Having spent hundreds of years cleaning up the planet Earth, “WALL*E” has now gone on to clean up at the 2008 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards by taking home four prizes, the most presented to any one movie this year. In a year filled with tight races, the latest blockbuster from Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Studios won the awards for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Animated Film.
“Slumdog Millionaire,” the sleeper hit about a poor and uneducated young man from Mumbai who unexpectedly finds himself about to win the top prize on India’s version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?,” was next in the running with prizes for Danny Boyle for Best Director, Simon Beaufoy for Best Adapted Screenplay and Dev Patel for Most Promising Newcomer.
“The Dark Knight,” Christopher Nolan’s enormously popular continuation of the “Batman” franchise (which was filmed largely in the Chicago area), and “Let the Right One In,” the acclaimed Swedish horror sensation, tied for third place with two awards each--the former received the prizes for Best Supporting Actor for the late Heath Ledger’s turn as the Joker and Best Cinematography while the latter nabbed Best Foreign-Language Film and Most Promising Director for Tomas Alfredson.
Having won the CFCA’s award for Best Supporting Actor in 2005 for his work in “Sin City,” Mickey Rourke was once again honored by the group with the Best Actor prize for his mesmerizing turn in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler.” Anne Hathaway was awarded Best Actress for her performance as a troubled young woman returning home for her sister’s wedding in Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married.” Kate Winslet received the Best Supporting Actress award for her work as a mysterious woman harboring a number of secrets from the teenage boy that she has seduced in Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader.” Finally, “Man on Wire,” the much-discussed film chronicling the 1974 attempt by a French daredevil to walk on a wire suspended between the two World Trade Center towers, received the group’s prize for Best Documentary.
The awards, voted on by the 55 members of the organization (covering print, radio, television and the Internet) were announced on December 19 on WGN-TV by CFCA president Dann Gire and group members Dean Richards and Richard Roeper.
2008 CFCA AWARD WINNERS
BEST PICTURE: WALL-E
BEST DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
BEST ACTOR: Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
BEST ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kate Winslet - The Reader
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Slumdog Millionaire (Simon Beaufoy)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Let the Right One In
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Man On Wire
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: WALL-E
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: The Dark Knight (Wally Pfister)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: WALL-E (Thomas Newman)
MOST PROMISING PERFORMER: Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire
MOST PROMISING DIRECTOR: Tomas Alfredson - Let the Right One In