Rightwing Film Geek

More self-absorption

Since I’m holding off revealing my Skandie ballot, I’ll reveal what I almost voted for but didn’t. My method is to put go through the list of all the films I’ve seen and write down everything that strikes me as memorable or a possibility. And then shuck back to 10. These are the leaves that got shucked. These were what did NOT make my ballot. And yes … I only could think of 12 lead female and 13 supporting female performances.¹

Lead male
hostposter.jpg Song Kang-ho, The Host
Is that the funny Helper Guy from SECRET SUNSHINE?

Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl
Is that the Jewish Nazi from THE BELIEVER?

Russell Crowe, American Gangster
Went with him over Denzel cause his character had a bit more of an arc

Brad Pitt, Jesse James
He breathes his own legendness

James McAvoy, Atonement
Didn’t think he had it in him; actually least convincing when trying for Big Emotions

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Doesn’t know how to give a bad performance as a Gen-X everyman

Chris Cooper, Breach
Doesn’t overdo the religiosity, despite its obvious centrality in his character’s life. I actually met a couple of Robert Hanssen’s children (unknowingly) at a friend’s party

Tony Leung, Lust, Caution
Might have placed if he had run full-speed and dived into cars more often

zizekskandies.jpgSlavoj Zizek, the Pervert’s Guide to Cinema
Technically a documentary, but his onscreen “performance” is as central to his film as Algore’s was

Woody Harrelson, the Walker
Perfect casting helps, as you always get the sense that he’s still the dumb bartender

Lee Kang-sheng, the Wayward Cloud
More of a deadpan presence than a “performance,” at least in the dramatic scenes, but that’s what the role calls for

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the Savages
Ditto above. And this project looked so DEADLY BAD on paper (or trailer, actually)

Sebastian Koch, Lives of Others
Turns 180 degrees without an exact “Eureka!” moment

John C. Reilly, Walk Hard
Deserved a better script than he got, but has ironic sincerity chops to spare

mcgowan.jpgLead female
Rose McGowan, Grindhouse
Her legs alone made PLANET TERROR

Nina Kervel-bey, Blame It on Fidel
If she’s too precocious, the movie falls apart

Supporting male
Teodor Corban, 1208 East of Bucharest
Like a lower-key, less overtly demonstrative version of Steve Coogan’s “Alan Partridge”

Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, The Boss of It All
I didn’t think an Icelander would ever work for Lars again

Jeff Goldblum, Fay Grim
Made Hartley’s bizarro-dialogue seem completely natural

Josh Brolin, Grindhouse
Everyman face makes the snarling ridiculousness of his zombie-movie performance

broadbent.jpgJim Broadbent, Hot Fuzz
One great thing about British actors is that the greatest are not ashamed to do comedy

Nick Frost, Hot Fuzz
Every man’s idea of a best buddy — comic version

Jason Bateman, Juno
Every man’s idea of a best buddy — not-so-comic version

Andre Dussolier, Private Fears in Public Places
Look at how the contrast between his mouth and his eyes makes the tape-watching scene

Chewitel Ejiofor, Talk to Me
Yawn … another brilliant low-key, grounded performance from the best actor with a name you can’t pronounce

Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood
Actually able to share the screen with Daniel Day-Lewis (is that a spoiler for my Best Actor ballot?)

Robert Downey Jr., Zodiac
How he is able to get all these roles about people driven to drink and drugs by obsession is absolutely beyond me.

swinton.jpgSupporting female
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
How often and in how many contexts can she play the White Witch (not that I’m complaining)

Juliette Binoche, Breaking and Entering
The proverbial actress so great she can stir you by reading the telephone book (which this script pretty much lets her prove)

Kristin Scott Thomas, the Walker
Playing “regal diva” opposite Lauren Bacall is hardly easy, but she has a contemporary quality too

Philip Groening, Into Great Silence
I’ll probably have to do penance for this one since his film was in the Top 5, required the patience of Job to get made and got no other points

George Ratliff, Joshua
I’ll probably have to do penance for this one since his film was in the Top 10, and I actually know him personally from our days at Texas (did the YMCA dance with his girlfriend at a mutual friend’s wedding)

Vincent Parronaud and Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
I’ll probably have to do penance for this one since this film was in the Honorable Mentions, required the patience of Job to get made and wound up with no points at all from me

Joe Wright, Atonement
Best moments as a director, in this film at least, are the ones he hands over to others; plus, the library scene

Edgar Wright, Grindhouse
I thought about giving him points for two films but then something told me … DON’T

Francis Lawrence, I Am Legend
Handles the summer super-spectacle genre with surprising restraint

Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd
Would have found a place for him if he hadn’t cast his nonsinger wife in a role that has no place for a nonsinger to hide

Lars von Trier, the Boss of It All
It takes a great script to make a very good movie with Auto-Mat-O-Vision as director

Sean Penn, Into the Wild
I hated what looked like Catcher-in-the-Rye-wannabe twaddle before I realized the film had been playing me for a fool the whole time

The Fate of the Coward Robert Ford after the Assassination of Jesse James, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
I actually DID vote for this scene before Mike told me it was too long and too broad-in-scope to qualify as a scene

The TV interview, Atonement
No scene more moved me this year than this one, but I’m not sure it could work even a little if you hadn’t seen what preceded

Reunited … at last, Gone Baby Gone
See ATONEMENT scene … it’s a crushing rebuke to do-gooder idealism, but via a scene of banalities in which nothing really happens


“Nannare/Barso Re Megha,” Guru
I’ll probably have to do penance for all the impure thoughts (the video is here, and though this reproduction is crap, it is still AR Rahman and Aishwarya)

bloodstrike.jpgOil!, There Will Be Blood
Great expressionist spectacle, great impressionistic subjectivity and darkness erupts into the world, in more sense than one

Anton Ego tries the food, Ratatouille
A Proustian moment, seen on Bastille Day, a few weeks after eating madeleines for the first time

Opening terrorist attack, The Kingdom
What an action scene should be — taut, quick, choreographed and brutal without ever seeming to be those things

Hotel shootout (the old-style hotel with corridors; not the motel with adjoining rooms), No Country for Old Men
The competition from this film was pretty stiff

A midnight water run, No Country for Old Men
The competition from this film was pretty stiff

Interview at Greenhill Manor, the Savages
Funny test, plus PSH’s best moment in the film, telling off appearances-over-all sister later

“Hurdy Gurdy Man,” Zodiac
Saw this again last week, and I realized it’s the only moment of real white-knuckle suspense in the movie

bartskateboard.jpg Bart goes skateboarding, the Simpsons
Showing the 8-year-old’s willie was a mistake though

“All These Things That I’ve Done,” Southland Tales
Boosted by being a moderately enjoyable scene in the middle of a train wreck of a movie

Driving through the village, Syndromes and a Century
Five minutes of unbroken pure Being, in which nothing else really happens

Let us pray, Breach
Stuck in Washington traffic and prayer combined — what more could I want
¹ There were a half-dozen films — THE WAYWARD CLOUD, LUST CAUTION, THE SAVAGES, ATONEMENT, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD, LARS AND THE REAL GIRL — where I had a man and woman from the same film on my short list, but only the woman (women in one case) made the final cut. The competition was just so much less for the women, and I can think of only a few important female roles that I missed, either in terms of not seeing the film or forgetting about the actress until after I had submitted my ballot.


February 6, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. “Ego tries the food,” “hotel shootout” and “Hurdy Gurdy Man” all made my final list.

    Comment by Noel | February 6, 2008 | Reply

  2. I contend that showing Bart’s doodle was a brilliant masterstroke that elevated the scene into greatness — I don’t believe I’ve ever heard a bigger explosion of laughter in a theater.

    Comment by Donna | February 6, 2008 | Reply

  3. I’m with Donna on the issue of Nancy Cartwright’s penis.

    Comment by Adam Villani | February 7, 2008 | Reply

  4. […] was the scene from THE SIMPSONS MOVIE of Bart skateboarding nude (on a dare from Homer, natch). But I said there that “Showing the 8-year-old’s willie was a mistake though,” which has drawn two dissents […]

    Pingback by Nancy Cartwright’s penis « Rightwing Film Geek | February 7, 2008 | Reply

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