The National Board of Review, traditionally the first group to hand out prizes and get the 2005 awards season underway, was tardy this year due to some internal strife not worth rehashing, but nobody’s even sure why anyone should much care whether this National Board of film historians, students and historians gets around to Reviewing or not (or even exactly who they are).
So it was left to the Los Angeles Film Critics Association to lead off the year’s back-patting, which they did Saturday by announcing Brokeback Mountain as their choice for Best Film of 2005. David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence was the runner-up. Here’s the way the rest of the awards were parceled out in Los Angeles:
DIRECTOR: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
- Runner-up: David Cronenberg, A History of Violence
ACTRESS: Vera Farmiga, Down to the Bone (now playing in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica in Santa Monica)
- Runner-up: Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
ACTOR: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
- Runner-up: Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
Capote by Dan Futterman
The Squid and the Whale by Noah Baumbach
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Catherine Keener, Capote, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, The 40 Year Old Virgin and The Interpreter
- Runner-up: Amy Adams, Junebug
SUPPORTING ACTOR: William Hurt, A History of Violence
- Runner-up: Frank Langella, Good Night, And Good Luck
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Caché directed by Michael Haneke
- Runner-up: 2046 directed by Wong Kar Wai
DOCUMENTARY/NON-FICTION FILM: Grizzly Man directed by Werner Herzog
- Runner-up: Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, directed by Alex Gibney
PRODUCTION DESIGN: William Chang, 2046
- Runner-up: Jim Bissell, Good Night, And Good Luck
ANIMATION: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Nick Park and Steve Box)
MUSIC/SCORE: Joe Hisaishi, Youmi Kimura, Howl’s Moving Castle
- Runner-up: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tony Takitani
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Robert Elswit, Good Night, And Good Luck
- Runner-up: Christopher Doyle, Kwan Pun Leung, & Yiu-Fai Lai, 2046
NEW GENERATION: Terrence Howard
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Richard Widmark
INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL: La Commune (Paris, 1871) directed by Peter Watkins
To Film critic Kevin Thomas for his contributions to film culture in Los Angeles.
To David Shepard, Bruce Posner and the Anthology Film Archive to honor “Unseen Cinema”, an eight-disc set DVD collection of avant-garde, underground films from 1894-1941.
The Los Angeles Film Critics awards ceremony will be held January 17 at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Los Angeles.
Over on the East Coast (do any hipsters call it the Right Coast, or would that carry too many unwelcome political implications?), Brokeback Mountain also headed the New York Film Critics Circle's annual list, released this morning, as the year's best film. The NYFCC also honored the movie with a prize for Ang Lee as best director and Heath Ledger as best actor. Critics voting within the New York group reported that A History of Violence, The Squid and the Whale and Capote were all close in the voting for best picture.
Other awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle this morning:
Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line (Whoo-hoo! My pick so far!- Ed.)
Best Supporting Actress: Maria Bello, A History of Violence (Again, whoo-hoo!- Ed.)
Best Supporting Actor: William Hurt, A History of Violence (Is Viggo cursing Heath right now? Not to mention how Joaquin must feel!- Ed.)
Best Screenplay: Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale
Best First-Time Direction: Bennett Miller, Capote.
Best Documentary: (tie) Grizzly Man and The White Diamond, both directed by Werner Herzog
Best Foreign Film: 2046
Best Cinematography: 2046
Best Animated Film: Howl's Moving Castle
The New York Film Critics Online checked in over the weekend as well, voting The Squid and the Whale as 2005’s best film. The rest of the NYFCO picks went a little something like this:
Fernando Meirelles, The Constant Gardener
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Oliver Platt, Casanova
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Junebug
Crash, Paul Haggis
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
March of the Penguins
Wallace & Gromit and The Curse of the Were-rabbit
Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow, Get Rich or Die Tryin’, Crash, Four Brothers
DEBUT AS DIRECTOR
Paul Haggis, Crash
BEST NINE FILMS (Alphabetical)
The Best of Youth
The Constant Gardener
Good Night, and Good Luck
The Squid and the Whale
Finally, those belated National Board of Review picks:
BEST PICTURE: Good Night, and Good Luck.
BEST DIRECTOR: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain
BESTACTOR: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
BESTACTRESS: Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Going Li, Memoirs of a Geisha
BEST ENSEMBLE: Mrs. Henderson Presents
BREAKTHROUGH PERFOMRANCE: Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow, Crash, Get Rich or Die Tryin'
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Noah Baumbach, The Squid and the Whale
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLKAY: Stephen Gaghan, Syriana
THE YEAR’S TOP 10 FILMS (in alphabetical order): Brokeback Mountain, Capote, Crash, A History of Violence, Match Point, Memoirs of a Geisha, Munich, Syriana and Walk the Line.