Critical darling WALL’E from Disney and Pixar is among the five films nominated for Film of the Year by the London Film Critics’ Circle. The acclaimed animated doc Waltz with Bashir from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman is up for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, along with Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s Persepolis, another animated biographical account. Persepolis was nominated for an Academy Award last year, but is up for contention in the U.K. this year because it didn’t open there until early 2008.
The London Film Critics’ Circle Awards doesn’t have an animation category, so it’s quite a coup when a family-friendly animated film makes the list at all. The Aardman/DreamWorks Animation feature Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit was up for the Attenborough Award for British Film in 2005, but other than that London reviewers haven’t shown much love for the art of animation come awards season.
WALL’E is competing against the live-action heavy hitters The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, Milk and The Wrestler. Meanwhile, Waltz with Bashir and Persepolis are in the company of fellow foreign-language entries The Orphanage from Spain, Gomorrah from Italy and I’ve Loved You So Long from France/Germany. DC Comics’ Batman has also become an award-worthy franchise as Heath Ledger picks up a posthumous Actor of the Year nomination and Christopher Nolan makes the cut for Best British Director for their work on the Warner Bros. blockbuster The Dark Knight.
The 29th annual London Film Critic’s Circle Awards will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Feb. 4. See the full list of nominees at www.altfg.com/blog/awards/london-film-critics-awards-2009.