Oklahoma Film Critics announce honorees
“Slumdog Millionaire” was the Oklahoma Film Critics’ Circle choice for film of the year. Also honored among the ten best were “Wall-E” and “The Dark Knight.” Release follows.
The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle has announced its third annual list of awards for achievement in film, giving top honors to “Slumdog Millionaire” as the year’s best motion picture.
“This was a really good year for films, and we hope our awards encourage viewers to see those on our list once they open here or rent them once they’re on DVD,” OFCC President Phil Bacharach said.
The OFCC’s 18 voting members write for print and online outlets in Oklahoma that consistently publish or post reviews of current film releases: The Oklahoma Gazette, The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, Urban Tulsa Weekly, Tulsa Today, Hardnews.com, Edmond Life & Leisure and various other media outlets.
This year, the OFCC selected “Slumdog Millionaire” as best film. The riveting tale chronicles the adventures of a young man in Mumbai who winds up one question away from winning a fortune on India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” The movie edged out “The Dark Knight,” the comic-book superhero epic, by a single vote.
The group awarded Best Director to the man who helmed “Slumdog Millionaire,” Danny Boyle. Its Top 10 Films of the Year List honored many smaller-budget films in addition to Boyle’s — “The Wrestler,” “Frost/Nixon,” “Milk,” “Rachel Getting Married” and “Happy-Go-Lucky.” The group also recognized the quality of bigger studio films like “The Dark Knight,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Doubt.” “Wall-E,” Pixar’s animated triumph about a trash-compacting robot, also made the list.
Film buffs can find the complete list of awards on the OFCC Web site, ofccircle.org, as well as frequent postings on film-related items and links to our individual reviews year round.
Top performances included Mickey Rourke as Best Actor for his performance as a past-his-prime professional wrestler in “The Wrestler” and Sally Hawkins as Best Actress for her portrayal of a sunny London schoolteacher in “Happy-Go-Lucky.” Supporting performance honors went to Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” and the late Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight.”
While 2008 ended as a strong year for fine films and outstanding performances, OFCC member critics also expressed disappointment and frustration with others in their Obviously Worst Film of the Year, “The Love Guru,” and Not-So-Obviously Worst Film of the Year, “Mamma Mia!”
“As professional moviegoers, we see many more unsuccessful films than successful ones,” Bacharach said. “The Not-So-Obviously Worst Film category contains films that have great talent behind them — think Meryl Streep — but just don’t make it. We might give E for effort, but the result is a failure.”
Not all of 2008′s films opened in Oklahoma before voting took place; studios arranged press screenings and provided DVDs of many of their films so OFCC members could assess and consider them for year-end awards.
“We honor achievements in motion pictures each year both to celebrate film and to continue to draw attention to Oklahoma as a place with a sophisticated audience of people who appreciate films that challenge and entertain,” Bacharach said.
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