Director of photography Ed Lachman was cited by the New York Film Critics Circle today for his work on the film Far From Heaven, which was also cited as Best Picture. In a mini-sweep, awards also went to Far From Heaven’s director Todd Haynes, as well as Dennis Quaid (Best Supporting Actor) and Patricia Clarkson (Best Supporting Actress).
Lachman’s cinematography for Far From Heaven is, like the film itself, derived from the 1950s melodramas of Douglas Sirk, with their deeply saturated Technicolor noir look, occasionally jarring camera angles, and long sweeping shots. The film stars Julianne Moore as a perfect 1950s housewife, whose life crumbles when she learns that her husband (Dennis Quaid) is gay and she is simultaneously drawn to her gardener (Dennis Haysbert), who is black. Clarkson plays Moore’s waspish best friend.
Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid in Far From Heaven
A complete list of winners follows:
Best Picture: Far From Heaven
Best Director: Todd Haynes, Far From Heaven
Best Non-Fiction Film: Standing in the Shadows of Motown, directed by Paul Justman
Best Foreign-Language Film: Y tu mama tambien, directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Best First Film: Rodger Dodger, directed by Dylan Kidd
Best Animated Film, Spirited Away, directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York
Best Actress: Diane Lane, Unfaithful
Best Supporting Actor: Dennis Quaid, Far From Heaven
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Clarkson, Far From Heaven
Best Cinematography: Ed Lachman, Far From Heaven
Best Screenplay: Charlie Kafuman and Donald Kaufman, Adaptation
The latter award is especially amusing as Donald Kaufman doesn’t apparently exist. As part of Adaptation’s mind-game structure, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has inserted himself into the film adaptation of Susan Olean’s The Orchid Thief, and he has also invented a twin brother who takes part in the story. Both Kaufmans are played by Nicolas Cage.
In addition, a special award was voted for the restoration, by Kino International, of Fritz Lang’s 1926 silent classic Metropolis.
The New York Film Critics Circle Awards are often seen as an early predictor of the Academy Awards to come. If this holds, then Far From Heaven looks likely to earn Oscar several nominations, if not awards.