Wednesday, September 14, 2005

2005... So Far

Since I am excited [understatement!] for the fall movie season to begin this Friday, I thought I'd list my favorites of the year so far (like Nick and Tim recently did) . My choices (which follow below) are the last 'reveal' as far as this sort of things goes until the end of the year. From here on out there's new movies hoping to mess with "best of" lists every week. And, most importantly, I don't like to give free samples until the whole meal is prepared! You'll lose your appetite.

But before we begin...
Pictures that I haven't seen yet (and therefore they can't figure into my choices) that I still hope to catch (dvd?) Broken Flowers, Cinderella Man, The Holy Girl, Kings and Queen, Land of the Dead, Last Days, Off the Map, Palindromes, and The Wedding Crashers Also I would like to say that Duck Season (from Mexico) and Whisky (from Uruguay) would've placed in some of these lineups if they'd ever see release.

Best Picture
2046 dir. Wong Kar-Wai (Hong Kong)
The Beat That My Heart Skipped dir. Jacques Audiard (France)
Brothers dir. Susanne Bier (Denmark)
Crash dir. Paul Haggis (USA)
Me, You, and Everyone We Know dir. Miranda July (USA)

I expect that two of those will make my top ten list come years end.

Best Director
Jacques Audiard, The Beat That My Heart Skipped
Susanne Bier, Brothers
Miranda July, Me, You, and Everyone We Know
Pawel Pawlikowski, My Summer of Love
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Tropical Maladay

Best Actress
Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger and Yes
Glenn Close, Heights
Lisa Kudrow, Happy Endings
Connie Nielsen, Brothers
Natalie Press, My Summer of Love

Best Actor
Steve Carrell, The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Romain Duris, The Beat That My Heart Skipped
Ralph Fiennes, The Constant Gardener
Terrence Dashon Howard, Hustle & Flow
Tony Leung Chiu Wai, 2046

For the supporting categories I'm listing 7 people in each because it is too early in the year for me to put myself through the punishing dismissal phase of narrowing it down to 5 when these 14 people all made me smile in the movie theater. And even @ 14 there are some folks missing (sigh).

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Junebug
Dakota Fanning, War of the Worlds
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Happy Endings
Taraji P Henson, Hustle & Flow
Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener probably she's a lead... but i'm not ready to think about category conundrums just yet --Yeah, probably a lead [he whispers to himself.]
Celia Weston, Junebug
Ziyi Zhang, 2046

Best Supporting Actor
Tom Arnold, Happy Endings
Paddy Considine, My Summer of Love
Kevin Costner, The Upside of Anger
Matt Dillon, Crash
Terrence Dashon Howard, Crash
Michael Peña, Crash
Mickey Rourke, Sin City

Best Original Screenplay
Crash, Paul Haggis & Moresco
Happy Endings, Don Roos
Junebug, Angus Maclachlan
Me, You, and Everyone We Know, Miranda July
Melinda and Melinda, Woody Allen

Best Adapted Screenplay
Batman Begins, Nolan & Boyer
The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Jacques Audiard & Tonino Benacquista
The Constant Gardener, Jeffrey Caine
My Summer of Love, Pawel Pawlikowski & Michael Wynne
Mysterious Skin, Gregg Araki

Best Cinematography
2046, Doyle, Kwan, & Lai
The Beat That My Heart Skipped, Stéphane Fontaine
Brothers, Morten Soborg
My Summer of Love, Ryszard Lenczewski
Tropical Malady, Pengpanitch, Tanapanitch & Vialard

Best Costume Design
2046, William Chang
Batman Begins, Lindy Hemming
The Constant Gardener, Odile Dicks-Mireaux
The Kingdom of Heaven, Janty Yates
Mr & Mrs Smith, Michael Kaplan

Best Art Direction
The Constant Gardener
Kingdom of Heaven
Me, You, and Everyone We Know
My Summer of Love

and if one calls this category 'production design' and maybe most people do given that the credited folk for Oscar nominations are Production Designers... than maybe Sin City But if you're referring to art & set decorations/designs etc... than no. There's no sets. Confusing.

Best Sound
The Beat That My Heart Skipped
The Constant Gardener
Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith
Tropical Malady
War of the Worlds

that's all I can do for now... so very sleepy


NicksFlickPicks said...

Speaking of the upside of anger, here's how to provoke Nathaniel's... I'm really getting tired of Tony Leung, and I thought he was a considerable problem in 2046. Had his persona been more involving or even more charismatic, I might have gotten more absorbed in that film, but I really thought he was a blank. (Can't say I was bowled over by Zhang in that film, either.)

Please don't hate me coz I'm contrarian.

And one question: did you not see anything special about Embeth Davidtz in Junebug? She's up there with Allen among my year's favorites now.

Anonymous said...

Zhang is probably the best thing about 2046! Or... that's what I thought.

But, man, you're lucky Nath! You can actually congure up enough nominees to make five each! But then, you have seen more movies than I so i suppose that's fine.

If I were to do something like (which i may... in a few minutes) it would be made up of a whole lot of 2046, Oyster Farmer, Crash and Upside of Anger with Batman, Red Eye, Charlie, Sin City and a few others making up the rest.

I consider the "Art Direction" catagory has "Production Design" which is why i would nominate Sin City, just like I (and you, right) did with The Incredibles last year.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to be off topic, but I want to ask a question. What are your thoughts about Heath Ledger's shot of a Best Actor nomination?

Just reading an article at NYTimes, they say "Mr. Ledger's wrenching performance is the stuff of Hollywood history."

...and I've read other extremely positive notices. The double-shirt scene should be heart-tugging for almost anyone, right?!

I know Ledger isn't the most admired actor (I've liked him since Blackrock) but could this be a Adrien Brody style nomination? I have a sneaking suspicion the Globes will go for him (maybe not to win) and could even decided to double-reward him with a Casanova comedy nod... i dunno. Just musing...



Nick, I did really like Embeth in Junebug (6th place) but then I thought everyone was good. with the exception, possibly of my new husband Allesandro Nivola if only because they didn't give him very much to do. I'm pretending i didn't hear the Tony dissing. Moving on...

Glenn, I don't think all five in every category are worthy so don't be too jealous. ;) for example I think the Batman Begins screenplay is very problematic but that category has brought us very little to date.

And on Heath Ledger... I will probably boost him up into the shortlist at the next Oscar update (sept 19th) but I am not totally sold yet. I'm trying to remind myself that September buzz comes mostly from highbrow Festivalgoing and then the general public and Oscar voters start seeing stuff. And their tastes can be a lot different.

Anonymous said...

But Nat, "Whisky" *was* released in the US this February. Mirella Pascual should be a Supporting Actress nominee, she was wonderful ;)

Anonymous said...

You give Constant Gardener a C+ despite nominating it for Best Actor, Supporting Actress (probably lead), Screenplay, Costumes, Art Direction, AND Sound (Sound?!?)?

Please explain. Did you think the direction was really that bad? I eagerly await your review.


right said -TCG had lots of good elements (hence the nominations) but it didn't all come together very well i don't think.

Anonymous said...

um, Nick, you're not supposed to pay that much attention to the models, they're supposed to be blank - the focus is on the clothes.

Anonymous said...

...and my Oscar dream for 2006: David Lynch's "Inland Empire." Just heard about it, will be at Cannes next year (Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Julia Ormond, Jeremy Irons). Murder-mystery set in LA's hellhole.

Anonymous said...

I'm so dying to see "Inland Empire", but another masterwork after "Mulholland Drive"? I don't know...

Calum Reed said...

Ooh.. I love David Lynch and I love murder mystery. Excellent.

As for the nominations, no Radha Mitchell in Melinda and Melinda?? I didn't like the film but she was excellent. Tony Leung was good but Zhang Ziyi stole 2046. A brilliant performance.

My favourites so far (even though I've only seen 20 films):

Picture: Nobody Knows
Director: Wong Kar Wai (2046)
Actor: Yuya Yagira (Nobody Knows)
Actress: Nathalie Press (My Summer of Love)
Supp Actor: Paddy Considine (My Summer of Love)
Supp Actress: Zhang Ziyi (2046)

Not hard to see what my fave films were.

Anonymous said...

For me it would go as thus:

Best Picture: Oyster Farmer
Best Director: Wong Kar-Wai, 2046
Best Actress: Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger
Best Actor: Tony Leung, 2046
Best Supporting Actress: Zhang Ziyi, 2046 - Thandie Newton, Crash
Best Supporting Actor: Kevin Costner, Upside of Anger
Best Screenplay: Oyster Farmer
Cinematography: 2046
Production Design: Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
Costume Design: Charlie...
Editing: The Interpretter
Visual Effects: Sin City
Make-Up: Sin City
Score: Oyster Farmer/2046
Sound: The Island

pretty blah if I do say so myself.


Anonymous said...

Oh okay, I just need to comment on something about the 2006 awards (i KNOW!)

If the Australian film 'Little Fish' ever gets an American release (which surely it will - it stars Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Sam Neill amongst others) I would suggest keeping Hugo Weaving in the pack for supporting actor.

He is simple hands-down career-defining brilliance in the film. I just saw it today and I agree with all the critics who have said so already. Plus, he plays a gay drug-addict ex-footballer and the Academy love their gay disease-riddled men plays by famous people.

I'd also love Noni Hazlehurst to have a shot but that's too much to ask.


Anonymous said...

I'm handing Crash the reigns from Sideways as the most over-hyped movie this year. The premise of movie was good, but some of the stories were incomplete and far fetch.

Take Thandie Newton and Terrence Howard characters for instance. Wasn't it strange that there was no reaction from them being caught by the cops engaging in a sexual activity. Most people would be horrified, not have an expression of ecstasy on their face. Also, why wasn't her accident ever mention to her husband? Do you think maybe she might have called him and said. "Honey, guess what happen to me today.....I almost blow up in my car...and that cop that molested me last night...saved me."


i agree that much of crash is sort of out there... but for the most part it works. movies really only have to work within their own context.

but anyway. i don't love it or anything. it's just been a terrible year so far. hopefully that all changes nowthat september is here.

Anonymous said...

Um, could you please kinda see Bride & Prejudice? If anything, you'll end up with an interesting Best Original Song line-up at the end of the year. Of all the reviews I've read on the movie, I think EW's is really the best and sums it up perfectly. The movie is a reinterpretation of the Jane Austen, which has an uncanny irony considering it's India reflecting on Britain. Beside, the queen Lisa Schwartzabaum loves it, so why not? LOL.

Better yet, if you absolutely do NOT want to see it, get the songs! Of course, the lyrics lose context, but the melodies are very nice.