The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has named “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” as the Best Picture of 2007. Andrew Dominik’s Western, based on the Ron Hansen novel, details the complex psychology of Robert Ford and his relationship to the infamous outlaw Jesse James. For his performance as Ford, Casey Affleck was named Best Supporting Actor.
Veteran filmmaking team Joel and Ethan Coen took Best Director honors for helming “No Country for Old Men,” an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s existential crime drama.
The San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC), which includes twenty-four Bay Area film critics, honored George Clooney as Best Actor for the titular role of a troubled lawyer in “Michael Clayton.” Julie Christie won Best Actress for playing Fiona Anderson, who bravely faces Alzheimer’s disease in “Away from Her.”
In addition to Affleck’s Best Supporting Actor nod, Amy Ryan secured Best Supporting Actress for playing Helene McCready, mother to a missing girl in “Gone Baby Gone.”
Best Original Screenplay honors went to Tamara Jenkins’ “The Savages,” a seriocomic look at two siblings dealing with the physical and mental breakdown of their father, while Best Adapted Screenplay was awarded to Sarah Polley for turning Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain” into the film “Away from Her.”
The San Francisco critics picked “No End in Sight” as the year’s Best Documentary; Charles Ferguson’s film explicates America’s controversial entry into and occupation of Iraq. Best Foreign Language Film went to Julian Schnabel’s “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (“Le scaphandre et le papillon”), a French-language adaptation of Jean-Dominique Bauby’s autobiographical book about life trapped inside a paralyzed body.
The SFFCC issued a Special Citation to recognize the under-looked independent film “Colma: The Musical,” a homegrown song-and-dance extravaganza about the paradoxical drudgery and surreality of life in a city where the dead outnumber the living one thousand to one.
Lastly, the group presented its Marlon Riggs Award, honoring a Bay Area filmmaker or individual who represents courage and innovation in the world of cinema, to filmmaker Lynn Hershman-Leeson. Hershman-Leeson’s films include “Conceiving Ada,” “Teknolust,” and this year’s “Strange Culture,” the true story of an artist’s Kafkaesque experience as a suspected terrorist in the era of the Patriot Act.
The full list of winners for the 2007 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards follows.
“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”
Joel and Ethan Coen for “No Country for Old Men”
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
“Away from Her”
George Clooney for “Michael Clayton”
Julie Christie for “Away from Her”
Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck for “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan for “Gone Baby Gone”
Best Foreign Language Film
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”
“No End in Sight”
Marlon Riggs Award for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community
Lynn Hershman-Leeson, director of “Conceiving Ada,” “Teknolust” and 2007′s “Strange Culture”
Special Citation for under-looked independent film
“Colma: The Musical”