19 February 2010

Skandies: #1



Best Picture: Inglourious Basterds (323/23)







Best Director: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (308/25)
Skandie history: #1, Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003); #5, Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004); #4, Grindhouse (2007)






Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, Julia (528/29)
Skandie history: #18, Female Perversions (1997); #5, The Deep End (2001); #9s, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005); #19s, Thumbsucker (2005); #4s, Michael Clayton (2007); #12s, Burn After Reading (2008); #13s, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). With eight total appearances in the top 20, she ties Nicole Kidman and Isabelle Huppert for 3rd on the all-time list.






Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, Two Lovers (244/21)
Skandie history: #9s, Gladiator (2000); #10, Walk the Line (2005)






Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds (571/33)
Skandie history: None






Best Supporting Actress: Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds (321/25)
Skandie history: None.






Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (408/27)
Skandie history: #2, Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003), #8, Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004), #6, Grindhouse (2007)




sk1 from Daniel Gemko on Vimeo.



Best Scene: Once upon a time…in Nazi-occupied France, Inglourious Basterds (275/25)

Complete results available here (soon, if not this instant). Thanks to all voters, and especially to Mark Pittillo for programming the automated ballot and maintaining the website. Brief post-mortem coming up on Monday.

50 comments:

Private Joker said...

571 points for Waltz! What's the Skandie record, Mike, for points received by an actor? (Or any category, for that matter).

Ryan said...

Less points for Basterds than I expect. How many voters do we have this year? 33? I can't imagine Waltz being left off any ballot.

Andrew Dignan said...

Phoenix for best actor is a phenomenal choice. Was worried he didn't have quite the level of passion that Cage did so that was a nice surprise.

As for Up losing best scene to Inglorious Basterds... well, at least Mike's "you're all retarded fanboys" rant on Monday is gonna be kerfawesome.

Victor said...

38 voters this year ... about the same as always

Victor said...

These are the five who didn't give Waltz points:

Matthew Butcher: Only submitted grades, nothing in points categories. He did grade BASTERDS at 3.5, one of only four films to get graded 3.5 (no 4.0s)

Keith Collins: Did not see BASTERDS

Dave Cowen: Here is the hard one to explain. Grades the film overall at 4.0, in his Top 5 for the year at least. Gives points to Laurent, to QT for both script and direction, to Eli Roth and the opening scene. Nothing for Waltz.

Vadim Rizov: Graded BASTERDS at 2.5 but gave points to Tarantino's script (i.e., in Impaler mode)

C. Mason Wells: Graded BASTERDS at 2.0, but gave points to Laurent and the Face of Jewish Vengeance scene (i.e., ditto)

C. Mason Wells said...

I'd like the "you're all retarded fanboys" now, please.

Victor said...

Except that even though you didn't care for the film, you voted for the most (OK ... second-most) fanboy scene.

Nictate said...

I've never been a retarded fanboy before. Cool.

My heart kinda swelled with pride while scrolling through the #1 picks' photos (nice image selects, MD'A).

Contentiousness over BASTERDS aside, seeing Tilda and Joaquin and Waltz being honored is really heartening. Brilliance all around.

I'm actually glad the UP scene didn't take #1. It's lovely, sweet, poignant, an instant classic and made me tear up, but there is something in the IB farmhouse scene that captures the essence of human drama in the movies. Life, death, morality, world history are all condensed into two living, breathing actors with merely body language, words and the silences in between as their palette.
Retardly yours,
Nictate

Ryan said...

The cross-referencing links are awesome. Good job, Mark.

Best Scenes came down to a feature length story pared down to 4 minutes of shorthand, and a 3 minute scene expanded to 18 minutes to ratchet up tension and reveal character traits.

Re-watching these clips, the Basterds scene was obviously a great showcase for Waltz, but not only is "Scenes from a Marriage" the most affecting five minutes from any movie this year, it's a marvel of narrative economy. There's really no comparison. I should've pushed all my chips in for the runner-up, not that it would've made a difference.

md'a said...

571 points for Waltz! What's the Skandie record, Mike, for points received by an actor? (Or any category, for that matter).

That statistic isn't especially meaningful given that the number of voters is in flux from year to year, but Waltz falls 20 points short of the record, which was 591 (32 votes) for Naomi Watts in your favorite film ever, Mulholland Dr. Charlie Kaufman's screenplay for Being John Malkovich also received more (589/35).

Scott Renshaw said...

Six victories in our eight categories for IB. I supposed I could go through the archival info, but that *has* to be unprecedented, right?

md'a said...

Six victories in our eight categories for IB. I supposed I could go through the archival info, but that *has* to be unprecedented, right?

Clearly you missed the earlier comments thread where I noted that the record was five (held by The Sweet Hereafter since 1997) and suggested that if it were broken by Basterds we would come across as pathetic retarded fanboys, our credibility forever tarnished.

Alex said...

That statistic isn't especially meaningful given that the number of voters is in flux from year to year

Back in the early days I came up with a stat that'd be more applicable for comparative purposes. It was something of the form:

# of points received / (# of voters who had actually seen applicable film * 30)

i.e. a performance that received the maximum vote from every voter who had seen it would get a 1. I think I called this stat 'Impact' or something.

Guessing Watts and Kaufman would edge out Waltz on this, but I'm not sure.

Scott Renshaw said...

Clearly you missed the earlier comments thread where I noted that the record was five (held by The Sweet Hereafter since 1997) and suggested that if it were broken by Basterds we would come across as pathetic retarded fanboys, our credibility forever tarnished.

Yes I missed that thread and yes we are retarded sorry Sarah Palin.

Victor said...

Except that prior to this year, Tarantino films had a grand total of two Skandies victories -- QT himself for direction and Uma Thurman for best actress, both for KILL BILL VOL. 1. His films had bohkoo nominations and Top 20 finishes, but usually not won.

I'm with Ryan -- the BASTERDS sweep (setting aside the impossible possibility that the film might've, you know, DESERVED to win) is likelier the result of there being very little consensus otherwise. I mean -- FOX and SUMMER combined wouldn't have been BASTERDS by much and there was a greater gap between #1 and #3 than between #3 and #20 (and not much less if you substitute #2 for #3 in last clause)

Victor said...

obviously I meant FOX and SUMMER combined wouldn't have BEATEN, etc., not BEEN

Skander said...

Let's get one thing straight: Mike D'Angelo's negative reaction to this year's results is entirely due to the fact that Mike D'Angelo happens to not like IB. Somehow I doubt we'd all be in for a lecture from the professor had DEATH PROOF swept in '07.

This "fanboy" stuff is ridiculous. QT has always transcended that label. His films make Cahiers' Top Ten lists for eff's sake. Noted fanboy cstults voted for IB. I hear he is eagerly awaiting the David Gatten interview in next week's Fangoria as he works on his "Battlestar Galactica"/PIE PELLICANE JESU DOMINE crossover fanfic.

It's not like QT is a filmatist who owes his career primarily to a heavily male, geeky, tech-savvy fanbase, and is mostly ignored in serious cinephile circles.

Like, oh I don't know, Christopher Nolan.

Victor said...

"Somehow I doubt we'd all be in for a lecture from the professor had DEATH PROOF swept in '07."

which, of course, it didn't -- all the proof you need that we are not fanboys, mindlessly slobbering over everything QT does. thanks thanksbud bud

Indeed, the AVB is pretty much the same group that last year "ma[de] my heart sing" because SILENT LIGHT and 4 MONTHS were rubbing elbows with WALL-E and THE DARK KNIGHT (no fanboyism w/that film AT ALL). In which case, why not point out that this year indy hits like BASTERDS and FOX are rubbing elbows with blockbusters like UP and snooty French films like SUMMER HOURS and art-damaged rubbish (ask Armond White) like HUNGER? To ask it that way is to answer it -- Mike is simply projecting ill motive on those of us who don't share his unenthusiasm for BASTERDS.

Ryan said...

Skander's points are sound. I love Nolan, and think he should be annointed director of the decade, but he's far more of a "fanboy" director than QT in the sense that he has very little highbrow support.

And Kill Bill, which never topped the Skandies, was a far more fanboy-ish QT pic than Basterds, which got 8 Oscar noms, for godsakes.

Last point: while I'm sorta mystified at the AVB worship of Basterds, I'm far more mystified by the reaction to Basterds at Cannes. I mean, this is clearly a significant achievement from one of the most important filmmakers of our time. Very strange that it was seen as a misfire when it first screened. And it's not as if the 2009 Cannes Comp lineup was all that amazing.

md'a said...

Let's get one thing straight: Mike D'Angelo's negative reaction to this year's results is entirely due to the fact that Mike D'Angelo happens to not like IB. Somehow I doubt we'd all be in for a lecture from the professor had DEATH PROOF swept in '07.

That is correct. But then, Death Proof (in its original Grindhouse form) is a genuinely radical and subversive picture, which is why audiences stayed away in droves and awards groups—save for this one—paid no attention. Whereas Inglourious Basterds (to which btw I gave three stars, signifying "quite good") is such a gladhanding enterprise that you can find it nestled right alongside Precious and Up in the Air over in Oscartown. My fucking dad loved this movie, and he has the worst taste of any human being on the planet. Which is not of course to suggest that popular = bad, but if a movie was going to break all records for sheer awesomeness, it would have been nice had it been more than tasty gnatzee-killin' (for the plebes) + a cinephile circle jerk (for the critics).

why not point out that this year indy hits like BASTERDS and FOX are rubbing elbows with blockbusters like UP and snooty French films like SUMMER HOURS and art-damaged rubbish (ask Armond White) like HUNGER?

Because I haven't written this year's wrap post yet.

I'm still happy with the overall mix. Again, I just find it embarrassing that a film as comparatively feeble as Basterds won everything in sight, making it appear as if we consider it the greatest cinematic achievement of the past dozen years.

Last point: while I'm sorta mystified at the AVB worship of Basterds, I'm far more mystified by the reaction to Basterds at Cannes. I mean, this is clearly a significant achievement from one of the most important filmmakers of our time. Very strange that it was seen as a misfire when it first screened.

You refer to the oasis of sanity. The reaction at Cannes was right on the money: Deeply flawed movie with a couple of fantastic sequences and a tremendous performance by some Austrian we'd never heard of. How that somehow got transformed into a masterpiece is beyond my comprehension.

Private Joker said...

This "fanboy" stuff is ridiculous. QT has always transcended that label. His films make Cahiers' Top Ten lists for eff's sake. Noted fanboy cstults voted for IB. I hear he is eagerly awaiting the David Gatten interview in next week's Fangoria as he works on his "Battlestar Galactica"/PIE PELLICANE JESU DOMINE crossover fanfic.

It's not like QT is a filmatist who owes his career primarily to a heavily male, geeky, tech-savvy fanbase, and is mostly ignored in serious cinephile circles.

Like, oh I don't know, Christopher Nolan.


[x] boom, headshot
[x] slowclap
[ ] IB is a fanboy film

Inglourious Basterds is such a gladhanding enterprise that you can find it nestled right alongside Precious and Up in the Air over in Oscartown.

So what? THERE WILL BE BLOOD was showered with Oscar nominations too (eight of them in fact), nestled right alongside MICHAEL CLAYTON and ATONEMENT. I seem to remember PULP FICTION getting some Oscar attention too. Accidentally getting recognized by the white elephants at AMPAS doesn't mean the film is all gladhanding and middlebrow.

if a movie was going to break all records for sheer awesomeness, it would have been nice had it been more than tasty gnatzee-killin' (for the plebes) + a cinephile circle jerk (for the critics).

First of all, it didn't break those records and few of us are claiming it does; it just happens to be the best (or, in my mind, the second best) film of 2009 -- as much a statement about the competition as the film itself. Secondly, it IS more than gnatzee-killin and a cinephile circle jerk... you just don't see it.

Jason said...

IB only took five top spots on my ballot, I don't know why you guys are such Tarantino fanboys, etc. I think it's unfortunate that Laurent's fine work got more points than Weisz's superlative work in THE BLOOMING BROTHERS. The BASTERDS victory is a little bittersweet for me because of this injustice.

Also unjust is the lack of support for the awesome Coppola comeback vehicle TETRO and the terrific performances in that film. Good job McCloud for being the only other support for that movie.

It would really suck if Phoenix stopped acting now and just continued with the Andy Kaufman appearances. We deserve more from that dude.

md'a said...

Secondly, it IS more than gnatzee-killin and a cinephile circle jerk... you just don't see it.

Enlighten me. The only case I've seen made for the film being about anything at all involves "the power of cinema" or some other phrase to that effect, i.e. it's a fantasy in which actors, critics, exhibitors, and even nitrate film itself join forces to defeat the Third Reich. And that's just how it plays to me: as a cute fantasy. Fun (in parts), but not exactly world-shaking. Tarantino's best work has real bite, which I find here only in the French farmer's anguish as he reveals the Dreyfus family's location. Movie's all downhill from there, though the tavern scene is a nice little suspense set piece.

Jake said...

Mike:

That is correct. But then, Death Proof (in its original Grindhouse form) is a genuinely radical and subversive picture

How is that?

Nictate said...

I was hoping there'd be a least one heated Dogville/#1 of decade-like dogfight in this Skandies outing. How apropos that Ryan brought up the Cannes reaction. Déjà vu.

md'a said...

I'm not gonna write what would be a lengthy essay on Death Proof in this space. The short version is that the film is essentially structuralist—it's The Double Life of Véronique reconceived as auto porn, with ensembles in lieu of protagonists. (In what may be the most pretentious argument in the history of film criticism—but I stand by it—I once compared the two groups of gal pals to entangled particles.)

Greg said...

Some stray remarks after looking at the ballots -

- huh, no one else liked Ruffalo or Brody in B. Bloom? ok...

- as odd as the IB almost sweep seems, it's also hard to see an obvious "shoulda" for any of those categories either. Lots of contenders, but mostly on par with QT and gang. I haven't seen Basterds since it was in theaters so I'll have to see how it holds up.

- I have a lot of movies to catch up on

- I forgot we have the writer of Heathers voting in this now. (and yes, I know he's done other things too but that's a longtime fave)

Skander said...

That is correct. But then, Death Proof (in its original Grindhouse form) is a genuinely radical and subversive picture, which is why audiences stayed away in droves and awards groups—save for this one—paid no attention. Whereas Inglourious Basterds...

Here we go, it is the annual tradition in which D'Angelo tries vainly to sell as objective a position that is clearly subjective.

Look bud, I could put together some argument complete with "evidence" that positions Basterds as a more "genuinely radical and subversive picture" than Death Proof and a less fanboyish one to boot. But what would be the point.

Why can you not just say "A QT picture which I loved did not win anything in my survey and a QT picture which I consider highly overrated won a bunch. This sucks in my opinion." Can you not see how this would make you seem way less retarded.

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

huh, no one else liked Ruffalo or Brody in B. Bloom? ok...

Forgetting to include Ruffalo was a facepalm regret for me. I thought Brody was almost a deficit to TBB, but won't complain too much as I love the film and it's not like he made the wheels come off or anything.

md'a said...

Here we go, it is the annual tradition in which D'Angelo tries vainly to sell as objective a position that is clearly subjective.

Where did I do that exactly? I'm not gonna be a weenie and constantly qualify every argument with "in my opinion" (unless I am employing the Vern-acular for the comic effect). Obviously it's subjective. Obviously most of the voters disagree. However, I think you guys are wrong, and wrong in an emphatic way that makes us as an entity look kind of stupid. If Basterds had won Picture but, say, Bigelow had won Director and Farmiga had won Supporting Actress, I wouldn't have said all that much. I didn't love Breaking the Waves or Out of Sight or Yi Yi or 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, either, but they don't make me cringe the way Basterds does—perhaps because they don't feature an endless shot of a dark tunnel as someone bangs a baseball bat against the walls (ooo, badass) and then the someone turns out to be Eli Fucking Roth.

(And yes, I know Roth is in Death Proof as well, but at least he's typecast as a tool in that one.)

Also, I should note that we don't really know how Death Proof would have fared in the Skandies, as it was lumped together with Planet Terror, which most people found far inferior. Certainly it's significant that Tarantino placed 4th in Director that year while Rodriguez was totally AWOL. That Grindhouse itself still finished as high as #4, despite many folks disliking half the picture, suggests that Death Proof alone might well have done even better.

Michael said...

Speaking as someone who did admire a great deal of Basterds but also failed to find it the greatest motion picture of the decade or whatever, I kind of think this argument is a bit overblown. The multiple, high-margin wins this year are (pace Nictate, who is living on another planet as far as I can tell) a direct result of 2009 blowing inglourious chunks.

But more importantly, Mike, I think your frustration with Basterds's weaker elements is blinding you to the fact that this is NOT a fanboy vehicle. A great deal of it is talky talky talky, much of it relies on at least a passing familiarity with the tropes of straight-ahead WWII movies (as opposed to, say, Ringo Lam shootout choreography or Shaw Brothers wuxia), and it doles out its violence in stingy, rather complicated bursts (the Bear Jew aside).

In fact, although I will gladly concede that Death Proof is the better film, I think you'd be hard-pressed to explain, just on the basis of its rudimentary contents, how it is somehow LESS of a fanboy film than Basterds. Even if it didn't have stuff like the Ship's Mast sequence and the whole gearhead thing working, QT still chose to festoon the goddamned thing with stoopid trailers and a piece of shit Robert Rodriguez film, for, you know, the Grindhouse Experience.

So, to sum up:

1) Basterds: essentially running unopposed

2) we have nothing to be ashamed of; we just feted a film you don't like

Tricia said...

Best silly screenplay and silly movie, IMO. Enchanted by entangled particles of statistics, which nobody really understands anyway.

Dan said...

Sigh...

I think this means I'm going to have to check Basterds out again, as I was one of the underwhelmed when I saw it last year...

Nictate said...

If 2009 was a blow-chunky year, I hope cinema will continue calling Ralph with such a breadth of brilliance for years to come.

If we all followed MD'A's advice and voted as if we were the only person responding, based solely on personal taste, then the no-other-worthy-competition angle feels faulty. It's the August Voting Body, not the August Voting Board. Points is points. Passiondex is passiondex. The people have spoken and what not.

It'll be very interesting to see how IB holds up in cinephiles' opinions as the years tick by. I predict it will have the evergreen sticking power of a Pulp Fiction.

Oh, and the power of the cinema angle people refer to in IB is one of its least interesting aspects to me. More quaint than compelling.

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

The ending of IB kind of ruins the movie. The super-Nazi-Waltz gives himself up with no real struggle, and the Hitler-killing-jerk-off-Bonanza is a cute idea for a short film but doesn't redeem/fulfill the 2½ hours spend watching it being build up to.

Stephen said...
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Stephen said...
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Stephen said...

Last point: while I'm sorta mystified at the AVB worship of Basterds, I'm far more mystified by the reaction to Basterds at Cannes.

I'm speculating here, but maybe the French were not as cool with QT playing with their history.

As to IB v. Death Proof, I didn't like Death Proof, I thought it was quite boring. If that was what Tarantino was trying to do with it, it went way over my head, and I'm not too sorry that it did.

I found IB a much more enjoyable viewing experience. I thought scenes were thrilling, I wasn't really sure where things were going. It was a lot of fun, however when IB was over, I pretty much stopped thinking about it.

So I guess your position on the two films is determined by which do you consider to be more important in a film: The film is fun to watch (like IB), or the film is fun to talk about afterward with your friends (like DP).

md'a said...

I didn't like Death Proof, I thought it was quite boring. If that was what Tarantino was trying to do with it, it went way over my head, and I'm not too sorry that it did.

I found IB a much more enjoyable viewing experience. I thought scenes were thrilling, I wasn't really sure where things were going.


Thanks for stopping by my blog, Dad. How are things working out with the new fridge?

md'a said...

The multiple, high-margin wins this year are [...] a direct result of 2009 blowing inglourious chunks.

I don't think so bud. The point of also having everyone submit star ratings is to allow comparisons from year to year. Granted, that's not super meaningful when it comes to films from the '90s, when the AVB was considerably less stingy with the high ratings than it is today. But if we look strictly at the films of the last decade, from 2000 on, Inglourious Basterds has the second highest average rating (3.46) of any film:

01. 3.50 Yi Yi (A One and a Two…)
02. 3.46 Inglourious Basterds (2009)
3.46 There Will Be Blood (2007)
04. 3.45 In the Mood for Love (2001)
3.45 No Country for Old Men (2007)
06. 3.43 Before Sunset (2004)
3.43 Mulholland Dr. (2001)
3.43 Spirited Away (2002)
09. 3.42 The Departed (2006)
3.42 25th Hour (2002)

That's got nothing to do with the state of cinema generally in 2009. It's just pretty damn beloved, for whatever reason.

wug said...

Based on Crix Pix, 2009 was a pretty average year for movies according to CMs, not bad, not great. Like Michael, however, I personally thought it sucked and was probably the weakest year of the decade. I liked IB, but not enough to crack my top 10. Still, IB > DP.

jeff_v said...

Wondering if anyone is going to take up Mike's challenge to explain IB's awesomeness as something other than a fantasy about the power of the films of the cinema. I'm probably in M'Dad's camp --my biggest fear is that one day Quentin Tarantino is going to try to make some Big Serious Movie, and I enjoyed IB on a superficial level.

Nictate said...

Wondering if anyone is going to take up Mike's challenge to explain IB's awesomeness as something other than a fantasy about the power of the films of the cinema.

Definitely not Nictate.

Post-mortem:
While my enthusiasm has ruffled feathers and earned charges of an extraterrestrial lifestyle, I want to thank MD'A and the AVB for the chance to be a part of the venerable Skandies tradition. I've been a fan of you guys for a decade or more, so it's a honor.

Thanks to Mark Pittillo, too. The ballot was easy to use and it's cool to be able to peruse all the stats and breakdowns on the Skandies site.

Michael said...

Hey Nictate.

I'm sure my 2009 movie year would've been more enjoyable if, you know, I'd actually been able to leave the house.

So all things considered, alien accusations aren't so bad.

Nevertheless, my apologies. We are of peace. Always.

Nictate said...

Thanks kindly, Michael, but no apology necessary. My reference to your extraterrestrial comment was tongue-in-cheek vs. licking-my-wounds. I'm entertained by every aspect of the Skandies, including the smack talk. Please never pull your punches with me. I've sparred a few rounds with MD'A, so feel like I'm prepped to take all comers -- wearing an annoying grin all the while. Peace out.

Private Joker said...

What does it say about the supporting actor category that half of my ballot got no support other than my own?

Does it mean that everyone showered Waltz with praise and dispersed their love to dozens of other actors? That the year was overflowing with talented supporting men? Or that I am just insane?

For the record, the 5 guys I stand alone in support of are Jason Bateman, Eric Bana, Giovanni Ribisi, Jason Segel, and Shea Whigham.

(Of leading men, only one of my nominees -- Gael Garcia -- got no other support).

Nictate said...

P.S. to Previous Post-Mortem:
Word on the street is that I ruffled more feathers that I realized with my frequent Skandies commentary. Apologies to anyone who was annoyed.

Truth is, I was dealing with stress-packed 14 hr. work days during the Skandies results reveal and was relying on escapes to this online oasis to keep me going. While my enthusiasm over being a new member was part of the equation in my rabid participation, the oasis thing was really the driving factor. I was quite the non-rabid participant during the decades reveal, so rest assured it was an anomaly this time -- the perfect storm, so to speak. Just wanted to let you know where I was coming from since it would be a shame to besmirch all this.

Once again, it was a honor to participate. Best to you all.

movies said...

Its a good movie. I can simply say that though it does not come up to everyone's expectation but its a one time watch.