Toronto Film Critics Association 2006 Nominees Announced

Hot on the heels of the Golden Globe nominations, our own Toronto Film Critics Association has announced its picks for best flicks of the year. Comparing each list, I noticed Toronto excluded quite a few of the mainstream big-shots dominating the Hollywood Foreign Press' picks. There is no mention of Leonardo DiCaprio or Meryl Streep in the Best Male and Female performance categories, who were lauded at the GG for their work in the Departed/Blood Diamond and the Devil Wears Prada, respectively.

I'm happy to report Clint Eastwood was also snubbed for his overrated, but thus far audience-ignored two-part Iwo Jima saga. The first part, Flags of our Fathers tanked when it was released a few months ago, forcing Warner Bros to push the second all-Japanese Letters From Iwo Jima into late December limited release, to ensure awards consideration. The Golden Globes bit the bait, nominating Eastwood as director twice. Our Canadian film snobs knew better.

Most of the standouts are among the best-reviewed pictures of the year, and appear on both lists. The Queen leads with five noms for Picture, Performance Female (Helen Mirren), Supporting Performance Male (Michael Sheen), Director and Screenplay. Martin Scorsese's The Departed (my pick for Best of 2006) was also honoured with four noms, including picture, director, supporting male (Mark Wahlberg) and screenplay. The final choice for Best Picture goes to Paul Greengrass' gripping 9/11 thriller United 93, otherwise ignored by the senile HFP, probably because it was released way back in April.

The Toronto Film Critics Association will announce the winners on December 20, 2006. Each of the general categories has between 3 and 4 nominees (perhaps explaining the glaring omissions) and their picks for Best Documentary, Animated Feature and Foreign-Language are likely precursors of the Academy Award nominations, to be revealed Tuesday, January 23 at 5:30 AM, PST. The nominees for Best Canadian Feature, include The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, Manufactured Landscapes (also picked for documentary), Monkey Warfare and Six Figures. The full list can be seen below.

BEST PICTURE

"The Departed" (Warner Bros.)
"The Queen" (Alliance Atlantis)
"United 93" (Universal Pictures)

BEST PERFORMANCE, MALE

Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
Ryan Gosling, "Half Nelson"
Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"

BEST PERFORMANCE, FEMALE

Penelope Cruz, "Volver"
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"
Helen Mirren, "The Queen"

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE, MALE

Danny Huston, "The Proposition"
Michael Sheen, "The Queen"
Mark Wahlberg, "The Departed"

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE, FEMALE

Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal"
Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel"

BEST DIRECTOR

Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, "L'Enfant"
Stephen Frears, "The Queen"
Paul Greengrass, "United 93"
Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"

BEST SCREENPLAY

Guillermo Arriaga, "Babel"
William Monahan, "The Departed"
Peter Morgan, "The Queen"

BEST CANADIAN FILM

"The Journals of Knud Rasmussen" (Alliance Atlantis)
"Manufactured Landscapes" (Mongrel Media)
"Monkey Warfare" (Odeon Films)
"Six Figures" (Seville Pictures)

BEST FIRST FEATURE

"Brick", directed by Rian Johnson
"Little Miss Sunshine", directed by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris
"Thank You for Smoking", directed by Jason Reitman

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

"Happy Feet" (Warner Bros.)
"Over the Hedge" (DreamWorks/Paramount)
"A Scanner Darkly" (Warner Independent Pictures)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

"L'Enfant" (Mongrel Media)
"Pan's Labyrinth" (Odeon Films)
"Volver" (Mongrel Media)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

"Deliver Us from Evil" (Maple Pictures)
"An Inconvenient Truth" (Paramount Classics)
"Manufactured Landscapes" (Mongrel Media)


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