Goon, Bestiaire, Stories We Tell to compete for $100,000 TFCA prize

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master also took top honours for best picture, best director, best screenplay and best supporting actor for co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman, after the film critic group voted Sunday (Goon pictured).
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The Toronto Film Critics Association has shortlisted Michael Dowse’s Goon, Denis Cote’s Bestiaire and Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell for its $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, the association announced Tuesday.

“The diversity of our three finalists for this extraordinary new prize show there’s nothing predictable about Canadian cinema. These are all genres we haven’t seen before. Bestiaire is a visionary documentary from Montreal that explores our relationship to the animal world. Stories We Tell, a doc from Toronto, unfolds as a procedural home movie, investigating the filmmaker’s family secrets; and Goon, set largely in Winnipeg and set across the country, is a viciously funny comedy about hockey violence,” said TFCA president and Maclean’s film critic Brian D. Johnson in a statement.

The TFCA last month upped the best Canadian film prize to $100,000 from the previous $15,000, with two runners-up to each receive $5,000.

After the film critic group voted Sunday, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master dominated the 2012 TFCA awards, taking top honours for best picture, best director and best screenplay. Co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman was also named best supporting actor.

This is Anderson’s third win for best director from the TFCA (he won previously for Magnolia in 1999 and Punch-Drunk Love in 2002), and his second for best picture (Magnolia).

Elsewhere, Polley’s Stories We Tell also won the Allan King documentary award. And the best first feature prize was shared by Panos Cosmato’s Beyond the Black Rainbow and Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild.

The TFCA also tapped Michael Haneke’s drama Amour, which won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as best foreign-language film.

Rounding out the winners, Denis Lavant was named best actor for his performance in Holy Motors, while Rachel Weisz was named best actress for her r ole in Terence Davies’ The Deep Blue Sea. And Gina Gershon won for best supporting actress in William Friedkin’s Killer Joe, while Chris Butler and Sam Fell’s stop-motion horror comedy ParaNorman won best animated feature.

The awards will be presented at a gala dinner on Jan. 8 at the Carlu in Toronto, hosted by TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey.

The TFCA at the gala will also present the $5,000 Manulife Financial Student Film Award and the Jay Scott Prize, a $5,000 cash award with equivalent value in post services.