GREAT PERFORMANCES: Jeff Daniels in The Squid and the Whale; Daniel Auteuil in Cach; Naomi Watts in Ellie Parker and King Kong; Joan Allen and Kevin Costner in The Upside of Anger; Charlize Theron and Richard Jenkins in North Country; Natalie Press in My Summer of Love; Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard in Crash; Vera Farmiga in Down to the Bone; Emanuelle Devos in Kings & Queen; Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener in Capote; David Strathairn and Frank Langella in Good Night, and Good Luck; Michael Lonsdale in Munich; Felicity Huffman in Transamerica; Cillian Murphy in Breakfast on Pluto; Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams in Brokeback Mountain; Joseph Gordon Leavitt in Mysterious Skin; Tom Wilkinson in Separate Lies; Richard Gere in Bee Season; Georgie Henley in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Lior Ashkenazi in Walk on Water; Sibell Kekilli in Head-On; Maria Bello in A History of Violence; Lisa Kudrow in Happy Endings; and, of course, Gromit—dear, kind, strong, silent Gromit, unassuming hero of a world far better than the one we live in. Gromit for President!
MOVIE MOMENTS TO CHERISH:
Naomi Watts, juggling first for her life, then for the love of a great ape in King Kong.
Super-goy James Bond (Daniel Craig), coming on all Yiddish in Munich: "It's a shanda for the goyim!"
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Two desolate penguin parents keening over the loss of their baby in March of the Penguins. Anthropomorphic? Maybe, but grief is grief even if you waddle on two flippers.