‘Bon Cop, Bad Cop’ wins top Genie
TORONTO — “Bon Cop, Bad Cop,” a uniquely Canadian action movie about a pair of cops who bicker in both official languages in their hunt for a homicidal hockey fan, snagged the best picture prize Tuesday at the Genie Awards in a gala that was otherwise dominated by the powerful biopic about hockey legend Maurice Richard.
“I always suspected you people had taste and insight; thank you for confirming that,” Kevin Tierney, producer of “Bon Cop,” one of the top-grossing movies in Canadian history, told the cheering crowd at the Carlu in downtown Toronto.
“Just because a movie is popular doesn’t mean it’s not good.”
Though “Bon Cop” took the top prize, “Maurice Richard/The Rocket” was the night’s big winner as it took home nine Genies, including best actor for Roy Dupuis and best actress for Julie Le Breton.
Dupuis, the prolific Quebec actor, took home his second best actor Genie in as many years — he won last year for his portrayal of an amnesiac in “Memoires affectives.”
He became emotional as he accepted the award for “The Rocket.”
“He opened up to me and he became a friend,” said Dupuis of meeting the late Richard while he was researching the role. “He’s a man who moved me.”
“The Rocket” dominated the Genie acting categories, with Stephen McHattie also winning best supporting actor. Only Carrie-Anne Moss broke the “Rocket” stranglehold with her supporting actress win for “Snow Cake.”
Director Charles Biname conceded it was bittersweet to nab so many Genies on Tuesday but not best picture — but he praised the makers of “Bon Cop.”
“They are buddies of ours; these are people that work as hard as we work and they made a really good film,” he said. “The award really celebrates the inventiveness of that film.”
Biname won the best director Genie, and the film also netted hardware for art direction, costume design, editing and cinematography, among others.
“Bon Cop’s” only other Genie was achievement in overall sound, though it also won the Golden Reel Award, awarded to the Canadian film with the highest domestic box office earnings.
“Bon Cop” is vying for the title of the highest-grossing Canadian film of all time against “Porky’s.”
It earned more than $12 million last year in domestic box office receipts.
The other big box office hit of 2006, “Trailer Park Boys: The Movie,” was shut out of the Genies despite earning its way onto many year-end critics’ Top 10 lists and enjoying the biggest opening weekend in Canadian box office history. Ricky, Bubbles and Julian — rum and coke in hand — were at the gala on Tuesday night.
Taking home acting Genies didn’t seem to matter too much to “Bon Cop” stars Patrick Huard and Colm Feore.
The pair kissed for the cameras before the gala got underway, and Huard, up for a best actor Genie, expressed doubt he’d win.
“I’m just here to have fun,” said Huard, who co-wrote “Bon Cop.”
He added that a sequel to the film was in the works in “about five years or so; I have to write it.”
Producers Tierney and Patrick Roy said they hoped it would happen sooner than that.
After lip-locking his co-star, Huard said: “He’s a great kisser. I didn’t know that. So just for that, there will be a sequel.”
Also taking home a Genie was “Manufactured Landscapes,” a look at the work of famed photographer Edward Burtynsky that has been sold to a U.S. distributor. It won best documentary.
This year’s Genies were handed out amid trying times for the Canadian film industry as ACTRA, the union representing Canadian performers, remains locked in a bitter dispute with producers about new rates and fair compensation for use of actors’ work on the Internet.
But there was, for a change, a genuine buzz surrounding the awards this year due to the financial and critical success of “Bon Cop,” “Trailer Park Boys: The Movie” and “The Rocket.” All three movies did well in English Canada, a notoriously difficult market to crack for Canadian filmmakers, resulting in domestic box office success outside of Quebec that was double what it was in 2005.
The year ahead also promises to be a banner one for Canadian film, with movies including Sarah Polley’s “Away From Her,” the zombie comedy “Fido” starring Moss and Scottish comic Billy Connolly, and a highly anticipated new Denys Arcand film scheduled for release.
Roy, executive producer of “Bon Cop,” said the success of his film shows that English Canadians want to see good Canadian films.
He added he hoped “Bon Cop” would become a franchise, saying it would be a shame if the sparkling rapport between Feore and Huard was contained to just a single film.
“The successes that we’ve had in Quebec in the past were really because we were making films for Quebec people,” he said. “The biggest mistake we can make is to try to do what Americans are doing. If we start making movies for Canadians, I think they’ll go see them, but it’s going to take a few successes in a row. People will realize that Canadian movies can be successful and they’ll go see them.”
‘Bon Cop, Bad Cop’ wins top Genie