TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - The Genies, Canada's film
awards, on Monday turned into a shootout between a movie about
Russian mobsters in London and one that chronicles the 1994
David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises," a portrait of a
ruthless killer tied to an organized crime family, and Roger
Spottiswoode's "Shake Hands With the Devil," a biopic of former
Canadian Lt.-Gen. Romeo Dallaire and his ill-fated U.N. mission
in Rwanda, each snagged 12 nominations to lead the field.
Cronenberg and Spottiswoode will see their dramas compete
in the best film and director competitions, as well as in a
host of craft categories.
"Devil" lead Roy Dupuis will go up against Viggo Mortensen
of "Promises" for best actor.
In the best actress competition, Julie Christie continues
her awards-season success with a Genie nomination for "Away
From Her," in which she plays a woman with Alzheimer's disease.
"Away From Her" earned seven Genie noms, including one for
best film and a director nomination for Sarah Polley.
Contending with Christie for best actress will be two indie
darlings: Ellen Page, for Bruce McDonald's "The Tracey
Fragments," and Molly Parker, for "Who Loves the Sun," directed
by her husband, Matt Bissonnette.
Other multiple nominees in the Genie competition include
Stephane Lafleur's "Continental, un film sans fusil"
(Continental, A Film Without Guns), which earned five noms, and
Denys Arcand's "L'Age des tenebres" (Days of Darkness), with
Both Quebec-made movies will compete in the best film
Another Quebec movie likely to figure in the Genie
competition is Patrick Huard's "Les 3 petits cochons" (The 3
Little Pigs), which earned Claude Legault a best actor nom and
Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge a supporting actor berth.
In contrast with recent years, English-language Canadian
films will grab the limelight at this year's Genies.
"We do like to see the pendulum swinging back, with greater
profile going to English Canadian films, while recognizing a
number of strong French films," Sara Morton, CEO of Genies
organizer the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, said
The 2008 Genies will be handed out March 3 in Toronto and
will air nationwide on the E! network.