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Pat Tillman & Edward Cullen + Other Curious Choices: More Film Awards

The Tillman Story with football player Pat Tillman. Amir Bar-Lev documentary about U.S. military lies and cover-upThe Tillman Story. Amir Bar-Lev's San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award-winning documentary revolves around the U.S. military's lies and cover-up attempts following the death of football player turned soldier Pat Tillman while serving in Afghanistan.

Pat Tillman documentary & Edward Cullen among several unusual awards season choices

Amir Bar-Lev's nonfiction film The Tillman Story, about the United States' military deception and cover-up following the death of former football player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, was 2010's Best Documentary according to the San Francisco Film Critics Circle. (See further below the full list of the San Francisco Film Critics' winners.)

This awards season, The Tillman Story has won only three awards. Besides the San Francisco Film Critics, the documentary also received top honors from the Florida and St. Louis Film Critics.

Three years ago, Bar-Lev's My Kid Could Paint That was nominated for the Gotham Awards, while his Fighter, about Czech Holocaust survivors Jan Weiner and Arnost Lustig, earned a Special Mention at the 2000 Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Bar-Lev co-wrote The Tillman Story with Mark Monroe. Josh Brolin narrates.

Michelle Williams & John Hawkes

Besides The Tillman Story, the San Francisco Film Critics' other unusual picks were Best Actress Michelle Williams for Derek Cianfrance's controversial drama Blue Valentine, and Best Supporting Actor John Hawkes for Debra Granik's indie drama Winter's Bone. Both Williams and Hawkes are potential Academy Award contenders.

Most of the San Francisco Film Critics' other winners matched what has been announced elsewhere. Among them: Best Film The Social Network, about the creation of Facebook; Best Actor Colin Firth for Tom Hooper's crowd-pleasing, real-life inspired drama The King's Speech; and, still going surprisingly strong, Best Supporting Actress Jacki Weaver for David Michôd's Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom.

Additionally, The Social Network's David Fincher shared the Best Director award with Darren Aronofsky for the ballet world-set psychological thriller Black Swan, starring awards season favorite Natalie Portman.

South Korean mother love drama tops

Bong Joon-ho's Mother, a well-received South Korean psychological drama/thriller, was chosen as the year's Best Foreign Language Film. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association selected veteran Kim Hye-ja as Best Actress for her work as the titular character.

The other 2010 San Francisco Film Critics winners were Lee Unkrich's animated blockbuster Toy Story 3; screenwriters Aaron Sorkin and David Seidler for, respectively, The Social Network (adapted) and The King's Speech (original); and cinematographer Matthew Libatique for Black Swan.

Bay Area programmer Elliot Lavine was named the recipient of the Marlon Riggs Award “for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community.”

San Francisco Film Critics winners

Best Picture: The Social Network.

Best Foreign Language Film: Mother (South Korea).

Best Documentary: The Tillman Story.

Best Director (tie): Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan, and David Fincher, The Social Network.

Best Actress: Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine.

Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King's Speech.

Best Supporting Actress: Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom.

Best Supporting Actor: John Hawkes, Winter's Bone.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network.

Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler, The King's Speech.

Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3.

Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, Black Swan.

Marlon Riggs Award for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community: Elliot Lavine – teacher, exhibitor, and repertory curator – for Bay Area programming over the last two decades. His revival of rare archival studio, independent, and exploitation titles has particularly played a major role in the renewed popularity of film noir and pre-Production Code features.

Edward Cullen Robert Pattinson in Eclipse: Vampire topped British film award for biting off Bryce Dallas Howard head?Edward Cullen a.k.a. Robert Pattinson in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Among the recently announced – unusual – awards season winners were The Tillman Story, Michelle Williams, John Hawkes, Halle Berry (see further below), and … the centenarian vegetarian vampire Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson in the Twilight Saga movies. Although bypassed by the Critics' Choice Awards, Edward topped one of the Audience Award categories of the British-based Richard Attenborough Film Awards. In David Slade's Eclipse, he rises to the occasion at the film's climax by biting off the head of the vengeful Bryce Dallas Howard; with equal dexterity, Edward had previously beaten off the head of mean-spirited vampire Cam Gigandet in Catherine Hardwicke's original Twilight. Expect more of same in the Breaking Dawn movies.

Award winner Edward Cullen

The U.K.-based Richard Attenborough Film Awards include a total of 14 categories. Half of these are the domain of British regional film critics; the other half are chosen by moviegoers. (See full list of Richard Attenborough Film Award winners further below.)

The second half explains how…

  • David Yates' fantasy blockbuster Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 was elected Best British Movie of the Year.
  • The Pixar release Toy Story 3 won three awards: Best Animated Film, Best 3D Film, and Best Family Film of the Year.
  • Edward Cullen has become an awards season winner. The low-voiced, youthful-looking, centenarian vegetarian vampire played by Robert Pattinson in the Twilight movies was named as the year's Best Movie Character for his “performance” in David Slade's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, in which Edward/Pattinson bites off Bryce Dallas Howard's head .

Other Audience Award winners were Angelina Jolie as Star of the Year for Phillip Noyce's thriller Salt and, matching the critics' choice, Chloë Grace Moretz as Breakthrough Star of the Year.

Noomi Rapace gets some Anglophone awards season recognition

Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who has been generally bypassed on the North American side of the Atlantic, was the United Kingdom's regional film critics' Best Actress. Rapace's Richard Attenborough Film Award was presented for her performance as a tough-looking hacker in the hit thrillers The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, and Justin Timberlake, David Fincher's Facebook drama The Social Network was the unsurprising Film of the Year choice. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who adapted Ben Mezrich's book The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, was also cited.

Fincher, however, missed out on the Best Director award. British filmmaker Christopher Nolan topped that category for his sci-fi/adventure mix Inception, featuring an all-star cast headed by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Another Britisher, awards season favorite Colin Firth, was anointed Best Actor for Tom Hooper's British-themed The King's Speech, while fellow Britisher Michael Caine, a two-time Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner (Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986; The Cider House Rules, 1999), was honored with the All Time Legend Award.

Chloë Grace Moretz was the Rising Star of the Year for her work in Kick-Ass, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Let Me In.

Richard Attenborough Film Awards

Film of the Year: The Social Network.

Filmmaker of the Year: Christopher Nolan – director, Inception.

Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King's Speech.

Best Actress: Noomi Rapace, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest.

Best Screenwriter: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network.

Rising Star of the Year: Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Let Me In.

All Time Legend: Michael Caine.

Audience Awards

British Movie of the Year: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Animated Film of the Year: Toy Story 3.

Star of the Year: Angelina Jolie, Salt.

Family Film of the Year: Toy Story 3.

3D Film of the Year: Toy Story 3.

Breakthrough Star of the Year: Chloë Grace Moretz.

Best Movie Character: Edward Cullen, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Black Swan Mila Kunis: 12 Critics' Choice Awards for Darren Aronofsky psychological thriller set in ballet worldBlack Swan with Mila Kunis. Darren Aronofsky's psychological thriller set in the ballet world was shortlisted for a record-breaking 12 Critics' Choice Awards from the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Ultimately, Black Swan topped only one category: Best Actress (Natalie Portman). Mila Kunis lost the Best Supporting Actress award to Melissa Leo for The Fighter.

Critics' Choice Awards: TV audience-friendly picks

Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan topped the Broadcast Film Critics Association's 2010 Critics' Choice Award nominations, with a record-breaking 12 nods, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress for Natalie Portman, and Best Supporting Actress for Mila Kunis. (Full list of nominations further below.)

Impressive? That depends on how relevant you deem the Critics' Choice Awards. Also, just remember that last year Rob Marshall's widely derided box office flop Nine received no less than 10 nominations.

One should also remember that the Broadcast Film Critics Association has ten titles in the running for Best Film, while its “top” categories – Director, Acting, Screenplay – have six names/titles each. That helps movies collect extra nominations, especially those featuring high-profile, TV-ratings-friendly performers.

Only three Best Foreign Language Film nominees

In that regard, it's telling that the Broadcast Film Critics Association nominated only three films in this year's Best Foreign Language Film category:

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful, starring 2007 Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men).
  • Luca Guadagnino's I Am Love, starring 2007 Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton).
  • Niels Arden Oplev's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the year's biggest foreign-language box office success in the United States.

Needless to say, widely acclaimed releases such as Olivier Assayas' Carlos, Bong Joon-ho's Mother, or Claire Denis' White Material would have been meaningless to an American television audience.

Lesley Manville not among couple of Critics' Choice surprises

Strangely, some awards season pundits have been shocked because Lesley Manville failed to receive a Best Actress nomination for her performance in Mike Leigh's independently made British drama Another Year. Instead, they should have been shocked had Manville been remembered by Critics' Choice Awards voters. Or that Edward Cullen failed to be shortlisted in some category or other.

In fact, I was astonished that Leigh's Another Year screenplay was shortlisted (in place of something like Due Date) and that Animal Kingdom performer Jacki Weaver found her way into the Best Supporting Actress category. I'd have expected Winona Ryder for Black Swan or Dianne Wiest for Rabbit Hole or some other Hollywood name.

In all fairness, when the New York Film Critics Circle hands out three awards to something like Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right, one shouldn't expect the Broadcast Film Critics to go any further from TV Guide recommendations than a handful of nods for Debra Granik's indie hit Winter's Bone. That's as daring as it gets.

Below is – the updated – list of Critics' Choice Award winners and nominees. San Francisco Film Critics Circle winner The Tillman Story was shortlisted in the Best Documentary category, but lost to Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for 'Superman'.

Critics' Choice Awards

127 Hours.
Black Swan.
The Fighter.
The King's Speech.
* The Social Network.
The Town.
Toy Story 3.
True Grit.
Winter's Bone.

I Am Love.
* The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan.
Danny Boyle – 127 Hours.
Joel and Ethan Coen – True Grit.
* David Fincher – The Social Network.
Tom Hooper – The King's Speech.
Christopher Nolan – Inception.

Jeff Bridges – True Grit.
Robert Duvall – Get Low.
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network.
* Colin Firth – The King's Speech.
James Franco – 127 Hours.
Ryan Gosling – Blue Valentine.

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right.
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole.
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter's Bone.
* Natalie Portman – Black Swan.
Noomi Rapace – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine.

* Christian Bale – The Fighter.
Andrew Garfield – The Social Network.
Jeremy Renner – The Town.
Sam Rockwell – Conviction.
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right.
Geoffrey Rush – The King's Speech.

Amy Adams – The Fighter.
Helena Bonham Carter – The King's Speech.
Mila Kunis – Black Swan.
* Melissa Leo – The Fighter.
Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit.
Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom.

Elle Fanning – Somewhere.
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter's Bone.
Chloë Grace Moretz – Let Me In.
Chloë Grace Moretz – Kick-Ass.
Kodi Smit-McPhee – Let Me In.
* Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit.

* The Fighter.
The Kids Are All Right.
The King's Speech.
The Social Network.
The Town.

Another Year – Mike Leigh.
Black Swan – Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin.
The Fighter – Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson (Story by Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson).
Inception – Christopher Nolan.
The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg.
* The King's Speech – David Seidler.

127 Hours – Simon Beaufoy & Danny Boyle.
* The Social Network – Aaron Sorkin.
The Town – Ben Affleck, Peter Craig & Sheldon Turner.
Toy Story 3 – Michael Arndt (Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich).
True Grit – Joel and Ethan Coen.
Winter's Bone – Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini.

Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Inside Job.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.
The Tillman Story.
* Waiting for 'Superman'.

Despicable Me.
How to Train Your Dragon.
The Illusionist.
* Toy Story 3.

127 Hours – Anthony Dod Mantle.
Black Swan – Matthew Libatique.
* Inception – Wally Pfister.
The King's Speech – Danny Cohen.
True Grit – Roger Deakins.

Alice in Wonderland – Stefan Dechant.
Black Swan – Therese DePrez & Tora Peterson.
* Inception – Guy Hendrix Dyas.
The King's Speech – Netty Chapman.
True Grit – Jess Gonchor & Nancy Haigh.

127 Hours – Jon Harris.
Black Swan – Andrew Weisblum.
* Inception – Lee Smith.
The Social Network – Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter.

* Alice in Wonderland – Colleen Atwood.
Black Swan – Amy Westcott.
The King's Speech – Jenny Beavan.
True Grit – Mary Zophres.

* Alice in Wonderland.
Black Swan.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
True Grit.

Alice in Wonderland.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
* Inception.
TRON: Legacy.

127 Hours.
Black Swan.
* Inception.
The Social Network.
Toy Story 3.

* Inception.
The Town.

Date Night.
* Easy A.
Get Him to the Greek.
I Love You Phillip Morris.
The Other Guys.

* The Pacific.
Temple Grandin.
You Don't Know Jack.

“I See the Light” – performed by Mandy Moore & Zachary Levi. Written by Alan Menken & Glenn Slater – Tangled.
* “If I Rise” – performed by Dido and A.R. Rahman. Music by A.R. Rahman; lyrics by Dido Armstrong and Rollo Armstrong – 127 Hours.
“Shine” – performed and written by John Legend – Waiting for 'Superman'.
“We Belong Together” – performed and written by Randy Newman – Toy Story 3.
“You Haven't Seen the Last of Me Yet” – performed by Cher. Written by Diane Warren – Burlesque.

Black Swan – Clint Mansell.
Inception – Hans Zimmer.
The King's Speech – Alexandre Desplat.
* The Social Network – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.
True Grit – Carter Burwell.

Halle Berry Frankie and Alice: African American Critics Best Actress is stripper with dissociative identity disorderHalle Berry in Frankie & Alice. The 2001 Best Actress Academy Award winner (Monster's Ball) was the African American Film Critics Association's Best Actress choice for her performance as a go-go dancer/stripper suffering from dissociative identity disorder (a.k.a. multiple personality disorder). Berry's 2011 Oscar chances, however, are at best quite slim.

More unusual awards season wins: Halle Berry & 'For Colored Girls'

The African American Film Critics Association has named David Fincher's The Social Network as the Best Feature Film of 2010. The similarities with other U.S.-based film critics groups end right there. Really, Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls among the year's Top Ten films?

Mark Wahlberg, who has been ignored elsewhere for his performance in David O. Russell's The Fighter was voted Best Actor. The African American Film Critics' other acting awards all went to black or part-black performers: Halle Berry for Geoffrey Sax's Frankie & Alice, and, in the supporting categories, For Colored Girls actors Kimberly Elise and Michael Ealy.

Halle Berry for the Oscars?

A few weeks ago, widespread online buzz raised the possibility that Best Actress Oscar winner Halle Berry (Monster's Ball, 2001) would become a front-runner at the 2011 Oscars for her performance as a woman suffering from multiple personality disorder in Frankie & Alice – shades of Oscar winner Joanne Woodward in the 1957 drama The Three Faces of Eve.

That didn't seem very likely then, and it sure doesn't seem at all likely now. African American Film Critics or no, Berry has been all but ignored this awards season.

More African American Film Critics winners

The African American Film Critics' Best Director was a white British guy – one who hasn't been faring all that well elsewhere, notwithstanding his Richard Attenborough Film Award win: Christopher Nolan for Inception.

Curiously, this particular critics group has a category for Best Song, but not for Best Foreign Language Film. For the record, this year's winner was N. Simone's “Four Women” from For Colored Girls.

Last year, the African American Film Critics Association became embroiled in a major controversy following the selection of American Violet star Nicole Beharie – instead of Precious star Gabourey Sidibe – as the Best Actress of 2009.

See below the full list of African American Film Critics winners.

African American Film Critics Awards

Best Feature Film: The Social Network, directed by David Fincher.

Top 10 films:
1. The Social Network.
2. The King's Speech.
3. Inception.
4. Black Swan.
5. Night Catches Us.
6. The Fighter.
7. Frankie & Alice.
8. Blood Done Sign My Name.
9. Get Low.
10. For Colored Girls.

Best Documentary: Waiting for 'Superman', directed by Davis Guggenheim.

Best Director: Christopher Nolan, Inception.

Best Actress: Halle Berry, Frankie & Alice.

Best Actor: Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter.

Best Supporting Actress: Kimberly Elise, For Colored Girls.

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Ealy, For Colored Girls.

Best Screenplay: Night Catches Us, Tanya Hamilton.

Best Song: “Four Women,” composed by N. Simone, For Colored Girls.

Special Achievement: Lena Horne, Roger Ebert, and Melvin Van Peebles.

African American Film Critics Awards source: Steve Pond in TheWrap.


Pat Tillman The Tillman Story image: Passion Pictures.

Mila Kunis Black Swan image: Niko Tavernise / Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Image of Robert Pattinson as the vampire Edward Cullen in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: Summit Entertainment.

Halle Berry Frankie & Alice image: CodeBlack Films.

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3 Comments to Pat Tillman & Edward Cullen + Other Curious Choices: More Film Awards

  1. altfilmguide

    @Marie S.

    Jesse Eisenberg — not Mark Wahlberg — was the National Board of Review's Best Actor winner.

  2. Guy Montag

    Yeah for “The Tillman Story” winning the Best Documetary! It would be nice if the film came away with the Oscar as well, but I'm not holding my breath.

    In his “The Fog of War” interview with Jason Guerrasio, Amir Bar-Lev, the director of “The Tillman Story,” said: “… there's been no culpability on the second half of this tragedy, which is the higher ups trying to cover it up. … to borrow a football metaphor, they [the Tillman family] ran the ball 99 yards over four years time, they handed it off at the one-yard line to Congress and they fumbled it….”

    Shortly after Sundance, Bar-Lev emailed me that “he was pretty hard on the Democratic Congress in his film.” True, his film does portray Congressman Waxman's Oversight Committee as ineptly failing to get answers from the top military leadership during their hearing.

    However, Bar-Lev's film missed the ”untold story” that both the Democratic Congress and the Obama Presidency protected General Stanley McChrystal from public scrutiny of his central role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death. This cover-up was a thoroughly bi-partisan affair. It wasn't just a case of the Bush administration and the Army stonewalling the Democratic Congress. Congress didn't just “fumble” the ball, they threw the game.

    It's not surprising that after their initial cover-up of Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death fell apart, Army officers and the Bush administration lied to protect their careers. But after they took control of both Houses of Congress in 2006, the Democrats (including Congressman Henry Waxman, Senator Carl Levin, and Senator Jim Webb) and Senator John McCain could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not promoted them! (see “The [Untold] Tillman Story” at feralfirefighter.blogspot.com and Mary Tillman's foreword in the paperback edition of her “Boots on the Ground by Dusk” (at blurb.com).

    Just before the 2006 mid-term elections, Kevin Tillman published his eloquent letter, “After Pat's Birthday”. Kevin had hoped a Democratic Congress would bring accountability back to our country. But, just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible for the cover-up of his brother's friendly-fire death have never been held accountable for their actions.

  3. Marie S.

    Sorry to break this to you as it seems you don't like this organization but National Board of Review selected Wahlberg for THE FIGHTER. I don't think that's a performance that's “been ignored elsewhere.” Prejudiced much?