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The rest of the Best

February 26, 2007


Pan's Labyrinth

Guillermo Navarro

Like frequent collaborator Guillermo del Toro, a fellow Mexican, Guillermo Navarro has a flair for conjuring fantasy realms but imbuing them with a visceral sense of reality. In director Del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth," Navarro had to make a young girl's imaginary world, peopled with strange creatures and voluptuous settings, mesh with the stark brutalities of Spain in the 1940s. He had to make winged fairies coexist visually with olive-drab scenes of a rural village, and a monster's banquet look both enticing and strangely terrifying.

His efforts paid off in one of the most luminous (literally and narratively) movies of recent decades. It earned him his first Academy Award nomination and, on Sunday, the Oscar.

Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki had been favored by many to win this category for his work on "Children of Men." He had been recognized by the American Society of Cinematographers just last weekend. But "Pan's Labyrinth" was a favorite Sunday, also garnering awards for makeup and art direction.

In his acceptance speech, Navarro repeated himself from the day before in Santa Monica, when he had picked up a Spirit Award, thanking his wife and children for "giving me wings." He called the Academy Award "a recognition for the collective effort to support the vision of the genius of Guillermo del Toro."


Costume Design

Marie Antoinette

Milena Canonero

Milena Canonero, who had won two Oscars for her work on Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" and Hugh Hudson's "Chariots of Fire," was singled out for her lavish, opulent designs for "Marie Antoinette."

In her acceptance speech, she acknowledged the family heritage of "Marie Antoinette" director Sofia Coppola, noting that they were introduced by Coppola's father, Francis Ford Coppola, on the set of his film "The Cotton Club."

In designing for "Marie Antoinette," Canonero tapped fashion heavyweight Manolo Blahnik to create the shoes, bringing a contemporary edge to the classically inspired looks.



An Inconvenient Truth

Davis Guggenheim

In his bid to go green, Al Gore also went gold.

In a remarkable turn for what started as a documentary based on a slide show about the effects of global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth" lets the former vice president add the ultimate show business award to his resume.

"My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis," Gore said. "It's not a political issue, it's a moral issue."

"We [made this film] because we were moved to act by this man," director Davis Guggenheim said, gesturing to Gore. He also cited producers Lawrence Bender and Laurie David.

After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, the film became a critical success and a must-see for liberals, but some conservatives considered it much ado about nothing.


Documentary short subject

The Blood of Yingzhou District

Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

A young Chinese village boy orphaned by AIDS, and himself infected with the disease, stands at the dramatic center of the documentary directed by Hong Kong-born filmmaker Ruby Yang and produced by Thomas Lennon.

Yang and Lennon, who originally met on Bill Moyers' "Becoming American: The Chinese Experience," wrote the first major AIDS-prevention campaign aired on Chinese television. The spots featured Yao Ming and Magic Johnson.

"With this disease, film and television can save more lives than doctors can," Lennon said when the film opened last June. "Our work in China is a humanitarian effort first, and artistic considerations are a distant second. How could it be otherwise?"


Film editing

The Departed

Thelma Schoonmaker

This is Thelma Schoonmaker's third win in six nominations, which included other films by her longtime friend and collaborator, director Martin Scorsese, with whom she's worked since his 1980 film "Raging Bull."

For "The Departed," she worked to sustain the tension that drives this operatic gangster thriller, though she has said she was tempted to dwell on the story's rich characters. At the same time, Schoonmaker maintained the subtle humor and light touch that added levity to even the bloodiest scenes.

Accepting her award, she referred to her Oscar-deprived director (who would finally win minutes later) by saying, "This is the third film you've given the Oscar to that was made by Martin Scorsese and, believe me, I wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for him.... Working with Marty is quite something: It's tumultuous, passionate, funny, and it's like being in the best film school in the world."


Live-action short

West Bank Story

Ari Sandel

Director Ari Sandel gave an eloquent speech after collecting the live-action short Oscar.

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