Tie: In the Shadow of the Moon, directed by David Sington
Sicko, directed by Michael Moore
In some ways, you couldn't imagine two more radically different films. In the Shadow of the Moon is a triumphant retelling of America's Apollo program, the crowning human technical achievement of the 20th century. Michael Moore, however, worries in Sicko about America's scandalous inability to provide quality health care coverage for all. Still, both films may well leave an audience muttering, “We can put a man on the moon, but…”
RUNNERS-UP: Run, Granny, Run: At 94, Doris Haddock runs for the U.S. Senate…For the Bible Tells Me So: The two sides debate the Bible's take on homosexuality, through true stories of parents with gay and lesbian children…Hear and Now: Director Irene Taylor Brodsky's deaf parents have surgery to experience sound for the first time, in their mid-sixties.
Gena Rowlands, Screenwriter, Paris je t'aime
The 77-year-old acting legend had agreed to appear in a segment of this anthology film of love stories set in Paris, but she and her costar, Ben Gazzara, couldn't find a script they liked. So Rowlands, who'd never written a screenplay in her life, sat down and created an exquisite scene, the story of a long-married couple on the eve of their divorce. Sparely written and wonderfully realized by director Gerard Depardieu, the scene creates in the viewer the discomfort of overhearing a too private conversation in too public a place.
Best Foreign Language Film
My Best Friend (France), directed by Patrice Leconte
A solitary middle-aged antiques dealer (Daniel Auteuil), challenged by an acquaintance to make at least one friend in the next month, engages a friendly taxi driver (Dany Boon) to help him. It's a wonderfully warm meditation on the isolation felt by so many in the second half of life…and how the best way to find a friend can be to simply sit still and let friendship find you.
RUNNERS-UP: After the Wedding (Denmark): A man who runs an Indian orphanage visits his mysterious Danish benefactor…Vitus (Switzerland): A young boy who is a piano prodigy is rescued from crushing parental pressure by his loving granddad…La Vie en Rose (France): Singer Edith Piaf (Marion Cotillard) lives a life and a half…Persepolis (France): Animated but not for kids; a young girl grows up in Iran.
Best Buddy Picture
The Bucket List, directed by Rob Reiner
Not since Bing and Bob headed off for Morocco have two stars as watchable as Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman hit the road together. The poignant plot—two cancer-stricken guys trying to cram a lifetime of adventure into a few months—can't mask the delight of watching two pros in their prime.
Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up
Enchanted, directed by Kevin Lima
Longtime Disney animator Lima makes this story of an animated princess stuck in real-life New York City both cute and cutting-edge. Check out the scene where the princess summons Manhattan's ''forest creatures'' to help her clean house. You'll never look at a skittering cockroach in quite the same way.
RUNNERS-UP: Ratatouille: A rat in the kitchen? C'est magnifique!…Mr. Bean's Holiday: Hilariously ageless…Knocked Up: Too crude for kids, but a thoughtful morality play…The Simpsons Movie: And you think your family's dysfunctional?