10 February 2011

Skandies: #10

Picture: Wild Grass (104/8)
Director: Christopher Nolan, Inception (94/11)
Actress: Zoe Kazan, The Exploding Girl (134/8)
Actor: Jim Carrey, I Love You Phillip Morris (98/12)
S. Actor: Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech (93/8)
S. Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter (117/12)
Screenplay: Christopher Nolan, Inception (113/10)
Scene: Folding Paris, Inception (55/4)

[Hooray, it's already on YouTube.]


All veterans today.

As a director, Nolan previously placed 5th for Memento (2001), 4th for The Prestige (2006), and 7th for The Dark Knight (2008). As a screenwriter, he won outright for both Memento and The Prestige, and placed "only" 3rd for The Dark Knight.

Kazan finished 12th last year in Supporting for Me and Orson Welles. Carrey gets his fourth nod, and his first in six years, having placed 17th in 1998 for The Truman Show, 6th in 1999 for Man on the Moon, and 4th in 2004 for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Rush, who we completely ignored for both Shine and Shakespeare in Love (good job us), did manage to squeak in at #20 in the lead category for Quills (2000) and at #18 in Supporting for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). And Leo placed 18th in the same category for 21 Grams (2003), as well as 14th in the lead category for Frozen River (2008).


md'a said...

I didn't vote for Rush (they've sucked since Power Windows), but if I had it would've been for lead, not supporting. Lionel and Bertie have roughly equal stature, dramatically; the film is about both of them. And yet every single vote for him was in Supporting, even though we're generally pretty good at ignoring misguided award-season directives. Cowed by royalty?

Victor Morton said...

Yes, because the one thing the Skandies voting pool is full of is champions of monarchy and empire. #rollseyes

But also, good job us as well, with WILD GRASS (even though I didn't give it points myself). And with recognizing the subtle genius of Melissa Leo's finely-modulated performance.

Steve said...

I don't think it's so much cowed by royalty as Bertie's plight is front and center and he has more scenes without Lionel than vice versa. It's not 80-20 or 70-30 like most films with a defined protagonist, but it's at least 60-40 here.

Now, had they appended "Therapist" to the title...

Andrew Dignan said...

Rush's character only exists to advance the storyline and improve the life of the Firth character though. He doesn't have his own plot which progresses separate from helping the King, right? (it's a forgettable film and I honestly don't remember). How is it any different than, say, Matt Damon & Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, or any other therapy film?

md'a said...

Rush's character only exists to advance the storyline and improve the life of the Firth character though.

I love that George VI has been reduced to "the Firth character."

Anyway, I disagree—the film isn't really about how Bertie overcomes his stammer, it's about the friendship between king and commoner. And the difficulties of that friendship are explored from both sides. Whereas Good Will Hunting is not fundamentally about the relationship between Damon and Williams.

You could theoretically remove the therapist from Good Will Hunting and still have a movie. Without Lionel Logue, The King's Speech just doesn't exist. He's its reason for being.

Victor Morton said...

"Without Lionel Logue, The King's Speech just doesn't exist."

Right, but Rush's character is the catalyst, not the fire. Essential, but not the raison d'etre, which is His Britannic Majesty George VI, by the Grace of God King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of his Dominions beyond the seas upon which the sun never sets, Emperor of India, Defender of the Faith, Sovereign of the Orders, Commander in Chief of the British Armed Forces and Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy.

witherholly said...

Meh to all of this.

RE Banksy, witherholly says:

The Hollywood/Highland Complex goes into increasing stages of lock-down leading up to the Oscars, so I say do it, as long as Banksy/Guetta/D’Cruz provide the security detail and the Acad gives them a playground, because I don’t think the stars and talent want to share their sandbox.


Robert Fuller said...

This might be the worst grouping of awards in Skandies history (well, aside from Kazan, since I haven't seen the movie).

md'a said...

This might be the worst grouping of awards in Skandies history (well, aside from Kazan, since I haven't seen the movie).

That's one way of looking at it. Another is: Melissa Leo finished way down at #10, Geoffrey Rush finished way down at #9, etc.

bentclouds said...

Such a high passion index for Kazan that I wonder what would have happened if more voters had seen THE EXPLODING GIRL. I'm really glad she cracked the top ten but she deserved to be even higher.

md'a said...

I would like to note for the record that I was the one person who voted for Kazan in Revolutionary Road, before she became a minor thing.

bentclouds said...

"I would like to note for the record that I was the one person who voted for Kazan in Revolutionary Road, before she became a minor thing."

Had I been voting, I would have given her some points for that terrible movie too. She's easily the most memorable thing about it.

Jeff Slater said...

I'll take a stab at pegging the rest of the acting categories:

Best Actor:
1. Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
2. Édgar Ramírez, Carlos
3. Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
4. Colin Firth, The King's Speech
5. Tahar Rahim, A Prophet
6. James Franco, 127 Hours
7. Jeff Bridges, True Grit
8. Ewan McGregor, The Ghost Writer
9. Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Best Actress:
1. Natalie Portman, Black Swan
2. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
3. Hye-ja Kim, Mother
4. Lesley Manville, Another Year
5. Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Vincere
6. Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
7. Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
8. Birgit Minichmayr, Everyone Else
9. Chloe Moretz, Let Me In

Best Supporting Actor:
1. John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
2. Christian Bale, The Fighter
3. Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
4. Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
5. Niels Arestrup, A Prophet
6. Pierce Brosnan, The Ghost Writer
7. Matt Damon, True Grit
8. Filippo Timi, Vincere
9. Jeremy Renner, The Town

Best Supporting Actress:
1. Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
2. Greta Gerwig, Greenberg
3. Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer
4. Dale Dickey, Winter's Bone
5. Mila Kunis, Black Swan
6. Elle Fanning, Somewhere
7. Amy Adams, The Fighter
8. Barbara Hershey, Black Swan
9. Marion Cotillard, Inception

Michael said...

Re: Jeff Slater.

I think some of your guesses are too mainstream for this group, thankfully.

For starters, Aggeliki Papoulia Has a Posse.

Or at least she better.

And I would hope we might possibly still see Julie Sokolowski, but that's more of a longshot.

Ryan said...

Not sure why we need have a rule of thumb to figure who's a lead. I've never bought into this "about" test as the end-all and be-all. To wit: what is the The King's Speech about? (A) Insecure Bertie overcoming a lifelong impediment to fulfill his destiny as a Nazi-defeatin' King? (B) Unsung Lionel Logue, using unconventional methods to help a skeptical and resistant king? (C) the story of a heartwarming friendship between a peculiar commoner and an accidental king?

You can easily make the case for all three, though B strikes me as weakest. It's a test that ends up being as subjective as any other, except maybe by a screentime measure. This test is very useful, don't get me wrong, but it shouldn't be dispositive. I do think Rush is a lead, though I also think Manville in Another Year is the lead, largely due to the lingering closing shot.

As for perf finalists, I'd bet you dollars to donuts that Portman ain't topping this survey. I know she's left off of at least one voter who voted for Black Swan in picture. Kim's the best bet. And more non-English perfs are going to end up finalists than what you have.

It's also doubtful Bardem or MacGregor will make the cut. The way the results are going, I wouldn't be surprised if that nonentity lead from Enter the Void ends up #8 for Best Corpse in a Shit Smeared Toilet Stall.

Nictate said...

"Aggeliki Papoulia Has a Posse" is one of the best things I've ever read. I want it on a t-shirt and I would like to nominate myself the president of that posse.

It's heartening to see 11 other people found Jim Carrey's performance Skandie-worthy. He played it like a symphony. So reassuring that ILYPM got a Best Screenplay nod, too. It's the smartest romantic comedy in years. I'd love to see a moment from it make the Best Scene cut, but I'm more likely to find love in prison. I'll settle for Dogtooth's dance sequence. Talk about playing the black swan. #AggelikiPapouliaPosse4evah

Michael said...


I only just now realized, re: Aggeliki's posse. Some people might be confusing it with her keyboard.

witherholly said...

Deliciously obscene. I'm unposseable, have no dog or witch in the race, just hope it's not jla or portlyman.

Private Joker said...

I'm with the Rush-is-supporting crowd. But I'm even more with the Hailee-Steinfeld-is-lead crowd. So when she places, she'd better be lead goddammit. Even Filmspotting picked her as supporting.

md'a said...

I'm with the Rush-is-supporting crowd.

You're with the fools. There is no movie without Lionel Logue. He is the reason the movie exists. We see plenty of him without Bertie anywhere near. It is not a story about George VI in which Logue plays a supporting role. Period.

Robert Fuller said...

Would you also say Pat Morita was a lead in The Karate Kid? A character's indispensability is not necessarily indicative of lead status. That would make virtually every movie villain a lead, for instance.

I'd say Rush was supporting. But I also thought Forest Whitaker was supporting in The Last King of Scotland (which, now that I look it up, is a view shared by Skandies voters, so good job, guys).

md'a said...

Would you also say Pat Morita was a lead in The Karate Kid?

I don't know, I haven't seen that film in over 20 years. Maybe, if it's fundamentally about Daniel and Mr. Miyagi's friendship, and the latter is accorded roughly equal narrative weight.

A character's indispensability is not necessarily indicative of lead status. That would make virtually every movie villain a lead, for instance.

That's not what I meant at all.

How do we know James Bond is the lead in Dr. No and Dr. No is not? Because Dr. No can easily be replaced, and has in fact been replaced, by any number of other villains, all of whom are really just generic obstacles getting in the way of our hero.

Lionel Logue, by contrast, could not be replaced by some other speech therapist. As I say, he is the reason the movie exists. The writer did not decide to make a movie about George VI overcoming his stutter, and then stumble onto Logue during the research phase. Because, duh, that's not a movie. (Go ahead, write it.) He clearly set out to make a movie about the friendship between these two specific men. And it's very evident in the film that Lionel has just as much dramatic stature as Bertie. It's about both of them equally. How anybody could conclude that it's about Bertie, with Lionel as merely one element of Bertie's personal journey, is beyond my comprehension.

I'd say Rush was supporting.

You'd be wrong. But at least you have a lot of company.

witherholly said...

These buddy stories are notoriously difficult to figure out.

Michael said...

I hate to admit it, Mike, but you're right.

Remember when Logue auditioned for a Shakespeare company and they mocked his Aussie accent? And Bertie was nowhere in sight?

That was Lead.

witherholly said...

Based on the recently discovered diaries of Lionel Logue. How one man saved the British Monarchy.