Flash…yesterday afternoon’s news!…Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pan’s Labyrinth was voted Best Picture of 2006 by the National Society of Film Critics. This is a huge boost for Pan’s and del Toro — the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Feature seems all but assured. Labyrinth edged out Christi Puiu‘s The Death of Mr. Lazarescu and Clint Eastwood‘s Letters from Iwo Jima, which came in second and third, respectively.
The Best Director award, however, went to United 93‘s Paul Greengrass. (I say again to Academy members who’ve refused so far to see this film — don’t buckle!) Del Toro and The Departed‘s Martin Scorsese were first and second runners-up.
Forest Whitaker, the Manchurian Candidate nominee for Best Actor who controls the minds of critics from coast to coasts through an implanted chip, was named best actor by the NSFC for The Last King of Scotland. The only consolation in this corner is that Whitaker “eked out that victory only after an extra tie-breaking vote,” says the Hollywood Reporter‘s Gregg Kilday, “which left Peter O’Toole in second place for Venus, followed by Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson.”
The Queen‘s Helen Mirren was named Best Actress for the 89th time.” Mark Wahlberg took the Best Supporting Actor honors for his motor-mouth, “ya-muthah-fucked-me” cop in The Departed. Meryl Streep was named Best Supporting Actress for her performances in both A Prairie Home Companion and The Devil Wears Prada — does this mean Jennifer Hudson‘s Dreamgirls performance is slipping just a bit? (I’m not saying it is — I’m just asking.)
The Queen‘s Peter Morgan won the Best Screenplay prize, with The Departed‘s William Monahan and The Good Shepherd‘s Eric Roth the top two runners-up.
Emmanuel Lubezki, naturally, won the Best Cinematography Oscar for Children of Men.