Critics honor 'Bashir,' Penn, Hawkins

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

The National Society of Film Critics has named "Waltz With Bashir" best picture of 2008. A year ago, the organization singled out "There Will Be Blood" as its top pick, while Oscar voters favored "No Country for Old Men."

"Waltz With Bashir" is an animated feature that journeys into director Ari Folman's memory in search of missing pieces about a 1980s Israeli Army mission.

Top acting honors went to Sean Penn for "Milk" and Sally Hawkins for "Happy-Go-Lucky," with supporting awards to Hanna Schygulla for "The Edge of Heaven" and Eddie Marsan for "Happy-Go-Lucky."

The rousing support for "Happy-Go-Lucky," about an optimistic school teacher who may have met her match in a fuming driving instructor, continued with Mike Leigh honored for his directing and screenplay. "Man on Wire" won for non-fiction film.

The trade publication Variety reported on its website that 49 of the society's 63 members voted in a meeting in New York. Last year, the society singled out actors Daniel Day-Lewis (who went on to win an Oscar) along with Julie Christie, Casey Affleck and Cate Blanchett.

The awards train just keeps chugging. The 14th Broadcast Film Critics Association's Critics Choice Awards will be broadcast Jan. 8 at 9 p.m. on cable's VH1.

On Jan. 15, nominations for the Orange British Academy Film Awards will be announced.



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