Pakula nod given previously to 'A Civil Action,' 'Insider'

Writer-director Rod Lurie’s “The Contender” will receive this year’s Alan J. Pakula Award, the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.’s highest honor, at the sixth annual Critics’ Choice luncheon Jan. 22 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The award, first presented in 1998, is given annually by the BFCA “for artistic excellence while illuminating issues of great social and political importance.”

“‘The Contender’ is as astute an examination of our current political climate as we have seen in the cinema in recent years,” the BFCA board of directors said. “It serves to both entertain audiences and educate the nation about its political failings.”

Lurie and cast members Joan Allen, Jeff Bridges, Sam Elliott and Christian Slater will receive awards.

Previous winners of the Pakula laurel, named after the late director, are “A Civil Action” and “The Insider.”

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