'Brokeback' in Beantown
More specifically to the BSFC, I first became aware of them in 1997 when they awarded Best Supporting Actress to Sarah Polley for The Sweet Hereafter, and even more adventurously, their runners-up for Best Actress were Katrin Cartlidge in Career Girls and Tilda Swinton in Female Perversions. That is what I call a critics' group. None of this snovelling around to publicists and trying to read Oscar's crystal ball. They've kept awarding their prizes over the years to unexpected and invigorating choicesThree Kings for Best Picture; Samantha Morton in Under the Skin, Tilda Swinton in The Deep End, and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary for Best Actress; Jim Carrey for Man on the Moon and Colin Farrell for Tigerland for Best Actor; Toni Collette for About a Boy and The Hours as Best Supporting Actress (like, actual supporting performances!); Hands on a Hardbody for Best Documentary; The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys for Best First Film; Taste of Cherry for Best Foreign-Language Film. Those are some great calls.
Things have been getting a little more conventional with the BSFC the last few yearslast year's Sideways blitz was a yawner, though the Laura Dern/Sharon Warren tie in Supporting Actress was fun. This year, the Brokeback Mountain juggernaut keeps rolling through for Best Picture and Director, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Dan Futterman all repeated their LAFC wins for Capote. I'm kind of miffed by the buzzed-about but totally unmagical Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line and Paul Giamatti in Cinderella Man as their Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor choices. Good as they both were, the very suggestion of "greatness" in their work is like a wet washcloth on my brain.
But, the Beantown crowd can still pick a good one: Pride & Prejudice's Joe Wright as the new filmmaker to watch. The fabulous and totally under-attended Murderball as Best Documentary. Kung Fu Hustle, a truly un-Decemberish choice as Best Foreign-Language Film, over the way more Cahiers-certified 2046. When the NYFCC and NBR announce tomorrow, things will either get more or less interesting, but even if I'm alone among all the awards watchers out there, I give it up to Jay Carr and Peter Keough and all those mandarins on the MTA!
Labels: Awards 2005