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Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro Movies Top Latest Critics Awards

The Utah Film Critics Association, which consists of about a dozen or so Utah-ian reviewers, announced their winners this past Dec. 28, '06.

The usual suspects – United 93, Letters from Iwo Jima, Helen Mirren – dominated the Utah critics' list, but there were a handful of surprises.

For instance, the Best Director was Alfonso Cuarón for Children of Men. I'm quite sure that's the first such award for the futuristic drama about the potential end of humankind (and, as a result – one would assume – the potential survival of the planet). Thus far, Children of Men has been widely acknowledged only for its cinematography, courtesy of Emmanuel Lubezki.

Rian Johnson's Brick, which follows a student as he uncovers a crime ring at his high school, was chosen the Best Screenplay, while Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan's documentary So Much So Fast, about one family's fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig's disease), didn't win anything but was the surprise runner-up in the Best Documentary category.

And finally, Sacha Baron Cohen was the unanimous choice for Borat. The unanimity surprised me, but then again we're talking of a small group of film critics.

Best Film: United 93 directed by Paul Greengrass

Runner-up:The Departeddirected by Martin Scorsese

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

Runner-up: Pan's Labyrinth directed by Guillermo del Toro

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Children of Men

Runner-up: Paul Greengrass, United 93

Best Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Runner-up: None (Sacha Baron Cohen was the unanimous choice)

Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen

Runner-up: Shareeka Epps, Half Nelson

Best Supporting Actor: Michael Sheen, The Queen

Runner-up: Mark Wahlberg, The Departed

Best Supporting Actress: Rinko Kikuchi, Babel

Runner-up: Maggie Gyllenhaal, World Trade Center and Stranger Than Fiction

Best Screenplay: Rian Johnson, Brick

Runner-up: Paul Greengrass, United 93

Best Documentary: An Inconvenient Truth directed by Davis Guggenheim

Runner-up: So Much So Fast, directed by Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan

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