15 October 2009

Skandies: Best Performances of the Decade, #8



Laura Dern, Inland Empire
originally placed: #5, Actress, 2006.

27 comments:

Mike Lee said...

Dern did cross my mind yesterday, but looking at the voter-by-voter breakdown in 2006, I figured she'd probably only get points from the two people who gave her 30s at the time, which shouldn't be enough for as high a position as no. 8.

In other words, this is why I shouldn't have guessed the perfs.

md'a said...

Yeah, this carries over the late-breaking discussion from yesterday's entry regarding how differently people use the Pazz & Jop point system. For example, one particularly creepy voter who, we now discover, considers Dern's performance one of the decade's ten best originally gave her just 15 points in a breakdown for Actress that went:

15
14
13
12
12
10
etc.

Now, this goat lover did later rewatch the film and inexplicably bumped it up ten points on the retarded 100-point scale, rather than dropping it 15 points like I did. So maybe if he had 2006 to do over again he might be more generous. But I kinda doubt it. Basically there are the toploaders and the equalizers, and the latter never go hog-wild.

Theo said...

>I figured she'd probably only get
>points from the two people who
>gave her 30s at the time

That is not necessarily the way it works, Mr. Mike Lee director of Career Girls. 'Passion' is ruled by context, i.e. what the whole category looked like in that particular year; a 30 only means the voter wasn't enthused about many other possible candidates. I only gave Dern 15 points in '06 because there were at least 5 other female performances I also admired a lot (good year), but she was still my No. 1 for that year and I also gave her points in the decade ballot. On the other hand, I gave Connie Nielsen 18 points for DEMONLOVER in '03 (bad year) but didn't even have her on my shortlist for Decade.

(Btw, you mentioned that YI YI is one of your top 5 films of the decade. What are the others?)

I hope INLAND EMPIRE makes the list - it's the 00s' greatest argument against objective beauty. Those people who say it looks like shit? Your planet is not my planet. (And my planet is more fun to live in.)

Theo said...

(Hadn't seen md'a's comment when I published mine, obviously.)

Jeff said...

Good job voters. This is a pleasant surprise as the pole stalks inwardly to the middle (brow).

Mike Lee said...

Re My other four favorite films of the decade: The Sun, Ghost Whirled, The Dog's Villa, and You Are Out of Time, Sucka. All normal, boring, mainstream (among Skandiers) picks, I'm afraid.

And none of my own films would make the top, oh, 20 or so, even though I would have voted for myself twice in the '90s. I have been slacking this decade.

Theo said...

Also, Fearless Leader will shake his head and whine about this ('cos it threatens the integrity of his survey or whatevah), but I suspect external factors - viz. that Dern spent much of 2006 coming second in Best Actress polls to the ludicrously undeserving Helen Mirren - may have something to do with this high placing.

Mike Lee said...

Theodore: When I see only 15 points from a voter in any year for a Best Actress candidate (a category generally not as competitive as Best Actor), 99+% of the time I am going to be correct in hypothesizing that the votee will not be getting any decade points from the voter. And it is simply way, way too hard to tease out that last <1% without building a complex logistical model (which I hope to finish coding by the '10s decade Skandies).

The Hunting of the Snark said...

Now here's a perf I can get behind! Bravo, goat-lovers and -suckers! (I assume) that makes two deserving Lynch blondes placing in the top ten.

iNLAND is a piece of click-thru/magpie-minded insanity that to me encapsulates the '00s rather perfectly. See also: Damon Packard's REFLECTIONS OF EVIL.

Mike Lee said...

On the other hand, assuming that a particular voter isn't giving 30 points to their top pick in every category, 28-30 points in either of the two lead perfs probably means at least a 50% change that the voter will also give the performance some decade love. And moreover, going back to what Gemko said in the second comment, those picks are more likely to get 20+ points from a voter in the decade Scandies for the simple reason that the voter has shown in the past that they're willing to allocate points in an skewed manner.

I am thinking about this way too much .

Ryan said...

As I had remarked on previously, we have a situation where N (N being number of voters) may be suboptimal given the Pazz & Jop system. When N is too low (say N < 50), the results are too influenced by the preferences of toploaders. (As much as I like seeing something unexpected like Trouble Every Day in the top 20, a poll should adequately reflect a consensus and not be so dramatically skewed by the votes of one voter.)

When N is too high (say N > 100), then the results veer too much towards the mean and all the interesting oddities are left out.

Maybe someone more mathematically adept (like Matthew B. or Mike Lee, director of All or Nothing) can figure out an optimal numerical range of voters for a 100 point allocation/30 point cap system that balances these various concerns.

Ryan said...

Also, it must be asked, given the Passiondex vaulting of Dern and Amalric into the top 10: Summer Phoenix in Esther Kahn?

cstults said...

Ryan:

Also, it must be asked, given the Passiondex vaulting of Dern and Amalric into the top 10: Summer Phoenix in Esther Kahn?

--------

That's exactly who I thought was going to be here at #8 given Mike's introduction. It would totally make up for all the mush if she landed in the top 7 and throw the gauntlet down for subsequent critics groups. Esther must be reckoned with.

md'a said...

I don't blame Desplechin for Summer Phoenix. She can't act all by her lonesome.

Stephen said...

If this is on there but Naomi Watts isn't then this list has no credibility

Ryan said...

I don't blame Desplechin for Summer Phoenix. She can't act all by her lonesome.

Bada-bing!

Don't happen to have the 2002 results handy, so can someone help me out on the Summer Phoenix vote totals? Mike Lee, director or High Hopes? Also, was Dan S. a Skandies participant in '02?

Joshua said...

Ryan: Summer had 176 points from 15 voters for ESTHER KAHN.

Dan S. was not a voter in the 2002 Skandies.

Mike Lee, director of HOME SWEET HOME said...

Phoenix: Fifth place, 176/15. No Sallitt.

Mike Lee said...

Two minutes too late. Just like my decision to cut all of Greg Cruttwell's scenes two minutes after I had already sent my final cut of Naked to the distributor. Oh well.

I hadn't considered Phoenix, but since passiondex is ruling the day, it wouldn't surprise me in the least.

Michael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nictate said...

I christen this pick The Passiondex of the... Christ, Are You Kidding Me?

Theo said...

Just to put this Passiondex thing in perspective: I gave 10 points across the board, and voted for both Dern and Amalric - my only two perfs to have turned up so far, though I'm holding out hope for Hafsia Herzi. This is not (just) a matter of a few wide-eyed loons making merry with the 30s.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Jack Black's performance in School of Rock will make it.

Mike Lee said...

J. Black in 2003: 4th place, 246/21. Seems to me a performance that had support more wide than deep, a la H. Mirren in 2006.

Adam Villani said...

Despite not voting on account of my movie-watching going way down the past couple of years, this is the first film on the list that I haven't seen.

Skander said...

As one of the wide-eyed loons who awarded Dern 30 points in '06, I can say that I too gave 10 points across the board for decade perfs. Which leaves little doubt as to who's mainly responsible for Passiondexing this one in. Good job, bud.

Jeff said...

Actually, Skander, I only gave her 15 points. Not sure how far that goes on the Passiondex meter. Two other performances got more than her, neither of which I expect to see.