The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has named Todd Fields’ emotionally astute “Little Children” as its Best Picture of 2006, the group announced Monday. Best director honors went to Paul Greengrass, who touched a dramatic nerve in his trenchant study of lost innocence in the uncompromising “United 93.”
The group, which includes twenty-three film critics from around the Bay Area, also picked “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen as Best Actor for his uproarious portrayal as an impulsive Kazakhstani reporter crossing the U.S. in search of the pulse of mainstream America.
Best Actress honors went to Helen Mirren for her spot-on turn as the stoic Queen Elizabeth II, the contemporary royal for whom a stiff upper lip is the order of the day in “The Queen.”
Jackie Earle Haley won Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Little Children” as conflicted pedophile Ronald James McGorvey. “Babel” star Adriana Barraza was named Best Supporting Actress for her poignant portrayal of a Mexican nanny caught between a rock and a hard spot.
Best Original Screenplay honors went to Rian Johnson’s richly-textured “Brick,” while Best Adapted Screenplay was awarded to Todd Field and Tom Perrotta’s prickly “Little Children.”
Best Documentary was awarded to Davis Guggenheim’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in which Al Gore strikes a pose in his quest to profile the frightening state of global warming and the harsh reality of Earth’s questionable future. Best Foreign Language Film honors went to Guillermo del Toro’s brutal yet fanciful “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
A Special Citation honoring the late member Arthur Lazere went to the Romanian tragicomedy “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu,” a heartbreaking tale of biological betrayal and healthcare system indifference.
The group’s Marlon Riggs Award, honoring a Bay Area filmmaker or individual who represents courage and innovation in the world of cinema, was awarded to Stephen Salmons, co-founder and artistic director of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, for recognizing a neglected audience for silent movies and creating what is now, in its 11th year, the nation’s largest annual silent-cinema showcase.
The full list of winners for the 2006 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards follows.
Paul Greengrass for “United 93″
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
Sacha Baron Cohen for “Borat”
Helen Mirren for “The Queen”
Best Supporting Actor
Jackie Earle Haley for “Little Children”
Best Supporting Actress
Adriana Barraza for “Babel”
Best Foreign Language Film
“An Inconvenient Truth”
Marlon Riggs Award for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community
Stephen Salmons, co-founder & artistic director San Francisco Silent Film Festival
Special Citation in honor of Arthur Lazere
“The Death of Mr. Lazarescu”