Critics Choose Slumdog, Ledger and Two Leading Ladies
Sean Penn, Anne Hathaway
The critics have spoken and it's a Slumdog and a devious Joker who have their vote.
The 14th Annual Broadcast Film Critics Association crowned Danny Boyle's sleeper hit, Slumdog Millionaire, as best picture Thursday — one of five awards it walked away with. The indie flick also picked up best director for Boyle, best writer for Simon Beaufoy, best young actor/actress for Dev Patel and best composer for A.R. Rahman.
Slumdog only missed out on best song, which went to Bruce Springsteen for "The Wrestler" in the flick of the same name.
The evening's other notable winner was Heath Ledger. The late Dark Knight star earned supporting actor honors, along with a standing ovation when his name was called.
"Anyone who's seen any of the extraordinary work that Heath did knows that I can't presume to speak for him in any way, because his voice was as unique as it was original," Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan said while accepting the award on Ledger's behalf. "But... I know that I speak for all of us when I say that working with him was one of the greatest experiences any of us ever had or probably ever will have."
Dark Knight was also recognized as best action movie.
Tying the Bat flick with two wins was Milk, whose cast was named best ensemble and leading man Sean Penn was named best actor for his portrayal of slain gay rights politician/activist Harvey Milk.
A surprising tie in best actress resulted in former Devil Wears Prada costars Meryl Streep (a no-show) and Anne Hathaway winning, for Doubt and Rachel Getting Married, respectively.
Another absentee champ was Kate Winslet, who triumphed over buzzed-about Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) and Doubt's Viola Davis for supporting actress for her turn as an ex-concentration camp guard in The Reader.
Richard Gere received the second annual Joel Siegel Award, named after the late film critic, for his extensive humanitarian work.
Other winners include Wall-E (animated feature), Tropic Thunder (best comedy), Waltz with Bashir (foreign-language film), Man on Wire (documentary) and HBO's John Adams for TV movie.