Gay Cowboy Romance & Troubled Gay Writer + Brave Journalist vs. Far Right: Awards Season Favorites

Gay cowboy romance with Heath Ledger Jake Gyllenhaal tops Los AngelesGay cowboy romance with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain was the Los Angeles Film Critics' Best Film of the year, while Heath Ledger, as a laconic 1960s Wyoming-ite enjoying/suffering through a big gay cowboy romance with fellow buckaroo Jake Gyllenhaal, was the runner-up in the Best Actor category. Ledger trailed another – radically different – 1960s gay character: flamboyant In Cold Blood author Truman Capote, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in Bennett Miller's Capote.

Gay cowboy romance tops Los Angeles Film Critics Awards

Ang Lee's mostly 1960s-set gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain was the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's Best Picture of 2005. The unusual Western – adapted by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana from Annie Proulx's short story – also earned Lee Best Director honors.

In the Brokeback Mountain cast: Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as the star-crossed gay cowboy lovers, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway as their respective wives, plus Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee Randy Quaid (The Last Detail, 1973), Linda Cardellini, Anna Faris, and Kate Mara.

The Los Angeles Film Critics' Best Foreign Language Film was Michael Haneke's sociopolitical/psychological drama Hidden / Caché, an unsettling glimpse into the mindset of the post-colonialist French/European bourgeoisie. Starring Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche, and featuring veteran Annie Girardot (Rocco and His Brothers, The Piano Teacher), Hidden had previously collected four European Film Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

The gay '60s

Philip Seymour Hoffman was named Best Actor for his portrayal of flamboyant gay author Truman Capote in Bennett Miller's 1960s-set, real-life-based drama Capote, about the title character's deepening involvement with a murderer while doing research for his classic nonfiction book In Cold Blood. Heath Ledger was the runner-up.

Along with The Ballad of Jack and Rose, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and The Interpreter, Capote also earned Catherine Keener the Best Supporting Actress award. In the film, she plays To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee.

The third Capote winner was actor-turned-screenwriter Dan Futterman (The Birdcage, Urbania), who tied with screenwriter-director Noah Baumbach for the 1980s-Brooklyn-set family comedy-drama The Squid and the Whale, starring Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney.

Surprising Vera Farmiga + William Hurt returns

Now, the biggest surprise among the Los Angeles Film Critics' indie-embracing choices was Best Actress Vera Farmiga for her performance as a working-class mom and hardcore drug addict in Debra Granik's little-seen, ultra-low-budget Down to the Bone. The runner-up was Judi Dench for Stephen Frears' unabashedly conventional 1940s-London-set comedy Mrs. Henderson Presents.

Veteran William Hurt (Best Actor Oscar winner for Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1985) was the Best Supporting Actor choice for his awards season comeback as Viggo Mortensen's humorously psychopathic brother in David Cronenberg's sociopolitical family drama A History of Violence.

Based on John Wagner and Vince Locke's 1997 graphic novel, A History of Violence tells the story of a small-town-Indiana diner owner and “family man” (Mortensen) whose violent past is unexpectedly exposed following a bloody confrontation with two robbers. Both Cronenberg and the film itself were runners-up in their respective categories.

Bigger fare mostly bypassed + Richard Widmark honor

Noticeably absent from the Los Angeles Film Critics' list of winners and runners-up were Peter Jackson's King KongSteven Spielberg's Munich, Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins, Rob Marshall's Memoirs of a Geisha, Terrence Malick's The New World, and James Mangold's Walk the Line. Among the “smaller” movies missing in action were Hany Abu-Assad's Paradise Now and Woody Allen's Match Point.

Lastly, veteran Richard Widmark, a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for his psychopathic murderer in Henry Hathaway's 1947 film noir Kiss of Death, and the star of numerous crime dramas, thrillers, and Westerns during the 1950s and 1960s – e.g., No Way Out, Pickup on South Street, The Law and Jake Wade, Two Rode Together – will be handed the Career Achievement Award at a Jan. 17 ceremony at the Park Hyatt in Century City.

This year's Los Angeles Film Critics winners are listed immediately below.

Los Angeles Film Critics winners

Best Film: Brokeback Mountain.

Best Foreign Language Film: Hidden / Caché.

Best Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain.

Best Actress: Vera Farmiga, Down to the Bone.

Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote.

Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Keener, Capote, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and The Interpreter.

Best Supporting Actor: William Hurt, A History of Violence.

Best Screenplay (tie): Dan Futterman, Capote & Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale.

Best Documentary / Nonfiction Film: Grizzly Man, dir.: Werner Herzog.

Best Animation: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, dir.: Nick Park & Steve Box.

Best Cinematography: Robert Elswit, Good Night and Good Luck.

Best Music Score: Joe Hisaishi, Howl's Moving Castle.

Best Production Design: William Chang, 2046.

Career Achievement: Richard Widmark.

New Generation Award: Terrence Howard.

Douglas Edwards Experimental / Independent Film / Video: La Commune (Paris 1871) dir.: Peter Watkins.

Special Citations: Kevin Thomas, “for his contribution to film culture in Los Angeles” & David Shepard, Bruce Posner, and the Anthology Film Archive for the DVD collection “Unseen Cinema,” which includes efforts by Lois Weber (Suspense), Charles Vidor (The Bridge), and Fernand Léger (Ballet mécanique).

Gay Cowboy romance with Jake Gyllenhaal Heath Ledger: New York Film Critics' BestGay cowboy romance strikes again. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, Ang Lee's “gay Western” Brokeback Mountain was the New York Film Critics' Best Film of the year. Lee was named Best Director while Ledger was the Best Actor for his portrayal of a conflicted gay cowboy, married to Michelle Williams but desperately in love with Jake Gyllenhaal, who himself is married to Anne Hathaway.

New York Film Critics Awards: Gay cowboy romance wins another round + Werner Herzog double dose

From the Los Angeles Film Critics Association's gay cowboy romance to the New York Film Critics Circle's … gay cowboy romance: Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain topped the NYFCC's Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor (Heath Ledger) categories.

Reese Witherspoon was chosen Best Actress for her portrayal of country singer June Carter in James Mangold's Walk the Line, about Carter's relationship with “tough guy” singer Johnny Cash (played by Joaquin Phoenix), while the winners in the supporting categories were Maria Bello and Los Angeles Film Critics pick William Hurt for their work in A History of Violence.

The Best Foreign Language Film was Wong Kar-Wai's dreamily romantic drama 2046, which also topped the Best Cinematography category (Christopher Doyle, Lai Yiu-Fai, and Kwan Pun Leung). In the all-star cast: Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li, Maggie Cheung, Carina Lau, Faye Wong, Takuya Kimura, Jie Dong, and Chen Chang.

Also hailing from East Asia, Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle was the Best Animated Film, while no less than two Werner Herzog documentaries won the Best Non-Fiction Film award: The White Diamond and Los Angeles Film Critics favorite Grizzly Man. And this time around, Noah Baumbach was the – sole – Best Screenplay winner for The Squid and the Whale.

National Society of Film Critics displays little love for gay cowboy romance

More film critics awards: instead of Ang Lee's gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain, the National Society of Film Critics' choice for Best Picture of 2005 was Bennett Miller's gay author psychological study Capote. Philip Seymour Hoffman was named Best Actor.

David Cronenberg was the Best Director for the sociopolitical critique A History of Violence, which, after six rounds, failed to win the Best Picture award by one single vote. The film's scarfaced villain, Ed Harris, was named Best Supporting Actor. Reese Witherspoon was the Best Actress for Walk the Line.

The Best Foreign Language Film was 2004 European Film Award winner Head-On / Gegen die Wand, Fatih Akin's culture clash drama about a Turkish-German woman (Sibel Kekilli) who gets married (to Birol Ünel) so as to escape her stiflingly reactionary Muslim family.

Of note, awards season fave Brokeback Mountain failed to top a single National Society of Film Critics category. Ang Lee's gay cowboy romance popped up only once: Heath Ledger's third-place Best Actor spot.

'Fearless journalist' drama tops National Board of Review Awards

On to the National Board of Review Awards: the Best Film winner was George Clooney's black-and-white drama Good Night and Good Luck., starring David Strathairn as Edward R. Murrow, depicted as a fearless journalist who helped to bring down far-right Republican senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.

Unusual NBR winners included Best Supporting Actress Gong Li for bringing to life – while struggling with the English-language dialogue – an embittered geisha in Rob Marshall's lush Memoirs of a Geisha, and Best Supporting Actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who just happens to be one of Brokeback Mountain's two leading men. In case Gyllenhaal continues to be pushed as a supporting actor, that will increase his chances of landing an Academy Award nomination.

Below is the list of winners from the following groups: New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics, National Board of Review, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, and Central Ohio Film Critics Association.

A History of Violence Maria Bello: Best Supporting Performance as Viggo Mortensen wifeA History of Violence with Maria Bello. The Los Angeles Film Critics' and the National Society of Film Critics' Best Picture runner-up, David Cronenberg's social critique A History of Violence was the Central Ohio Film Critics' top film. Cronenberg was named Best Director while Maria Bello, as Viggo Mortensen's wife, delivered the year's “Best Supporting Performance.” In Los Angeles, A History of Violence trailed Ang Lee's gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain; the National Society of Film Critics' winner was Bennett Miller's gay author drama Capote.

New York Film Critics winners

Best Film: Brokeback Mountain.

Best Foreign Language Film: 2046.

Best Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain.

Best Actor: Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain.

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line.

Best Supporting Actress: Maria Bello, A History of Violence.

Best Supporting Actor: William Hurt, A History of Violence.

Best Screenplay: Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale.

Best Cinematographer: Christopher Doyle, Lai Yiu-Fai & Kwan Pun Leung, 2046.

Best Non-Fiction Film: Grizzly Man & The White Diamond.

Best Animated Film: Howl's Moving Castle.

Best First Film: Bennett Miller, Capote.

 

National Society of Film Critics winners

Best Picture: Capote.

Best Foreign Language Film: Head-On / Gegen die Wand.

Best Director: David Cronenberg, A History of Violence.

Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote.

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line.

Best Supporting Actor: Ed Harris, A History of Violence.

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, Junebug.

Best Screenplay: Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale.

Best Documentary: Grizzly Man.

Best Cinematography: Christopher Doyle, Kwan Pun Leung & Lai Yiu-Fai, 2046.

Experimental Awards:

  • William Greaves for Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (made in 1968) & Take Two.
  • James Benning for 13 Lakes, Ten Skies27 Years Later.

Film Heritage Award: “Unseen Cinema.”

 

National Board of Review winners

Best Film: Good Night, and Good Luck.

Best Foreign Language Film: Paradise Now, dir.: Hany Abu-Assad.

Best Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain.

Best Actress: Felicity Huffman, Transamerica.

Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote.

Best Supporting Actress: Gong Li, Memoirs of a Geisha.

Best Supporting Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain.

Best Acting by an Ensemble: Mrs. Henderson Presents.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Stephen Gaghan, Syriana.

Best Original Screenplay: Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale.

Best Documentary: March of the Penguins / La Marche de l'empereur, dir.: Luc Jacquet.

Best Animated Feature: Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, dir.: Tim Burton.

Breakthrough Performance Actor: Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow, Get Rich or Die Tryin', and Crash.

Breakthrough Performance Actress: Q'Orianka Kilcher, The New World.

Best Directorial Debut: Julian Fellowes, Separate Lies.

Best Film or Miniseries Made for Cable TV: Lackawanna Blues, dir.: George C. Wolfe.

Outstanding Achievement in Special Effects: King Kong.

Freedom of Expression: The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till & Innocent Voices / Voces inocentes.

Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking (in alphabetical order):
Breakfast on Pluto.
Cape of Good Hope.
The Dying Gaul.
Everything Is Illuminated.
Hustle & Flow.
Junebug.
Layer Cake.
Lord of War.
Nine Lives.
The Thing About My Folks.
The Upside of Anger.

Career Achievement: Jane Fonda.

Billy Wilder Award for Excellence in Directing: David Cronenberg.

Career Achievement - Film Music Composition: Howard Shore.

Producer of the Year Award: Saul Zaentz.

 

Washington D.C. Film Critics winners

Best Film: Munich.

Best Foreign Language Film: Kung Fu Hustle.

Best Director: Steven Spielberg, Munich.

Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote.

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line.

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, Junebug.

Best Supporting Actor: Paul GiamattiCinderella Man.

Best Original Screenplay: Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, Crash.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Dan Futterman, Capote.

Best Documentary: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.

Best Animated Film: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Best Ensemble: Crash.

Best Breakthrough Performance: Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow.

Best Art Direction: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (production designer: Roger Ford).

 

New York Film Critics Online winners

Best Film: The Squid and the Whale.

Best Foreign Language Film: Downfall, dir.: Oliver Hirschbiegel.

Best Director: Fernando Meirelles, The Constant Gardener.

Best Actress: Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice.

Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote.

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, Junebug.

Best Supporting Actor: Oliver Platt, Casanova.

Best Screenplay: Paul Haggis & Bobby Moresco, Crash.

Best Documentary/Nonfiction Film: Grizzly Man.

Best Animated Feature: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Best Debut Director: Paul Haggis, Crash.

Best Cinematography: Laurent Chalet & Jérôme Maison, March of the Penguins.

Breakthrough Performance: Terrence Howard for Hustle & Flow, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Crash & Four Brothers.

 

Central Ohio Film Critics winners

Best Film: A History of Violence.

Best Director: David Cronenberg, A History of Violence.

Best Lead Performance: Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain.

Best Supporting Performance: Maria Bello, A History of Violence.

Actor of the Year: Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain, Casanova, Lords of DogtownThe Brothers Grimm.

Best Screenplay: Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain.

Best Formal Design: Sin City.

Best Sound Design: War of the Worlds.

Breakthrough Film Artist: Actress Amy Adams, Junebug.

 

Los Angeles Film Critics Association website.

National Society of Film Critics Awards list via The Hollywood Reporter.

Images of Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Ang Lee's gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain: Focus Features.

Maria Bello A History of Violence image: New Line Cinema.

“Gay Cowboy Romance & Troubled Gay Writer + Brave Journalist vs. Far Right: Awards Season Favorites” last updated in November 2018.

Gay Cowboy Romance & Troubled Gay Writer + Brave Journalist vs. Far Right: Awards Season Favorites © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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