale.

Best Use of Previously Published or Recorded Music: Dreamgirls.

 

The Phoenix Film Critics Society is composed of 30 Arizona film critics.


         
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