08 February 2011

Skandies: #11



Picture: Enter the Void (97/7)
Director: Roman Polanski, The Ghost Writer (93/10)
Actress: Tilda Swinton, I Am Love (130/11)
Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, I'm Still Here (95/9)
S. Actor: Justin Timberlake, The Social Network (89/10)
S. Actress: Ruth Sheen, Another Year (113/10)
Screenplay: Mike Leigh, Another Year (107/11)
Scene: Opening night, Black Swan (55/3)

[Try as I might, I couldn't get this clip up with sound, for some reason. Below is one of my shorter tests, if you want to see how it plays when Nina is performing to John Cage instead of Tchaikovsky.]



HISTORY:

Polanski previously placed 19th for The Pianist in 2002. His only other eligible films during the Skandies era were The Ninth Gate (pretty sure he got points from me, at least) and Oliver Twist (not so much).

Swinton won Best Actress last year for Julia, and her nine appearances in the top 20 to date find her tied for 2nd place in the all-time ranking (along with Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Isabelle Huppert, plus Kate Winslet, whose absence this year let these four catch up). Her other nods:

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)

Phoenix won Best Actor last year for Two Lovers. He also placed 10th in 2005 for Walk the Line and 9th in Supporting for Gladiator in 2000. Sheen landed at #9 in the same category in 2002 for Leigh's All or Nothing. Timberlake is new.

Leigh's screenplays for Secrets & Lies (1996), Topsy-Turvy (1999), Vera Drake (2004) and Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) placed 4th, 6th, 9th, and 14th, respectively (though Screenplay was divided into Original and Adapted in '96). He failed to place for Career Girls or All or Nothing.

20 comments:

Matt Noller said...

ENTER THE VOID and INCEPTION over SHUTTER ISLAND. Paz de la Huerta.

I don't know who I can trust anymore.

Ryan said...

Never sure how to treat Mike Leigh's screenplays. Knowing a little about his process, I ended up attributing much of what I like concerning the dialogue or character interactions to the direction and acting. So as much as I admired the scenario and character details, the actual points were mainly distributed to Sheen & Broadbent.

But this leads to another issue, which is, apart from reading a screenplay, how do you really distinguish on-set improvisations from what's on the page. Should you even do so? When people say, "well, Mike Leigh's movies are all improvised", it's often meant to ridicule awards given to Leigh's screenplays. But maybe The Exploding Girl or Greenberg departed heavily on the page, also. Voters cannot be expected to know the creative process behind all the screenplay/direction contenders in order to make these distinctions, right?

So how do you deal with this problem of attribution? I find it hard to be consistent.

rinnyp said...

Matt: seconded. So hard.

md'a said...

Voters cannot be expected to know the creative process behind all the screenplay/direction contenders in order to make these distinctions, right?

Screenplay is largely guesswork, frankly. In practice I tend to vote for films that are distinguished by their narrative structure, regardless of how that structure may have come about. Though there's also a (somewhat unfortunate) tendency to make the category simply Best Dialogue.

Leigh's movies are very much written. He gets his ideas by having his actors improvise in front of him for six months, but then, other writers get their ideas by having humanity improvise in front of them all year round.

Jeff said...

Was hoping for a top 10 finish for VOID, but this is pretty great. What amazes me is that somebody gave points to Paz and did not give any to the film itself. Interesting!

Looking forward to seeing Gaspar in the top 10 (hopefully twice).

To answer Ryan: on screenplay voting I go with my gut.

Nick Duval said...

Yes! Mike Leigh!

bentclouds said...

"Was hoping for a top 10 finish for VOID, but this is pretty great"

Yes.

"What amazes me is that somebody gave points to Paz and did not give any to the film itself. Interesting!"

I'm pretty sure that was Dan Sallitt.

Nictate said...

"What amazes me is that somebody gave points to Paz and did not give any to the film itself. Interesting!"

That was me, Jeff. ENTER THE VOID just missed being in my top 10 films, although I did give points to Noe as director because I think he pulled off a compelling visceral experiment.

Paz did a bang-up (ahem) job in that role. She was appropriately vapid and childlike.

As for the Googling in the third act and easy discovery of the checkered past, I saw that clearly as a wink to the audience that played along nicely with THE GHOST WRITER's wry sense of humor.

Interesting that ENTER THE VOID and THE GHOST WRITER get accused of being dumb, when they're both ultimately very clever works of art. Dumb like a fox.

Atli Sig said...

It seems like my beloved GREENBERG is not gonna make the top 20...

So, anyway, here's my annual guess for the top 10:

10. Exit Through the Gift Shop
9. Carlos
8. Toy Story 3
7. The Social Network
6. Everyone Else
5. The Black Swan
4. Wild Grass
3. Mother
2. Dogtooth
1. Winter's Bone

Ryan said...

Good try, Atli. I think Greenberg has a shot, but given the fairly high finishes of Wild Grass's performers, I guess you're probably right that the picture is due for a top ten finish.

My picks:

10. Everyone Else
09. Wild Grass
08. Exit Through the Gift Shop
07. Black Swan
06. Toy Story 3
05. Mother
04. Winter's Bone
03. Carlos
02. Dogtooth
01. The Social Network

Arkaan said...

I'm surprised Sheen was considered supporting. I think she and Broadbent are the leads. Iffier on Manville, but everyone tells me she's lead and I'm wrong.

md'a said...

I would argue that there are no leading roles in Another Year. Same is true of his other family films (Life Is Sweet, All or Nothing).

Victor Morton said...

Ryan:

I managed to give points to a screenplay that doesn't exist. Top THAT one, Banksy.

Serious point: I was looking at the "story" events, the structure, the words added post-production, and how all these things bounce off each other. Even if the film in question has no script credit and probably never had a complete script at any time (on account of its being a documentary), I am still think the film deserved the 12 points I will probably have been alone in throwing it and am proud of that fact.

Victor Morton said...

Actually Mike -- did anybody else give any points to the film I'm talking about in any category #idbetno

bentclouds said...

"I am still think the film deserved the 12 points I will probably have been alone in throwing it and am proud of that fact."

I gave it 5 pts for screenplay and I would assume that they had a screenplay during the post-production to figure out what needed to be shot to bridge the documentary footage with the mockumentary footage and to figure out where the narration is needed to help the story along. I guess there's a way to do all of that without having a physical screenplay but I doubt it.

I also threw Thierry Guetta some points but I'm sure it will not be enough to get him near the top 20.

witherholly said...

Specifically, it's too bad the writers of EXIT's narration don't get credit, but docs (or hybrid source/mock docs) are serious writer-producer mediums, like scripted and reality tv.

P.S. the sound effects editing alone is award worthy. It's so enhanced, sold with sound (not just the cuts, but the drama). Dry, natively speaking, sound wise, it'd be as boring as watching paint dry.

P.P.S. That's the worst scene from Black Swan -- she dances, poorly, in scraped together bits, a dance that's lost all significance from the ballet to movie version, to prove she's really a good girl after all and will die to live eternally with the prince.

Couldn't you have picked a good mirror bending scene, from before it got stale, in the first or second act?

msic said...

I am really liking the chances of a #1 finish for Dogtooth. This could be another proud Skandies moment, like the Irreversible win. Please please please, don't let it be fucking Social Network, for the love of god.

THE TERRORDOME said...

@ Victor Morten

Catfish?

witherholly said...

Catfood and Dogwoof for the win, yeah!

Michael said...

Catfish? No way in hell. The D'Angelo Effect be damned.