The Women Film Critics Circle Announces Awards Nominations 2009

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The Women Film Critics Circle has announced their 2009 nominations for the best movies this year by and about women, and outstanding achievements by women, who get to be rarely honored historically, in the film world. The WFCC Awards Ceremony will be broadcast live on Wednesday 12/9 at 11am EST, on WBAI Radio in NY 99.5 FM, and streaming online and archived at wbai.org and criticalwomen.net.

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 47 women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. They came together in 2004 to form the first women critics’ organization in the United States, in the belief that women’s perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully.

Critical Women On Film, a presentation of The Women Film Critics Circle, is their journal of discussion and theory, and a gathering of women’s voices expressing a fresh and differently experienced perspective from the primarily male dominated film criticism world. Critical Women On Film is online at: Criticalwomen.net.

THE WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS NOMINATIONS 2009

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN

American Violet

Everlasting Moments

Coco Before Chanel

My One And Only

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN

Amreeka: Cherien Dabis

Bright Star: Jane Campion

Julie & Julia: Nora Ephron

Sugar: Anna Boden

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]

Amreeka: Cherien Dabis

Sunshine Cleaning: Megan Holley

The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee: Rebecca Miller

Rage: Sally Potter

BEST ACTRESS

Nicole Beharie: American Violet

Abbie Cornish: Bright Star

Amreeka: Nisreen Faour

Renee Zellweger: My One And Only

BEST ACTOR

Jeff Bridges: Crazy Heart

Ben Foster: The Messenger

Jake Gyllenhaal: Brothers

Kevin Spacey: Shrink

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS

Elle Fanning: Phoebe In Wonderland

Sidibe Gabourey: Precious

Carey Mulligan: An Education

Ryan Simpkins: Gardens Of The Night

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS

Ellen Page: Whip It

Meryl Streep: Julie & Julia

Charlyne Yi: Paper Heart

Renee Zellweger: My One And Only

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

The Baader Meinhof Complex

Everlasting Moments

Lemon Tree

Seraphine

BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Amreeka: Nisreen Faour

Inglourious Basterds: Melanie Laurent

Lemon Tree: Hiam Abbass

The Messenger: Samantha Morton

My Sister’s Keeper: Cameron Diaz

BEST UNRELEASED MOVIE BY OR ABOUT WOMEN [Includes films released on DVD or TV, or screened at film festivals]

Grey Gardens

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES

Amelia

The Golden Boys

Julie & Julia

Paper Heart

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Gertrude Berg [Posthumous]: Yoo Hoo Mrs. Goldberg

ACTING AND ACTIVISM: Emma Thompson – For her work on and off screen against sex trafficking

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women:

Gardens Of The Night

Off Jackson Avenue

Precious

The Lovely Bones

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America

American Violet

Amreeka

Good Hair

Precious

KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity

The Baader Meinhof Complex

An Education

Lemon Tree

My One And Only

COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]

Isabella Rossellini: Green Porno

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD [Supporting performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]

Patricia Clarkson: Phoebe In Wonderland

Kerry Fox: Bright Star

Samantha Morton: The Messenger

4Olivia Williams: An Education

BEST DOCUMENTARIES BY WOMEN:

GROUNDBREAKER: The Beaches of Agnes, Agnes Varda

ABOVE AND BEYOND: American Casino, Leslie Cockburn

COURAGE IN FILMMAKING: Tattooed Under Fire, Nancy Schiesari

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower20rack in her bathroom, to make it look like a suicide. He later confessed that he was having a “bad day.” Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.