Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Awards and the City.

Mike Leigh's extraordinary "Happy-Go-Lucky" and Gus Van Sant's "Milk" wowed the New York Film Critics Circle as they lead their year end awards.
This year's winners are:

Best Picture: "Milk"
Best Director: Mike Leigh "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Best Actor: Sean Penn "Milk"
Best Actress: Sally Hawkins "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Best Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin "Milk"
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Best Screenplay: Jenny Lumet "Rachel Getting Married"
Best Cinematographer: Anthony Dod Mantle "Slumdog Millionaire"
Best Foreign Film: "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"
Best Animated Film: "WALL-E"
Best First Film: Courtney Hunt "Frozen River"
Best Documentary: "Man on Wire"

Particularly interesting is the resurgence for Sally Hawkins who is shaping out to be the critics' darling this year (and with reason, she's fantastic).
What I find intriguing is how much the actual state of the world is influencing the critics, these people often choose the most dramatic, "hard" performances for their awards (see Charlize Theron, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Fernanda Montenegro, Imelda Staunton etc.) so this year it was supposed to be about how great Kristin Scott Thomas was in "I've Loved You So Long".
Yet they're going for Sally Hawkins! Both performances are absolutely brilliant (I'd place them both in my ballots if I got to vote) but it's interesting to ask oneself how much they need optimism right now.
Oh and yay for Penélope!

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