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Helen Mirren Queen Elizabeth Double Awards Season Dose + Mexican Directors Are U.S. Critics’ Winners

Helen Mirren Queen Elizabeth II The Queen: SAG Awards double dose
Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. Set in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s death, Stephen Frears’ The Queen, written by Peter Morgan, goes out of its way to present Queen Elizabeth II as a kind-hearted heroine determined to save both the British monarchy and a hunted deer. For her efforts, Mirren is in the running in the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ Best Actress in a Motion Picture category. In addition, the veteran British actress (Caligula, The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover) has received a SAG Award nomination for her portrayal of Britain’s 16th-century Queen Elizabeth in Tom Hooper’s two-part TV movie Elizabeth I.

SAG Award nominations: Helen Mirren Queen Elizabeth Double Dose + Leonardo DiCaprio triple dose

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

The Screen Actors Guild has announced its 2007 SAG Award nominees list. Helen Mirren is in the running in two categories for her portrayals of Queen Elizabeth times two.

On the big screen, Mirren plays a cuddly version of Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears’ The Queen, opposite Michael Sheen as disgraced Prime Minister Tony Blair. On the small screen, she plays the title character in Tom Hooper’s British-made, two-part television movie Elizabeth I, opposite fellow SAG Award nominee Jeremy Irons as the Earl of Leicester and Hugh Dancy as the Earl of Essex.

Curiously, long before the SAG Awards were created, Glenda Jackson – almost – got to enjoy her own Queen Elizabeth movie/TV awards double dose. In 1971, she brought to life Queen Elizabeth I in both Charles Jarrott’s big-screen drama Mary Queen of Scots and in the six-part miniseries Elizabeth R.

Jackson ultimately won an Emmy for her made-for-TV Queen Elizabeth, but failed to be nominated for an Academy Award for that particular performance. Instead, Vanessa Redgrave was shortlisted for her Mary Stuart, while Jackson was in the contention for another movie, John Schlesinger’s modern-day-set Sunday Bloody Sunday. They both lost the Best Actress Oscar to Jane Fonda in Alan J. Pakula’s Klute.

Leonardo DiCaprio competing against just about everybody + ‘Bobby’ surprise

From Helen Mirren’s Queen Elizabeth double dose to Leonardo DiCaprio’s SAG Awards triple dose. The Titanic and The Aviator actor was shortlisted as Best Actor for Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond, as Best Supporting Actor for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed (who exactly DiCaprio is supporting remains a mystery), and as a cast member of the latter title.

In all, the 2007 SAG Awards’ only major surprise was the inclusion of Emilio Estevez’s little-seen, all-star political drama Bobby – instead of The Queen – in the Best Cast category, even though no individual Bobby performance was singled out.

Besides, critics’ favorites such as Paul GreengrassUnited 93, and Clint Eastwood’s World War II dramas Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima were completely ignored by SAG Award voters. Also missing in action was Jack Nicholson’s The Departed overacting.

And finally, two Academy Award-winning veterans who began their movie careers in the mid-1950s, 72-year-old Shirley Jones (Best Supporting Actress winner for Elmer Gantry, 1960) and 80-year-old Cloris Leachman (Best Supporting Actress winner for The Last Picture Show, 1971), were nominated as Best Actress (lead or supporting) in a Television Movie or Miniseries for, respectively, Yelena Lanskaya’s Hidden Places and Phyllis Nagy’s Mrs. Harris.

BAFTA Longlists: James Bond & Queen Elizabeth II In

In other 2006/2007 awards season news, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the 2007 BAFTA Awards longlists. Following the first round of BAFTA voting, the lists consist of 15 titles per category.

Martin Campbell’s Casino Royale ($105.93 million), starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, and Stephen Frears The Queen ($18.32 million), starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II, were mentioned 14 times each. It’s probably not a coincidence that Casino Royale and The Queen are the two most commercially successful live-action British films of 2006 in the U.K.

Others in the BAFTA longlists are:

  • Pan’s Labyrinth, Babel, Children of Men, and The Departed with 13 mentions apiece.
  • The Last King of Scotland and Little Miss Sunshine with 12.
  • Volver and Dreamgirls with 10.
  • Apocalypto, The Devil Wears Prada, and Notes on a Scandal with 9.
  • Bobby and Flags of Our Fathers with 8.
  • United 93 with 7.
  • The History Boys with 5.

Except for Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls and Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, all of the aforementioned films are up for a Best Picture nomination. Of these, only The Devil Wears Prada failed to get a corresponding Best Director nod. In place of David Frankel, included was the better-known Mel Gibson.

‘Factory Girl’ & ‘Red Road’ missing in action

Missing in action from the top categories are The Weinstein Company’s Factory Girl, which was rushed into release in order to be considered for this year’s awards, and prestigious small-scale British efforts like London to Brighton and Red Road. The latter film’s stars, Tony Curran and Kate Dickie, were chosen Best Actor and Best Actress at the 2006 British Independent Film Awards last November.

According to Adam Dawtrey’s Variety report on the BAFTAs, the distributors of small British films didn’t send out screeners.

The BAFTAs – much like the Oscars, the Golden Globes, and U.S. film critics’ groups – have once again shown they prefer their nominees and, especially, winners to be well-known internationally (read: in the United States). Thus, precious few non-English-language films managed to be included on the BAFTA longlists, while even local productions with little chance of breaking into the U.S. market, such as the aforementioned Red Road and London to Brighton, were thoroughly bypassed.

The Devil Wears Prada Anne Hathaway Meryl Streep Emily Blunt: Lead or supporting?
The Devil Wears Prada with Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, and Emily Blunt. Adapted by Aline Brosh McKenna from Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel – itself inspired by her troubled professional relationship with the Catherine the Great of New York’s fashion world, Vogue editor Anna Wintour – David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada revolves around the Anne Hathaway/Weisberger character: Her difficulties with boss Meryl Streep/Wintour, with her boyfriend (Adrian Grenier), with her conscience, with her taste in clothes. Yet in the view of the British Academy, The Devil Wears Prada is actually about Streep’s character – a case of “The empress has no clothes” – while Hathaway’s is merely a subordinate one.

Lead or supporting? Dishonest distinctions

Additionally, like other awards groups the British Academy has an absurd – and, really, dishonest – way of listing lead vs. supporting performances. If an unknown had played Meryl Streep’s role in The Devil Wears Prada, chances are that most awards groups out there would have listed the actress in question in the supporting category. Yet the BAFTAs have Streep as the lead and Anne Hathaway – in whose character the Prada-wearing devil focuses – as a supporting player.

In another example, Greg Kinnear, as much a part of the Little Miss Sunshine ensemble as Toni Colette, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, and Steve Carell, shows up in the Best Actor longlist, whereas the other four performers are found in the supporting categories.

What ever happened to…?

And in case you’re wondering …

Several titles found in U.S. film critics’ Best of the Year lists – e.g. Letters from Iwo Jima – are nowhere to be found on the BAFTA longlists because they will not open in the United Kingdom in time to qualify for this year’s awards. To be eligible, films must open before Feb. 11, the date this year’s BAFTA winners will be announced. In previous years, qualifying films could open until the end of March.

The longlists will be turned into shortlists consisting of five nominees each when the second round of voting comes to a close on Jan. 12.

Mexican filmmakers fare well with U.S. critics

More awards season news: at the 2007 Austin Film Critics Association Awards, Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón surprisingly topped two categories – Best Director and as the author of the Best Original Screenplay – for the dystopian sociopolitical thriller Children of Men. Besides, the Mexican-Spanish dark fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth, written and directed by another Mexican filmmaker, Guillermo del Toro, was named Best Foreign Language Film.

Equally surprising, Alfonso Cuarón was named Best Director for Children of Men at the Utah Film Critics Association Awards. Earlier this awards season, Children of Men had been widely acknowledged only for its cinematography, courtesy of another Mexican, Emmanuel Lubezki.

All that Mexican love notwithstanding, the biggest Austin/Utah film critics surprises were:

  • In Austin, Best Actress Ellen Page for her portrayal of a 14-year-old preying on pedophiles in David Slade’s Hard Candy. Page has been all but ignored in a category dominated by Helen Mirren’s Queen Elizabeth II.
  • In Utah, Best Screenplay winner Brick, which follows a student (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who uncovers a crime ring at his high school. Rian Johnson wrote and directed the mystery drama.
  • Also in Utah: Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan’s documentary So Much So Fast, about one family’s fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease), was the totally unexpected runner-up in the Best Documentary category, trailing Davis Guggenheim’s critical favorite An Inconvenient Truth.

Metro Manila Film Festival winners

Lastly, the 2006/2007 Metro Manila Film Festival award winners were announced at Manila’s Aliw Theater on Dec. 29. Mexican filmmakers didn’t win anything despite the various winners’ Spanish surnames – which are common in The Philippines, a Spanish colony from the mid-16th century to 1898.

Metro Manila’s Best Film was Tony Y. Reyes’ action comedy fantasy Enteng Kabisote 3: Okay Ka Fairy Ko The Legend Goes On and On and On. The story revolves around domestic disputes, business setbacks, and a lizard posing as the hero.

The list of the Austin and Utah film critics winners can be found below, in addition to a partial list of this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival favorites.

Children of Men Clive Owen Clare-Hope Ashitey: Alfonso Cuarón Best Director surprise
Children of Men with Clive Owen and Clare-Hope Ashitey. Austin and Utah film critics Best Director winner Alfonso Cuarón directed the $76 million dystopian sociopolitical thriller Children of Men, set in a totalitarian, xenophobic United Kingdom, and featuring Clive Owen as a former activist turned government bureaucrat turned champion of the dispossessed and Clare-Hope Ashitey as an undocumented immigrant who seems to be the only pregnant woman on the planet. Also in the Children of Men cast: Julianne Moore, Charlie Hunnam, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and veteran Michael Caine (Alfie, Sleuth).

Austin Film Critics winners

Best Film: United 93.

Runners-up: The Departed, Pan’s Labyrinth / El Laberinto del fauno, Children of Men, Brick, Borat, Little Children, The Queen, The Prestige, The Fountain.

Best Foreign Film: Pan’s Labyrinth.

Best Documentary: This Film Is Not Yet Rated, dir.: Kirby Dick.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Children of Men.

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed.

Best Actress: Ellen Page, Hard Candy.

Best Supporting Actress: Rinko Kikuchi, Babel.

Best Supporting Actor: Jack Nicholson, The Departed.

Best Original Screenplay Guillermo del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth.

Best Adapted Screenplay Alfonso Cuarón, Children of Men.

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Children of Men.

Best Animated Film: Cars, dir.: John Lasseter & co-director Joe Ranft.

Best First Film: Rian Johnson, Brick.

Breakthrough Artist: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls.

Austin Film Award: Richard Linklater, A Scanner Darkly.

Utah Film Critics winners

Best Film: United 93.

Runner-up: The Departed.

Best Foreign Language Film: Letters from Iwo Jima.

Runner-up: Pan’s Labyrinth.

Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen.

Runner-up: Shareeka Epps, Half Nelson.

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 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 & Stranger Than Fiction.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Children of Men.

Runner-up: Paul Greengrass, United 93.

Best Screenplay: Rian Johnson, Brick.

Runner-up: Paul Greengrass, United 93.

Best Documentary: An Inconvenient Truth.

Runner-up: So Much So Fast.

Metro Manila Film Festival Awards (partial list)

Best Picture: Enteng Kabisote 3: Okay Ka Fairy Ko The legend Goes On and On and On.

Best Director: Jose Javier Reyes, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo.

Best Actress: Judy Ann Santos, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo.

Best Actor: Cesar Montano, Ligalig.

Best Supporting Actor: Johnny Delgado, Ligalig.

Best Supporting Actress: Gina Pareno, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo.

Best Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo.

Best Story: Jose Javier Reyes, Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo.

Best Cinematography: Mano Po 5.

Best Editing: Ligalig.

Best Musical Score: Mano Po 5.

Golden Globes’ Best Foreign Language Film nominees get L.A. area screenings

This awards season, the Los Angeles-based American Cinematheque and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will present all five non-English-language films nominated for the 2007 Golden Globes. The screenings will be held at The Aero’s Max Palevsky Theatre in Santa Monica.

The five nominees are:

  • Apocalypto (U.S.).
  • Pan’s Labyrinth / El Laberinto del fauno (Spain / Mexico).
  • The Lives of Others / Das Leben der Anderen (Germany).
  • Letters from Iwo Jima (U.S.).
  • Volver (Spain).

Invited guests (attendance to be confirmed) for each screening are directors Pedro Almodóvar, Guillermo del Toro, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, and Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

All five filmmakers are also expected to take part in a roundtable discussion moderated by Screen International U.S. editor Mike Goodridge at The Egyptian’s Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, Jan. 14, the day before the Golden Globes ceremony.

The panel discussion is free — it even includes free parking — on a first-come, first-serve basis. Free tickets will be made available that same day. The schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, Jan. 11 · 7:30 PM at the Aero Theatre – Apocalypto.
  • Friday, Jan. 12 · 7:30 PM at the Aero Theatre – Volver & Pan’s Labyrinth.
  • Saturday, Jan. 13 · 7:30 PM at the Aero Theatre – Letters from Iwo Jima & The Lives of Others.
  • Sunday, Jan. 14 · 1:00 PM at the Egyptian – Roundtable discussion.

British Academy of Film and Television Arts website.

American Cinematheque website.

Image of Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen: Miramax Films.

Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, and Anne Hathaway The Devil Wears Prada image: 20th Century Fox.

Clive Owen and Clare-Hope Ashitey Children of Men image: Universal Pictures.

“Helen Mirren Queen Elizabeth Double Awards Season Dose + Mexican Directors Are U.S. Critics’ Winners” last updated in August 2018.

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