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December 31, 2004

Winners of the Prism award for queer cinema

Winners of the Prism award for queer cinema

This past year has been an interesting and prolific year for queer cinema with a dazzling array of films with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender� story lines and an equally prolific group of GLBT filmmakers creating cinema for general audiences as well. Here are the nominees and the winners of this year�s Prism Awards, our version of the Oscars.

Best Supporting Actor

The nominees are: Ben Chaplin (Stage Beauty) for a wonderful turn as the male lover of Kynaston who denies his homosexuality when the going gets tough.

David Duchovny (Connie and Carla) as the wonderfully wry romantic foil to Nia Vardolos� Carla who is a woman playing a man playing a woman.

Out actor Rupert Everett (Stage Beauty) as the foppish Charles I was brilliantly omnisexual and hilarious.

Bruce Greenwood (Being Julia) in a touching role played the stoic, gay best friend of a diva who loves him and can�t understand why he won�t love her back.

McCaulay Culkin (Saved!) as a self-deprecating wheelchair-bound boy who can�t understand his sister�s fervent fundamentalism was warm and lovable in the role.

Jonathon Pryce (De-Lovely) as the narrator was the best thing about a mediocre biopic about the bisexual Cole Porter.

The winner is Peter Saarsgard (Kinsey) as the prot�g� and male lover of the man who changed America�s and the world�s views about sexuality forever. He is simply devastating in this film, turning in a very nuanced and mature performance, adding to an already impressive oeuvre of films.

Best Supporting Actress

The nominees are: Miriam Margolyes (Being Julia) as the sassy, lustful and funny producer Dolly de Vries. She was a hoot to watch in a seminal role--an older lesbian with a sexual and romantic appetite.

Eva Amurri (Saved!) as the hedonistic prankster who tells it like it is to the Jesus freaks in her school turned in a brave and moving performance.

Heather Matarazzo (Saved!) who is always wonderful was great in the role of a confused teen trying to fit into a Christian fundamentalist school.

Sissy Spacek (A Home at the End of the World) as the matriarch of a family coming of age in the sixties who finds out that her son is gay and in love with his best friend. She turned in a pivotal performance filled with warm emotions and undercurrents of humor.

Angelina Jolie (Alexander) as Alexander�s domineering mother and political maven. She was a treat to watch as she chewed up her enemies and the scenery to boot.

The winner is out actor Lily Tomlin (I Heart Huckabees), who played an existential detective in this brilliant film. Her chemistry with Dustin Hoffman is fantastic and she is a laugh riot, stealing every scene she is in. Some things just get better with age.

Best Actor

The nominees are: Neil Sandilands� and Rouxnet Brown (Proteus) as a pair of interracial lovers in 1880s South Africa imprisoned on Robin Island for sodomy. They are both wonderful in very understated performances.

Billy Crudup (Stage Beauty) as Kynaston, the male impersonator of Shakespearean heroines in this strong film, was a wonder to behold. In particular, his breakdown scene is a heart-wrencher.

Colin Farrell (At Home at the End of the World) as the lost and confused Bobby, was touching and poignant in a great little film.

Kevin Kline (De-Lovely) as Cole Porter was strong despite a weakly written film.

The winner is a tie between Liam Neeson (Kinsey) and Gael Garc�a Bernal (Bad Education). Neeson�s portrayal of Alfred Kinsey is stunning, as he inhabits one of the most controversial and prophetic figures of the last century. And Bernal�s multiple roles--a gay man abused by the church and a drag queen, among others--were a tour de force in a career that has been stellar by any comparisons.

Best Actress

The nominees are: Annette Bening (Being Julia) was superb as an aging diva who must contend with a lesbian producer, a philandering husband, an unrequited love with her gay best friend and a love affair with a young social climber.

Nia Vardolos and Toni Colette (Connie and Carla) as out of work actresses who move to Los Angeles and end up playing drag queens. They were both hilarious and showed off their musical theater talents.

Robin Wright Penn (A Home at the End of the World) was heart-rending in her stark and compelling performance as the third wheel between two friends.

Emmy Rossum (Phantom of the Opera) is a real find as the young ing�nue in out director Joel Schumaker�s film.

The winner is Laura Linney (Kinsey) as Clara McMillen, Kinsey�s student and long-time wife. She is a marvel to watch with every role she does and here, her startling transformation from young woman to older crone is just breathtaking.

Best Director

The nominees are: Out filmmaker Joel Schumaker (Phantom of the Opera), who has made mostly action films. This time out, in a classic musical theater film, he shows a different side and has created a great adaptation from stage to screen.

Gay filmmaker John Greyson (Proteus) has given us some of the edgiest pieces of queer cinema in his short yet productive career. Here he outdoes himself in an old tale about homophobia that is as relevant today as it will be in the near future, given the global climate against GLBT people.

Pedro Almodovar (Bad Education) has always made quirky, colorful films with great humanity in them and this is among his best.

The winner is Bill Condon (Kinsey), who has redefined the biopic with one of the most interesting men in history. He has created an intimate, moving and astute film about a man who was ahead of his time and ours as well.

Best Film

The nominees are: Bad Education, a masterful and timely indictment of the church�s inability to deal with child abuse by it own. But the film is also about the power of cinema to heal and change personal and societal wounds.

Stage Beauty, a wonderful film about Elizabethan theater and about the conventions of male performers impersonating women. It is a film that is both funny and tragic, with a great pair of romances--between Kynaston and his male lover and between Kynaston and his female dresser. Bisexuality has never been so sexy on film.

A Home at the End of the World, based on Michael Cunningham�s novel, is a warm yet edgy tale of two childhood buddies who grow up and fall in love with each other and the woman who ends up with them, challenging what we think of as family.

Proteus, shot digitally, is a mesmerizing film about an interracial gay relationship in South Africa in the 1800s. The taboos then are the taboos today and the film resonates wonderfully in America in 2004, given the passing of Issue 1 and the continued onslaught against the equal rights and legitimacy of GLBT citizens.

The winner is Kinsey by a small edge over Bad Education and Proteus. This is not just one of the year�s best GLBT films, but it is among the best of all films in 2004. It honestly and pointedly shows us that sexual variations are simply normal--a truth so maligned and mismanaged even today.

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