The Third Annual Andy Movie Awards

And now, the real reason I make so much effort to watch any and all Award-type movies: so I can compile my own list of winners, making as informed votes as possible for someone who has to pay for every movie he sees (unless I’m with someone who pays for me), and find the time to watch them in between a job and life that are not in the movie critics field (well, not yet anyway).

To qualify for an Andy Movie Award, a movie had to A) be released theatrically in North America within the calendar year of 2006, and B) be seen by me. These rules made 54 movies eligible (one of which I just watched 6 hours ago), but leaves out a couple documentaries I saw from HBO and Showtime. As for movies that were actually nominated by the Academy, there were 43 different feature length movies nominated for an award by the Academy, of which I saw 28 (65%). The percentage increases if you take the Documentary and Foreign Language categories out of the equation, as I missed 6 of them (3 each) for the simple matter that they haven’t been available in my part of the world (well, one was made available last week, but has only shown maybe 7 times since then). That would bring my percentage up to 73% (24 of 33), which would be the percentage of Oscar-nominated movies that I had the ability to see and did see, which ain’t bad if I do say so myself.

Here, I will present my nominees and winners in the same categories, and in the same order, as the Academy did on their telecast, with the exception of short films (which I saw none, but do have three downloaded to maybe watch later), the categories I don’t know enough about to make nominees (Editing, Sound, Sound Editing), or the category I think is completely fucking stupid (Best Original Song). But enough with the introduction, on with the show…

Best Art Direction
The nominees are…
Children of Men
Marie Antoinette
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Prestige
The Science of Sleep

I didn’t see three of the Academy’s nominated films here (Dreamgirls, The Good Shepard, and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest), so my list looks pretty different. I was pretty surprised that Marie Antoinette didn’t get a nomination, with its lavish balls and parties, but I guess people gave the credit solely to the costume department. I really dug the art direction in The Science of Sleep, and in other years, it might have been enough to win, but for me the winner here was simple, as Pan’s Labyrinth created a world that I won’t soon forget.

The award goes to…
Pan’s Labyrinth
(The Academy chose Pan’s Labyrinth)

Best Makeup
The nominees are…
Marie Antoinette
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Prestige

Again, I missed a couple of the Academy’s nominees, but I’m not about to see Click and Apocalypto just to see how their makeup department did its job. Just as well, since I went with the same winner as Oscar, and it was an easy decision to make. Not only are the Faun and the Pale Man excellent creations, but the scene where Vidal stitches his own face up was grotesquely stunning.

The award goes to…
Pan’s Labyrinth
(The Academy chose Pan’s Labyrinth)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The nominees are…
Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine
Steve Carrell for Little Miss Sunshine
Djimon Hounsou for Blood Diamon
Michael Sheen for The Queen
Mark Wahlberg for The Departed

I didn’t see Eddie Murphy and wasn’t as moved by Jackie Earl Haley as the Academy, replacing them with Michael Sheen and Steve Carrell. For me, this is a four horse race, ironically with Alan Arkin (Oscar’s choice) as the fifth nominee (narrowly edging Kazunari Ninomiya from Letters from Iwo Jima). Sheen’s transformation into Tony Blair’s might not have been as stunning as Helen Mirren’s as Queen Elizabeth, but it holds its own. Djimon Hounson continues to impress with the power he brings to every role and Mark Wahlberg was one of the true highlights of my number one movie of 2006. In the end, I’m going with the unnominated Steve Carrell, who I felt set the tone for the movie, without hogging any of it for himself.

The award goes to…
Steve Carrell for Little Miss Sunshine
(The Academy chose Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine)

Best Animated Feature Film
The nominees are…
Cars
Monster House
A Scanner Darkly

Alright, these are the only three animated movies of 2006 that I’ve seen, and I didn’t really like Cars all that much. I just saw Monster House last night, and thought it pretty good, a worthy nominee. But, it’s a crime that A Scanner Darkly didn’t even get a nomination, as it’s the most creative and complex animated feature of the year. I guess it could be that some people don’t think rotoscoping is animation, but that’s stupid. If claymation and CGI are animation, surely rotoscoping is as well.

The award goes to…
A Scanner Darkly
(The Academy chose Happy Feet)

Best Adapted Screenplay
The nominees are…
Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham and Dan Mazer for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby for Children of Men
William Monahan for The Departed
Todd Field and Tom Perrotta for Little Children
Jonathan and Christopher Nolan for The Prestige

It’s a bit of a tricky category, since the title suggests that the movies should be judged on how well they’re adapted. But that’s pretty hard thing to do, since I doubt voters look at the script or the source material to see how good a job was done. Instead, I shall just go with movies that I felt were best written, that just happened to be based on previous material. I saw all of the Academy Award nominated movies for this category, and chose to replace Notes on a Scandal with The Prestige, but ultimately decided to go with the same winner as Oscar. Don’t write me to tell me how well it was adapted from Infernal Affairs, cause I don’t care. I liked the movie as it was written, and you have to figure some changes were made to take it from Hong Kong to Boston.

The award goes to…
William Monahan for The Departed
(The Academy chose The Departed)

Best Costume Design
The nominees are…
Casino Royale
The Devil Wears Prada
Marie Antoinette
The Queen
Superman Returns

I get the feeling that if I saw The Curse of the Golden Flower or Dreamgirls, I would’ve nominated them as well, but I didn’t so I replace them with Casino Royale for the Bond girls’ dresses and Superman Returns, cause the Super suit was kinda cool. This is a toss-up between two movies, Marie Antoinette, which did a fantastic job creating its period-style fashions while still adding signature flair (one of the few reasons to watch the movie) and The Devil Wears Prada, for its fabulous modern fashions (again, one of the few reasons to watch the movie). I’m going with the modern designs here.

The award goes to…
The Devil Wears Prada
(The Academy chose Marie Antoinette)

Best Cinematography
The nominees are…
Emmanuel Lubezki for Children of Men
Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth
Wally Pfister for The Prestige
Tom Stern for Letters from Iwo Jima
Steve Yedlin for Brick

Did you know that this is only the second year that none of the movies nominated for Best Picture were nominated for Best Cinematography? It’s crazy shit like that that made watching all the nominated pics so difficult. In the end, I did watch all of the Academy’s nominees, subjecting myself to the terrible Black Dahlia. I’m replacing its noir with Brick‘s noir, which I found all the more impressive since it was shot on a shoestring budget. The other four nominees all did a lot to add to their movie’s distinctive looks, so I’ll go with the one with the most distinctive look, mixing the dark and fantastic of the fantasy world with the stark reality of the real world.

The award goes to…
Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth
(The Academy chose Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth)

Best Visual Effects
The nominees are…
Charlotte’s Web
The Science of Sleep
Superman Returns

Like everyone else in the world, I never saw the nominated Poseiden (unlike everyone else, I didn’t see Pirates either). So I went with a couple movies who used animated visual effects to create their look, be it stuffed horses or talking ones. For all its other flaws, Superman Returns did deliver some good effects, they just weren’t used effectively enough.

The award goes to…
Superman Returns
(The Academy chose Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest)

Best Foreign Language Film
The nominees are…
Letters from Iwo Jima
Pan’s Labyrinth
Volver

I’m absolutely shocked with the Oscar results for this one. Biggest surprise of the night. But, I won’t judge yet, as The Lives of Others won’t come to my city until March. The Academy nominates five movies in the category, but I’ve only seen three movies featuring different languages released in my country in 2006 (Water, nominated by the Academy as Canada’s entry, has been out here since 2005). Letters from Iwo Jima is a borderline, as it is foreign language, but it isn’t foreign, which goes against the spirit of the thing. Don’t matter, it’s just filler here. I enjoyed Volver quite a bit, but think Pan’s Labyrinth one of the best movies of the year, regardless of language.

The award goes to…
Pan’s Labyrinth
(The Academy chose The Lives of Others)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
The nominees are…
Cate Blanchett for Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine
Toni Collette for Little Miss Sunshine
Shareeka Epps for Half Nelson
Maribel Verdú for Pan’s Labyrinth

You know what? This category always sucks for me. I just don’t see enough movies with strong female parts. I did make an effort though, sneaking in Cate Blanchett and Notes on a Scandal in the late afternoon today. I’m fairly satisfied with how the category shaped up, although it’s odd that I had to use two kids to do so. Even odder that one of them gets the award. She had me when she screamed in joy while listening to a phone message.

The award goes to…
Abigail Breslin for Little Miss Sunshine
(The Academy chose Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls)

Best Documentary Feature
The nominees are…
An Inconvenient Truth
Jesus Camp
The War Tapes
Why We Fight
Word Play

I missed three of the nominated films, but plan on seeing them later. Two never came to Calgary, and the third (Iraq in Fragments) just showed up last week for one weekend matinee only. Still, even without their inclusion, or the HBO and Showtime docs I’ve seen, I was able to not only make five nominees, but also leave out a couple documentaries I saw this year. Unlike last year, these are actual choices! Two of them were on my ten best list for 2006, so it’s a battle between them, with the winner going to the movie that may very well help change the world for the better.

The award goes to…
An Inconvenient Truth
(The Academy chose An Inconvenient Truth)

Best Original Score
The nominees are…
Terence Blanchard for Inside Man
Philip Glass for Notes on a Scandal
Javier Navarrete for Pan’s Labyrinth
Thomas Newman for Little Children
Gustavo Santaolalla for Babel

I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily remember the scores to all the movies I see (of course, not all movies are scored, so there’s that). Still, I guess that makes a measure of a strong score if I do remember it, be it the strings of Babel or the tense moods of Little Children. The one that really grabbed me (at times a bit too much, but that’s the director’s fault, not the composer) was Terence Blanchard’s charged score for Inside Man. It grabs your attention immediately, and builds the tension and excitement of the movie from there.

The award goes to…
Terence Blanchard for Inside Man
(The Academy chose Gustavo Santaolalla for Babel)

Best Original Screenplay
The nominees are…
Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine
Guillermo del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth
Rian Johnson for Brick
Paul Greengrass for United 93
Peter Morgan for The Queen

Isn’t it weird that the Adapted Screenplay nominees have a lot of writers, but the original ones all have one? Or is that self-evident. Hmmmm… all of the other nominees here besides Rian Johnson have something in common with each other. I’d tell you what it is, but that’d be a spoiler. Another interesting tidbit is that all but Pan’s Labyrinth were on my 2006 Best of List, and I hadn’t seen Pan’s when I wrote that. Great movies, great writing. I’m going with my favourite here, the script that really spoke to me.

The award goes to…
Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine
(The Academy chose Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine)

Best Actress in a Leading Role
The nominees are…
Helena Bonham Carter for Conversations with Other Women
Penélope Cruz for Volver
Helen Mirren for The Queen
Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet for Little Children

Dame Judi Dench was solid as always in Notes on a Scandal, but she gets bumped by Helena Bonham Carter in the little-seen Conversations with Other Women, a real actor’s role that required her to be on camera almost the entire movie, often in close-up. You should check it out if you haven’t. The rest of the nominees follow Oscar, as does the winner, who has won every award out there. Why should the Andy Awards be any different?

The award goes to…
Helen Mirren for The Queen
(The Academy chose Helen Mirren for The Queen)

Best Actor in a Leading Role
The nominees are…
Sasha Baron Cohen for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamon
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Departed
Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
Forrest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland

The two years prior to this, I saw all five Best Actor performances, but this year missed Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness (no interest) and Peter O’Toole in Venus (was only in theatres for a week). Trivia tidbit #2: this is the first year that none of the Best Lead Actor nominees came from a Best Picture nominee. Now do see how hard it was to see all the nominees? No matter, DiCaprio should’ve been nominated for The Departed, even if it was at the exclusion of his strong Blood Diamond performance, and Borat was overlooked cause Oscar doesn’t know what to do with comedy. This one is one of my toughest calls, with Forrest Whitaker, DiCaprio (in The Departed), and Ryan Gosling all worthy choices. I’m gonna go with Gosling, who plays a drug addict without any of the normal showiness associated with such parts, and as a result, does a more spectacular and memorable job.

The award goes to…
Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson
(The Academy chose Forrest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland)

Director
The nominees are…
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for Little Miss Sunshine
Guillermo del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth
Stephen Frears for The Queen
Paul Greengrass for United 93
Martin Scorsese for The Departed

Every year it seems like some director (or directorial pair) of a Best Picture nominee somehow doesn’t get nominated for the Best Director award. Doesn’t really make sense to me. Did the movie direct itself? Succeed despite its director? Or, did the director of the movie not nominated for Best Picture do a really great job, but didn’t make as great a movie? I can get why sometimes the winners aren’t the same, as personal favourites come into a play, or voters split their votes between the two best movies (one gets best director, the other best picture). Well, I’m not doing it this year, and I’m not sure I ever would (the different nominees, I mean. I do the different director thing all the time).

The award goes to…
Martin Scorsese for The Departed
(The Academy chose Martin Scorsese for The Departed)

Best Picture
The nominees are…
The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Queen
United 93

Not this time though. As I’ve said before, I can’t say whether or not this is Scorsese’s best movie. All I can say is that it’s 2006’s best movie, and leave it at that. Although, it was a close one, as I went back and forth between The Departed and United 93 for the past week, ultimately going with the former after watching it again. Who knows what would’ve happened had I watched United 93 again (not that I’m lining up for that experience). Both are fantastic movies, so I went with the one I personally liked better to break the tie.

The award goes to…
The Departed
(The Academy chose The Departed)

Alright there it is, see you next year. I’m really tired right now, so I won’t be getting to typos and such for another day or so.

Related:
Inaugural Andy Movie Awards (2005)
Second Annual Andy Movie Awards (2006)
Top 10 Movies for 2006
Inaugural Andy TV Awards (2006)

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3 thoughts on “The Third Annual Andy Movie Awards

  1. Pingback: The Fifth Annual Andy Movie Awards - Part Two « Critically Speaking

  2. Pingback: Critically Speaking Picks the 83rd Academy Awards – Part Two « Critically Speaking

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