Courtney Hunt’s “Frozen River” may turn out to the year’s big winner, at least in the indie film award ghetto — it won Best Feature at the Gothams on Tuesday, with star Melissa Leo taking the Breakthrough Actor award, and it’s been nominated for seven Spirit Awards. “Trouble the Water” took the Best Doc prize, Lance Hammer was deemed breakthrough director for “Ballast,” and “Sita Sings the Blues” picked up the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You prize. More at indieWIRE.
Meanwhile, the National Board of Review, traditionally the first of the circles to hand out best o’ the year designations, has picked “Slumdog Millionaire” as film of the year, with “Burn After Reading,” Changeling,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The Dark Knight,” Defiance,” ‘Frost/Nixon,” “Gran Torino.” “Milk,” Wall-E” and “The Wrestler” rounding out their top ten, in alpha order. Yes, that’s two salutes to Mr. Eastwood, filmmaker, though it’s David Fincher they’ve named as best director. The complete list is here.
Though the lines blur, awards these days seem to have settled into three strata — the mainstream, the indie mainstream and the truly arthouse, the latter mainly the domain of indie critics and bloggers who sometimes also seem to be the only people who’ve actually managed to see many of the films they laud. At any rate, this year isn’t shaping up to be one in which a film like “There Will Be Blood” ends up a favorite across the board.
[Photo: “Frozen River,” Sony Pictures Classics, 2008]
+ “Frozen River” and “Trouble the Water” Take the Gothams (indieWIRE)
+ Awards for 2008 (NBRMP.org)