“For Colored Girls” Receives JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD for “Best Expressing The Woman of Color Experience In America” and “Mother And Child” wins “Best Ensemble” and “Best Movie About Women” distinguished awards

*Beloved and world renown actress Lena Horne is the recipient of the Women Film Critics Circle (WFCC) coveted “Acting And Activism” award, posthumously.  As an anti-racist activist, Horne refused to appear before racially segregated US Army audiences in WW2 Italy.

Since the army was officially segregated, the policy was to have one show solely for White troops and another show solely for Black troops.

Horne insisted on performing for mixed audiences, and since the US Army refused to allow integrated audiences, she wound up putting on a show for a mixed audience of Black US soldiers and White German POWs.

Horne was also branded a “communist sympathizer” by many right-wing conservatives because of her association with Paul Robeson and her progressive political beliefs, which led her to be blacklisted in the 1950s. Lena Horne passed away on Mother’s Day at the age of 92.

Another commendable WFCC selection for the “Women’s Work: Best Ensemble” award was “Mother And Child” for its powerful performances including Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits and Samuel L. Jackson.  The drama centered around three women — a 50-year-old woman (Annette Bening), the daughter she gave up for adoption 35 years ago (Naomi Watts), and an African American woman (Kerry Washington) looking to adopt a child of her own.

The insightful film, which was written and directed by renowned Latino director Rodrigo Garcia, gallantly celebrated positive African American family values and images.  The finely tuned film also deservingly won the “Best Movie About Women” award.  WFCC noted Garcia’s celebratory positive African American family values in contrast to “Precious” which was just the opposite.  WFCC made specific notice of the contrast between the moralistic Black — as opposed to the flawed White — characters.  Now that’s something you don’t see too often!

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 55 women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media who formed an alliance in 2004 to form the first women critics organization in the United States in the belief that women’s perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully.  After screening many movies and sifting through considerable nominations, WFCC members limited their choice to a number of deserving finalists.  After extensive deliberation, WFCC members issued its winners and losers for the 2010 cinema season.

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BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN: Mother And Child

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN: Winter’s Bone

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]: The Kids Are All Right

BEST ACTRESS: Annette Bening/The Kids Are All Right

BEST ACTOR: Colin Firth/The King’s Speech

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence/Winter’s Bone

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS: Annette Bening/The Kids Are All Right

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN: *TIE*: Mother; and Women Without Men

BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE: Conviction

WORST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE: Black Swan

BEST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE: *TIE*: Another Year; and The King’s Speech

WORST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE: Jackass 3D

BEST THEATRICALLY UNRELEASED MOVIE BY OR ABOUT WOMEN [Includes films released on DVD or TV, or screened at film festivals, in recognition of the limited opportunities available for films by and about women on screen]: Temple Grandin

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES: *TIE*: Another Year; and Fair Game

BEST ANIMATED FEMALES: Despicable Me

BEST FAMILY FILM: Toy Story 3

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Helen Mirren

ACTING AND ACTIVISM: Lena Horne [posthumous]

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women: Winter’s Bone

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America: For Colored Girls

KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society and a courageous search for identity: Fair Game

COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]: Helen Mirren/The Tempest

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]: *TIE*: Julie Andrews/Despicable Me [voice of the moon]; and Q’Orianka Kilcher/Princess Kaiulani

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY A WOMAN: A Film Unfinished

WOMEN’S WORK: BEST ENSEMBLE: Mother And Child

BEST SCREEN COUPLE: Another Year: Jim Broadbent/Ruth Sheen as Tom and Gerri