Monday, February 05, 2007

Film Bitch Awards 2006. That's All


Every year I tear out my hair trying to decide what I'd vote for if I had an Oscar ballot. I make it more difficult by adding categories. Juggling 100 movies and private delights into something public in 8 pages of awardage and commentary in 40ish categories is not easy. But I hope it's fun to read. Every year I think 'this is insanity -- can't do this no more!' but in the end I guess I think of it as scrapbooking, like a journal of moviegoing. I may not always agree with what I once felt. Hell, I may not agree with a few of these tomorrow. But it's there for time capsules sake and, as always, to further suss out my feelings about the cinema. So maybe it is worth all the work? I hope you get something out of it, too: Rental ideas, entertainment, fodder for discussion.

Page 1 Films, Directors, Screenplays
Page 2 Performances
Page 3 Visuals
Page 4 Sound & Music (and Traditional Oscar-Awards Statistics)
Page 5 Performances (Extra Awards)
Page 6 Extras (Miscellania)
Page 7 Favorite Scenes
Page 8 Favorite Scenes and Awards Statistics
Page 9 Readers Polls: 2006

Volver and Children of Men ended up ahead of the pack with 9 medals in various categories. The Devil Wears Prada, Marie Antoinette, and The Departed were close behind with 8 each in what was essentially a strange year, with no films ever becoming as dominant in my heart as past favorites like Brokeback Mountain, A History of Violence, or Moulin Rouge!.

With my own awards out of the way, only Oscar remains. Up next: 13 more 2007 Movie Previews and the Oscar Symposium. Stay tuned.


par3182 said...

i always check out your past awards when i finally get around to seeing stuff on dvd, so please keep tearing your hair out

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Nathaniel - I've gotta go with par3182 on this one. Every year, no matter how good a film year it is (or how bad *cough2003cough*), these remain a highlight of a cinematic year. Agreement is nowhere near the point - just the wondrous celebration of all that was good in any given film year is something I treasure. The list of films I've been introduced to as a result of your awards is just an awesome bonus. So, thanks dude.

c.p. iñor said...

Love that you choose Gosling for the gold... but I was kinda hoping to see LiLo in the musical number category, but overall great choices

Glenn Dunks said...

Another year well done! LOVE the winners.

So glad you gave awards to stuff like The Black Dahlia, The Descent, Block Party and so on. And gold to Emily Blunt!

Eee! Just so good. I wish the Oscars were this exciting and unpredictable.

Anonymous said...

Great picks! My own winners (for the major categories, anyway) are:

Picture - The Departed
Director - Darren Aronofsky
Actor - Forest Whitaker (DiCaprio?)
Actress - Kirsten Dunst (Dern?)
Supp. Actor - Mark Wahlberg
Supp. Actress - Emily Blunt
Orig. Screenplay - Volver
Ad. Screenplay - The Departed

12345 said...

Hey Nathaniel!

I've been reading your site for years now and I gotta say it is great and I love it. I especially like your FBA every year and always look forward to them.

Great choices overall and I'm loving all this "Devil Wears Prada" love! I absolutely adored the film too. Loved to see that you gave Emily and Meryl the gold! They gave my favorite performances of the year too.

Rock on, Nathaniel!

Anonymous said...

congrats! thanks for making it all the way through -- always an enjoyable read.

Anonymous said...

PICTURE- Interesting but still head-scratching. I would have expected Children of Men or Volver to be Nathaniel’s top choice. Still wish Departed had made the cut.
DIRECTOR- No surprise here but I would have gone w/ Scorsese hands down.
ACTRESS- Talented actress + juicy diva role = Film Bitch glory! Go Meryl!
ACTOR- What? Um, nod worthy yes. But he just stole Whitaker’s prize.
SUPP. ACTRESS- Duh. I see big things in her future.
SUPP. ACTOR- Whoa. Didn’t see this one coming.
ADAPTED SCEENPLAY- Of these nominees it was indeed the best.
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY- You gotta love Pedro.
CINEMATOGRAPHY- 100% agreed. He better win the fu*king Oscar.
SCORE- You snubbed Mansell in 2000 so I guess I’m okay w/ him winning over Desplat.

…ah, how I do love the Film Bitch Awards… and Meryl finally has an (official) gold medal. All is right with the world.

Anonymous said...

My Awards 2006:

PICTURE- The Departed
DIRECTING- The Departed- Martin Scorsese
ACTOR- Forest Whitaker- The Last King of Scotland
ACTRESS- Helen Mirren- The Queen
SUPP. ACTOR- Jack Nicholson- The Departed
SUPP. ACTRESS- Jennifer Hudson- Dreamgirls
A. SCRRENPLAY- Little Children
EDITING- The Departed
ART DIRECTION- The Black Dahlia
COSTUME DESIGN- Marie Antoinette
SCORE- The Painted Veil
SONG- Dreamgirls- “Listen”
ANIMATED FILM- Monster House
FOREIGN FILM- Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico)
SOUND- Babel
VISUAL EFFECTS- Pirates of the Caribbean 2
MAKEUP- The Descent

Anonymous said...

Well done.

And, again, hooray for The Descent. And, also, thanks for reminding me how wondeful Tina Holmes was in Half Nelson.

Anonymous said...

Okay Nat- cut the shit- I mean that sweetly- why is it whenever you go into retrospect for the gems of 2000, you always mention 1 film per year and than 2 for 2005 (Brokeback Mountain AND A History of Violence) I loved the latter, but come on. Brokeback is in a class all its own. I’m already dying for your eventual Top 10 of the 2000's and I need to be prepared if (god forbid) the Stall’s place ahead of the Del mar-Twists!

So am I just paranoid? Or has that pesky Nick been brainwashing you? What’s going on Nat!

PS. The 7th Annual Film Bitch Awards did NOT disappoint. Yeah Streep and “Children of Men”!

Anonymous said...

Love for Meryl, Emily, Ryan, and Steve??? Oh Nathaniel, words do not express my love for you right now.

adam k. said...

OK so I assume "that's all" just placed out of the whole Best Individual Line Reading contest. Or else was disqualified for actually being more than one line reading. But "Why is no one reeeeeaaady...?" is totally brilliant. Probably her best line reading in the film.

Wow, I was sort of expecting both Meryl and Emily to win gold, but... well, not REALLY. Plus two additional gold medals for Meryl (I was sure Effie would win best diva! she's the DEFINITION of the "best diva"... though the performance of Miranda was definitely better). That's a lot of Prada love. And frankly, I think a bronze medal for screenplay is pushing it. I'm a big fan of the film, but I'm glad the screenplay was snubbed. It didn't deserve it. It was a smart reframing of the book's story (into a film-friendly 'small-town-girl comes to big city' tale), but some of that writing was just not good.

Also surprised to see Ryan win gold. Was I foolish for thinking it'd be Jackman? His is my favorite perf so far this year... but in all fairness, I actually haven't seen Ryan yet (shameful, I know).

I also was not anticipating a Steve Carrell win. Part of me thought you wouldn't be able to decide between the Sunshine boys and would just give it to Haley. WRONG. I myself find it hard to choose between them. I adore Steve Carrell and thought he was perfect... but I feel like Kinnear's part is more challenging, and sometimes it was eerie how spot-on he was... it was like I was watching my own father. Impossible to choose. And baffling that neither of them got any awards attention whatsoever.

100% agreement with the Volver screenplay win, though. I wonder if this one deserved that Best Picture FB award that's eluded Pedro all these years...

Anonymous said...

Favourite openings would have to include the opening scenes of MIAMI VICE and THE PRESTIGE. I love the way Mann drops us into the club in the former, and the presentation of the 'pledge' in the former was brilliant montage.

adam k. said...

Oh yeah, I was also very disappointed not to see Lola Duenas' "RAIMUNDA!" anywhere in the best individual line readings category. It was pretty golden.

Sid said...

GREAT to see wins for Blunt, Carell and GOSLING (only the best performance of the year!). I was hoping to see one of the medals awarded to Laura Dern but they were all terrific so no problem there.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that Fiona Shaw, Mark Wahlberg, James McAvoy and Patrick Wilson got notice. I thought Daniel Craig would blind you in regards to the gold in his categories.

Judi Dench for the silver?
Surprise Lovely!

And I guess I should be happy that Fiona Shaw confused you so much with genius that you had to say "unfair" to the other candidates and take her out. :)



everyone thank you

cp i don't know what my think with lilo was in music. i think they just built her entrance up so much that i was expecting more

rms i do have a weakness for the divas, i know. Maybe it's my version of the de-glam? we all have our, um, preferences. Oh and it was a little weird to see Volver -my #2 and Children of Men my #5 dominating. but obviously films that have elements which fit my categories really well... (which is why i suspect that dreamgirls did pretty well even though not a big fan.

adam I totally hear you on Devil's screenplay but it's one of those weird things in that sometimes if a category is weak you end up awarding things that aren't super deserving. For instance. I also think the Queen has some problems as a screenplay (too on the nose, etc...) but it's in my original lineup anyway.

in other categories that are super full, good stuff gets the shaft. awards are an inexact science ;)

eric No... I have to brainwash Nick in regards to A History of Violence --he's not crazy about it. it's the other way around.

Anonymous said...

"is it worth all the work?"

It is, please keep it up!!

Rather quit the Oscar predictions stuff, I never understood why so many people waste their time on it...
FBA should have its own show! ;-)

Javier Aldabalde said...

God, I love it.

Best Scene, always one of my favorite Film Bitch categories, does not disappoint. Ditto for sex scene, sexpot (er...), action, ensemble, opening/closing, reading of a line. Such inspired, wonderful choices.

And the techs! Exquisite. "Children of Men", "Marie Antoinette", "INLAND EMPIRE" for sound (haven't seen it but David Lynch should always win this category), Clint Mansell's score. All adorable.

Lots of love for "Volver" and Carmen Maura too.

I'm only disappointed by the acting categories... Meryl, Emily and Steve are not performances I'm crazy about and I'd rather give it to Cruz and Maura/Kirshner, but oh well, I guess we'll have to wait a bit longer for a foreign perf to take Film Bitch gold.

ps: How did CoM's terrifying "last one to die please turn out the light" NOT win Best Tagline? lol.

Anonymous said...

Great job!

I have to argue with The Devil Wears Prada's bronze, though. I have read the Weisberger book, and there was a MUCH better movie in there. Andy's whole dilemma/emotional journey was flat on the page and even flatter onscreen. They should've gone farther with her selling herself out for hot clothes.

Anonymous said...

I always enjoy the FB Awards, but this year was particularly awesome. I particularly liked your acting awards- Streep, Gosling, Blunt, and Carell are all extremely deserving winners. I'm also glad you decided to keep your individual line reading category- it's one of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

As ever, a wonderful (and more insightful) take on the filmic year just passed. And thank you for the Dench love. Though I recognise she earned it all by herself, nonetheless in my own it's-all-about-me way, it felt like you were throwing me a silver medal bone!



Annie, i knew that medal choice would be controversial and, again, really weak year for adaptations. But that said...

i think the problem with Devil is actually in its direction and 3rd tier performances. Outside of its core four performers there's nothing interesting happening and the pace goes all slack. it does have issues but I think with tighter direction and editing and maybe lose one of the many musical montages, you'd have a classic comedy instead of just a very funny good one.

Barry said...

Best Picture

Akeelah and the Bee
The Departed
Little Children
World Trade Center

Best Director

Todd Field- Little Children
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu- Babel
Neil Marshall- The Descent
Martin Scorsese- The Departed
Oliver Stone- World Trade Center

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Sacha Baron Cohen- Borat
Matt Damon- The Departed
Leonardo DiCaprio- The Departed
Hugh Jackman- The Fountain
Patrick Wilson- Little Children

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Julianne Moore- Freedomland
Ellen Page- Hard Candy
KeKe Palmer- Akeelah and the Bee
Meryl Streep- The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet- Little Children

Best Supporting Actor

Steve Carell- Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley- Little Children
Eddie Murphy- Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson- The Departed
Brad Pitt- Babel

Best Supporting Actress

Adriana Barraza- Babel
Abigail Breslin- Little Miss Sunshine
Maggie Gyllenhaal- World Trade Center
Jennifer Hudson- Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi- Babel

Best Actor in a Limited or Cameo Role

Bryan Cranston- Little Miss Sunshine
Joe Pesci- The Good Shepherd
Tim Russell- A Prairie Home Companion
Paul Walker- Flags of Our Fathers
Koji Yakusho- Babel

Best Actress in a Limited or Cameo Role

Jane Adams- Little Children
Jennifer Connelly- Little Children
Viola Davis- World Trade Center
Mia Kirshner- The Black Dahlia
Phyllis Somerville- Little Children

Best Adapted Screenplay

Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer- Borat
William Monahan- The Departed
Bill Condon- Dreamgirls
Todd Field & Tom Perrota- Little Children
Garrison Keillor- A Prairie Home Companion

Best Original Screenplay

Doug Atchison- Akeelah and the Bee
Guillermo Arriaga- Babel
Neil Marshall- The Descent
Darren Aronofsky- The Fountain
Michael Arndt- Little Miss Sunshine