Hey, the rest of the year counts too

Posted by · 1:31 pm · September 7th, 2009

Marion Cotillard in Public EnemiesAs we sit in the flurry of festival season, with the even more flurry-ful (sorry, I’m tired) awards season upcoming, everyone’s eyes are pointed forward, as we impatiently await the supposedly Oscar-tailored collection of movies peppered across the next 3 or 4 months.

At this point, it’s easy to forget that the year is actually 12 months long, and that the warmer seasons offer their (admittedly, usually smaller) share of work worthy of celebration.

So I’m grateful to friend, reader and generally superb film writer Nick Davis for assembling this handy (though very idiosyncratic) alterna-Oscar ballot of the best work released in 2009 thus far.

Of course, many of his picks are the kind that would only get recognized by the Academy in a parallel universe — and even then, only if they were released in December. Most people haven’t heard of Best Picture nominees “Lorna’s Silence” or “You, the Living,” much less seen them — but before you cry arthouse snobbery, check out his resourceful mainstream picks of Russell Crowe for Best Actor or “The Soloist” (!) for Best Screenplay.

Personal hurrahs from me for obvious (but necessary) nominations for “The Hurt Locker” and Marion Cotillard, but I’m most pleased to see that someone besides me noticed just how switched-on Alycia Delmore was in the summer-sleeper-that-never-was “Humpday.” Meanwhile, if enough people keep hammering in how astonishing Tilda Swinton is in “Julia,” can that translate into any critical awards traction? I wonder.

Check out Nick’s list here — the Academy could do a lot worse.




→ 14 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

14 responses so far

  • 1 9-07-2009 at 2:50 pm

    Scott said...

    I hope the answer to your final question is yes. Tilda Swinton’s work in Julia deserves that kind of traction.

  • 2 9-07-2009 at 2:52 pm

    m1 said...

    What kind of list is that?!

  • 3 9-07-2009 at 2:57 pm

    Marvin said...

    I have yet to see Lorna’s Silence, simply because it hasn’t been released in my country. But the Dardenne bros. are Gods and I eagerly await the chance to catch their latest. As for my year in cinematic terms I have only watched 4 or 5 movies, the best among them being Up and Moon.

  • 4 9-07-2009 at 3:04 pm

    Jim T said...

    Is it weird that I am a Cotillard fan without having seen even one performance of hers? The funny thing is I’ve seen parts of two movies she was in but she wasn’t in those parts. I just like the way camera captures her and everyone seems to like every performance of hers. I’ll definetely see her someday since I’m not going to miss Nine.

    Are Nick’s reviews very complicated or is it just me? He goes to great depths. It’s interesting but for me it becomes to academic. Perhaps it’s because he is an academic. :p When he is not writing reviews he is pretty fun and simple.

  • 5 9-07-2009 at 3:51 pm

    SHAAAARK said...

    Julia is going to be available on Netflix InstantPlayer sometime this month, for anyone (like me) who missed it in theaters. :)
    On topic, my ballot, which is sorely lacking due to having only seen 23 films so far:

    Best Picture:
    District 9
    The Hurt Locker
    Inglourious Basterds
    Moon
    Up

    Best Director:
    Neill Blomkamp, District 9
    Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
    Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
    Henry Selick, Coraline
    Duncan Jones, Moon

    Best Actor:
    Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
    Adam Sandler, Funny People
    Sam Rockwell, Moon
    Sharlto Copley, District 9
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer

    Best Actress:
    Maya Rudolph, Away We Go
    Allison Lohman, Drag Me to Hell
    Amy Adams, Sunshine Cleaning
    Emily Blunt, Sunshine Cleaning

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Peter Capaldi, In the Loop
    Anthony Mackie, The Hurt Locker
    Paul Schneider, Away We Go
    Eric Bana, Funny People
    James Gandolfini, In the Loop

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Mimi Kennedy, In the Loop
    Melanie Lynskey, Away We Go
    Melanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds
    Marion Cotillard, Public Enemies
    Anna Chlumsky, In the Loop

    Best Screenplay:
    In the Loop
    The Hurt Locker
    Coraline
    Inglourious Basterds
    Moon

    Best Ensemble:
    In the Loop
    Inglourious Basterds
    The Hurt Locker
    Funny People

  • 6 9-07-2009 at 4:16 pm

    alfie said...

    if they are doing ten best pic noms from now on do a midyear announcement announcing the first 5 in may/june that covers the first half of the year.I mean I know they can;t because then those films have all that time to ‘campaign’ giving them an unfair advantage but i hate that so many films get forgotten by the time oscar season rolls around.

  • 7 9-07-2009 at 5:46 pm

    Patryk said...

    Tilda traction…great!

  • 8 9-07-2009 at 5:59 pm

    snowballa said...

    @alfie: i am in agreement with announcing the first batch of best picture noms in june but that’ll definitely shake up the releasing dates and what they show at festivals.

  • 9 9-07-2009 at 6:38 pm

    Zach said...

    Those picks are just all sorts of messy.

  • 10 9-07-2009 at 7:23 pm

    Bing147 said...

    You’ll see no complaints from me about love for You, the Living and Lorna’s Silence, two amazing films, both of which I give best picture nominees. Of course I give it to Lorna last year and Living in 07, but still.

  • 11 9-07-2009 at 8:46 pm

    Nick Davis said...

    Wow, Guy, people will think I paid you off. Yep, these are idiosyncratic: I only see movies I pay for, though I do gravitate toward a wide cross-section (despite my sequel-less summer). I probably am “all sorts of messy,” but who isn’t, especially among awards bodies?

    And, @Jim T.: Guilty as charged. The reviews, when I can get around to writing one, are long, and sometimes border on the academic. Nobody’s style is for everybody, but I thank you for giving me a fair shake, and for the nice words. (And of course, thanks to you, Guy!)

  • 12 9-07-2009 at 8:53 pm

    James D. said...

    Is it just me, or has the first three months of this year been much stronger than previous years? At this time last year, the only films I remember wowing me were the Dark Knight, The Visitor, and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. This year we have had Moon, Inglourious Basterds, The Hurt Locker, Funny People, and District 9.

  • 13 9-08-2009 at 2:09 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “What kind of list is that?!”

    Funny, it looks to me a lot like a list by someone who knows film and doesn’t particularly care what the consensus on any given achievement is.

    For the record, “Lorna’s Silence” did little for me, though I am a Dardennes fan. I just like the individual thinking at play here.

  • 14 9-09-2009 at 11:19 am

    Bill said...

    Mine so far:

    Best Picture

    District 9
    The Hangover
    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    Up

    Best Director

    Neil Blomkamp – District 9
    Pete Docter and Bob Peterson – Up
    Pierre Morel – Taken
    David Yates – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    Best Actor

    Shaltro Copley – District 9
    Zach Galifianakis – The Hangover
    Liam Neeson – Taken
    Paul Rudd – I Love You, Man

    Best Supporting Actor

    Jim Broadbent – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
    Jeffery Dean Morgan – Watchmen
    Jason Schwartzman – Funny People
    Jordan Nagai – Up

    Worst Picture
    Transformers 2

    Worst Director
    Michael Bay – Transformers 2

    Worst Actor
    Jason Statham – Crank: High Voltage

    Worst Actress
    Megan Fox – Transformers 2

    Worst Supporting Actor
    Keir O’Donnell – Paul Blart: Mall Cop

    Worst Supporting Actress
    Amy Smart – Crank: High Voltage