Toronto film critics have bowed down to The Queen. Stephen Frears's magisterial chamber drama set the week after Princess Diana's death pretty much swept the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards, announced yesterday. It was also a good year for Jennifer Baichwal, whose documentary Manufactured Landscapes (now at the Bloor) picked up two big awards, best Canadian feature and best documentary.
Surprises include the best animated feature award to Happy Feet (didn't get my vote!) and the complete shut-out of The Departed and director Martin Scorsese. (Scorsese lost the director award to a tie between L'Enfant's Dardennes brothers and Frears.) What's nice this year is that most of the winning films are still playing in first-run theatres, so you really have no excuse not to see them.
Here's the complete list of winners.
BEST PICTURE The Queen
BEST PERFORMANCE, MALE Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat: Culture Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan)
BEST PERFORMANCE, FEMALE Helen Mirren (The Queen)
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE, MALE Michael Sheen (The Queen)
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE, FEMALE Cate Blanchett (Notes On A Scandal)
BEST DIRECTOR (tie) Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne (L"Enfant); Stephen Frears (The Queen)
BEST SCREENPLAY Peter Morgan (The Queen)
BEST CANADIAN FILM Manufactured Landscapes
BEST FIRST FEATURE Thank You For Smoking
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE Happy Feet
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM L"Enfant
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Manufactured Landscapes