Monday, December 12, 2005

NYFCC Also Goes for 'Broke'

Upon accepting the Best Actor prize from the New York Film Critics Circle in 1970 for her husband, George C. Scott, Colleen Dewhurst caused a minor scandal by admitting it was the only film prize that Scott thought was worth a damn. Slap-happy as everyone is to win anything these days, you'd be hard-pressed to find a second on that motion, but the NYFCC does tend to pick interesting winners, sparking recognition in recent years for films like Topsy-Turvy, Gosford Park, and Million Dollar Baby and for performers like Marcia Gay Harden, Helen Mirren, and Shohreh Aghdashloo, who had previously been far from the center of the awards radar. Sometimes their choices never do get any traction with other groups, Oscar included, but they deserve plaudits on their own accord. In bold below are this year's winners, just announced today, followed by my favorite selections from recent years in those same categories. (I often find them especially adept at picking Best First Films and Best Supporting Actresses, though curiously, I'm often unmoved by their other acting choices—patterns that all continue this year with the fabulous Bello and Capote and the lucky-duck Witherspoon and Hurt.)

Best Film: Brokeback Mountain (Fargo '96, LA Confidential '97, Topsy-Turvy '99, Mulholland Drive '01, Far from Heaven '02)

Best Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain (Curtis Hanson '97, Terrence Malick '98, Mike Leigh '99, Robert Altman '01, Todd Haynes '02, Clint Eastwood '04)

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line (Jennifer Jason Leigh '95, Emily Watson '96, Hilary Swank '99, Laura Linney '00)

Best Actor: Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain (Nicolas Cage '95, Nick Nolte '98, Richard Farnsworth '99)

Best Supp. Actress: Maria Bello, A History of Violence (Courtney Love '96, Lisa Kudrow '98, Catherine Keener '99, Marcia Gay Harden '00, Helen Mirren '01, Patricia Clarkson '02, Shohreh Aghdashloo '03, Virginia Madsen '04)

Best Supp. Actor: William Hurt, A History of Violence (Steve Buscemi '01, Clive Owen '04)

Best First Film: Capote (Babe '95, Big Night '96, Love and Death on Long Island '98, Being John Malkovich '99, George Washington '00, Maria Full of Grace '04)

Best Screenplay: The Squid and the Whale (You Can Count on Me '00, Gosford Park '01, The Secret Lives of Dentists '03)

Best Foreign Film: 2046 (Wild Reeds '95, Ponette '97, In the Mood for Love '01)

Best Nonfiction Film (joint citation): Grizzly Man and The White Diamond (The Gleaners and I '01)

Best Cinematography: 2046 (Breaking the Waves/Dead Man '96, The Thin Red Line '98, The Straight Story '99, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon '00, In the Mood for Love '01, Far from Heaven '02, Elephant/Gerry '03)

Best Animated Film: Howl's Moving Castle (Spirited Away '02)



Blogger Dr. S said...

Do you know when it's meant to open wide? I saw on the film release guy's page that it's opening "wider" on Friday, but that doesn't tell me when it might make it into the hinterland. I'm not sure whether Columbus, OH, will get picked up by "wider."

3:30 PM, December 12, 2005  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Sorry--I mean Brokeback Mountain, of course.

3:30 PM, December 12, 2005  
Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

Nick -I think you'll find yourself moved by Ledger, though i dare not suggest whether you will love the film as much as i do (given your like but not love for Lee films. And it's very much an Ang Lee film in every way.)

still Ledger's performance? He has it all over Hoffman in my opinion. I've seen it twice now and Ledger just floors me. Like he crawled into this guy's skin, took on Ennis Del Mar's paralyzing fear, and found himself too frightened to ever break character or imagine leaving Wyoming. A-ma-zing. I'm kinda surprised he's still a functioning actor in Hollywood ;)

10:02 PM, December 12, 2005  
Blogger Yaseen Ali said...

Just to let you know Nick (if you don't already), The New World just topped Ed Gonzalez's and Nick Schager's lists at Slant Magazine. Meep!

11:49 PM, December 12, 2005  

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