The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Chicago Film Critics Announce Their 2006 Faves

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 29, 2006 5:19PM

2006_12_departed.jpgThe Chicago Film Critics Association announced its awards for best films and performances of the year with The Departed picking up three awards for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay. You can view the full slate of winners here.

While we enjoyed The Departed, it felt too much like a mix tape of Scorcsese’s previous films with the themes of corruption and redemption set against urban grit with yet another use of “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones. While one could also quibble with the best foreign language film (Letters from Iwo Jima) coming from an American director, we see it as an encouraging sign of the expansion of the American film palette. Plus, the CFCA gave a nod in the cinematography category to the underrated Children of Men and recognized the brilliance of Rian Johnson’s Brick.

So far, The Departed and United 93 are leading critics’ best-of lists, with Scorcese hailed by many as best director. The Tribune’s Mark Caro points out that Whittaker and Mirren are already the lead dogs in the Best Actor and Actress categories while the jury’s still out on supporting categories. Last week, Chicagoist posted its thoughts on the best films we did and did not see this year.

A commenter on Caro’s awards wrap-up post notes that although 60+ critics make up the CFCA, neither the Tribune’s Michael Phillips, the Reader’s Jonathan Rosenbaum or Ray Pride, editor of Movie City Indie are in the group. We can only speculate as to why, but Caro himself notes he quit the group when he was a movie reviewer over a conflict with the group’s mission. So it may be a reflection of that old Groucho Marx quote, or a desire to remain a true outsider and limit the many subjective forces already at work in the world of art criticism.