08 February 2009

Skandies: #14



Picture: The Wrestler (91/7) [tie for #13]
Director: Lance Hammer, Ballast (69/4)
Actress: Melissa Leo, Frozen River (82/6)
Actor: Karl Markovics, The Counterfeiters (68/6)
S. Actor: Aaron Eckhart, The Dark Knight (53/4)
S. Actress: Jane Lynch, Role Models (77/8)
Screenplay: Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky (69/9)
Scene: "What did we learn, Palmer"? (coda), Burn After Reading (47/4)



HISTORY:

Hammer gets the nod for his feature debut.

Eckhart is the veteran of this group, having finished 2nd in Lead for In the Company of Men (1997), 19th in Supporting for Erin Brockovich (2000), and 9th in Lead for Thank You for Smoking (2006). Leo previously placed 18th in Supporting for 21 Grams (2003). Lynch and Markovics are new.

Leigh took 4th in Original Screenplay for Secrets & Lies in 1996, the sole year I had separate categories for original and adapted works. (To the continuing annoyance—that I changed it and won't change it back, that is—of one of the August Voting Body's two professional screenwriters). He also finished 6th in Plain Old Screenplay in 1999 for Topsy-Turvy and 9th in 2004 for Vera Drake.

10 comments:

Steve C. said...

Jane Lynch! Best part of a damn funny flick.

msic said...

Yes. You can't bullshit a bullshitter. You know what she had for breakfast? A big pile of cocaine. Fawesome.

Matt said...

She's also fantastic as the child psychologist on "Two and a Half Men" ... should anyone bother with the show.

Chris Ereneta said...

I look forward to learning what you people think was a better scene than this one.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see some love for Aaron Eckhart, the best performance in that film! And I agree with Chris, what can be better than that scene?

thanksbud said...

That scene was not even the best scene in that picture. (And I am not a huge fan of that picture.)

Victor said...

Don't get me wrong, it's a terrific scene and an excellent capper/walkoff to BURN AFTER READING.

But it doesn't work at all if you haven't seen everything that comes before it (e.g., the reference to plastic surgery would just produce a shrug).

thanksbud is right ... BURN alone has at least three or four better scenes. And all the people on welfare are just lazy.

Alex said...

But it doesn't work at all if you haven't seen everything that comes before it (e.g., the reference to plastic surgery would just produce a shrug).

Divorced of context, the whole scene would just produce a shrug (aside from the fine acting performances and nice cutting) since it wholly relies upon viewer familiarity of previous events. But this is why I think the suggested guideline that scenes work out of context is needlessly constrictive; aren't (most) scenes ultimately intended to support the picture and not work as standalone setpieces? Out of context, That Scene in 35 Rhums (FYSkC 2009) may be unremarkable; within the context of the film, it's devastating.

thanksbud is right

Yes.

BURN alone has at least three or four better scenes.

I hadn't even considered this one tbh. (But I did vote Simmons.)

And all the people on welfare are just lazy.

Yes. wait wat.

Also, Jane Lynch was terrific in The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Smiley Face imo.

Andrew Dignan said...

I would imagine "the closet" and "the machine" could show up later on this list. I didn't even consider this scene when thinking on the stand-out sequences from the film.

Also want to add praise for Lynch as well as AVB for not forgetting her. Should we start holding out hope for Paul Rudd FTW?

Victor said...

I would imagine "the closet" and "the machine" could show up later on this list.

I suspect we're likelier to see "the car" or "the call" ("the closet" and "the machine" are basically just single, if singular, punch lines to otherwise-ordinary scenes),


Out of context, That Scene in 35 Rhums (FYSkC 2009) may be unremarkable; within the context of the film, it's devastating.

Here I completely disagree.

That Scene, I think, is almost the perfect example of a scene that can stand outside context. (I think at TIFF I even called it "FRIDAY NIGHT condensed down to a short.") I speak as someone who disliked 35 RHUMS but thought That Scene had virtually the only snap, crackle or pop in the movie, anything non-elliptical to let the dramatic lassitude go down smoothly. Also, That Scene is fairly circumscribed and precisely defined dramatically -- they're going out to a concert but the elements get in the way, so the group resorts to Plan B, where things happen.