The National Board of Review announced their choice for the best film of 2008: Danny Boyle's SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE. Now those who know me well, or those who simply read my reviews on this site, must know that this genuinely shocked me, and I pretty actively disliked SLUMDOG. Even more shocking to me than the best movie award is the acknowledgement to Simon Beaufoy script, for Best Adapted Screenplay as I find the screenplay particularly reprehensible. Now I realize that I'm not going to agree with every honor bestowed by critics groups around the world, but I'm always a bit surprised when a movie I dislike fairly seriously garners enough support from other film buffs to win such honors. I'm sure Beth Caldwell is feeling the same way about all the honors being bestowed on FROZEN RIVER.
Anyway, upon reading this I immediately wanted to find out more about the NBR, to see how authoritative they might be. This is what I discovered on their website:
"The screening membership comprises knowledgeable film buffs, academics, young film professionals, and students in the New York metropolitan area."
Hmmm... I guess this must just be a highly divisive film. I know there are Chlotrudis members whose opinions I respect who love SLUMDOG as well.
The NBR's other honors follow:
Film: "Slumdog Millionaire"
Director: David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Actor: Clint Eastwood, "Gran Torino"
Actress: Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Supporting Actor: Josh Brolin, "Milk"
Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Foreign Language Film: "Mongol"
Documentary: "Man On Wire"
Animated Feature: "Wall-E"
Ensemble Cast: "Doubt"
Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Dev Patel, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Directorial Debut: Courtney Hunt, "Frozen River"
Original Screenplay: Nick Schenk, "Gran Torino"
Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Eric Roth, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Spotlight Award: Melissa Leo, "Frozen River"
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"
The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression: "Trumbo"
TOP TEN FILMS
* "Burn After Reading"
* "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button"
* "The Dark Knight"
* "Gran Torino"
* "The Wrestler"
TOP FIVE FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS
* Edge Of Heaven
* Let The Right One In
* Roman De Guerre
* A Secret
* Waltz With Bashir
TOP FIVE DOCUMENTARY FILMS
* American Teen
* The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
* Dear Zachary
* Encounters At The End Of The World
* Roman Polanski: Wanted And Desired
Over on the Spout Blog, Karina Longworth covers Snip Snip: Are Cutbacks in Film Distribution and Criticism Affecting Quality Filmmaking?, a panel at the Telluride Film Festival featuring Annette Insdorf (Columbia University), Michael Barker (Sony Classics), Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE), Scott Foundas (LA Weekly), Jonathan Sehring (IFC Films), Paul Schrader (ADAM RESURRECTED) and Anne Thompson (Variety). What do you think?
So, as Chlotrudis members start mulling over some of their favorite performances of the year for nomination consideration, I urge you to take a look at Boston Globe critic Wesley Morris' list of some of his favorite acting from 2007 films. Not all of these films are Chlotrudis-eligible, but it's still a pretty interesting and eclectic list. I love that he has included the entire cast of THE HOST!
Today the Boston Society of Film Critics announced their awards for 2007. Awards season has begun with a vengeance, with announcements for the Independent Spirit Awards, National Board of Review Awards, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association already released, and the Golden Globe nominees coming next Thursday. Here in Boston, our critics followed the lead of the NBR by selecting the Coen Brothers' NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN as their top film of the year. I guess the most surprising thing for me here is the hometown allegiance to GONE BABY GONE, and more particularly, Ben Affleck. I haven't seen the film, so I probably shouldn't comment, but I find it hard to believe (from what I've heard) that he's deserving of the Best New Filmmaker Award. Here's the complete list:
Frank Langella for STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING
Marion Cotillard for LA VIE EN ROSE
Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem for NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan for GONE BABY GONE
Julian Schnabel for THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
Brad Bird for RATATOUILLE
Janusz Kaminski for THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
Best Foreign-Language Film
Best New Filmmaker
Ben Affleck for GONE BABY GONE
Best Ensemble Cast
The Boston Society of Film Critics is a group of 18 film writers who publish in the Boston area, including several friends of Chlotrudis including Ty Burr, Peter Keough, Loren King, Wesley Morris, and Gerry Peary. I wonder if their meeting today was as fun and/or contentious as our upcoming Chlotrudis Awards Nominating Committee Meeting which will take place on Saturday, January 19.
Some Chlotrudis members know Peter Keough, film critic at the Boston Phoenix, as the good-looking, grumpy guy who claims to be working on a cure for cancer. The lucky members know that he's an opinionated, skilled film critic who has supported Chlotrudis for many years, and always livens things up when he presents an award for us. If you haven't taken a look at his blog, Outside the Frame, do so now. He has posted a wrap-up on our Awards Ceremony. Thanks, Peter!