It's little things like the recognition of Kate Hudson and Mary-Kate Olsen that keep the status-quo from suffocating us in the thick of Oscar season.
Granted, it's not what either starlet likely craves, with the Alliance of Women Film Journalists singling out Hudson as 2008's Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent and Olsen as the female half of this year's Most Egregious Age Difference Between Leading Man and Love Interest — duly noting her tryst with Sir Ben Kingsley in The Wackness. Katherine Heigl represents as well, with 27 Dresses entering the organization's Hall of Shame, and The Women and Mamma Mia! sharing the honor of being the Movie You Wanted To Love But Just Couldn‘t.
The AWFJ had the requisite list of conventional awards as well — not nearly as fun, featuring another Best Picture win for Slumdog Millionaire and Best Director Danny Boyle. Actress frontrunner Sally Hawkins split her prize with Kate Winslet (for both Revolutionary Road and The Reader), while Doubt's Viola Davis broke Penelope Cruz's streak for Best Supporting Actress. Sean Penn and Heath Ledger, naturally, won the men's acting hardware.
· In what could only have been the most fractious of voting environments, the hometown story Milk all but swept last night's San Francisco Film Critics Circle awards, taking Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and splitting Penn's Best Actor prize with Mickey Rourke. Hawkins and Ledger continued their runs as well, with Marisa Tomei sneaked in as Supporting Actress for The Wrestler.
· St. Louis's film-critic group chose The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for Best Picture, nevertheless recognizing Boyle for his Slumdog direction. Acting accolades went to Penn, Winslet, Ledger and Davis.
· And the more casual, Craigslist-assembled club known as the San Diego Film Critics Society honored Slumdog, Boyle, Rourke, Winslet, Ledger and Tomei in their big six categories. Congrats to all. Again.