Critics Choose to Waltz with Bashir

As Israel continues its controversial push into Gaza, Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman’s animated documentary about a previous Israeli invasion, has been named Best Picture by the National Society of Film Critics. Mike Leigh’s Happy-Go-Lucky was second runner-up, followed by Disney/Pixar’s WALL’E. Heath Ledger was the group’s second choice for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Warner Bros.’ The Dark Knight, which was recognized for its cinematography.

With Bashir‘s win, the NSFC dropped the Best Foreign-Language Film category this year. The film previously picked up the Los Angeles Film Critics’ award for Best Animated Film, and was hailed Best Foreign Film at the 11th annual British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs). The critically acclaimed doc is Israel’s official Academy Awards entry for Best Foreign-Language Film, and is eligible for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

2008 National Film Critics Society Awards:

BEST PICTURE


1. Waltz with Bashir, directed by Ari Folman

2. Happy-Go-Lucky

3. WALL’E

BEST NON-FICTION FILM


1. Man on Wire, directed by James Marsh

2. Trouble the Water

3. Encounters at the End of the World

BEST DIRECTOR


1. Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky

2. Gus Van Sant, Milk and Paranoid Park

3. Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

BEST ACTOR


1. Sean Penn, Milk

2. Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

3. Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino

BEST ACTRESS


1. Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky

2. Melissa Leo, Frozen River

3. Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR


1. Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky

2. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

3. Josh Brolin, Milk

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS


1. Hanna Schygulla, The Edge of Heaven

2. Viola Davis, Doubt

3. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

BEST SCREENPLAY


1. Happy-Go-Lucky, by Mike Leigh

2. A Christmas Tale

3. Synecdoche, New York

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY


1. Slumdog Millionaire, Anthony Dod Mantle

2. The Flight of the Red Balloon

3. The Dark Knight

4. Still Life

BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM


1. Razzle Dazzle, directed by Ken Jacobs

FILM HERITAGE AWARDS:

The Criterion Collection for finally making Samuel Fuller’s suppressed White Dog (1982) available to a wide American audience via DVD release.

The Exiles, Kent Mackenzie’s realistic 1961 independent film about Native Americans in Los Angeles. (Restored by Ross Lipman of the UCLA Television and Film Archives and distributed by Milestone.)

Flicker Alley for releasing DVD collections of rare early U.S. and foreign silent films.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment for its DVD set Murnau, Borzage and Fox.