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'The Departed' tops Boston film critics' awards

Here's a shock: "The Departed," Martin Scorsese's hit about Boston mobsters and the cops they corrupt, was a hit with the Boston Society of Film Critics, too. The thriller was voted best picture, and the society named Scorsese best director and William Monahan's adaptation of a Hong Kong cat-and-mouse tale best screenplay. (The group doesn't distinguish between original and adapted scripts.) Mark Wahlberg , as a hot-blooded police sergeant in the film, was named best supporting actor. Alec Baldwin , who played a stressed - out state police detective , was the runner-up.

"United 93," about the doomed flights on 9/11, came in second for best picture, and its director, Paul Greengrass , was second to Scorsese. Its cast was voted best ensemble. (The cast of "The Departed" came in second.) The screenplay runner-up was Peter Morgan for "The Queen," which dramatized the aftermath of Princess Diana's death from the eyes of Queen Elizabeth and Tony Blair. Michael Sheen , playing Blair, tied Baldwin as runner-up in the supporting actor category.

Helen Mirren , the star of "The Queen," was voted best actress for work in the title role. Her fellow dame, Judi Dench , came in second for her un-damely performance as a schoolteacher infatuated with a co-worker in "Notes on a Scandal."

Forest Whitaker was voted best actor for his performance as Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland." Ryan Gosling , as the crack- addicted teacher in "Half Nelson," was the runner-up. Gosling's co star Shareeka Epps won best supporting actress for her performance as a steely middle schooler. She beat runner-up Meryl Streep , as a domineering magazine editor in "The Devil Wears Prada."

The foreign film winner was Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth ," a dark fantasy set in Spain not long after Franco's rise to power. Pedro Almodovar's "Volver ," about several generation s of Spanish women, came in second. Del Toro's director of photography, Guillermo Navarro , won the cinematography award.

The director of "Half Nelson," Ryan Fleck , also won the new filmmaker award. "Shut Up & Sing," Barbara Kopple's look at the Dixie Chicks under siege, and Amy Berg's "Deliver Us From Evil," about a pedophile priest and his victims, tied for best documentary . The runner-up was "51 Birch Street," Doug Block's examination of his parents' marriage.

The film critics society also recognized the area's best film series, and best discovered/rediscovered films. The film series winners were: "At Home and Abroad: The Vietnam War on Film/ From Both Sides: The Korean War on Film/ On All Fronts: World War II on Film," "Centennial Starlets: Anna May Wong and Janet Gaynor," and "Major and Minor Notes: A Billy Wilder Centennial," all at the Harvard Film Archive; and "50 Year of Janus Films," and "Man in the Dunes: Hiroshi Teshigahara," both at the Brattle.

The discovered/rediscovered film winners were: "Army of Shadows," "The Fallen Idol,"; "Lucky Star," "The Phantom Carriage," and "The Red Badge of Courage."

The society also bestowed commendations to Ted Barron , who was the Harvard Film Archive's interim curator , and to the local filmmaker, curator, and scholar John Gianv i to, for his book " Andrei Tarkovsky: Interviews."

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