Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA) had some surprises among the winners of its second annual Dorian Awards, which were announced today.
GALECA is only two years old but is quickly becoming known in the industry. The organization is composed of more than 40 LGBT film and television critics from across the US as well as Canada and Great Britain. Such major publications as The Advocate, US Weekly, TV Guide and our own Movie Dearest are represented. Unlike GLAAD, which specifically honors movie and TV shows each year that show the GLBT community in a positive light, GALECA considers both mainstream and LGBT-specific projects for the Dorian Awards. Toy Story 3 and The Social Network were among GALECA's five nominees for Film of the Year in addition to the more LGBT-oriented The Kids Are All Right, Black Swan and I Am Love. The Dorian Awards are so named in honor of gay writer Oscar Wilde and his literary masterpiece, The Picture of Dorian Grey.
I Am Love was the surprise choice as the 2010 Dorian Award-winner for Film of the Year. This sensual tale stars Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton as the Russian-born matriarch of an Italian family beset by romantic entanglements of various genders and orientations. Little seen upon its theatrical release but much admired by those who have caught it, I Am Love is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Unlike most groups that bestow awards, GALECA doesn't separate men and women in its consideration of the Best Performances in Film and Television. This year, Annette Bening triumphed over such acclaimed fellow nominees as Colin Firth (The King's Speech), James Franco (who was nominated for his great acting in two 2010 releases, 127 Hours and Howl) and Natalie Portman (Black Swan). Bening won the Dorian Award for her excellent turn as one-half of a lesbian couple raising two teenagers in The Kids Are All Right.
In GALECA's television categories, The Good Wife won Drama of the Year while Glee won its second Dorian Award in a row for TV Comedy or Musical of the Year. Glee also won the Dorian for LGBT-themed TV Show of the Year as well as acting awards for Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer, who tied in the TV Comedy Performance of the Year category. New Glee cast member Darren Criss won GALECA's "We're Wilde About You" Rising Star Award over such other talented newcomers as Andrew Garfield (The Social Network and the upcoming Spider-Man reboot) and Black Swan's Mila Kunis. Michael C. Hall, as the sympathetic serial killer of Dexter, won the Dorian Award for TV Dramatic Performance of the Year. The HBO series Hung, about a well-endowed gigolo, was recognized as the Unsung TV Show of the Year and the new comedy Hot in Cleveland, starring Valerie Bertinelli and Betty White, won the "Campy (Intentional or Not) TV Show of the Year" Dorian.
The delightful Easy A, about a high school student who takes her Scarlet Letter reading assignment a bit too literally, won the Dorian Award for Unsung Film of the Year. Additional winners in other film-related categories were Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Documentary of the Year); I Love You Phillip Morris (LGBT-Themed Film of the Year); 8: The Mormon Proposition (LGBT-Themed Documentary of the Year); and Burlesque (Campy (Intentional or Not) Film of the Year). The latter beat out such dubious contenders as Sex and the City 2 and Piranha 3-D.
Finally, GALECA's prestigious "Wilde Wit of the Year Award" was given to Rachel Maddow, the openly lesbian TV and radio news host, and the group's annual "Timeless Award" — which is given to a living actor or performer with an exemplary career marked by smarts, character and wit — was bestowed upon theatre and film legend Angela Lansbury.
While this year's Academy Award nominations have yet to be announced, a number of LGBT-interest contenders are likely. Annette Bening and Natalie Portman will likely duke it out for the Best Actress Oscar, and Bening's Kids Are All Right partner, Julianne Moore, could also be nominated. Meanwhile, the Academy Award for Best Song might well go to "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," which was sung by Cher in Burlesque and won the Golden Globe. If the song is nominated for an Oscar, Cher will likely perform it during the telecast. Her appearance alone will be enough to get virtually every gay man in the US to tune in on February 27!
See the comments section below for a quick look at this year's Dorian Award winners.
By Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Orange County and Long Beach Blade.