21 July 2021

Skandiewrap, or More Than You Wanted to Know

Not an ordinary year, needless to say. For a while, I seriously considered not conducting the survey at all, thinking it might make more sense to combine 2020 and 2021 into a single super-year; my fear was that so few notable films would be “released” that we’d be forced to elevate mediocrities (or, more likely, solid but unexceptional movies that would never have made the cut under normal circumstances). Ultimately, after seeing what came out, I chose to forge ahead, though the deadline got pushed back five months in order to give voters sufficient time to see everything. There’ll always be a bit of an asterisk attached to 2020’s results, at least in my own mind, just because there’s no doubt that they’d have been radically different had the pandemic not hit. But better an asterisk than a Waterford Huskies-style "What happened in 1975?" gap, I think. Hopefully we’ve got another 20 years or so before the core of the August Voting Body (which is creeping into its fifties) starts dropping like flies.


If nothing else, the year-long movie-theater shutdown forced me to finally acknowledge reality and expand Skandie eligibility beyond those films that get a NYC theatrical release. I’d been dragging my heels on that, mostly because I didn’t—and still don’t, really—know of an accurate, comprehensive source that tracks streaming releases across every known platform. Necessity gave birth to a decidedly clumsy invention that saw me throw in every film that received a New York Times review and then solicit additional prospects from the AVB, allowing anything that was available to watch at home in the U.S. for at least a week. (Festival premieres that screened just a handful of times remained off limits.) This wound up being rather messy—I included four Sony Classics titles that may not really have been eligible yet, due to my uncertainty about whether or not they actually received their announced December awards runs, and e.g. someone submitted Pablo Larraín’s Ema, which I now see is getting a proper release later this year but too late, we’ve already ignored it. All the same, I plan to stick with this jerry-rigged system going forward, at least until I think of a superior alternative. (Suggestions welcome.)


That probably spells the end of the Undies, our annual rundown of favorite films that have just aged out of the Skandies’ two-year eligibility window. I’d already had to cut the results in half, from twenty films to ten; this year (which is to say, looking back at 2018), even the top 10 includes three films that received just a single vote (one of them mine). It’s such a comparatively anemic roster that I didn’t even bother to post it in the usual spot between #11 and #10 of the survey proper. Here it is, for the record:

  1. Donbass (Sergei Loznitsa) [68 points/6 votes]
  2. Fatal Pulse (Damon Packard) [40 points/2 votes]
  3. L. Cohen (James Benning) [32 points/3 votes]
  4. Terror Nullius (Soda_Jerk) [30 points/2 votes]
  5. Season of the Devil (Lav Diaz) [30 points/1 vote]
  6. Anna’s War (Alexey Fedorchenko) [26 points/2 votes]*
  7. Belmonte (Federico Veiroj) [25 points/3 votes]
  8. Paul Sanchez Is Back! (Patricia Mazuy) [25 points/3 votes]
  9. Mademoiselle de Joncquières (Emmanuel Mouret) [25 points/1 vote]
  10. Seder-Masochism (Nina Paley) [23 points/1 vote]**
* Mostly me
** Entirely me

Loznitsa’s second consecutive victory, as A Gentle Creature won last year. It might be the last winner—hard to imagine this exercise continuing to be viable now that streaming releases, which had become a sizable contingent, have been promoted to the main event. 


Okay, on to the number-crunching. (Many of you will want to check out at this point.) (Assuming you didn't check out long ago, that is.) (Which seems like a fair assumption, because otherwise how could you have read that sentence?) (Anyway.) What follows are the stats I used to send out to voters (via snail mail!) back in the '90s, which I still maintain for my own obsessive amusement.

NOTE: The layout below is not optimized for mobile. Some of it (the Directors' Gallery at the bottom in particular) will be gobbledygook unless you're on a laptop/desktop.



HIGHEST AVERAGE RATING (1996–2020)
(includes only films receiving a minimum of ten votes)

01. 3.65 The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
02. 3.61 Being John Malkovich (1999)
03. 3.61 A Separation (2011)
04. 3.58 Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
05. 3.57 In the Company of Men (1997)
06. 3.56 Secrets & Lies (1996)
07. 3.53 La Promesse (1997)
08. 3.52 Yi Yi (A One and a Two…) (2000)
09. 3.50 From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1996)
10. 3.49 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

It's nearly impossible for new films to make this list, due to a significant uptick in voter stinginess with high ratings since the '90s. Here's how it looks for the last decade:

01. 3.61 A Separation (2011)
02. 3.49 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
03. 3.48 Margaret (2011)
04. 3.46 Nocturama (2017)
04. 3.46 Phantom Thread (2017)
06. 3.45 The Tree of Life (2011)
07. 3.44 Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood (2019)
08. 3.43 Certified Copy (2011)
09. 3.41 Holy Motors (2012)
10. 3.41 O.J.: Made in America (2016)

No new additions. The year's highest-rated film, Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, only managed 3.28



LOWEST AVERAGE RATING (1996–2020)
(includes only films receiving a minimum of five votes)

01. 0.20 Date Movie (2006)
01. 0.20 America (2014)
03. 0.50 Collateral Beauty (2016)
04. 0.58 Miss March (2009)
05. 0.60 Dragonfly (2002)
05. 0.60 The Last Face (2017)
07. 0.61 The Roommate (2011)
08. 0.67 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)
09. 0.67 The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015)
10. 0.70 Beastly (2011)
10. 0.70 Left Behind (2014)

Nothing new here, either. Lowest were The Last Thing He Wanted and Uncle Frank with 1.20—not even close. 



MOST DIVISIVE FILMS (2020)
(std. deviation >= 0.75; minimum two votes 3.5 or higher, two votes 1.5 or lower)

  • The Devil All the Time (1.13)
  • Beanpole (0.90)
  • The Climb (0.79)

  • Very few qualifiers this year, though Campos' film was more divisive than any of last year's.



    BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
    (lowest-ranked film seen by at least 75% of respondents)

    1996: Twister (1.80)
    1997: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (2.33)
    1998: He Got Game (2.59)
    1999: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (2.18)
    2000: Nurse Betty (2.31)
    2001: Vanilla Sky (2.20)
    2002: Storytelling (2.03)
    2003: The Matrix Reloaded (2.29)
    2004: The Village (2.30)
    2005: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2.49)
    2006: Little Miss Sunshine (2.52)
    2007: Ocean's Thirteen (2.52)
    2008: Milk (2.83)
    2009: The Hangover (2.35)
    2010: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2.71)
    2011: Midnight in Paris (2.47)
    2012: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2.37)
    2013: American Hustle (2.50)
    2014: Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2.44)
    2015: While We're Young (2.67)
    2016: Knight of Cups (2.52)
    2017: The Shape of Water (2.48)
    2018: A Star Is Born (2.68)
    2019: Joker (2.44)
    2020: Mank (2.30)

    As the AVB grows older, fewer and fewer films are being seen by 75% of us. Hence the shift toward Oscar nominees in recent years. This really should have gone to Promising Young Woman, but too many voters skipped it. On the other hand, I expect more from Fincher.



    PASSIONATE MINORITY AWARD
    (lowest average among top 20 films in Picture voting)

    1996: Dead Man (2.94)
    1997: Crash (2.52)
    1998: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (2.68)
    1999: The End of the Affair (2.96)
    2000: Requiem for a Dream (2.73)
    2001: Amélie (2.71)
    2002: 8 Women (2.79)
    2003: The Good Thief (2.81)
    2004: I ♥ Huckabees (2.84)
    2005: Oldboy (2.68)
    2006: Manderlay (2.69)
    2007: Once (2.79)
    2008: Funny Games (2.83)
    2009: A Serious Man (2.83)
    2010: The Exploding Girl (2.75)
    2011: Shame (2.63)
    2012: Damsels in Distress (2.76)
    2013: Spring Breakers (2.72)
    2014: Goodbye to Language (2.64)
    2015: The Assassin (2.73)
    2016: Knight of Cups (2.52)
    2017: Downsizing (2.50)
    2018: You Were Never Really Here (2.86)
    2019: Midsommar (2.80)
    2020: I Was at Home, but... (2.69)

    I gave it a second chance, but...


    DAMNED WITH FAINT PRAISE
    (highest-ranked film by average rating not to place in Picture voting [10+ voters] )

    1996: Get on the Bus (3.29)
    1997: Forgotten Silver (3.36)
    1998: The Kingdom II (3.14)
    1999: My Name Is Joe (3.18)
    2000: Erin Brockovich (3.14)
    2001: No Man’s Land (3.19)
    2002: Roger Dodger (3.14)
    2003: The Weather Underground (3.18)
    2004: Bright Leaves (3.16)
    2005: Howl's Moving Castle (3.15)
    2006: The Devil and Daniel Johnston (3.18)
    2007: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (3.25)
    2008: The Duchess of Langeais (3.20)
    2009: Night and Day (3.07)
    2010: Another Year (3.21)
    2011: Senna (3.07)
    2012: The Imposter (3.10)
    2013: Drug War (3.17)
    2014: National Gallery (3.25)
    2015: The Look of Silence (3.28)
    2016: I Am Not Your Negro (3.18)
    2017: Ex Libris (3.06)
    2018: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (3.10)
    2019: Apollo 11 (3.13)
    2020: City Hall (3.03)

    Third time Wiseman's taken this in the past seven years. Also of note: high averages for the relatively little-seen Circumstantial Pleasures (3.20), The Cordillera of Dreams (3.20), Welcome to Chechnya (3.17), and—much to my surprise—Spontaneous (3.10). 

    Oh, I just realized that I forgot to reveal Atli Sigurjónsson's predictions, which he sent me privately before the daily countdown kicked off. As usual, he, too, got it very close. Here they are, with the film's actual placement noted parenthetically. (Kind of a random place to put this information, but oh well.)

    1. First Cow (1) 2. Lovers Rock (2) 3. Fourteen (3) 4. Collective (7) 5. Bloody Nose Empty Pockets (4) 6. Dick Johnson is Dead (5) 7. Martin Eden (8) 8. The Nest (10) 9. I Was at Home, But… (9) 10. Bacurau (19) 11. A White White Day (6) 12. Tesla (did not place, #24) 13. The Grand Bizarre (12) 14. Beanpole (11) 15. Possessor (16) 16. Nomadland (18) 17. Da 5 Bloods (13) 18. Vitalina Varela (17) 19. Time (did not place, #40) 20. Soul (did not place, #21)
    He missed I'm Thinking of Ending Things (#14), Young Ahmed (#15), and Tenet (#20). 



    DAMN THE REVIEWS, FULL SPEED AHEAD
    (lowest average among films seen by at least 10 respondents)

    1996: Twister (1.80)
    1997: Batman & Robin (1.28)
    1998: The Avengers | Stepmom [tie] (1.50)
    1999: Jawbreaker (1.14)
    2000: Pay It Forward (1.41)
    2001: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (1.26)
    2002: Scooby-Doo (1.08)
    2003: Bad Boys II (1.60)
    2004: Exorcist: The Beginning (1.21)
    2005: Undead (1.29)
    2006: The Hills Have Eyes (1.65)
    2007: Smokin' Aces (1.64)
    2008: Jumper (1.54)
    2009: Gigantic (1.00)
    2010: The Last Airbender (1.05)
    2011: Vanishing on 7th Street (1.55)
    2012: This Means War (1.50)
    2013: Gangster Squad (1.29)
    2014: That Awkward Moment (1.45)
    2015: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (1.79)
    2016: Zoolander 2 (1.60)
    2017: The Assignment (1.77)
    2018: Vice (1.67)
    2019: Serenity (1.05)
    2020: Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (1.95)

    I guess more people saw Birds of Prey than Suicide Squad. (AFTER CHECKING: No, they didn't! We just hated Zoolander 2 even more.)



    SELECTION COMMITTEE ON CRACK
    (lowest average for a film that screened at the New York Film Festival)
    (post-expansion: Main Slate only, plus "Special Event" world premieres)

    1996: Flirt (2.20)
    1997: Kiss or Kill (1.79)
    1998: Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1.80)
    1999: Dogma (1.89)
    2000: Before Night Falls (2.31)
    2001: La Ciénaga (1.95)
    2002: In Praise of Love (1.95)
    2003: Chi-Hwa-Seon: Painted Fire (2.19)
    2004: Free Radicals (2.08)
    2005: Palindromes (2.15)
    2006: Rolling Family (1.83)
    2007: The Go Master (1.93)
    2008: Married Life (2.25)
    2009: The Windmill Movie (2.13)
    2010: Hereafter (2.05)
    2011: We Are What We Are (1.64)
    2012: Hyde Park on Hudson (1.69)
    2013: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1.92)
    2014: Child of God (2.00)
    2015: The Princess of France (2.42)
    2016: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2.10)
    2017: My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea (1.96)
    2018: Wildlife (2.29)
    2019: A Faithful Man (2.08)
    2020: The Wild Goose Lake (2.18)

    Also unloved: A Family Tour (2.20), A Girl Missing (2.20), Wasp Network (2.23), Gunda (2.40).



    ALONE AGAIN (NATURALLY)
    (suggested by Alex Fung; lowest average for a film that received a 4-star rating

    1996: The Stupids (2.30) | Bryan “Frankenseuss” Theiss (ret.)
    1997: Kissed (2.46) | Alex Fung
    1998: Psycho (2.11) | Erik Gregersen (ret.)
    1999: Twin Falls Idaho (2.28) | Milton Lawson (ret.)
    2000: Beautiful People (2.29) | Keith Collins (ret.)
    2001: The Road Home (1.88) | Erik Gregersen (ret.)
    2002: In Praise of Love (1.95) | Jeremy Heilman
    2003: Gigli (1.92) | Jeremy Heilman
    2004: The Passion of the Christ (2.18) | Victor J. Morton
    2005: The Brothers Grimm (2.29) | Bilge Ebiri
    2006: The Fountain (2.21) | Peter Reiher (ret.)
    2007: Southland Tales (1.88) | Dave Cowen; Jeremy Heilman
    2008: Jellyfish (2.36) | Daniel Waters
    2009: 12 (2.29) | Bilge Ebiri
    2010: Somewhere (2.41) | Nictate (ret.)
    2011: A Serbian Film (1.81) | Daniel Waters
    2012: Alps (2.43) | Don Marks
    2013: Maniac (2.50) | Jeremy Heilman
    2014: Vic + Flo Saw a Bear (2.43) | Victor J. Morton
    2015: The Tribe (2.43) | Daniel Waters
    2016: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (2.10) | Jeremy Heilman
    2017: Song to Song (2.24) | Jeremy Heilman
    2018: The 15:17 to Paris (2.07) | Jeremy Heilman
    2019: Jojo Rabbit (2.25) | Jeff McCloud
    2020: The Devil All the Time (2.21) | Jeremy Heilman; Zach Ralston

    Kind of can't believe this is Zach's first time here.



    MAJOR FESTIVAL PRIZE WINNERS: OUR VERDICT

    Cannes Palme d'Or

    1995: Underground (#15, 1997)
    1996: Secrets & Lies (#2, 1996)
    1997: Taste of Cherry (#15, 1998)
    1997: The Eel (did not place)
    1998: Eternity and a Day (did not place)
    1999: Rosetta (did not place)
    2000: Dancer in the Dark (#10, 2000)
    2001: The Son's Room (did not place)
    2002: The Pianist (did not place)
    2003: Elephant (did not place)
    2004: Fahrenheit 9/11 (did not place)
    2005: L'Enfant (The Child) (#6, 2006)
    2006: The Wind That Shakes the Barley (did not place)
    2007: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (#1, 2008)
    2008: The Class (did not place)
    2009: The White Ribbon (did not place)
    2010: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (#9, 2011)
    2011: The Tree of Life (#1, 2011)
    2012: Amour (#6, 2012)
    2013: Blue Is the Warmest Color (#8, 2013)
    2014: Winter Sleep (#15, 2014)
    2015: Dheepan (did not place)
    2016: I, Daniel Blake (did not place)
    2017: The Square (did not place)
    2018: Shoplifters (#19, 2018)
    2019: Parasite (#2, 2019)
    2020: festival cancelled

    Venice Golden Lion

    1995: Cyclo (#14, 1996)
    1996: Michael Collins (did not place)
    1997: Fireworks (Hana-Bi) (#5, 1998)
    1998: The Way We Laughed (N/A, not theatrically released during window of eligibility)
    1999: Not One Less (did not place)
    2000: The Circle (did not place)
    2001: Monsoon Wedding (did not place)
    2002: The Magdalene Sisters (did not place)
    2003: The Return (did not place)
    2004: Vera Drake (#6, 2004)
    2005: Brokeback Mountain (#3, 2005)
    2006: Still Life (#18, 2008)
    2007: Lust, Caution (did not place)
    2008: The Wrestler (#13, 2008)
    2009: Lebanon (did not place)
    2010: Somewhere (did not place)
    2011: Faust (did not place)
    2012: Pieta (did not place)
    2013: Sacro GRA (N/A, not theatrically released during window of eligibility)
    2014: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (did not place)
    2015: From Afar (did not place)
    2016: The Woman Who Left (did not place)
    2017: The Shape of Water (did not place)
    2018: Roma (#4, 2018)
    2019: Joker (did not place)
    2020: Nomadland (#18, 2020)

    Sundance Grand Jury (Dramatic)

    1995: The Brothers McMullen (did not place)
    1996: Welcome to the Dollhouse (did not place)
    1997: Sunday (did not place)
    1998: Slam (did not place)
    1999: Three Seasons (did not place)
    2000: Girlfight (did not place)
    2000: You Can Count on Me (#3, 2000)
    2001: The Believer (did not place)
    2002: Personal Velocity (did not place)
    2003: American Splendor (#20, 2003)
    2004: Primer (#10, 2004)
    2005: Forty Shades of Blue (did not place)
    2006: Quinceañera (did not place)
    2007: Padre Nuestro (did not place)
    2008: Frozen River (did not place)
    2009: Precious (Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire) (did not place)
    2010: Winter's Bone (#2, 2010)
    2011: Like Crazy (did not place)
    2012: Beasts of the Southern Wild (did not place)
    2013: Fruitvale Station (did not place)
    2014: Whiplash (#20, 2014)
    2015: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (did not place)
    2016: The Birth of a Nation (did not place)
    2017: I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore (unreleased, placed 5th in the Undies)
    2018: The Miseducation of Cameron Post (did not place)
    2019: Clemency (did not place)
    2020: Minari (did not place)



    Most Appearances in Top 20 (Actors)
    (ties for number of appearances broken by average placement)

    01. Tilda Swinton (16)

    1. Julia
    4s. Michael Clayton
    4s. Snowpiercer
    5. The Deep End
    5. We Need to Talk About Kevin
    7. Only Lovers Left Alive
    9s. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    11. I Am Love
    12s. Burn After Reading
    12s. Suspiria
    13s. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    14. A Bigger Splash
    16s. The Dead Don't Die
    18. Female Perversions
    19s. Thumbsucker
    19s. Trainwreck

    02. Philip Seymour Hoffman (15)

    1s. The Master
    3s. Charlie Wilson's War
    5. Capote
    6. Synecdoche, New York
    6s. The Talented Mr. Ripley
    6s. Almost Famous
    10s. Magnolia
    10s. 25th Hour
    11. Doubt
    12. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
    12s. State and Main
    15s. Happiness
    15. Owning Mahowny
    18. A Most Wanted Man
    19s. Mission: Impossible III

    03. Isabelle Huppert (15)

    1. Elle
    2. The Piano Teacher
    2s. 8 Women
    4. Gabrielle
    8. Abuse of Weakness
    8. The School of Flesh
    8. Things to Come
    12. White Material
    13s. I ♥ Huckabees
    13s. Amour
    15. La Cérémonie
    17. Time of the Wolf
    17. In Another Country
    19s. Claire's Camera
    19. Home

    04. Julianne Moore (11)

    1. Far From Heaven
    3s. Boogie Nights
    6. Still Alice
    8s. Magnolia
    11. The End of the Affair
    13s. The Big Lebowski
    15s. An Ideal Husband
    16s. A Single Man
    16. Gloria Bell
    19. Savage Grace
    19. The Kids Are All Right

    (Was also the Actress winner for Safe in 1995, when the survey employed Oscar-style voting.)

    05. Scarlett Johansson (10)

    1s. Ghost World
    1s. Her
    2. Lost in Translation
    2. Under the Skin
    4. Marriage Story
    5s. The Horse Whisperer
    6s. Match Point
    12. Lucy
    15. Girl With a Pearl Earring
    19s. Jojo Rabbit

    No change from last year, probably because a lot of the films that might have produced one didn't get released. 



    Most Films Landed in Top 20 (Directors)
    (again, ties broken by average placement)

    01. Joel [& Ethan] Coen (10)

    1. Inside Llewyn Davis
    2. No Country for Old Men
    4. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    5. The Man Who Wasn't There
    6. Fargo
    7. A Serious Man
    10. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
    11. Burn After Reading
    12. The Big Lebowski
    12. True Grit

    Did not place: Intolerable Cruelty; The Ladykillers; Paris je t'aime [segment]; Hail, Caesar!
    Ineligible: Everything prior to FargoTo Each His Own Cinema [segment]

    02. Martin Scorsese (8)

    1. The Departed
    2. The Wolf of Wall Street
    4. Silence
    5. I Heard You Paint Houses
    7. Kundun
    9. Gangs of New York
    14. Shutter Island
    19. Hugo

    Did not place: Bringing Out the DeadThe AviatorShine a LightPublic SpeakingLiving in the Material WorldConjuring the Rolling Thunder Re-vue
    Ineligible: Everything prior to KundunMy Voyage to ItalyThe Concert for New York City [segment]; Lady by the Sea: The Statue of LibertyA Letter to EliaThe 50 Year Argument

    03. Richard Linklater (8)

    3. Before Sunset
    3. Boyhood
    4. Before Midnight
    7. Everybody Wants Some!!
    9. The School of Rock
    12. A Scanner Darkly
    15. Waking Life
    18. Bernie

    Did not place: subUrbia; The Newton BoysTapeBad News BearsFast Food NationMe and Orson WellesLast Flag FlyingWhere'd You Go, Bernadette
    Ineligible: Everything prior to subUrbiaInning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach

    04. Lars von Trier (8)

    1. Breaking the Waves
    1. Dogville
    7. Melancholia
    10. Dancer in the Dark
    13. The House That Jack Built
    17. Nymph()maniac Vol. I
    19. The Five Obstructions
    20. Manderlay

    Did not place: The KingdomThe IdiotsThe Kingdom IIThe Boss of It AllAntichristNymph()maniac Vol. II
    Ineligible: Everything prior to Breaking the WavesD-dag

    05. Christopher Nolan (8)

    2. The Prestige
    3. Memento
    5. The Dark Knight
    13. Inception
    14. Dunkirk
    18. Interstellar
    19. Batman Begins
    20. Tenet

    Did not place: Following, Insomnia, The Dark Knight Rises

    Nolan replaces Tarantino.



    Where Are They Now?

    New-ish category! Actors who've had at least two appearances in the top 20, but haven't made the cut in the past ten years. We used to like them. What happened? (Actors who die will be removed a year following their last eligible performance.)

    Note: The two-nod minimum, which is meant to keep this list manageable (as there are many, many actors who've shown up only once, most of them in no way notable), also eliminates some big names that one might expect to be here: Dustin Hoffman, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, etc.

    Each actor's most recent Skandie appearance is in [brackets]. New additions are in bold. Removed because they finally placed again this year: Jude Law and Bill Murray. Removed because he passed away: Ian Holm.

    • Joan Allen [2005: The Upside of Anger]
    • Mathieu Amalric [2008: A Christmas Tale]
    • Daniel Auteuil [2005: Caché (Hidden)]
    • Alec Baldwin [2006: The Departed]
    • Eric Bana [2005: Munich]
    • Sacha Baron Cohen [2006: Borat Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby]
    • Kathy Bates [2002: About Schmidt]
    • Thora Birch [2001: Ghost World]
    • Helena Bonham Carter [2007: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street]
    • Jim Broadbent [2010: Another Year]
    • Jim Carrey [2010: I Love You, Phillip Morris]
    • Michael Cera [2007: Superbad Juno]
    • Don Cheadle [1998: Out of Sight]
    • Maggie Cheung [2006: Clean]
    • Julie Christie [2007: Away From Her]
    • Patricia Clarkson [2005: The Dying Gaul]
    • Jennifer Connelly [2003: House of Sand and Fog]
    • Paddy Considine [2005: My Summer of Love]
    • Chris Cooper [2007: Breach]
    • Kevin Costner [2005: The Upside of Anger]
    • Brian Cox [2002: 25th Hour]
    • James Cromwell [1997: L.A. Confidential]
    • Penélope Cruz [2008: Vicky Cristina Barcelona]
    • Joan Cusack [2003: The School of Rock]
    • John Cusack [2000: High Fidelity]
    • Claire Danes [2005: Shopgirl]
    • Jean-Pierre Darroussin [2004: Red Lights]
    • Hope Davis [2003: The Secret Lives of Dentists American Splendor]
    • Judy Davis [1998: Celebrity]
    • Catherine Deneuve [2008: A Christmas Tale]
    • Johnny Depp [2003: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Once Upon a Time in Mexico]
    • Zooey Deschanel [2006: Failure to Launch]
    • Emmanuelle Devos [2008: A Christmas Tale]
    • Cameron Diaz [2001: Vanilla Sky]
    • Illeana Douglas [1996: Grace of My Heart]
    • Robert Downey, Jr. [2008: Iron Man Tropic Thunder]
    • Minnie Driver [1997: Grosse Pointe Blank Good Will Hunting]
    • Robert Duvall [2003: Open Range]
    • Aaron Eckhart [2008: The Dark Knight]
    • Jesse Eisenberg [2010: The Social Network]
    • Anna Faris [2008: The House Bunny]
    • Vera Farmiga [2009: Up in the Air]
    • Colin Firth [2010: The King's Speech]
    • Bridget Fonda [1998: A Simple Plan]
    • Jodie Foster [2002: Panic Room]
    • Morgan Freeman [2004: Million Dollar Baby]
    • Jennifer Garner [2007: Juno]
    • Joseph Gordon-Levitt [2009: (500) Days of Summer]
    • Olivier Gourmet [2003: The Son]
    • Pascal Greggory [2006: Gabrielle]
    • Maggie Gyllenhaal [2006: Sherrybaby Stranger Than Fiction]
    • Jackie Earle Haley [2009: Watchmen]
    • Marcia Gay Harden [2003: Mystic River]
    • Ed Harris [2005: A History of Violence]
    • Bryce Dallas Howard [2010: Hereafter]
    • Danny Huston [2004: Birth]
    • Vlad Ivanov [2009: Police, Adjective]
    • Milla Jovovich [2010: Stone]
    • Catherine Keener [2007: Into the Wild]
    • Rinko Kikuchi [2009: The Brothers Bloom]
    • Val Kilmer [2005: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang]
    • Greg Kinnear [2002: Auto Focus]
    • Frank Langella [2008: Frost/Nixon]
    • Valérie Lemercier [2007: Avenue Montaigne]
    • Melissa Leo [2010: The Fighter]
    • Tony Leung [2005: 2046]
    • Laura Linney [2007: The Savages]
    • Alison Lohman [2009: Drag Me to Hell]
    • Sergi López [2006: Pan's Labyrinth]
    • Kelly Macdonald [2007: No Country for Old Men]
    • Anthony Mackie [2009: The Hurt Locker]
    • Tobey Maguire [2002: Spider-Man]
    • John Malkovich [2008: Burn After Reading]
    • Rose McGowan [2007: Grindhouse]
    • Ewan McGregor [2010: I Love You, Phillip Morris]
    • Ian McKellen [2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]
    • Helen Mirren [2006: The Queen]
    • Alfred Molina [2004: Coffee and Cigarettes]
    • David Morse [2003: The Slaughter Rule]
    • Samantha Morton [2008: Synecdoche, New York]
    • Peter Mullan [2001: The Claim]
    • Thandie Newton [2002: The Truth About Charlie]
    • Jack Nicholson [2002: About Schmidt]
    • Timothy Olyphant [2009: A Perfect Getaway]
    • Haley Joel Osment [2001: AI]
    • Clive Owen [2009: Duplicity]
    • Gwyneth Paltrow [2009: Two Lovers]
    • Joe Pantoliano [2001: Memento]
    • Barry Pepper [2010: True Grit]
    • Rebecca Pidgeon [2000: State and Main]
    • Sarah Polley [1999: Go]
    • Jérémie Renier [2009: Lorna's Silence]
    • Christina Ricci [2007: Black Snake Moan]
    • Julia Roberts [2009: Duplicity]
    • Mickey Rourke [2008: The Wrestler]
    • Geoffrey Rush [2010: The King's Speech]
    • Ludivine Sagnier [2008: A Girl Cut in Two]
    • Jason Schwartzman [2009: Fantastic Mr. Fox]
    • Campbell Scott [2003: The Secret Lives of Dentists]
    • Kristin Scott Thomas [2008: I've Loved You So Long]
    • Chloë Sevigny [2000: American Psycho]
    • Tony Shalhoub [2001: The Man Who Wasn't There]
    • Michael Sheen [2008: Frost/Nixon]
    • Ruth Sheen [2010: Another Year]
    • Shu Qi [2006: Three Times]
    • Imelda Staunton [2007: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix]
    • David Strathairn [2008: My Blueberry Nights]
    • Hilary Swank [2004: Million Dollar Baby]
    • Sylvie Testud [2010: Lourdes]
    • Billy Bob Thornton [2003: Bad Santa]
    • Stanley Tucci [2009: Julie & Julia]
    • Maribel Verdú [2006: Pan's Labyrinth]
    • Mark Wahlberg [2010: The Fighter]
    • Emily Watson [2002: Punch-Drunk Love]
    • Naomi Watts [2008: Funny Games]
    • Sigourney Weaver [1999: A Map of the World]
    • Forest Whitaker [2006: The Last King of Scotland]
    • Tom Wilkinson [2007: Michael Clayton]
    • Ray Winstone [2006: The Proposition The Departed]
    • Evan Rachel Wood [2006: Down in the Valley]
    • Jeffrey Wright [2005: Broken Flowers]
    • Steve Zahn [2007: Rescue Dawn]
    • Renée Zellweger [2003: Cold Mountain Down With Love]



    And finally. Back when I started the survey, I remember looking forward to the time, a decade or so later (i.e. now), when there'd be tons of accumulated data to wade through. In particular, I was excited about the prospect of being able to compare how various films from major directors had been received over the years. Granted, that process isn't exactly definitive—the AVB has mutated over the years and even the diehards tend to be stingier with their star ratings than they were back in the mid-'90s. But perhaps my favorite task after receiving the averages is updating my Directors' Gallery, plugging this year's films into various post-'94 oeuvres. Here are the entries that saw additions this year—every filmmaker who's ever placed in the Director top 20. 2020 films are in bold. Numbers in parentheses indicate how the film placed in Best Picture that year, if applicable; if the film title is in parentheses that means it received fewer than 10 votes and hence the result is a bit less meaningful. N/A (not applicable) means it was eligible but didn't even get five votes and so didn't make the main list.

    Woody Allen


    Everyone Says I Love You 3.09

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona (19)         2.98

    Match Point (13) 2.93

    Blue Jasmine (19) 2.82

    Sweet and Lowdown 2.63

    Deconstructing Harry 2.61

    Café Society 2.60

    Cassandra's Dream 2.60

    Midnight in Paris 2.47

    Magic in the Moonlight 2.47

    Irrational Man 2.46

    A Rainy Day in New York 2.40

    Small Time Crooks 2.37

    The Curse of the Jade Scorpion 2.33

    To Rome With Love 2.29

    Scoop 2.28

    (Wonder Wheel)         2.25

    Whatever Works         2.24

    Anything Else 2.13

    Hollywood Ending 2.13

    Celebrity 2.04

    Melinda and Melinda 2.00

    You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger 1.93


    Michael Almereyda


    Experimenter (14) 3.02

    Marjorie Prime 3.00

    Hamlet 2.87

    Tesla 2.78

    (This So-Called Disaster) 2.60

    (Cymbeline) 2.31

    Escapes N/A


    Olivier Assayas


    Irma Vep (5) 3.48

    Summer Hours (3) 3.23

    Carlos (6) 3.21

    Clouds of Sils Maria (9) 3.16

    Personal Shopper (5) 3.05

    Late August, Early September 2.88

    Something in the Air 2.82

    Les Destinées 2.79

    Clean 2.78

    Non-Fiction 2.52

    demonlover 2.45

    Boarding Gate 2.35

    Paris je t'aime 2.24

    Wasp Network 2.23


    Marco Bellocchio


    Vincere (16) 2.94

    The Traitor 2.71

    Good Morning, Night 2.65

    Dormant Beauty 2.55

    The Wedding Director N/A


    Bertrand Bonello


    Nocturama (1) 3.46

    House of Pleasures (5)         3.40

    Saint Laurent (13) 3.11

    Zombi Child 2.55


    Kenneth Branagh


    Hamlet (9) 3.29

    (A Midwinter’s Tale)         2.83

    (Cinderella) 2.75

    (All Is True) 2.42

    Thor 2.39

    (Murder on the Orient Express) 2.11

    Love’s Labours Lost 2.10

    Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit         2.05

    Sleuth 1.40

    Artemis Fowl N/A


    Antonio Campos


    Christine 2.90

    Afterschool (15) 2.87

    Simon Killer 2.36

    The Devil All the Time 2.21


    Sofia Coppola


    Lost in Translation (8) 3.04

    The Virgin Suicides (19) 2.84

    The Beguiled 2.66

    Marie Antoinette 2.65

    On the Rocks 2.50

    Somewhere 2.41

    The Bling Ring 2.24


    Pedro Costa


    (Ne change rien) 3.17

    Vitalina Varela (17) 2.89

    Colossal Youth 2.77

    Horse Money 2.73


    Brandon Cronenberg


    Possessor (16) 2.94

    Antiviral 2.40


    Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne


    La Promesse (13) 3.53

    Two Days, One Night (4) 3.35

    L'Enfant (The Child) (6) 3.26

    The Kid With a Bike (7) 3.18

    The Son (6) 3.16

    Lorna's Silence (11) 3.09

    Rosetta 2.89

    The Unknown Girl 2.75

    Young Ahmed (15) 2.71


    Pete Docter


    Up (4) 3.17

    Inside Out (4) 3.12

    Monsters, Inc.         3.06

    Soul 2.93


    Bruno Dumont


    Jeannette (15)                         3.07

    Hadewijch         3.00

    Flanders 2.96

    Slack Bay 2.86

    (Joan of Arc) 2.83

    Camille Claudel 1915         2.79

    Humanité (13) 2.79

    Li'l Quinquin 2.79

    Outside Satan 2.60

    Twentynine Palms 2.42

    (Life of Jesus) 2.19

    Coincoin and the Extra-Humans N/A


    Sean Durkin


    Martha Marcy May Marlene (10) 3.06

    The Nest (10) 2.93


    Atom Egoyan


    The Sweet Hereafter (1) 3.65

    Felicia’s Journey 2.66

    Where the Truth Lies         2.50

    Adoration 2.44

    (Remember) 2.39

    Ararat 2.33

    Chloe 2.21

    (Guest of Honour) 1.92

    (The Captive)         1.86

    (Devil's Knot) 1.43


    David Fincher


    Zodiac (3) 3.27

    The Social Network (4) 3.22

    Fight Club (3) 3.19

    Gone Girl (14) 3.03

    The Game (9) 2.95

    Panic Room 2.79

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo 2.44

    Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2.42

    Mank 2.30


    Paul Greengrass


    United 93 (3) 3.34

    The Bourne Ultimatum 3.05

    Captain Phillips 2.88

    (News of the World) 2.71

    Bloody Sunday 2.58

    The Bourne Supremacy         2.57

    Green Zone 2.39

    Jason Bourne 2.09

    22 July N/A


    Werner Herzog


    Grizzly Man (1) 3.40

    (Little Dieter Needs to Fly) 3.10

    Encounters at the End of the World      3.09

    The Bad Lieutenant--PoC:NO 2.91

    My Best Fiend 2.85

    (The White Diamond) 2.83

    Cave of Forgotten Dreams         2.73

    Rescue Dawn 2.73

    Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds 2.70

    (Into the Inferno) 2.67

    Lo and Behold 2.66

    Into the Abyss 2.64

    Family Romance, LLC 2.61

    (Wheel of Time) 2.57

    My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done 2.53

    (Meeting Gorbachev) 2.50

    (The Wild Blue Yonder) 2.25

    Invincible N/A

    Nomad: Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin N/A

    Queen of the Desert N/A


    Kirsten Johnson


    Cameraperson (5) 3.35

    Dick Johnson Is Dead (5) 3.04


    Spike Jonze


    Being John Malkovich (1) 3.61

    Adaptation. (6) 3.16

    Her (5) 3.01

    Where the Wild Things Are 2.63

    (Beastie Boys Story) 2.50


    Charlie Kaufman


    Synecdoche, New York (7) 2.93

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things (14) 2.90

    Anomalisa* (10) 2.87


    * with Duke Johnson


    Hirokazu Kore-eda


    After Life (13) 3.26

    Still Walking (19) 3.11

    Nobody Knows (18) 3.07

    Shoplifters (19) 3.06

    After the Storm 3.00

    (I Wish) 3.00

    Our Little Sister 2.92

    Like Father, Like Son         2.79

    The Third Murder 2.45

    The Truth 2.45

    (Maborosi) 2.40


    Kiyoshi Kurosawa


    Tokyo Sonata 2.81

    Creepy 2.77

    Before We Vanish 2.71

    To the Ends of the Earth 2.58

    Bright Future 2.37


    Spike Lee


    25th Hour (1)         3.42

    Get on the Bus 3.29

    (4 Little Girls) 3.14

    BlacKkKlansman 3.02

    Inside Man (16) 2.99

    Da 5 Bloods (13) 2.96

    (Passing Strange) 2.94

    David Byrne's American Utopia 2.88

    Chi-Raq 2.74

    The Original Kings of Comedy 2.73

    (Bad 25) 2.60

    He Got Game 2.59

    Summer of Sam 2.57

    Oldboy 2.46

    Red Hook Summer 2.42

    (Girl 6) 2.28

    Bamboozled 2.13

    Da Sweet Blood of Jesus 2.13

    Miracle at St. Anna 2.00

    She Hate Me 1.32

    Jim Brown: All American         N/A


    Pietro Marcello


    Martin Eden (8) 2.84

    Lost and Beautiful N/A


    Steve McQueen


    Lovers Rock (2) 3.22

    Hunger (6) 3.10

    12 Years a Slave (17) 3.04

    Mangrove 2.93

    Red, White and Blue 2.92

    Widows 2.79

    Education 2.64

    Shame (19) 2.63

    Alex Wheatle 2.56


    Kleber Mendonça Filho


    Aquarius 3.13

    Neighboring Sounds (17) 2.97

    Bacurau* (19) 2.80


    * with Juliano Dornelles


    Errol Morris


    Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (4) 3.42

    The Fog of War (11) 3.24

    Mr. Death 3.10

    Tabloid 3.00

    Standard Operating Procedure 2.98

    Wormwood (17) 2.97

    American Dharma 2.64

    The Unknown Known 2.64

    (The B-Side) 2.56

    (My Psychedelic Love Story) 2.31


    Christopher Nolan


    The Prestige (2) 3.40

    Memento (3) 3.31

    The Dark Knight (5) 3.17

    Dunkirk (14) 3.12

    Insomnia 2.92

    Inception (13)         2.84

    Tenet (20) 2.84

    Interstellar (18) 2.83

    Batman Begins (19) 2.81

    The Dark Knight Rises 2.63

    (Following) 2.28


    Hlynur Pálmason


    A White, White Day (6) 3.03

    (Winter Brothers) 2.60


    Kelly Reichardt


    First Cow (1) 3.21

    Old Joy (5) 3.17

    Meek's Cutoff (8) 3.13

    Certain Women 3.10

    Wendy and Lucy 2.98

    Night Moves 2.86


    Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross


    Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets (4) 3.28

    (Tchoupitoulas) 3.00

    (Western) 2.93

    (Contemporary Color) 2.79


    Dan Sallitt


    Fourteen (3) 3.18

    The Unspeakable Act 3.05


    Albert Serra


    (Quixotic) 2.92

    Liberté 2.80

    The Death of Louis XIV         2.68

    Birdsong 2.59

    (Story of My Death) 2.31


    Steven Soderbergh


    Out of Sight (1) 3.37

    Traffic (5) 3.24

    Erin Brockovich 3.14

    The Limey 2.99

    Contagion 2.96

    (Gray’s Anatomy) 2.94

    Ocean’s Eleven 2.93

    The Informant! 2.92

    Solaris 2.86

    Haywire 2.85

    Let Them All Talk 2.83

    Logan Lucky 2.77

    High Flying Bird 2.76

    And Everything Is Going Fine 2.75

    The Girlfriend Experience 2.72

    Magic Mike 2.70

    Schizopolis 2.70

    Bubble 2.66

    The Good German 2.66

    Full Frontal 2.63

    Side Effects 2.59

    Ocean's Thirteen 2.52

    Ocean’s Twelve 2.52

    Unsane 2.40

    Che 2.35

    Eros 2.15

    The Laundromat 1.83


    Thomas Vinterberg


    The Celebration (14) 3.24

    Another Round 2.90

    Far From the Madding Crowd 2.79

    The Hunt 2.61

    (The Commune) 2.60

    (The Command) 2.30

    Dear Wendy 2.14

    It’s All About Love 1.77


    Leigh Whannell


    The Invisible Man 2.95

    (Upgrade) 2.94

    (Insidious: Chapter 3) 2.06


    Robert Zemeckis


    Cast Away (12) 3.06

    Allied 2.91

    Contact 2.83

    The Walk 2.68

    The Polar Express 2.65

    (Disney's A Christmas Carol)         2.61

    Flight 2.55

    Beowulf 2.47

    What Lies Beneath 2.00

    (Welcome to Marwen) 1.80

    (The Witches) 1.60


    Chloé Zhao


    The Rider 3.02

    (Songs My Brothers Taught Me) 2.75

    Nomadland (18) 2.72