TORONTO (CP) _ Jason Reitman, the young Canadian filmmaker who wrote and directed "Thank You For Smoking," considers his best picture Golden Globe nomination for his first feature film to be nothing short of a miracle.
"I am absolutely thrilled because this is a film I’ve been working on for six years, and, for most of those six years, I didn’t think it would ever get made," the Montreal-born Reitman, the 29-year-old son of famed producer-director Ivan Reitman, said Thursday on the line from Los Angeles.
"The fact that I am sitting here right now talking about a best picture nomination is a miracle. It was a film that did not tell people not to smoke; it was a film that empowered people to think for themselves."
The film doesn’t even have a moralistic ending, Reitman points out. It’s not like the ruthless tobacco company lobbyist played by Aaron Eckhart finally sees the error of his ways in defending the rights of smokers.
"He didn’t have some kind of revelation where he went to work with the Red Cross," Reitman said with a laugh. "That alone made this a hard picture to get made."
Eckhart is also nominated for a best actor Golden Globe for the film.
"I’m actually just as excited about his nomination as I am about the best picture nomination, because it’s really on his back that this film owes its great success. He is just fantastic," Reitman said.
Reitman was one of several Canadians on Thursday who were nominated for Golden Globes, which celebrate the best in film and television.
Evangeline Lilly, whose first serious acting job was her role on ABC’s eerie deserted island series, "Lost," is nominated for best actress in a dramatic television series. Lilly was born in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and was discovered by a modelling agent on the streets of Kelowna, B.C.
Canadian Kiefer Sutherland has once again earned a nomination for his role as Jack Bauer on the gripping real-time drama, "24." Nominated numerous times for the role, he’s already taken home an Emmy and a 2002 Golden Globe.
Matthew Perry, who was raised in Ottawa by his mother, a one-time press secretary to former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, is nominated for his role in "The Ron Clark Story," a television movie about a teacher who leaves his small hometown to teach in one of Harlem’s toughest schools.
Rocker Bryan Adams was recognized for co-writing "Never Gonna Break My Faith" from "Bobby," nominated for best original song.
For Reitman, the Golden Globe nod for best picture in the comedy and musical category tops off a great year. "Thank You For Smoking" screened at the Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews last year, and then was greeted with similar kudos when it went into mainstream release earlier this year. Best of all, he’s a new father _ his daughter, Josephine, was born seven weeks ago.
"It’s been great, and I really love fatherhood except for the fact that she rarely sleeps," he says.
His father, Ivan _ the man behind comedy classics like "Ghostbusters" and "Stripes" _ was en route to Los Angeles to Toronto when the Globe nominations were announced, Reitman said, and still wasn’t aware midday Thursday that his son had been nominated.
"He doesn’t even know yet _ he’s the only man in America who hasn’t heard. But I sent him a text message so he’ll get it as soon as he steps off the plane. And he’ll be delighted. He’s really proud of everything I’ve done."