Rocket sweeps Genies – almost

Hockey biopic scores nine awards but loses best picture to Bon Cop, Bad Cop

In what is becoming something of a tradition, Quebec cinema was front and center at the Genie Awards as the French-language biopic The Rocket captured nine of the 22 awards handed out on Tuesday night at the Carlu Event Theatre in Toronto, though it lost best picture to Bon Cop, Bad Cop.

‘I’m happy for Bon Cop… it doesn’t make for a good party afterwards when only one film wins,’ said Charles Binamé after picking up the best directing trophy for The Rocket.

Bon Cop managed only one other win — best overall sound –for its four-person team, in addition to picking up the Golden Reel Award as the biggest domestic earner at last year’s box office. It made a record-breaking $12.2 million following its release via Alliance Atlantis.

‘We had high expectations, but we didn’t think it would become the highest-grossing film,’ said Bon Cop executive producer Patrick Roy, who also nodded to plans for a sequel, noting, ‘It would be sad if the duo of Patrick Huard and Colm Feore disappeared after only one film.’

Bon Cop beat out other best picture contenders Un dimanche à Kigali, Guide de la petite vengeance and Trailer Park Boys The Movie — the sole English-language nominee. Kigali writers Robert Favreau and Gil Courtemanche nabbed the Genie for best adapted screenplay, the film’s only win.

With the exception of the absent Carrie-Anne Moss, who was awarded the hardware for best supporting actress for Snow Cake, The Rocket swept the acting categories. It garnered a second Genie for Roy Dupuis, who stars as hockey legend Maurice Richard, best supporting actor for Stephen McHattie, who plays Montreal Canadiens coach Dick Irvin Sr., and best actress for Julie LeBreton as Richard’s long-suffering wife Lucille.

Dupuis, who previously won for 2004′s Mémoires affectives, got emotional on stage as he recalled his friendship with Richard, who died in 2000. ‘He was a man that moved me,’ Dupuis said.

Other wins for The Rocket, which led the Genie race with 13 noms, include best cinematography for Pierre Gill, costumes for Francesca Chamberland, editing for Michel Arcand and art direction for Michel Proulx.

Manufactured Landscapes, Jennifer Baichwal’s feature about renowned photographer Ed Burtynsky, won best documentary.

As a possible prelude to the Oscars, Montreal animator Torill Kove accepted the Genie Award for best animated short for The Danish Poet, which is also nom’d in the same category for the Feb. 25 Academy Awards.

Kove was coy about her chances of picking up an Oscar, noting, ‘We’re up against shorts from Disney and Pixar.’

Julie Kwan and Stephane Lapointe shared the Claude Jutra Award for first-time directors for their debut features Eve and the Fire Horse, and La Vie secrète des gens heureux, respectively.

The 2007 Genies was a speedy affair, wrapping up in less than two hours, followed by CHUM Television’s broadcast of Live! At The Genies, a condensed version of the ceremony that featured highlights of the night’s events.