WWI romance wins six times, including best pic
WWI epic romance “Passchendaele” won top honors at Canada’s Genie Awards on Saturday night in Ottawa. The hit film from writer-helmer-thesp Paul Gross won six Genies including best picture.As previously announced, it took home the Golden Reel Award for top homegrown box office performer of the year, thanks to ticket sales of C$4.4 million ($3.6 million). Pic stars Gross as a soldier in the battle of Passchendaele, one of the most noted WWI engagements for the Canadian Army. The other nods for “Passchendaele” were in secondary craft categories. Montreal helmer Benoit Pilon’s “The Necessities of Life” won four Genies, with three in major categories. Pilon, who made his feature dramatic debut with the film, won for director, Bernard Emond garnered the hardware for original screenplay and Natar Ungalaaq took actor. In the film, which unspools in French and Inuktitut, Ungalaaq plays an Inuit hunter in the Far North in the 1950s who is taken down south to a sanatorium in Quebec City for treatment of tuberculosis. Ellen Burstyn won as actress for her lead role in “The Stone Angel,” writer-director Kari Skogland’s adaptation of the classic novel by Canadian author Margaret Laurence. The supporting thesp kudos went to Callum Keith Rennie for “Normal” and Kristin Booth for the romantic comedy “Young People Fucking.” Lyne Charlebois and Marie-Sissi Labreche won for adapted screenplay for “Borderline,” an explosive, sexually explicit drama directed by first-time feature helmer Charlebois and adapted from two Labreche novels. The Genie for documentary went to Montreal helmer Yung Chang’s “Up the Yangtze.” Denis Villeneuve’s Cannes prize winner “Next Floor” took live-action short drama, and the National Film Board of Canada production “Sleeping Betty,” from helmer Claude Cloutier, drew the animated short prize. It was previously announced that Yves-Christian Fournier’s “Everything Is Fine,” a drama about teen suicide, was the winner of this year’s Claude Jutra Award for first feature.