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3/08/2011

If Genie Grants Me Three Wishes

Barney's Version leads the Genies with 11 nods, including Pic, Actor (Paul Giamatti) and Actress (Rosamund Pike)
The Canadian Genie Awards will be handed out this Thursday. While I’m quite eager to do a full discussion of the nominees, as well as offering my predictions for the winners, it sadly dawned on me that, well, I can’t. (I’ll explain that later.) Instead of offering analysis by category, I propose three wishes for the Genies, should I happen to find a magic lamp on the streets of Ottawa this week.

Wish #3: That we don’t lose to Denmark.

Incendies
While I temporarily enlisted in the war against Denmark following Canada’s tragic loss at the Oscars last week, I’m now over it. I’ve convinced myself that it’s a good thing that the Academy didn’t choose Incendies, as the recent crop of Best Foreign Language Films – The Secret in Their Eyes, The Counterfeiters, and to some extent Departures – are among the weakest films to claim the prize. (The snub therefore emphasizes the strength of the film…) Incendies gets another chance to make Canadians proud of their film industry as it vies for top prize at this week’s awards. It’s neck and neck with Barney’s Version, and Best Picture could really go either way (the films have 10 and 11 nominations respectively). I’d give the edge to Incendies; however, I’m a big fan of both films, so I’m happy if either wins. It’s hard to say which will win though, since Denis Villeneuve’s Polytechnique won last year. Competing against Incendies and Barney’s Version for Best Picture are the sci-fi horror film Splice and Xavier Dolan’s Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats), which is probably a consolation prize for his snub last year. Also nominated is the Quebec-produced drama 10½ – I’ll admit that I hadn’t even heard of 10½ prior to the nominations announcement, but it looks pretty good. The Genies usually end up being a two-way race between an English and a French-Canadian film, anyways, but this year it’s quite exciting given the strength and the popularity of the top contenders.

Tracy Wright (left) and Molly Parker in Trigger
Wish #2: That Tracy Wright wins Best Actress

One of my favourite performances of 2010 was Tracy Wright’s heartbreaking performance as Vic, the fading rocker from Trigger. Wright faces some stiff competition from Trigger co-star Molly Parker, although it wouldn’t surprise me if even Parker were among those who voted for Wright. Also standing alongside the Trigger girls are Lubna Azabel for Incendies and Rosamund Pike for Barney’s Version, both of whom could benefit from the admiration for their films. Either would be a worthy choice, too: I’d have enthusiastically thrown my support to Pike’s endearing performance as Miriam had she been nominated in the supporting category instead. Wright, however, gives a performance that eclipses the others in range and power, and it’s hard to imagine anybody seeing the film and not voting for her. Wright’s win would provide one of the most touching moments of the ceremony, as the tale of the cast and crew rallying together to film her last performance in Trigger is among the most noteworthy Canadian film stories of 2010. A posthumous win for Wright, though, would hardly be a bid at sentimentality – quite simply, her performance merits the Genie, and the award would be a fitting tribute both to Wright and to the collective efforts behind Trigger.

Wish #1: That I actually get to see all of the nominated films!

Splice
The reason that I can’t comment all the nominees as thoroughly as I did for the Oscars is simply because many of these films did not play in theatres. Due to the very limited nature of the releases of Canadian films in Canadian theatres, it’s extremely difficult (if not impossible) for Canuck moviegoers to have seen many of the nominated films. There are a few theatres in Ottawa, such as the Bytowne and the Mayfair, which more than adequately meet their quotas of Canadian Content within their programming. Other theatres, like the AMC Kanata and the Empire 7 are decent and generously offer the occasional weeklong run to films like Score: A Hockey Musical, Gunless, or (gasp!) A Wake.

Les amours imaginaires
2010 is noteworthy in that both Barney’s Version and Incendies are seeing extended box office runs at both mainstream and alternative theatres. Splice also did relatively well for a Canadian film. The quality of these films, furthermore, has also been loudly acknowledged, thus affording many Canadians the opportunity to see them. For every Barney’s Version and Incendies, however, there are always films that Canadian audiences cannot see unless they catch it at a festival or luck out and make it to the theatre during the few days of its public run. Even Les amours imaginaires had a theatrical run in Ottawa that was limited to three weekdays – and only at 4:00 in the afternoon on each day – despite Xavier Dolan’s status as one of Canada’s hottest new directors. Nominees such as Trigger and Year of the Carnivore didn’t get the audiences they deserved; however, the limited theatrical runs of Trigger and YotC are above average when compared to some of the other films in competition. I hope that that will change with some public exposure.

The Genie Awards air this Thursday at 8pm on CBC. Unfortunately, school commitments will prevent me from watching the show live, although I’ll certainly have lots to say about the winners. Hopefully some unexpected names will be called out, and I’ll find myself among many other Canadian moviegoers asking that these films receive a stronger release! In the meantime, I’ll find myself a seat at the bar in the Chateau Laurier and keep an eye out for celebrities… or someone who can give me a job!

Full List of nominees:
★I'll take a stab at predicting these, although after my Oscar predictions, we know that this is just for entertainment purposes!

BEST MOTION PICTURE
10½ - Pierre Gendron
Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats) - Xavier Dolan, Carole Mondello, Daniel Morin
Barney's Version - Robert Lantos
Incendies - Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
Splice - Steven Hoban 

Best Director:
10½ -Podz
Les amours imaginaires (Heartbeats) -Xavier Dolan
Barney's Version - Richard J. Lewis
Incendies -Denis Villeneuve
Splice - Vincenzo Natalie

Best Lead Actor
10½ - Robert Naylor
Barney's Version - Paul Giamatti 
High Life - Timothy Olyphant
Route 132 -François Papineau
The Trotsky - Jay Baruchel (★ I could see him winning, though, if voters want to give it to the home boy)

Best Lead Actress
Barney's Version - Rosamund Pike
Grown Up Movie Star - Tatiana Malsany
Incendies - Lubna Azabel
Trigger - Molly Parker 
Trigger - Tracy Wright   

Best Supporting Actor
10½ - Martin Dubreuil
Barney's Version - Dustin Hoffman
Gunless - Callum Keith Rennie
High Life - Rosif Sutherland
Route 132 - Alexis Martin

Best Supporting Actress
Les amours imaginaires - Anne-Elizabeth Bosse
Barney's Version - Minnie Driver
Cole - Sonja Bennett
Crackie - Mary Walsh (I can see her winning, too, since she's never won before)
Fubar II - Terra Hazelton

ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION 
GILLES AIRD - 10 ½
ANDRÉ LINE BEAUPARLANT - Incendies
ARV GREYWAL - Resident Evil: Afterlife
MYRON HYRAK - FUBAR II
★CLAUDE PARÉ, ÉLISE DE BLOIS - Barney's Version

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
BERNARD COUTURE - 10 ½
RONALD PLANTE - Piché: entre ciel et terre / Piché: The Landing of a Man
CLAUDINE SAUVÉ - The Wild Hunt
★ANDRÉ TURPIN - Incendies
STÉPHANIE WEBER-BIRON - Les amours imaginaires / Heartbeats

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
DENISE CRONENBERG - Resident Evil: Afterlife
MARIO DAVIGNON - The Trotsky
NICOLETTA MASSONE - Barney's Version
PATRICIA MCNEIL - The Wild Hunt
★BEVERLEY WOWCHUK – Gunless

ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING
MICHELE CONROY - Splice
★MONIQUE DARTONNE - Incendies
MATTHEW HANNAM - Trigger
VALÉRIE HÉROUX - 10½
YVANN THIBAUDEAU - Piché: entre ciel et terre / Piché: The Landing of a Man

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKE-UP
KATRYN CASAULT - Incendies
PAUL JONES, LESLIE SEBERT, VINCENT SULLIVAN - Resident Evil: Afterlife
★ADRIEN MOROT, MICHELINE TRÉPANIER - Barney's Version
HÉLÈNE-MANON POUDRETTE - The Wild Hunt
MARLÈNE ROULEAU, CJ GOLDMAN - Les sept jours du Talion / 7 Days

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SCORE
BRENDAN CANNING - Trigger
★PASQUALE CATALANO - Barney's Version
JONATHAN GOLDSMITH - High Life
KEEGAN JESSAMY, BRYCE MITCHELL - At Home, By Myself... With You
SOOK-YIN LEE, BUCK 65, ADAM LITOVITZ - Year of the Carnivore

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC - ORIGINAL SONG
BUCK 65 - Year of the Carnivore - "What's Wrong With That?"
★MARY MILNE - The Trotsky - "Already Gone"
CHERIE PYNE - Crackie - "Tender Steps"
MARK SASSO, CASEY LAFORET, STEPHEN PITKIN - Grown Up Movie Star - "West End Sky"
PAUL J. SPENCE - FUBAR II - "There's No Place Like Christmas"


ACHIEVEMENT IN OVERALL SOUND
CHRISTIAN COOKE, STEVE MOORE - Defendor
LEON JOHNSON, STEPHAN CARRIER, KIRK LYNDS - High Life
MICHEL LECOUFLE, DANIEL BISSON, LUC BOUDRIAS, JEAN-CHARLES DESJARDINS - Les sept jours du Talion / 7 Days
JOHN THOMSON, ANDREW STIRK, ANDREW TAY, MARK ZSIFKOVITS - Resident Evil: Afterlife
★JEAN UMANSKY, JEAN-PIERRE LAFORCE - Incendies

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
PIERRE-JULES AUDET, MICHELLE CLOUTIER, NATALIE FLEURANT, NICOLAS GAGNON - Les sept jours du Talion / 7 Days
STEPHEN BARDEN, STEVE BAINE, KEVIN BANKS, ALEX BULLICK, JILL PURDY - Resident Evil: Afterlife
SYLVAIN BELLEMARE, SIMON MEILLEUR, CLAIRE POCHON - Incendies
MARK GINGRAS, TOM BJELIC, KATRIJN HALLIDAY, DALE LENNON, JOHN SMITH - Defendor
★DAVE ROSE, DAVID MCCALLUM - Splice

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
MICHAEL KONYVES - Barney's Version
LEE MACDOUGALL - High Life
VIC SARIN, DENNIS FOON, CATHERINE SPEAR - A Shine of Rainbows
PATRICK SENÉCAL - Les sept jours du Talion / 7 Days
★DENIS VILLENEUVE - Incendies

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
LOUIS BÉLANGER, ALEXIS MARTIN - Route 132
★CLAUDE LALONDE - 10½
ADRIANA MAGGS - Grown Up Movie Star
PETER STEBBINGS - Defendor
JACOB TIERNEY - The Trotsky

BEST DOCUMENTARY
LA BELLE VISITE / JOURNEY'S END - Jean-François Caissy
IN THE NAME OF THE FAMILY - Shelley Saywell, Deborah Parks
★LAST TRAIN HOME - Lixin Fan, Mila Aung-Thwin, Daniel Cross
LEAVE THEM LAUGHING - John Zaritsky, Montana Berg
YOU DON'T LIKE THE TRUTH, 4 DAYS INSIDE GUANTÁNAMO - Luc Côté, Patricio Henriquez

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT DRAMA

FILE UNDER MISCELLANEOUS - Jeff Barnaby, John Christou
MARIUS BORODINE - Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, Vincent Hoss-Desmarais
OUT IN THAT DEEP BLUE SEA - Kazik Radwanski, Dan Montgomery
SAVAGE - Lisa Jackson, Lauren Grant, Lori Lozinski
VAPOR - Kaveh Nabatian, Stéphane Tanguay, Cédric Bourdeau

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

LIPSETT DIARIES / LES JOURNAUX DE LIPSETT - Theodore Ushev, Marc Bertrand
LA TRANCHÉE / THE TRENCHES - Claude Cloutier, Marc Bertrand

CLAUDE JUTRA AWARD
JEPHTÉ BASTIEN – Sortie 67
Honourable mention / Mention d’honneur - PETER STEBBINGS - Defendor

GOLDEN REEL AWARD

RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE
Producers / Producteurs : Don Carmody, Jeremy Bolt, Robert Kulzer,
Distributor / Distributeur : Alliance Films
Total Canadian box office in 2010 / Recettes totales au guichet canadien en 2010 – $7,026,559