Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,
Ellen
ennienyc

Spirit Awards

You remember I recently spent six weeks seeing the movies nominated for Spirit Awards (other than the two I'd already seen), and then voted. I'm happy to participate in this process. Now it's time to learn the results, when the awards are broadcast Saturday. I have a feeling I didn't go with most of the eventual winners, but we'll see. Here are the nominees, with my choices starred (updates in parentheses, after watching the show):

FEATURE
*The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
I’m Not There
Juno
A Mighty Heart
Paranoid Park

I was getting worried about this category when I'd seen four of the movies and didn't want to vote for any of them. I'm just not on the "Juno" bandwagon, and "A Mighty Heart" was winning by default. Then I saw "Diving Bell" and it blew me away.

(Bleh, the "Juno" bandwagon prevailed. I don't get it.)

FIRST FEATURE
2 Days in Paris
*Great World of Sound
The Lookout
Rocket Science
Vanaja

This was a tough category. "The Lookout" was the only one I didn't really enjoy; it was well done but the subject matter made me uncomfortable. I went back and forth between "Vanaja" and "Great World of Sound" but in the end the smaller movie grabbed me more.

(Oh well, "The Lookout" took this. All 5 were worthy contenders.)

DIRECTOR
Todd Haynes - I’m Not There
Tamara Jenkins - The Savages
Jason Reitman - Juno
*Julian Schnabel - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Gus Van Sant - Paranoid Park

A no-brainer for me, but the other voters may not agree. (Yay! He got it.)

MALE LEAD
Pedro Castaneda - August Evening
*Don Cheadle - Talk To Me
Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Savages
Frank Langella - Starting Out in the Evening
Tony Leung - Lust, Caution

Another toughie. I would have nominated Hoffman for "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" and not "The Savages." The unknown Castaneda was wonderful and so was Langella, but my vote went to Cheadle.

(Hoffman won this. He was good, but he was better in the other movie.)

FEMALE LEAD
Angelina Jolie - A Mighty Heart
Sienna Miller - Interview
Ellen Page - Juno
Parker Posey - Broken English
*Tang Wei - Lust, Caution

Acting in a language I don't understand, Tang Wei managed to be extremely expressive. No one here was unworthy, and my second choice was Ellen Page, despite my lack of enthusiasm for her movie (she got it. Oh, OK).

SUPPORTING MALE
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Talk To Me
Marcus Carl Franklin - I’m Not There
*Kene Holliday - Great World of Sound
Irrfan Khan - The Namesake
Steve Zahn - Rescue Dawn

Somebody give Kene Holliday more parts NOW. (Ejiofor won this. I loved "Talk To Me.")

SUPPORTING FEMALE
Cate Blanchett - I’m Not There
*Anna Kendrick - Rocket Science
Jennifer Jason Leigh - Margot at the Wedding
Tamara Podemski - Four Sheets to the Wind
Marisa Tomei - Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

I ignored the Cate Blanchett bandwagon (but the other voters didn't, bleh) and went with Kendrick's motormouth teen.

SCREENPLAY
Ronald Harwood - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Tamara Jenkins - The Savages
Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner - Starting Out in the Evening
*Adrienne Shelly - Waitress
Mike White - Year of the Dog

I don't know if I was unduly swayed by Adrienne Shelly's murder but I really thought "Waitress" was sweet. (Nope, the "The Savages" won.)

FIRST SCREENPLAY
Jeffrey Blitz - Rocket Science
Zoe Cassavetes - Broken English
Diablo Cody - Juno
*Kelly Masterson - Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
John Orloff - A Mighty Heart

Even though his plot had a few holes, I'm going with Masterson. I'll be disappointed if the too self-consciously quirky "Juno" takes this (it did, adding to the Diablomania).

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Mott Hupfel - The Savages
*Janusz Kaminski - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Milton Kam - Vanaja
Mihai Malaimare, Jr. - Youth Without Youth
Rodrigo Prieto - Lust, Caution

"Vanaja" was tempting (as was "Lust, Caution") but "Diving Bell" was just breathtaking. (YES!)

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)
*August Evening
Owl and the Sparrow
The Pool
Quiet City
Shotgun Stories

All these nominated films had a strong sense of place. "August Evening" was especially evocative. (YES! Very happy about this win.)

DOCUMENTARY
*Crazy Love
Lake of Fire
Manufactured Landscapes
The Monastery
The Prisoner or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair

Those crazy New York characters had me immediately. (YES!)

BEST FOREIGN FILM
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania)
The Band's Visit (Israel)
Lady Chatterley (France)
Once (Ireland)
*Persepolis (France)

Very strong category. Runner-up: "The Band's Visit." ("Once" won, and that was good, too. They sang "When Your Mind's Made Up" live during the show.)

I'd do this for the Oscar list, except I've seen so few of the nominees.
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