2006 indieWIRE Blog Poll

poster2.jpgIn response to fellow blogger Tom Hall‘s call to arms, as well as the 2006 indieWIRE Critics’ poll I am posting my year end list. I have violated the rules laid down by Mr. Hall and indieWIRE because I felt like it and because I have trouble following directions. I have doubled the performance categories and thrown some runners up, as well as a few “worst of the year” mentions. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my blog, my rules!
Also, there are many films I have yet to see, including The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, L’Enfant, Army of Shadows (returning soon to Film Forum!), Old Joy, Casino Royale, Borat, Half Nelson, The Last King of Scotland, Volver…. now it’s just getting embarrassing. As a result, I get the feeling I will be monkeying with my list as the year winds down this week. The “best first feature” section is especially barren for me, not having seen any of the indieWIRE-listed films. That said, I am pretty ok with my choice. As for the “best documentary” category, I am woefully unprepared for this one. (Jesus, I am getting more and more pathetic as this goes on….). I am therefore leaving it blank and hope to fill it in at a later date.
On with the poll!

29-sook-yin-lee-bench.jpgBest FilmPan’s Labyrinth, directed by Guillermo del Toro
A truly magical mix of a political thriller, family drama, childhood fantasy and terrifying monster movie, del Toro has created a masterpiece of modern cinema.
Runner UpShortbus, directed by John Cameron Mitchell & The Science of Sleep, directed by Michel Gondry
Two wholly original and heart-warming personal pieces, with a special note for each film’s art departments. Shortbus: Set Decoration, Sarah McMillan; Production Design, Jody Asnes. The Science of Sleep: Production Design, Ann Chakraverty, Pierre Pell, Stéphane Rosenbaum; Art Department, Lauri Faggioni (creator: animals and accessories) & Bruno Guillemet (sculptures).
scienceofsleep_onesheet.jpgBest Male Performance – Gael García Bernal, The Science of Sleep & Peter O’Toole, Venus
Two performances on opposite end of the spectrum. While the lovesick Bernal was all nervousness and tics wrapped in a package of inspired energy, O’Toole played the aging star with grace, charm, wit and more than a little touch of melancholy. It may very well net him his first non-honorary Oscar.
Runner Up – Doug Jones as Pan & Pale Male, Pan’s Labyrinth & Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed
Best Female Performance – Ivana Baquero – Pan’s Labyrinth
Like Judith Vittet in The City of Lost Children and Natalie Portman in The Professional, Baquero possesses poise and grace far beyond her years.
Runner Up – Helen Mirren, The Queen
The closest thing to a lock in the Oscar races this year.
Best Male Supporting Performance – Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
Runner Up – Sergi López, Pan’s Labyrinth
Best Female Supporting Performance – Charlotte Gainsbourg, The Science of Sleep
Best Director – Guillermo del Toro
Simply put, I can’t imagine missing another one of this master’s films.
Runner Up – Darren Aronofsky, The Fountain
An original and deeply moving film about love and loss. Fuck you if you don’t agree with me, as I couldn’t care less.
Best Screenplay – Frank Cottrell Boyce, Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
Runner Up – Michel Gondry, The Science of Sleep
Best First FilmV For Vendetta, James McTeigue
See my comments about The Fountain, above, but insert revolutionary and subversive, despite what Ms. Dargis and Mr. Denby have to say for themselves. My review.
Best Documentary – Alas, I am extremely delinquent on my docs. I promise to catch up soon!
Best Cinematography – Matthew Libatique, The Fountain
Best Undistributed FilmSee “best documentary” How could I have forgotten Mike Tully’s Cocaine Angel? I’m a tool and it’s an excellent film.
The Year’s Worst:
Worst FilmsMarie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola; The Lost City, Andy Garcia; The Da Vinci Code, Ron Howard
I am on record both in print and verbally regarding my hatred for Marie Antoinette, so I will leave that be. Andy Garcia’s film is really one of the more disgusting, elitist, self-satisfied, over wrought films in recent memory. Apparently there were no poor people living in Cuba during the revolution and the only people affected were the landowners. Don’t cry for me, rich boy. As far as the Howard film goes, do we really need any more written about it?
Worst Performance – Jason Schwartzman, Marie Antoinette
I can’t imagine what those who saw this film and loved his performance were thinking.

Photos ©, top to bottom: Picturehouse Films, ThinkFilm, Warner Independent Pictures

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