Thursday, December 02, 2004

National Board of Review Film Awards 2004 

The National Board of Review (composed of "film professionals, educators, students and historians") yesterday announced its 2004 Award Winners.

Best Film: Finding Neverland
Best Actress: Annette Benning, Being Julia
Best Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray
Best Supporting Actress: Laura Linney, Kinsey
Best Supporting Actor: Thomas Haden Church, Sideways
Best Director: Collateral

Best Documentary: Born Into Brothels
Best Animated Feature: The Incredibles
Best Original Screenplay: Charlie Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Best Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, Sideways

Top Ten Films: Finding Neverland, The Aviator, Closer, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Kinsey, Vera Drake, Ray, Collateral, Hotel Rwanda.

A complete listing can be found on the NBR 2004 Award Page.

I plan on using this list to establish my list of movies to see during my three week break between classes. One of the Top Ten of which I had not heard, but which I now REALLY WANT TO SEE, is Million Dollar Baby. The NBR awarded Clint Eastwood their Special Filmmaking Achievement Award for this film, which he produced, directed, acted in and scored. Morgan Freeman costars, which is always a good thing.

But more important than that, it costars Hilary Swank as a boxer who is working with the ex-boxer and current trainer played by Eastwood. Hilary Swank as a boxer. I'm picturing training scenes. Mm, Hilary Swank with muscles. This could be a future home theatre double header, combined with The Next Karate Kid. Sort of a Hilary Swank, Then and Now. You could always throw in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the original movie) for a glimpse of Hilary Before Then (along with Ben Affleck Before Then - look for him on the basketball court. He even has a line). Of course then you'd have to throw in Once More With Feeling for the homage to cheesey 80's training sequences. Face it - contrary to Punk Ass Biker's motto, it always comes back to Buffy.

Also look for Christina Cox, the van dwelling artist from Better Than Chocolate. I'm not sure how prominent a role she has. Yahoo has her listed in the top cast members, but IMDB lists her in the Stunt Cast. Unfortunately, Million Dollar Baby isn't opening nationally until January 21, 2005. If you're in NY, LA, Chicago or Toronto, you can see it as of December 17, 2004.

I'm also interested in seeing another Hilary Swank upcoming project, Red Dust, in which she plays a South-African born attorney who returns to South Africa to represent a member of parliament who had been tortured while under arrest for his political activism. Her client has been called before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the amnesty case filed by his former torturer. Problem is, his torture was so brutal that he cannot remember it. Red Dust screened at the Toronto Film Festival and is scheduled for a February 2005 release in the Netherlands, but I'm unable to find any release dates for the U.S.

Patience, Grasshopper.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:28 AM