Democracy in action 

This year marks the founding of Detroit's own film critics society … which only puts us 72 years behind New York, 18 behind Chicago and — aw, geez — 20 behind Cleveland.

Alongside critics from the Freep, The Detroit News and a half dozen other publications, MT film critics Michael Hastings and I tossed in two cents for which flicks should get the Motor City stamp of approval.

And so, despite our best efforts to influence, manipulate and bully, the final selections yielded few surprises and no embarrassments (though I still think Sarah Polley and Amy Ryan were robbed).

Here are this year's winners and nominees. Look for the Metro Times' far more accurate and insightful year-end "best of 2007" lists in next week's issue.

1. Best Film: No Country For Old Men

Other nominees: The Driving Bell & Butterfly; Into the Wild; Juno; There will be Blood.

2. Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen — No Country for Old Men

Other nominees: P.T. Anderson — There Will Be Blood; Tim Burton — Sweeney Todd; Sean Penn – Into the Wild; Jason Reitman — Juno; Julian Schnabel – The Driving Bell & Butterfly.

3. Best Actor: George Clooney — Michael Clayton

Other nominees: Mathieu Amalric — The Driving Bell & Butterfly; Daniel Day Lewis — There Will Be Blood; Emile Hirsch — Into the Wild; Tommy Lee Jones — No Country for Old Men.

4. Best Actress: Ellen Page — Juno

Other nominees: Amy Adams — Enchanted; Julie Christie — Away From Her; Marion Cotillard La Vie En Rose; Laura Linney — The Savages.

5. Best Supporting Actor:
Javier Bardem — No Country for Old Men

Other nominees: Casey Affleck — The Assassination of Jesse James; Paul Dano — There Will Be Blood; Hal Holbrook — Into the Wild; Tom Wilkinson — Michael Clayton.

6. Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton — Michael Clayton

Other nominees: Cate Blanchett — I'm Not There; Catherine Keener — Into the Wild; Emily Mortimer — Lars & the Real Girl; Amy Ryan —Gone, Baby Gone

7. Best Ensemble:

Other nominees: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead; Lars & the Real Girl; Waitress; Zodiac.

8. Best Newcomer: Diablo Cody, screenwriter — Juno

Other nominees: Nikki Blonsky – Actor, Hairspray; Michael Cera — Actor, Juno and Superdad; Sarah Polley — Director, Away From Her; Adrienne Shelly — Director, writer, actor, waitress.

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