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'Frozen River' dominates the Gotham Awards

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The same day it picked up six Spirit Award nominations, Frozen River won two big prizes at last night’s Gotham Awards in New York. The Sundance hit, about a cash-strapped woman who drives illegal immigrants across the Canada/U.S. border, took home trophies for Best Feature and Breakthrough Actor for Melissa Leo’s riveting lead performance. (Incidentally, the Gotham Awards echoed this year’s Sundance ceremony, as the festival’s two Grand Jury prizewinners, Frozen River and the Hurricane Katrina documentary Trouble the Water, both won again last night.) Meanwhile, the casts of Synecdoche, New York and Vicky Cristina Barcelona shared the Best Ensemble award, and Ballast filmmaker Lance Hammer took home the Breakthrough Director prize. I had the distinct pleasure of sitting with The Reader director Stephen Daldry at the event. But beforehand, I braved the crowded red carpet and managed to grab quick chats with five of the night’s leading ladies: Amy Adams (Doubt), Michelle Williams (Wendy and Lucy), Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married), Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), and the big winner herself, Melissa Leo. Watch the mini-interviews below.