Story by: Jack Foley
PAUL Giamattis American
Splendor has been voted the best film of 2003 by the Los Angeles
Film Critics Association.
The film, about idiosyncratic comic book artist, Harvey Pekar,
also won best screenplay, to complete a good couple of weeks for
the independent movie - it also won two prizes from the New York
critics, five Independent Spirit nominations, and one Golden Globe
nomination for supporting actress Hope Davis. In addition, it
was named film of the year by the National Society of Film Critics
in the US.
The LA-based critics, who had originally cancelled the awards
in a row over DVD previews with the major film studios, also awarded
Peter Jackson the best director accolade for his final film in
the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The
Return of the King.
The best actor prize went to Bill Murray, for his sublime turn
in Sofia Coppolas Lost
in Translation, while Naomi Watts deservedly won best actress,
for 21 Grams.
Another richly deserved award will be presented to British actor,
Bill Nighy, who was named best supporting actor for his work in
four movies, AKA, I Capture
the Castle, Lawless Heart
and Love Actually, while
Iranian actress, Shohreh Aghdashloo, was named best supporting
actress for House of Sand and
Girl With A Pearl Earring
won the best cinematography award, while the film's 19-year-old
star, Scarlett Johansson, who also appears in Lost
in Translation, received a special new generation
The Return of the King also won an accolade for best production
design, while Belleville
Rendez-vous - known as The Triplets of Belleville in the US
- won two awards, for best animation and best music/score.
The critics opted to revive their awards only after the major
film studios were forced to lift their ban on preview DVDs being
sent to awards' judges by a court order.
They will be presented on January 26 - one day before the Oscar
nominations are released.