18 February 2009
Picture: Silent Light (214/13)*
Director: Cristian Mungiu, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (201/16)
Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married (307/23)
Actor: Sean Penn, Milk (235/22)
S. Actor: Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky (206/18)
S. Actress: Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler (171/20)
Screenplay: Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan, The Dark Knight (222/17)
Scene: Elles alfresco, In the City of Sylvia (119/6)
[This scene skates right up to the limit of what I consider acceptable lengthwise at nearly 18 minutes—it's fully 25% of the entire short feature—but it's such an extraordinary piece of filmmaking that I couldn't bring myself to deem it ineligible. Nor could I edit a shorter version that didn't seem to ruin its integrity, so I wound up creating two files. (The whole film is already available on YouTube, but really badly squashed, and the compositions are beyond crucial.) Minimal dialogue is in French and burnt-in subtitles are in Spanish, but I assure you, it couldn't matter less. If I had to vote for my single favorite scene of the past ten years, this would very likely be my choice.]
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days is Mungiu's first eligible film.
Penn, in addition to being nominated (under different rules) for Dead Man Walking in 1995, has also placed 19th for Hurlyburly (1998), 12th for Sweet and Lowdown (1999), 17th for 21 Grams (2003), and 19th—yes, only 19th; good job AVB—for Mystic River (also 2003). Tomei gets her third nod, having finished 5th in 2001 for In the Bedroom and 17th last year for Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Hathaway and Marsan are new.
C. Nolan has won Screenplay twice, in 2001 for Memento and in 2006 (with J. Nolan) for The Prestige. He also placed 15th in 2005 for Batman Begins.
* Here I must yet again reiterate [sic] my plea for members of the August Voting Body to refrain from strategic point allocation. The #2 film received 216 points, which means that Silent Light finished 3rd instead of 2nd solely because a voter who shall remain nameless, and who thought Reygadas' film the best of the year, chose to give twice as many points to the film at #5 on his/her list, simply because—by his/her own admission—(s)he felt the other film needed more help. As it happens, the other film in question still failed to place in the top 20 (and in fact received no other votes), so the strategy wasn't even effective. But more to the point, I specifically ask you guys not to do this in the annual instructions. So please don't, okay?
Posted by md'a at 12:52 PM