'The Insider' Wins Critics' Award
LOS ANGELES (AP) - ``The Insider,'' a controversial film about a tobacco-industry whistleblower, was named best picture of the year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association
The film also took best actor and supporting actor awards when the honors were announced Saturday.
Russell Crowe, named best actor of the year last week by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, got the nod for playing the cigarette company employee-turned-whistleblower,
Christopher Plummer, who played Mike Wallace, was named best supporting actor.
``The Insider'' tells the story of former Brown & Williamson tobacco executive Jeffrey Wigand, who agreed to go on ``60 Minutes'' in 1995 with accusations of perjury and other wrongdoing by the industry.
At first, CBS caved to pressure from its lawyers who worried that B&W would sue the network for encouraging Wigand to violate a confidentiality clause he signed with the tobacco company. A version of the segment without the explosive Wigand material ran instead.
``60 Minutes'' and CBS attacked the movie, saying it presents a distorted view of the facts.
Filmmakers said ``The Insider'' took some artistic license but is a faithful depiction of what happened.
In other awards, Hillary Swank was named the top actress for her gender-bending role in ``Boys Don't Cry,'' a drama about a young woman who is brutally murdered after attempting to pass herself off as a young man in a small Nebraska town. Chloe Sevigny won for supporting actress for her work in the movie.
Cinematographer Dante Spinotti won an award for his work in ``The Insider.''
Sam Mendes was named best director for ``American Beauty,'' a dark satire on suburban family life starring Annette Bening and Kevin Spacey.
Other picks included Charlie Kaufman for best screenplay for ``Being John Malkovich''; Pedro Almodovar's ``All About My Mother'' for best foreign film and Wim Wenders and Ry Cooder for the documentary ``The Buena Vista Social Club.''
The 25th annual awards will be presented Jan. 19.