Monday, December 12, 2005


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
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

Oliver Platt, Casanova

Amy Adams, Junebug

Crash, Paul Haggis


Grizzly Man

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

Paul Haggis, Crash

BEST NINE FILMS (Alphabetical)
The Best of Youth
Brokeback Mountain
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
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.


blaaagh said...

Thanks for the update! Funny: I'd never even heard of "Down to the Bone" or what's-her-name until I read in this morning's Chronicle that she won the best actress prize from the L.A. Film Critics--and then I saw the listing at the Roxie: Starts Friday: What's-Her-Name in "Down to the Bone."

Glad to see the recognition for "Squid and the Whale." Haven't seen "I Walk the Line"--yet, but I want to. Would like to see "Brokeback Mountain," but I reckon Mrs. Blaaagh ain't too enthusiastic about it, and I ain't goin' in to see that thang by myself. 'Sides, it ain't playing on my side o' the bay. Reckon I'll look forward to "King Kong" for the time being.

blaaagh said...

Oh yeah, and I thought "A History of Violence" was great, but I was surprised to see William Hurt get all this attention; guess it was because the role was such a departure from his usual shtick.

Roscoe said...

They all seem fine to me, I really hate to see no love for Cinderella Man though. Seems like this movie is just out in the wrong year because I feel it such an amazing film who's actors really make you feel something, but meh I guess thats just my opinion.

I'm so incredibly angry! Brokeback Mountain isn't playing in Bakersfield so a friend and I went to LA because i had an audition for some television show and afterwards we were going to go check it out. We got there after about 2 hours of being lost in traffic and every single showing was sold out. My anger was matched only by my hunger.

I ended up watching Syriana which to me doesn't deserve the hype it's getting. Solid film just completely forgettable. Perhaps it should be a little more political (normally something i dont advocate). The message of the movie seemed to be " Well everyone does bad things but we are all nice people". Perhaps i missed the point.

Thom McGregor said...

It's kind of frightening to me, but for the first time since I was about 14, I've only seen, I believe, one of these movies, "A History of Violence," and don't even feel like seeing any of the others. What's wrong with me? I'm happy for Ang Lee. You know, Asians gotta stick together. I guess. Thanks for the recap of all these awards. I didn't even hear about any of them! Again, what's wrong with me? I'll depend on you (as I do for just about everything) to let me know who gets what accolades. I probably wouldn't even notice the Oscars next year except for the party we have at our house.

blaaagh said...

Ah, Thom, I wouldn't fret too much about not knowing about this stuff. I think it's got something to do with being caught up in a thing called "real life." That, or you have an iPod. Seriously, though, I had the same feeling last summer, when I didn't see a single release past "Star Wars III" and the summer was suddenly over; now, all of a sudden, I've seen tons of movies. Just wait a season or so, and you'll realize you haven't missed much.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Blaaagh: I liked that Marlboro Man drawl you adopted for your Brokeback Mountain take. Reckon I'll eventually see it, and yup, I 'spect I will see it by myself, as I can't project on Mrs. C wantin' to have much to do with a couple of tusslin' cowpokes-- er, cowboys up on Beast with Two Broke Backs Mountain. Hell, she already thinks Randolph Scott was in the closet, and jist about ever' other old cowboy too. Now, if they wuz gay Asian cowpokes-- er, cowboys...

As for the rest, I second Thom McG's amazement that, in looking over these lists this morning, I was kind of overwhelmed by the amount of films chosen that I have yet to see. Why, if it weren't for 2046, A History of Violence, Walk the Line and Wallace and Gromit, I'd have to hang my head in complete shame. And I can't decide if trying to see as many as possible before the end of the year is a noble cause or a fool's undertaking. Whichever, I still want to see the Clooney double header-- Roscoe, I'm surprised that you found Syriana not political enough. From what I've read, politics is what seems to be coursing through its veins, flushing every aspect of the movie with geopolitical awareness and paranoia. (And I haven't yet seen Cinderella Man either-- I've got an aversion to Ron Howard films these days). My father-in-law and I are going to attempt to catch Memoirs of a Geisha this weekend-- hey, even if it is as silly as "they" say, that's still Ziyi Zhang and Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li up there on screen, ain't it? I'm really looking forward to Cache and maybe, now, even Down to the Bone. And, of course, King Kong. Even with all that catching up to do, I'm planning on a movie night out tomorrow, and the ones I'm gonna try to run down don't have many award prospects between them, and I'm afraid I just don't care-- I just gotta see Jesus is Magic and The Ice Harvest before the gorilla blows into town and buries these little guys under a six-foot ple of ape droppings.

Roscoe said...

I mean I think Syrianna is basically like this, if you don't have an aversion to "Big Business" and you don't think or dont care about "Big Business" being evil then the things they do in the movie blow over hollow. It's like, that company is trying to buy a different oil field and laying off workers "god no!". If you are preaching the fear, I'm sure you'd agree with the movie being political.

I went into it without a bia's and I just saw a couple people break the law and alot of other people trying to better themselves. Whoever it was.

Snake Plissken said...

I saw Brokeback Mountain last night and it made me gay.

In just two hours of screen time, I was turned from a forty-year career heterosexual (or ever since I fell in love with Kim Richards in Escape to Witch Mountain) to someone who is so gay you can't even believe it. I am so gay I make Rip Taylor look like Kirk Freaking Douglas.

Dr. James Dobson and other fundamentalist leaders warned me this would happen. They told me that movie was nothing more than gay propaganda. I laughed at them and called them fools. And now, here I sit, all homosexual. How will I explain this to my wife? My family? My Greco-Roman-style wrestling buddies?

If it happened to me, it can happen to you. Don't say you weren't warned. If you're a happy heterosexual, stay away far, far away from Brokeback Mountain.

blaaagh said...

Haha--Snake, you kill me. Good thing you have that phallic name to go along with your new gay identity.

"The Beast With Two Broke Backs"--hahaha...I reckon I'd better go to the show house and see this durn thing afore all the jokin' about it makes it too hard to take serious-like.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Okay, Snake, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that your heartfelt and painfully honest account of your experience with Brokeback Mountain may be the the funniest-- no, the most special comment ever submitted to SLIFR.

And you just confirm what the secular liberal media would go to great lengths to deny-- that Hollywood is out for the very souls of ticket buyers, not just their money.

Your comment was so powerful that, though I've never admitted this to anyone before, I have a similar story to tell. For a time (too long a time) after seeing the Who documentary The Kids Are Alright I became an bisexual electric guitar virtuoso, and eventually even developed tinnitis, so profound was the evil influence of Pete Townshend on me as a young man. Then there were the skinhead years, brought on by a single screening of American History X.

I've decided to avoid King Kong, lest I am overcome with the urge to grab a blonde off the streets of downtown Los Angeles, carry her to the top of the ARCO skyscraper and roar at the indignities the world has foisted upon me, all before being shot down by jet fighters, of course.

Or am I just being too sensitive?

I can't wait to see your answers to the Christmas quiz!

blaaagh said...

I'm still mortified when I remember what happened to me after I saw "Footloose".

Murray said...

Ya'll crack me up!

Murray said...

At least the sheep are safe