11 February 2008

Skandies: #6



Picture: Gone Baby Gone (110/13)
Director: Tsai Ming-liang, The Wayward Cloud (111/9)
Actress: Anna Faris, [Smiley Face] (190/17)
Actor: Ulrich Mühe, The Lives of Others (153/16)
S. Actor: Robert Downey, Jr., Zodiac (156/18)
S. Actress: Zoë Bell, Grindhouse (158/16)
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Grindhouse (143/9)
Scene: Bathhouse brawl, Eastern Promises (96/11)

[Warning to the unaware: Extremely gory. Also there are naked man parts, etc.]



HISTORY:

Tsai placed 9th in 2002 for What Time Is It There?.

All the actors are new save for Downey, who tragically just misses what would have been his third consecutive year as a nominee—he finished 3rd last year for A Scanner Darkly and 3rd in the lead category two years ago for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. He also placed 10th in 1998 (lead) for Two Girls and a Guy.

Tarantino's previous Screenplay nods: 13th in 1997 for Jackie Brown, 2nd in 2003 for Kill Bill Vol. 1, and 8th in 2004 for Kill Bill Vol. 2.

24 comments:

Robert said...

Zoe Bell? Seriously? I thought people were supposed to be voting for actresses who, you know, can act.

md'a said...

I guess that depends on whether you consider the definition of acting to be "speaking dialogue." Jackie Chan can't "act" either.

stephen the goldberger said...

Best Suporting Actress != best stuntwoman.

Seriously Rosario Dawson was running circles around her in all their scenes together. I admit though I don't get the appeal of Death Proof.

md'a said...

I voted for Dawson as well, though few others did. But then fully half of my Supporting Actress ballot came from Death Proof.

robert said...

Rosario Dawson deserves a nod for her delivery of the "a movie about cheerleaders" line alone.

robert said...

And while acting is more than speaking dialogue, I don't think the definition extends to "hanging off a car".

md'a said...

Why not?

Paul C. said...

Hey, if it's what the part calls for...

Sometimes it's just about being the right actress for the part. Maybe Zoe playing QT's version of "Zoe" isn't Lady Macbeth or anything, but she was pretty darn awesome. I'd defy any of the five actresses that placed higher than her to pull it off.

Plus she's got an engaging screen presence. I'd see her in a role that didn't require her to spend a third of her screen time on the hood of a car. Although a little bit would be nice...

Eric Henderson said...

Hell, I routinely vote for people in documentaries in pickup year-end poll contests. This year would have seen me marking down Billy Mitchell for best supporting actress.

Steve said...

This year would have seen me marking down Billy Mitchell for best supporting actress.

Ya gotta love that hair.

robert said...

There's a reason we differentiate between stuntmen and actors.

md'a said...

And that reason is? Sorry, I'm gonna make you spell it out, even though you seem to think it's self-evident.

robert said...

They're two different crafts. Acting is acting, stuntwork is stuntwork. It's why we have those different names. I mean, I don't have a clear cut definition of acting, but I would think that it requires some sort of artificialness. Zoe Bell was actually hanging from that car.

All I'm saying is that if you want to praise her for her stuntwork, by all means do so, but since her acting was pretty atrocious, I have to question her inclusion in an acting category. You might as well nominate stuntpeople who don't get to recite dialogue.

md'a said...

It's not that simple, dude. Acting is acting, dancing is dancing. That's why we have those different names. So are Astaire and Rogers suddenly no longer "acting" during each of their dance routines? 'Cause they're dancing. And they're not pretending to dance—they're actually dancing. Which is a whole different discipline than acting. Right?

Please.

md'a said...

Oh, and as for casting votes for stuntpeople who just perform stunts, I have no issue with the idea in theory. In practice, however, it'd be pretty tricky. Zoe Bell is all over the Kill Bill movies, for example, and probably deserves some of the credit for Uma Thurman's Best Actress win in 2003. But I'd be reluctant to vote for her since I have little to no idea what she actually did—all I can do is make some educated guesses based on which actions by The Bride seem too difficult for Thurman to handle herself.

Obviously there's no such confusion in Grindhouse, in which Bell plays herself. So this does strike me as a special case.

Also, I don't think she was atrocious in her dialogue scenes, though I wouldn't have voted for her on the basis of those alone.

robert said...

They are acting while they're dancing, but their dancing is not acting. Zoe Bell is acting while she's hanging off the car, but hanging off the car is not acting.

Are gymnasts actors? Acrobats? Cheerleaders? Surely there are more demarcations between acting and physical feats of skill beyond the mere fact of whether they are performed in a fictional movie or not.

md'a said...

They are acting while they're dancing, but their dancing is not acting.

I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by this intriguing Zen koan. How are they acting while they're dancing, separately from the dancing? What constitutes the acting?

Seems to me you're trying unnecessarily hard to compartmentalize.

robert said...

The actual physical act of dancing is not acting, any more than a baseball player hitting a ball is acting. You can play a character while you're hitting the ball, but is hitting the ball actually acting itself? Did Kevin Costner give a great acting performance in Bull Durham because he hit a ball with a bat? Should Chico Marx have gotten an Oscar because he played the piano really well? I really don't see your logic.

md'a said...

You can play a character while you're hitting the ball, but is hitting the ball actually acting itself?

Yes. We're never gonna agree on this, so let's let it go. Read "Best Supporting Actress" as "Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role" (which is the actual Oscar category). Zoe Bell was an actress in Grindhouse, she played a supporting role, and the word "performance" doesn't denote acting, whatever your definition of the word. So there you go.

md'a said...

No, wait, I have a clarifying thought. Is closing a door "acting" if you do it in character? I can't imagine you're maintaining that no physical action qualifies as acting. And if closing a door is acting, part of a performance, what distinguishes that from dancing? Just the fact that "dance" is something we recognize as an art form in its own right, whereas "door closing" is not?

Do you see the absurdity?

robert said...

No, you were right the first time, we should just let it go. Debating is not something I enjoy doing, all evidence to the contrary.

msic said...

Buster. Fucking. Keaton.

The defense rests.

Steve said...

Touche, Mr. S. When Buster's running from the giant rocks in Seven Chances, is he acting? Or is he merely "running"? More to the point, are the two separable? And does it really fuckin' matter?

Nictate said...

This should hopefully clear up any questions about the difference between physical acts and acting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ei9JQ6br-y0