Home Movie Awards ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Awards: Critics’ Best Film Favorite + Swedish ‘Twilight’ Tops Foreign-Language Honors

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ Awards: Critics’ Best Film Favorite + Swedish ‘Twilight’ Tops Foreign-Language Honors

Slumdog Millionaire awards. Dev Patel stars in critics favorite + most notable sleeper hitSlumdog Millionaire awards: After winning a number of Best Picture awards from various U.S.-based critics groups while on its way to becoming 2008’s most notable sleeper hit, Danny Boyle’s Bollywood-inspired mix of drama, music, and social commentary is the odds-on favorite for the 2009 Best Picture Oscar. Dev Patel (pictured) stars as the former Mumbai slum dweller who may succeed in becoming a millionaire and getting the girl. Moviedom’s Cinderella story – both on and off screen – Slumdog Millionaire also features Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, and Irrfan Khan.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ awards: U.S. critics’ top Best Picture

Last year, the clear Best Picture favorite was Joel and Ethan Coen’s violent thriller No Country for Old Men. This awards season, the clear – even if not as overwhelming – fave is Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire.

The Bollywood-inspired sleeper hit was the top choice of four of the six U.S.-based critics groups’ listed in this post: the Phoenix Film Critics Society, the Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association, the Detroit Film Critics Society, and the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle.

The two exceptions found below are the Houston Film Critics Society and the Utah Film Critics Association. The former went for David Fincher’s age-reversal drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; the latter picked Christopher Nolan’s Batman blockbuster The Dark Knight.

Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle seems to be even more popular than his film. Five of the six groups listed below selected him as the year’s Best Director. The one exception were the Utah Film Critics, who chose instead Andrew Stanton for the animated feature WALL-E.

Simon Beaufoy’s adaptation of Vikas Swarup’s novel was 2008’s Best Adapted Screenplay (or just plain Best Screenplay) according to three of those critics groups: Phoenix, Houston, and Oklahoma. Additionally, Slumdog Millionaire was the runner-up in Dallas-Ft. Worth.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ cast

The story of a Mumbai teenager whose memories of his slum childhood are awakened after he is accused of cheating on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Slumdog Millionaire features the following:

Dev Patel. Freida Pinto. Anil Kapoor. Irrfan Khan. Ayush Mahesh Khedekar. Sanchita Choudhary. Madhur Mittal. Feroze Khan (as Amitabh Bachchan).

More critics’ favorites: Best Actress field remains wide open

Among the other critics’ favorites this 2008/2009 awards season are:

  • Best Foreign Language Film Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in, a Swedish-made mix of psychological drama, horror, and vampire romance directed by Tomas Alfredson from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s screenplay based on his own novel. Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson star.
  • Unlike last year, which had two clear favorites – Julie Christie for Away from Her and Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose – the 2008 Best Actress competition remains wide open. The lists found below are a clear indication of the array of options this awards season: Meryl Streep for Doubt, Kate Winslet for Revolutionary Road, Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (with two wins), Melissa Leo for Frozen River, and Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky.
  • Best Actor Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke – with three wins each further below – as, respectively, the title characters in Gus Van Sant’s Milk and Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler.
  • Best Supporting Actor Heath Ledger as The Joker for The Dark Knight. Ledger, who died from an accidental prescription drug overdose last January, is the odds-on favorite for the Academy Awards.
  • In this post, the top Best Supporting Actress choice is Marisa Tomei, with three wins for playing a pole dancer in The Wrestler. Kate Winslet, however, is the likely top 2009 SAG Award and Academy Award contender in this category for her performance in Stephen Daldry’s Holocaust-themed The Reader, which doesn’t seem to have had many screenings for U.S. critics located outside the Los Angeles/New York City axis. Penélope Cruz, for Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, would be no. 2.

See below the full list of winners – and sometimes runners-up – of the critics groups mentioned further up.

Heath Ledger The Dark Knight. The Joker is critics favorite Best Supporting Actor portrayalHeath Ledger in The Dark Knight. U.S. critics groups’ absolute favorite Best Supporting Actor for his performance as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger, who died at age 28 from a prescription pill overdose on Jan. 22, is the odds-on 2009 Academy Award winner in that category – even though Ledger is about as much a lead as Christian Bale in the blockbuster sequel to Batman Begins. Three years ago, Heath Ledger delivered another critically acclaimed performance – and received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for it – in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, in which he plays a gay cowboy married to Michelle Williams but in love with Jake Gyllenhaal.

Phoenix Film Critics winners: ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ tops

2008 Phoenix Film Critics Society winners: Dec. 16.

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire.

Top Ten Films (in alphabetical order):
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The Dark Knight.
Frost/Nixon.
In Bruges.
Milk.
The Reader.
Slumdog Millionaire.
The Visitor.
WALL-E.
The Wrestler.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In.

Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Doubt.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Acting Ensemble: The cast of Milk.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire, dir.: James Marsh.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E.

Best Original Screenplay: In Bruges.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Cinematography: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Film Editing: Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Original Score: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Original Song: “The Wrestler” from The Wrestler.

Best Production Design: The Dark Knight.

Best Costume Design: The Duchess.

Best Visual Effects: The Dark Knight.

Best Stunts: The Dark Knight.

Breakout on Camera: Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire.

Breakout Behind the Camera: Martin McDonagh, In Bruges.

Best Performance by a Youth - Male: Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Performance by a Youth - Female: Dakota Fanning, The Secret Life of Bees.

Overlooked Film: In Bruges.

Best Live Action Family Film: High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

 

Houston Film Critics Awards

2008 Houston Film Critics Society winners: Dec. 17.

Best Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Foreign Language Film: Mongol.

Best Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Doubt.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Ensemble Cast: Doubt.

Best Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E.

Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Original Score: Terence Blanchard, Miracle at St. Anna.

Best Original Song: “Down to Earth,” WALL-E.

Outstanding Achievement in Cinema: Andrea Grover and the Aurora Picture Show.

Outstanding Achievement in Film Programming: Marian Luntz and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Film Department.

 

Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics winners

The 2008 Dallas-Ft. Worth Film Critics Association winners were announced on Dec. 17.

Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire.

Top Ten Films (Runners-up):
Milk.
The Dark Knight.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The Wrestler
.
The Visitor
.
Frost/Nixon.
Doubt
.
WALL-E
.
Happy-Go-Lucky.

Best Foreign Language Film: Tell No One / Ne le dis à personne.

Runners-up: Waltz with Bashir. Let the Right One In. I’ve Loved You So Long. Gomorrah.

Best Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married.

Runners-up: Meryl Streep, Doubt. Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky. Kristin Scott Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long. Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk.

Runners-up: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler. Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon. Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Richard Jenkins, The Visitor.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Runners-up: Josh Brolin, Milk. Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt. Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder.

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Doubt.

Runners-up: Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler. Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Runners-up: David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight. Gus Van Sant, Milk. Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon.

Best Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk.

Runner-up: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Cinematography: Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight.

Runner-up: Claudio Miranda, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire.

Runners-up: Waltz with Bashir. Young @ Heart. Standard Operating Procedure. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E.

Runners-up: Kung Fu Panda.

Russell Smith Award (“Best Low-Budget or Cutting-Edge Independent Film”): Wendy and Lucy.

 

Utah Film Critics Awards

2008 Utah Film Critics Association winners: Dec. 19.

Best Picture: The Dark Knight.

Runner-up: Rachel Getting Married.

Best Non-English Language Feature: Let the Right One In.

Runner-up: Waltz with Bashir.

Best Actress: Melissa Leo, Frozen River.

Runner-up: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Runners-up: Richard Jenkins, The Visitor. Sean Penn, Milk.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (no runner-up).

Best Supporting Actress: Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married.

Runners-up: Frances McDormand, Burn After Reading. Misty Upham, Frozen River. Evan Rachel Wood, The Wrestler.

Best Director: Andrew Stanton, WALL-E.

Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight.

Best Screenplay: Jenny Lumet, Rachel Getting Married.

Runner-up: Robert Siegel, The Wrestler.

Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire.

Runners-up: Encounters at the End of the World. Waltz with Bashir.

Best Animated Feature: WALL-E.

Runner-up: Kung Fu Panda.

 

Detroit Film Critics winners and nominations

The 2008 Detroit Film Critics Society nominations were announced on Dec. 10. The winners were announced on Dec. 19.

Best Film
The Dark Knight.
* Slumdog Millionaire.
WALL-E.
The Wrestler.
Frost/Nixon.

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler.
* Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon.
Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight.
Andrew Stanton, WALL-E.

Best Actor
Josh Brolin, W.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road.
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon.
Sean Penn, Milk.
* Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married.
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky.
Melissa Leo, Frozen River.
Meryl Streep, Doubt.
* Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road.

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder.
James Franco, Milk.
* Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.
Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky.
Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt.
Elizabeth Banks, W.
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married.
* Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler.

Best Ensemble
Burn After Reading.
* Frost/Nixon.
Rachel Getting Married.
Revolutionary Road.
Tropic Thunder.

Best Newcomer
Rosemarie DeWitt, actress, Rachel Getting Married.
Rebecca Hall, actress, Frost/Nixon and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Danny McBride, actor, Pineapple Express.
* Martin McDonagh, writer/director, In Bruges.
Dev Patel, actor, Slumdog Millionaire.
Catinca Untaru, actress, The Fall.

Oklahoma Film Critics Awards

2008 Oklahoma Film Critics Circle winners: Dec. 23.

Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire.

Top Ten Films (listed alphabetically):
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The Dark Knight.
Doubt.
Frost/Nixon.
Happy-Go-Lucky.
Milk.
Rachel Getting Married.
Slumdog Millionaire.
WALL-E.
The Wrestler.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In.

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky.

Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Original Screenplay: Robert D. Siegel, The Wrestler.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best First Feature: Synecdoche, New York, dir.: Charlie Kaufman.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E.

Obviously Worst Film: The Love Guru.

Not-So-Obviously Worst Film: Mamma Mia!.

 

Phoenix Film Critics Society website.

Houston Film Critics Society website.

Dev Patel Slumdog Millionaire image: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Heath Ledger The Dark Knight image: Warner Bros.

Bollywood inspired Slumdog Millionaire Dev Patel Anil Kapoor. Critics Best Film?Slumdog Millionaire with Dev Patel and Anil Kapoor. Danny Boyle’s Bollywood-inspired drama seems to be on its way to becoming this awards season’s top Best Film pick among U.S.-based critics groups. Dev Patel stars as a former Mumbai slum dweller who may succeed in becoming a millionaire – see image with game show host Anil Kapoor – and getting the girl (Freida Pinto). But has he cheated? And will that change everything?

Bollywood-inspired drama on the road to becoming North American critics groups’ top awards season pick?

Back in 2007, the indisputable Best Picture favorite was Joel and Ethan Coen’s violent thriller No Country for Old Men. So far this awards season, things seem to slowly been going the way of Danny Boyle’s Bollywood-inspired sleeper hit Slumdog Millionaire – even though U.S. (and the Toronto) film critics groups’ Best Film choices have been notably varied.

These range from Kelly Reichardt’s low-budget indie Wendy and Lucy and Gus Van Sant’s gay-centered biopic Milk to Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie The Dark Knight and Pixar’s Andrew Stanton-directed animated blockbuster WALL-E – which, unsurprisingly, has been the overwhelming Best Animated Feature pick.

From ‘WALL-E’ to ‘Wendy and Lucy’

Of the ten U.S.-based critics groups’ listed in this post, the Chicago Film Critics Association selected WALL-E, while the St. Louis Film Critics Association opted for David Fincher’s reverse-aging drama The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The Las Vegas Film Critics Society, for their part, went for Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon, starring Michael Sheen as U.S.-based British television journalist David Frost and Frank Langella as disgraced former U.S. President Richard Nixon.

There’s more: the Toronto Film Critics Association’s choice was Wendy and Lucy; the Austin Film Critics Association picked The Dark Knight; and the Southeastern Film Critics Association and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle went for Milk, about the life and murder of openly gay San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Harvey Milk.

Bollywood-inspired mix of romance & social conscience wins

As for Slumdog Millionaire, the Bollywood-inspired thrill ride was the top choice of three critics groups listed below: the San Diego Film Critics Society, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Alliance of Women Film Journalists. Besides, the multilingual Mumbai-set drama was the St. Louis Film Critics’ Best Foreign Language Film.

Slumdog Millionaire received more critical love by way of its director and its screenwriter. Danny Boyle topped no less than six of the 10 critics groups, while Simon Beaufoy’s adaptation of Vikas Swarup’s novel was the year’s Best Adapted Screenplay/Best Screenplay according to four of them.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ cast

The story of a Mumbai teenager who, after being accused of cheating on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, recalls his childhood in a local slum, the Bollywood-ish Slumdog Millionaire features the following:

Dev Patel. Freida Pinto. Anil Kapoor. Irrfan Khan.

Sanchita Choudhary. Ayush Mahesh Khedekar. Madhur Mittal. Feroze Khan (as Amitabh Bachchan).

Let the Right One In Lina Leandersson Kåre Hedebrant. US Critics Best Foreign Language FilmLet the Right One In with Lina Leandersson and Kåre Hedebrant. U.S. film critics groups’ top Best Foreign Language Film, Let the Right One In chronicles the relationship that develops between a bullied 12-year-old (Kåre Hedebrant) and a school companion (Lina Leandersson) who turns out to be a vampire. Tomas Alfredson directed this unusual entry in the vampire genre, from a screenplay by John Ajvide Lindqvist, based on his own 2004 novel.

More critics’ favorites: Swedish ‘Twilight’ cousin easily tops Best Foreign Language Film category

Besides the Bollywood-ish Slumdog Millionaire, among the other North American critics groups’ favorites this 2008/2009 awards season are:

  • Tomas Alfredson’s Swedish-made Let the Right One In / Låt den rätte komma in, the year’s Best Foreign Language Film according to seven critics groups. This mix of psychological drama, horror, and vampire romance/friendship was written by John Ajvide Lindqvist, from his own novel. Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson star. Curiously, Let the Right One In came out in the U.S. in the same year that Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novel, became a surprise blockbuster. In the less well-received but much more commercially successful Hollywood film, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star as a teenager and a teenage-looking centenarian vampire in love.
  • Unlike last year, which had two obvious favorites – veteran Julie Christie for Away from Her and Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose – the 2008 Best Actress competition remains wide open. The lists found below feature the following Best Actress picks: Kate Winslet for Revolutionary Road or The Reader or both (four wins, including a tie), Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (three wins), Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky (twice, including a tie), Melissa Leo for Frozen River, and Michelle Williams for Wendy and Lucy. Besides, Winslet was the Chicago Film Critics’ Best Supporting Actress for The Reader.
  • Best Actors Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke – with five wins each, including a tie with one another – as, respectively, the title characters in Milk and in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler. The Las Vegas Film Critics were the one exception, opting instead for Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon.
  • Best Supporting Actress Marisa Tomei, with four wins for her performance as a pole dancer in The Wrestler. Tomei was followed by Viola Davis, with two wins for John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt.
  • Best Supporting Actor Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight. Ledger, who died from an accidental prescription drug overdose last January, topped all ten critics groups and is already the clear Oscar favorite.
  • James Marsh’s Best Documentary Man on Wire was the top choice nine times, including one tie with Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s Hurricane Katrina-related Trouble the Water. The sole exception was the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, which went for Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg. Man on Wire tells the story behind Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York City’s World Trade Center.

See below the list of winners of the critics groups mentioned further up, in addition to this year’s Top Ten Canadian feature and short films, and the AFI Awards’ Top Ten film choices.

Man on Wire Philippe Petit. Is that David Bowie? No that's critics Best DocumentaryMan on Wire with Philippe Petit. Is that David Bowie trying to get from one World Trade Center tower to the other? No, that’s actually high-wire artist Philippe Petit, the subject of James Marsh’s Man on Wire, U.S. film critics groups’ top Best Documentary choice and the odds-on favorite for the 2009 Best Documentary Feature Academy Award.

AFI Awards

Bear in mind that widely praised 2008 releases such as the (mostly) Anglo-Indian Bollywood-like Slumdog Millionaire, the Swedish Let the Right One In, and the British Happy-Go-Lucky are not American films; therefore, they are ineligible for the AFI Awards in the Feature Films category.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
The Dark Knight.
Frost/Nixon.
Frozen River.
Gran Torino.
Iron Man.
Milk.
WALL-E.
Wendy and Lucy.
The Wrestler.

 

San Diego Film Critics winners

Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Original Screenplay: Tom McCarthy, The Visitor.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire.

Best Production Design: Donald Graham Burt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Editing: Chris Dickens, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Score: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Ensemble Performance: Frost/Nixon.

Body of Work for 2008: Richard Jenkins for The Visitor, Burn After Reading, Step Brothers, and The Tale of Despereaux.

Kyle Counts Award: The film program at the San Diego Central Library “for its outstanding contribution to film education and its commitment to eclectic and excellent free public film programs.”

 

San Francisco Film Critics winners

Best Picture: Milk.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In.

Best Director: Gus Van Sant, Milk.

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky.

Best Actor (tie): Sean Penn, Milk, and Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler.

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon.

Best Cinematography: Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight.

Best Documentary: My Winnipeg.

Marlon Riggs Award “for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community”: Rob Nilsson, filmmaker, in recognition of his 9@NIGHT series of films.

 

Southeastern Film Critics awards

Best Picture: Milk.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In.

Best Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk.

Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire.

Best Animated Feature: WALL-E.

Wyatt Award for the film that best captures the “spirit of the South”: Shotgun Stories.

 

Toronto Film Critics winners

Best Picture: Wendy and Lucy.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In.

Best Canadian Film: My Winnipeg, dir.: Guy Maddin.

Best Director: Jonathan Demme, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Actress: Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Screenplay: Jenny Lumet, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Documentary Feature: Man on Wire.

Best First Feature: Ballast, dir.: Lance Hammer.

Best Animated Feature: WALL-E.

 

Austin Film Critics winners

Best Picture: The Dark Knight.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In.

Best Director: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight.

Best Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Original Screenplay: Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Dark Knight, Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan.

Best Cinematography: The Fall, Colin Watkinson.

Best Animated Feature: WALL-E.

Best Documentary Film: Man on Wire.

Best Original Score: The Dark Knight, James Newton Howard & Hans Zimmer.

Breakthrough Artist Award: Danny McBride for Pineapple Express, The Foot Fist Way, Tropic Thunder.

First Film: Timecrimes / Los Cronocrímenes, Nacho Vigalondo.

Austin Film: Crawford.

 

St. Louis Film Critics winners

Best Film: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Foreign Language Film: Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Doubt.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Screenwriter: Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon.

Best Cinematography: Mandy Walker, Australia.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E.

Best Music (Soundtrack or Score, Original or Adapted): The Visitor.

Best Visual/Special Effects: The Dark Knight.

Most Original/Innovative Film: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Comedy: Burn After Reading.

 

Chicago Film Critics winners

Best Film: WALL-E.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let the Right One In.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader.

Best Original Screenplay: WALL-E, Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire, Simon Beaufoy.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire.

Best Animated Feature: WALL-E.

Best Cinematography: The Dark Knight, Wally Pfister.

Best Original Score: WALL-E, Thomas Newman.

Most Promising Performer: Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire.

Most Promising Filmmaker: Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In.

 

Las Vegas Film Critics winners

Best Picture: Frost/Nixon.

Best Foreign Language Film: Mongol.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet, Revolutionary Road & The Reader.

Best Actor: Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler.

Best Director: Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon.

Best Screenplay: Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon.

Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Film Editing: Daniel P. Hanley & Mike Hill, Frost/Nixon.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E.

Best Score: James Newton Howard, Defiance.

Best Song: “Another Way to Die,” Quantum of Solace.

Best Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Costume Design: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Best Visual Effects: Iron Man.

Best Youth in Film: David Kross, The Reader.

Best Family Film: The Spiderwick Chronicles.

William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award: Frank Langella.

 

Florida Film Critics winners

Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Foreign Language Film: Let The Right One In.

Best Actress: Melissa Leo, Frozen River.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Cinematography: Wally Pfister, The Dark Knight.

Best Documentary: Man on Wire.

Best Animated Feature: WALL-E.

Pauline Kael Breakout Award: Martin McDonagh, writer/director of In Bruges.

Golden Orange Award: Dick Morris of the Sarasota Film Society.

 

Women Film Journalists winners (partial list)

Best Film: Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Foreign Film: Tell No One.

Best Documentary (tie): Man on Wire + Trouble the Water.

Best Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire.

Best Actress (tie): Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky + Kate Winslet, The Reader & Revolutionary Road.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight.

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Doubt.

Best Ensemble Cast: Rachel Getting Married.

Best Original Screenplay: WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter & Jim Reardon.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan.

Best Editing: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Catherine Deneuve.

AWFJ Award for Humanitarian Activism: The women in Pray the Devil Back to Hell.

 

Top Ten Canadian Feature Films

Established by the Toronto International Film Festival Group in 2001, the annual selection of the Top Ten Canadian features and shorts is made by two panels of filmmakers, festival programmers, journalists, academics, and industry professionals throughout Canada.

The Top Ten Canadian feature films of 2008 are listed below in alphabetical order. Curiously, some of them will be released only in 2009.

Adoration – Atom Egoyan.
Before Tomorrow – Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu.
The Necessities of Life / Ce qu’il faut pour vivre – Benoît Pilon.
It’s Not Me, I Swear! / Cest pas moi, je le jure! – Philippe Falardeau.
Fifty Dead Men Walking – Kari Skogland.
Heaven on EarthDeepa Mehta.
Lost Song – Rodrigue Jean.
Mommy Is at the Hairdresser’s / Maman est chez le coiffeur – Léa Pool.
The Memories of Angels / La Mémoire des anges – Luc Bourdon.
Pontypool – Bruce McDonald.

Top Ten Canadian Short Films

The Top Ten Canadian shorts are listed below in alphabetical order.

La Battue – Guy Édoin.
Block B – Chris Chong Chan Fui.
Drux Flux – Theodore Ushev.
Ghosts and Gravel Roads – Michael Rollo.
Green Door – Semi Chellas.
Next Floor – Denis Villeneuve.
Nikamowin (Song) – Kevin Lee Burton.
Passages – Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre.
Princess Margaret Blvd – Kazik Radwanski.
Mon nom est Victor Gazon – Patrick Gazé.

Slumdog Millionaire with Dev Patel and modern-day Mumbai skyline. Toplining Dev Patel, Freida Pinto, Anil Kapoor, and Irrfan Khan, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire tells the story of former Mumbai slum dweller who may have cheated while a contestant on India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? In South Asia’s superpower-in-the-making, social inequalities are becoming increasingly more pronounced.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ & modern-day India’s social inequalities

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire has gone from about-to-go-directly-to-DVD underdog to 2009 Best Picture Academy Award-contending top dog within the space of a few weeks.

In a manner of speaking, that parallels the film’s storyline, in which an orphan (Dev Patel) from the slums of Mumbai becomes a top contestant on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

Below are a couple of interesting quotes from Heydon Prowse’s Dec. 5 article “Slumdog and Billionaires” at Don’t Panic, which discusses deepening social inequalities in South Asia’s superpower-in-the-making:

“Who exactly does want to be a millionaire in Mumbai? The answer is, pretty much everyone. And how many will actually become one? The answer to that – very, very few indeed.

“India is fast becoming a hypercapitalist 21st-century superpower and has developed incredible wealth very quickly for a tiny minority – particularly in Mumbai. The top 10 percent of India’s population owns between 33 to 50 percent of the country’s wealth. And they are not afraid to flaunt it – some 1.8 million households earning $100,000 or more a year spend a tenth of that on luxury goods. India’s media also have a lot to answer for – waving such grotesque over consumption in the faces of the very poor with ‘lifestyle’ magazines such as the Hindustan TimesSplurge and Outlook’s Envy advising the very rich on how to spend their millions.

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ cast

Besides Dev Patel, the Slumdog Millionaire cast includes the following:

Freida Pinto. Anil Kapoor. Irrfan Khan. Sanchita Choudhary. Ayush Mahesh Khedekar. Madhur Mittal. Feroze Khan (as Amitabh Bachchan).

Simon Beaufoy wrote the screenplay, based on Vikas Swarup’s novel. Slumdog Millionaire has music by A.R. Rahman, including the song “Jai Ho.”

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ awards

To date, Slumdog Millionaire was voted Best Film of 2008 by the Boston Society of Film Critics (tied with Andrew Stanton’s WALL-E), the British Independent Film Awards, and the National Board of Review, among others.

Danny Boyle was the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s Best Director.

Screen Actors Guild strike vote split

The Screen Actors Guild’s website has posted a list of performers who are willing to go through with a strike vote in January 2009. The list includes Holly Hunter, Valerie Harper, Ed Harris, Ed Asner, Martin Sheen, Larry Hagman, Diane Ladd, Elliott Gould, and Scott Bakula.

Their statement reads:

“I support the Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors request for members to vote YES to empower the National Board to decide whether to call a TV/Theatrical contract strike, and if so, determine its timeframe.

“We must arm our negotiating committee with the collective unity and strength of the Screen Actors Guild Members.”

The initial signers were (the list now has more than 1,000 signatures):

  • Anthony Anderson.
  • Ed Asner.
  • Scott Bakula.
  • Justine Bateman.
  • Tony Lo Bianco.
  • Eric Bogosian.
  • Clancy Brown.
  • Candace Cameron Bure.
  • Dixie Carter.
  • George Coe.
  • Mindy Cohn.
  • Patti D’Arbanville.
  • Laura Dern.
  • Anne DeSalvo.
  • Frances Fisher.
  • Scott Foley.
  • Mo Gaffney.
  • Mel Gibson.
  • Sharon Gless.
  • Brian Goodman.
  • Elliot Gould.
  • Larry Hagman.
  • Valerie Harper.
  • Ed Harris.
  • Robert Hays.
  • John Heard.
  • Hal Holbrook.
  • Holly Hunter.
  • Anne-Marie Johnson.
  • Lainie Kazan.
  • Diane Ladd.
  • Piper Laurie.
  • Angus Macfadyen.
  • William Mapother.
  • Mary Stuart Masterson.
  • Kent McCord.
  • Joanna Miles.
  • Matthew Modine.
  • Rob Morrow.
  • Barbara Niven.
  • Jerry O’Connell.
  • Sandra Oh.
  • Joyce Van Patten.
  • Harold Perrineau.
  • Alan Rosenberg.
  • Alan Ruck.
  • William Russ.
  • Charles Shaughnessy.
  • Martin Sheen.
  • Nancy Sinatra.
  • Jeremy Sisto.
  • Connie Stevens.
  • Renee Taylor.
  • Ted Wass.
  • Chandra Wilson.
  • Scott Wilson.
  • Alicia Witt.

SAG’s anti-strike faction

Among those listed in opposition of the call for a strike in the midst of a severe economic recession are Matt Damon, Diane Keaton, Diane Lane, Diane Baker, Mary Steenburgen, Ted Danson, Tobey Maguire, Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Cameron Diaz, Brian Dennehy, Felicity Huffman, Ewan McGregor, and Helen Hunt.

Below is their petition (originally a letter sent by Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman):

“We feel very strongly that SAG members should not vote to authorize a strike at this time. We don’t think that an authorization can be looked at as merely a bargaining tool. It must be looked at as what it is – an agreement to strike if negotiations fail.

“We support our union and we support the issues we’re fighting for, but we do not believe in all good conscience that now is the time to be putting people out of work.

“None of our friends in the other unions are truly happy with the deals they made in their negotiations. Three years from now all the union contracts will be up again at roughly the same time. At that point if we plan and work together with our sister unions we will have incredible leverage.

“As hard as it may be to wait those three years under an imperfect agreement, we believe this is what we must do. We think that a public statement should be made by SAG recognizing that although this is not a deal we want, it is simply not a time when our union wants to have any part in creating more economic hardship while so many people are already suffering.

“Let’s take the high road. Let’s unite with our brothers and sisters in the entertainment community and prepare for the future, three years down the line. Then, together, let’s make a great deal.”

Anti-strike proponents include the following:

  • Alan Alda.
  • James Denton.
  • Marilu Henner.
  • Michael Nouri.
  • Jason Alexander.
  • Brian Dennehy.
  • Cheryl Hines.
  • Gail O’Grady.
  • Dave Annable.
  • Danny DeVito.
  • Felicity Huffman.
  • Kaitlin Olson.
  • René Auberjonois.
  • Cameron Diaz.
  • Helen Hunt.
  • Sam Page.
  • Diane Baker.
  • Garret Dillahunt.
  • Jeremy Irons.
  • Eva Longoria Parker.
  • Bob Balaban.
  • Larry Dorf.
  • Kathryn Joosten.
  • Adrian Pasdar.
  • Alec Baldwin.
  • Minnie Driver.
  • Carol Kane.
  • Steve Pasquale.
  • William Baldwin.
  • Olympia Dukakis.
  • Diane Keaton.
  • Rhea Perlman.
  • Barbara Beck.
  • Patty Duke.
  • Jamie Kennedy.
  • Jaimie Pressley.
  • Ed Begley Jr.
  • Charles S. Dutton.
  • Mimi Kennedy.
  • Jason Ritter.
  • Maria Bello.
  • Shelley Fabares.
  • TR Knight.
  • John Saxon.
  • Barbara Bosson.
  • Bill Fagerbakke.
  • Sarah Knowlton.
  • William Schallert.
  • Bruce Boxleitner.
  • Mike Farrell.
  • John Krasinski.
  • Adam Scott.
  • Josh Brolin.
  • Sally Field.
  • Diane Lane.
  • Tony Shalhoub.
  • Pierce Brosnan.
  • Kate Flannery.
  • Michele Lee.
  • Armin Shimerman.
  • David Boreanaz.
  • Morgan Freeman.
  • Lucy Liu.
  • Christian Slater.
  • Blair Brown.
  • Jennifer Garner.
  • Rob Lowe.
  • Kevin Spacey.
  • Lizzy Caplan.
  • Teri Garr.
  • Tobey Maguire.
  • Jerry Sroka.
  • Jennifer Carpenter.
  • Melissa Gilbert.
  • Janel Maloney.
  • Mary Steenburgen.
  • Steve Carell.
  • Sara Gilbert.
  • Camryn Manheim.
  • Marcia Strassman.
  • Mark Cassen.
  • John Goodman.
  • Marlee Matlin.
  • Brenda Strong.
  • Erika Christensen.
  • Christopher Gorham.
  • Melanie Mayron.
  • Donald Sutherland.
  • George Clooney.
  • Heather Graham.
  • Andrew McCarthy.
  • Kitty Swink.
  • Glenn Close.
  • Kelsey Grammer.
  • Mary McCormack.
  • David Tadman.
  • Scott Cohen.
  • Jennifer Grey.
  • Chris McDonald.
  • Jeffrey Tambor.
  • Jack Coleman.
  • Michael Gross.
  • Neal McDonough.
  • Charlize Theron.
  • Stephen Collins.
  • Christopher Guest.
  • Rob McElhenney.
  • Ally Walker.
  • Peter Coyote.
  • Annabelle Gurwitch.
  • Ewan McGregor.
  • Tracey Walter.
  • James Cromwell.
  • Michael C. Hall.
  • Eva Mendes.
  • Belinda Waymouth.
  • Billy Crystal.
  • Tom Hanks.
  • Debra Messing.
  • Bradley Whitford.
  • Matt Damon.
  • Tess Harper.
  • Helen Mirren.
  • Lee Wilkoff.
  • Ted Danson.
  • Mariette Hartley.
  • James Naughton.
  • Brian Wimmer.
  • James Darren.
  • Ed Helms.
  • Edward Norton.
  • Kevin Zegers.
  • Bruce Davison.
  • Louis Zoric.

 

San Diego Film Critics Society website.

San Francisco Film Critics Circle website.

Image of Anil Kapoor and Dev Patel in the Bollywood-inspired Slumdog Millionaire: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Lina Leandersson and Kåre Hedebrant Let the Right One In image: EFTI / Filmpool Nord.

Philippe Petit Man on Wire image: Red Box Films.

Screen Actors Guild website.

SAG logo: Screen Actors Guild.

Dev Patel Slumdog Millionaire image: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Slumdog Millionaire Awards: Critics’ Best Film Favorite + Heath Ledger Tops & Best Actress Wide Open” last updated in October 2019.

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Sam -

LOVE THE MOViE SO MUCH! SLUMDOG MiLLiONAiRE ALL THE WAY TO THE GOLDEN GLOBES AND OSCARS! i REALLY WiSH THAT SLUMDOG MiLLiONAiRE WOULD WiN ALL OF THE NOMiNATiONS! THE MOViE AND EVERYTHiNG ABOUT iT DESERVES TO WiN! SUCH AN iNSPiRiNG STORY! iT REALLY LOOKED LiKE A TRUE-TO-LiFE STORY.. 11/10! :)

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