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'No Country,' 'Diving Bell' are favorites of Boston film critics

Email|Print| Text size + By Wesley Morris
Globe Staff / December 10, 2007

"No Country for Old Men," the grisly Texas thriller Joel and Ethan Coen adapted from Cormac McCarthy's novel, was voted the best film of 2007 by the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Julian Schnabel won the directing award for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," about Jean-Dominique Bauby, the French magazine editor who has a stroke that renders him paralyzed, except for his left eye, which he blinks to communicate. The Coens came in second.

Schnabel's film also won the foreign-language film prize and, in a close vote, was the runner-up in the best film category.

The actor award went to Frank Langella for his performance as a past-his-prime New York author in "Starting Out in the Evening." Daniel Day-Lewis was the runner-up for his work as a bonkers oil man in "There Will Be Blood."

Marion Cotillard's intense incarnation of the singer Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose" was named best actress. Julie Christie came in second place for her work as a woman who falls in love with a fellow Alzheimer's patient in "Away From Her."

Javier Bardem's psychopath with the Prince Valiant haircut in "No Country for Old Men" was named best supporting actor. Ben Foster was the runner-up for his two psychos in "3:10 to Yuma" and "Alpha Dog."

The supporting actress award went to Amy Ryan for her performance as the worst mother of the year in "Gone Baby Gone"; Cate Blanchett's pseudo-Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There" came in second.

The cast of the Sidney Lumet thriller "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" won the ensemble award, with the casts of "I'm Not There" and "Superbad" tying for second place.

"Crazy Love," Dan Klores's film about a toxic marriage, was voted best documentary. "The King of Kong," Seth Gordon's film about two rival arcade-gamers was the runner-up.

Brad Bird won the screenplay award for "Ratatouille" ahead of Ronald Harwood's adaptation of Bauby's memoir, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."

Janusz Kaminski's inventive camerawork in "Diving Bell" won the cinematography award, while Roger Deakins came in second for his work on three movies: "The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford," "No Country for Old Men," and "In the Valley of Elah."

Ben Affleck won the new filmmaker award for "Gone Baby Gone." The runner-up was Tony Gilroy for "Michael Clayton."

Every year, the society recognizes the best rediscovered films. This years winners were "Girl With a Suitcase," "Killer of Sheep," "The Pumpkin Eater," "White Mane," and "Entre la Mer et L'eau Douce."

The year's best film series were also cited: the Films of Charles Burnett, the New Romanian Cinema, and Independents Week: New American Independent Cinema 2007 at the Harvard Film Archive; Michael Haneke: A Cinema of Provocation at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Archive; Signore & Signore: Leading Ladies of Italian Cinema 1941-1977 at the MFA; and Welcome to the Grindhouse at the Brattle Theatre.

The Boston Society of Film Critics has been giving out its awards since 1980. For the first time, the winners will be honored in a ceremony on Jan. 27.

Wesley Morris can be reached at wmorris@globe.com. For more on movies, go to boston.com/movies/ ae/blog.

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