"No Country for Old Men," Joel and Ethan Coen’s adaptation of the acclaimed Cormac McCarthy novel, was the big winner in the voting for the 20th annual Chicago Film Critics Association awards. In a year with no clear front-runners in the majority of the 15 categories, it led the pack with four awards. The only other film to win multiple prizes was Jason Reitman’s "Juno," which came away with three awards from the 60-member group.
"No Country for Old Men," which tells the story about the violent mayhem that ensues when an ordinary man (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon the scene of a drug deal gone bad and impulsively makes off with a briefcase containing $2 million, took the top prize for Best Picture. The Coen Brothers, whose "Fargo" took home the top CFCA prize in 1996, also received the awards for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. In addition, Javier Bardem was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his terrifying portrayal of Anton Chigurh, an implacable killer who will let nothing stand in the way of retrieving the missing money.
"Juno," the delightful tale of a pregnant teenage girl and her relationships with her parents, the father of her unborn child and the wealthy couple that plans to adopt it, earned young actress Ellen Page the Best Actress award for her work in the title role. Newcomer Diablo Cody was awarded the prize for Best Original Screenplay for her first screenplay. In addition, Michael Cera was given the award for Most Promising Performer for his work in both "Juno" and "Superbad."
In the other categories, Daniel Day-Lewis, who was previously cited by the organization for his performance in "Gangs of New York," was given the Best Actor award for his work as an ambitious oilman in "There Will Be Blood," Paul Thomas Anderson’s ambitious adaptation of Upton Sinclair’s "Oil." Cate Blanchett, a previous winner for "Elizabeth," won a hotly contested Best Supporting Actress race for her portrayal of one of the seven incarnations of music icon Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ "I’m Not There." Double nominee Roger Deakins won the Best Cinematography prize for his work on "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (his other nomination was for "No Country for Old Men"). Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova, who made beautiful music together in the sleeper hit "Once," were rewarded for said music with the Best Original Score awards. Ben Affleck, who was nominated by the CFCA last year for his performance in "Hollywoodland," moved behind the camera this year and was awarded the Most Promising Filmmaker prize for his directorial debut, "Gone Baby Gone."
"4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days," the harrowing drama from emerging filmmaker Christian Mungiu about a young woman who helps her friend obtain an illegal abortion in 1980's-era Romania, was given the prize for Best Foreign-Language Film. "Sicko," Michael Moore’s alternately hilarious and angry dissection of the failures of the American health-care system, received the award for Best Documentary, a prize that Moore received from the CFCA in the past for his previous efforts "Bowling for Columbine" and "Fahrenheit 9/11." This year, the CFCA added a new category for Best Animated Feature and presented the inaugural award to "Ratatouille," the Pixar film about a rat whose gourmet ambitions find him surreptitiously working in the kitchen of a French restaurant.
Here is a complete list of the winners of the 19th Annual Chicago Film Critics Awards, which will be presented at a ceremony to be held on January 7, 2008.
BEST PICTURE – "No Country for Old Men"
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM – "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"
BEST DIRECTOR – Joel & Ethan Coen for "No Country for Old Men"
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Diablo Cody for" Juno"
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Joel & Ethan Coen for "No Country for Old Men"
BEST ACTOR – Daniel Day-Lewis for "There Will Be Blood"
BEST ACTRESS – Ellen Page for "Juno"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Javier Bardem for "No Country for Old Men"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Cate Blanchett for "I’m Not There"
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova for "Once"
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Roger Deakins for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
BEST DOCUMENTARY – "Sicko"
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – "Ratatouille"
MOST PROMISING PERFORMER – Michael Cera for "Juno" and "Superbad"
MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER – Ben Affleck for "Gone Baby Gone"