The Sundance Film Festival newest indie crown was handed to the drama Forty Shades of Blue, winning the festival's Grand Jury prize on Saturday.
The family drama, directed by Ira Sachs, stars Rip Torn as the aging husband, Dina Korzun as his Russian bride and Darren Burrows as the estranged son whose visit hurls their lives into turmoil.
Director Eugene Jarecki 's Why We Fight claimed the festival's grand-jury prize for documentaries. Ironically, his brother Andrew's acclaimed Capturing the Friedmans won the same award in 2003.
Meanwhile, the festival's Audience Award went to hip-hop film Hustle & Flow, a tale about a two-bit pimp and drug dealer (Terrence Dashon Howard) who enlists an odd assortment of allies in a bid to break into the hip-hop music scene. Written and directed by Craig Brewer, the film also became the most successful film in Sundance history when it was sold to bosses at Paramount Pictures and MTV for $9 million earlier in the week.
Noah Baumbach won awards for writing and directing drama The Squid and the Whale, about kids dealing with their parent's divorce.
Here is a partial list of winners:
Grand Jury Prize Dramatic
Forty Shades of Blue -- director: Ira Sachs
Audience Award American Dramatic
Hustle & Flow -- director/screenwirter: Craig Brewer
Grand Jury Prize Documentary
Why We Fight -- director/screenwriter: Eugene Jarecki
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
The Squid and the Whale -- director/screenwriter: Noah Baumbach
Directing Award Dramatic
The Squid and the Whale -- Director/screenwriter: Noah Baumbach
Directing Award Documentary
The Devil and Daniel Johnston -- director: Jeff Feuerzeig
Audience Award World Cinema: Documentary
Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallair -- director: Peter Raymont
Audience Award World Cinema: Dramatic
Brothers -- director: Susanne Bier
Audience Award American Documentary
Murderball -- directors: Henry-Alex Rubin & Dana Adam Shapiro
Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary
Shape of the Moon -- director: Leonard Retel Helmrich
Jury Prize for World Cinema Dramatic
The Hero -- director: Zeze Gamboa
As what's bound to be a close race for Oscar heats up, well-regarded film critics' associations across the country are weighing in on what was the year's best--and some of their picks are downright shockers.
The New York Film Critics Circle picked Peter Jackson's epic The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King as this year's best picture, while the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Boston Society of Film Critics handed out their top honors to Sofia Coppola's offbeat comedy Lost in Translation and Clint Eastwood's tense Mystic River, respectively, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The New York Film Critics named Translation's snarky star Bill Murray best actor and tagged the young Coppola best director. Hope Davis took the best actress award for her performances in American Splendor and The Secret Lives of Dentists. Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo was named best supporting actress for House of Sand and Fog, while Eugene Levy was named best supporting actor for A Mighty Wind. The Brazilian movie City of God was named best foreign film.
NY Film Critics Circle chairman Andrew Johnston told the Reporter there had been a slew of close contests in various categories.
"I think the degree the wealth was spread around reflected how close much of the voting was," said Johnston. "All the movies that won something were strong contenders in a number of categories."
Meanwhile, Reuters reports both the San Francisco and Boston film critics followed New York in choosing Translation's Murray best actor. While Boston critics chose Murray's young co-star Scarlett Johansson as best actress, San Francisco critics tagged Charlize Theron best actress for her scary performance in Monster.
The San Francisco group named Peter Jackson best director for his final installment of the Rings, while Boston chose Coppola.
The two groups also agreed on Peter Sarsgaard as best supporting actor for his role as New Republic editor Chuck Lane in Shattered Glass; Patricia Clarkson as best supporting actress for Pieces of April (the Boston group also cited Clarkson's work in The Station Agent), and Andrew Jarecki's Capturing the Friedmans as best documentary, about the unraveling of a family coping with charges of child molestation.