Posts Tagged ‘2007’

The 10th Annual Fergy Film Awards – WINNERS

February 5, 2008

BEST FILM

BEST DIRECTOR

Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
(No Country For Old Men)
BEST DIRECTING DEBUT

Tony Gilroy
(Michael Clayton)

BEST ACTOR

Daniel Day-Lewis
(There Will Be Blood)

BEST ACTRESS

Ellen Page
(Juno)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Tony Gilroy
(Michael Clayton)

 BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
(No Country For Old Men)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Roger Deakins
(No Country For Old Men)

BEST DOCUMENTARY

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Javier Bardem
(No Country For Old Men)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Ryan
(Gone Baby Gone)BEST EDITING

John Gilroy
(Michael Clayton)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Jonny Greenwood
(There Will Be Blood)

BEST  SOUNDTRACK

BEST CAST

BEST ANIMIATED AND/OR FAMILY FILM

BEST EFFECTS

Beowulf

MOST UNDERRATED FILM

MOST SURPRISING FILM

BEST SOPHOMORE DIRECTING EFFORT

Jason Reitman
(Juno)

MOST OVERRATED FILM

MOST DISAPPOINTING FILM

MOST MEDIOCRE FILM

WORST FILM
TIE

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The 10th Annual Fergy Film Awards – NOMINEES

February 4, 2008

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 10 years since I’ve started constructing these awards. This has been the best and most competitive field of any year yet, and by far…

BEST FILM
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
In the Valley of Elah
Into the Wild
Juno
The Kite Runner
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
Once
There Will Be Blood
Zodiac

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)
David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises)
David Fincher (Zodiac)
Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton)
Todd Haynes (I’m Not There)
Sidney Lumet (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
Sean Penn (Into the Wild)
Jason Reitman (Juno)
Ridley Scott (American Gangster)

BEST DIRECTING DEBUT
Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
Julie Delpy (2 Days in Paris)
Scott Frank (The Lookout)
Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton)
Joby Harold (Awake)
Jonathan Kasdan (In the Land of Women)
Franck Khalfoun (P2)
Sarah Polley (Away From Her)

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Chris Cooper (Breach)
Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl)
Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild)
Gordon Pinsent (Away From Her)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams (Enchanted)
Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)
Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart)
Laura Linney (The Savages)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Christina Ricci (Black Snake Moan)
Keri Russell (Waitress)
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Judd Apatow (Knocked Up)
Diablo Cody (Juno)
Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton)
Paul Haggis (In the Valley of Elah)
Tamara Jenkins (The Savages)
Steven Knight (Eastern Promises)
Kelly Masterson (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl)
Kelly Sane (Rendition)
Adrienne Shelly (Waitress)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
David Benioff (The Kite Runner)
Brad Bird (Ratatouille)
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)
Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Ultimatum)
Sean Penn (Into the Wild)
Sarah Polley (Away From Her)
James Vanderbilt (Zodiac)
Steve Zaillian (American Gangster)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins (In the Valley of Elah)
Roger Deakins (No Country For Old Men)
Robert Elswit (Michael Clayton)
Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood)
Tim Fleming (Once)
Eric Gautier (Into the Wild)
Luc Montpellier (Away From Her)
Harris Savides (American Gangster)
Harris Savides (Zodiac)
Robert D. Yeoman (The Darjeeling Limited)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Confessions of a Superhero
Crazy Love
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
No End in Sight
Sicko

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men)
Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men)
Michael Cera (Superbad)
Robert Downey Jr. (Zodiac)
Ethan Hawke (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War)
Mark Ruffalo (Zodiac)
J.K. Simmons (Juno)
Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There)
Jennifer Garner (Juno)
Allison Janney (Juno)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding)
Emily Mortimer (Lars and the Real Girl)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Meg Ryan (In the Land of Women)
Adrienne Shelly (Waitress)
Marley Shelton (Planet Terror)
Marisa Tomei (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)

BEST EDITING
Jay Lash Cassidy (Into the Wild)
Peter Christelis (A Mighty Heart)
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)
John Gilroy (Michael Clayton)
Dana E. Glauberman (Juno)
Jay Rabinowitz (I’m Not There)
Christopher Rouse (The Bourne Ultimatum)
Pietro Scalia (American Gangster)
Dylan Tichenor (There Will Be Blood)
Angus Wall (Zodiac)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Michael Giacchino (Ratatouille)
Jonathan Goldsmith (Away From Her)
Jonny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood)
James Newton Howard (The Great Debaters)
James Newton Howard (Michael Clayton)
Alberto Iglesias (The Kite Runner)
Mark Isham (In the Valley of Elah)
David Shire (Zodiac)
Howard Shore (Eastern Promises)
Harry Gregson-Williams (Gone Baby Gone)

BEST SOUNDTRACK
American Gangster
Black Snake Moan
The Darjeeling Limited
Death Proof
The Hottest State
Juno
Once
Talk To Me
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

BEST CAST
American Gangster
The Darjeeling Limited
I’m Not There
Into the Wild
Juno
Michael Clayton
No Country For Old Men
Rendition
Zodiac

BEST ANIMATED AND/OR FAMILY FILM
Beowulf
Bridge to Terabithia
Ratatouille

BEST EFFECTS
28 Weeks Later
30 Days of Night
300
1408
Enchanted
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
I Am Legend
Planet Terror

MOST UNDERRATED FILM
Awake
The Darjeeling Limited
The Hottest State
In the Land of Women
Interview
The Kite Runner
Lucky You
Music and Lyrics
P2
Resurrecting the Champ

MOST SURPRISING FILM
28 Weeks Later
1408
Awake
Bridge to Terabithia
Disturbia
The Hoax
In the Land of Women
Music and Lyrics
P2
Waitress

BEST SOPHOMORE DIRECTING EFFORT *this year’s newly added category*
Judd Apatow (Knocked Up)
Craig Brewer (Black Snake Moan)
Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl)
Ethan Hawke (The Hottest State)
Tamara Jenkins (The Savages)
Greg Mottola (Superbad)
Billy Ray (Breach)
Jason Reitman (Juno)
Denzel Washington (The Great Debaters)

MOST OVERRATED FILM
Dan in Real Life
Live Free or Die Hard
The Simpsons Movie
Smokin’ Aces
Tranformers

MOST DISAPPOINTING FILM
I Think I Love My Wife
Live Free or Die Hard
Martian Child
Ocean’s Thirteen
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Pride
Reign Over Me
Spider-Man 3
The Wendell Baker Story
Year of the Dog

MOST MEDIOCRE FILM
Alpha Dog
Joshua
Lions For Lambs
Mr. Brooks
The Number 23
Ocean’s Thirteen
Reign Over Me
Shooter
Stardust
Sunshine

WORST FILM
*minus the ones I would never even begin to think about seeing, of course*
Balls of Fury
Ghost Rider
The Heartbreak Kid
Hostel Part II
Hot Rod
The Nanny Diaries
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Spider-Man 3
Transformers
Wild Hogs

…so there they are! The complete list of nominees for the 2008 Fergy Film Awards. Winners will be posted very soon, followed closely by my 30 Favorite Films of 2007 list!

Cinema in 2007: A Healing Year

January 12, 2008

For me personally, 2007 was the strangest year that I’ve lived to this point in my existence. Filled with regrets, surprises, disappointments,  and even more regrets, I had more than a handful of moments that brought me so down that I seriously questioned my sanity.

Ever since I began gathering a healthy obsession with cinema, music, and the unbelievable marriage of both of these art forms – which was back in 1999 – I have looked to them more and more as an escape. Film and music have proven to be the ultimate escape, but in 2007 it seemed like they were excelling beyond recent year’s comparisons.

As the year began, it just looked to be another nice but normal time for American cinema, with the few works of mastery, clouded over by massive amounts of sequels and Hollywood re-treads. Sure enough, in the first half of the year, we were plowed over with the most sequels (in particular the “three-quels”) than any other year I can recall.

As the summer came to a close, nothing was new. We had an abundance of moneymaking franchise mediocrity, among them only a few actual stand-outs, like David Fincher’s Zodiac, Brad Bird’s Ratatouille, Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, Sarah Polley’s Away From Her, Paul Greengrass’s The Bourne Ultimatum, and Greg Mottola’s Superbad. There certainly weren’t enough terrific films to prime us, or prepare us, for what was going to happen in the final months of the year – which was what I like to label the “rebirth of original American cinema”.

September started the fall season with a deceiving bang, featuring several action pictures, from the zany (Michael Davis’ Shoot ‘Em Up), to the political (Peter Berg’s The Kingdom), to the old-fashioned (James Mangold’s 3:10 To Yuma). Throughout much of September, I still found myself waiting for that stretch of films that hit the viewer deep, constantly making us think.

The moment I knew that I’d be in for a special two months at the theater was when I went for a back-to-back double feature at the Keystone Art Cinema, in late September. I first saw David Cronenberg’s mysterious Eastern Promises, then ended my afternoon with Paul Haggis’ devastating In the Valley of Elah. To this day I have still never written a review for either of those films, and I think mostly it was because they left me speechless, but also because I’d rather not recall that time in my life. The day I made that matinee double feature visit to the Art Cinema was the worst day in recent memory, and possibly of my life. I made some awful decisions in 2007.

So just as the things in my life were changing, so was American cinema. From the beginning of October until the end of December, it was a marvelous time to be a movie-goer. There was a geat movie to be found no matter what type you were in the mood for. Whether it be a mystery (Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone), a good-hearted comedy (Craig Gillespie’s Lars and the Real Girl), a sprawling epic (Ridley Scott’s American Gangster), a documentary (Charles Ferguson’s No End in Sight), a musical (Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), an adult comedy (Tamara Jenkins’ The Savages), a confronting drama (Gavin Hood’s Rendition), a long-awaited adaptation (Sean Penn’s Into the Wild), or an intriguing biopic) Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There).  Everyone was going to come out of the theater happy.

It was not only a season of diversity, but consistently impressive and engrossing diversity. Unlike recent years, to be awarded among the few stand-out films, yours had to be not only great, but masterful. So for me, choosing the ones left standing above the best of the best should have been an extremely difficult thing to do. It wasn’t. The pure magic and brilliance that I uncovered when watching films like Tony Gilroy’s  Michael Clayton, Jason Reitman’s Juno, and the Coen Brothers’ No Country For Old Men left me floored, and on numerous occasions.

I have said many times before that becoming immersed in the art of truly brilliant cinema has acted as a medicine, or even savior, to me. That statement had become especially real and true in 2007.

THE SAVAGES

January 10, 2008

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney as John and Wendy Savage

Apparently Tamara Jenkins’ first full-length feature, The Slums of Beverly Hills, didn’t pack enough star power for it to garner her enough recognition and get some notoriety for the outstanding debut. That movie sort of fell though the cracks, and although it has gained some quiet acclaim and more justice in the near decade since it’s release, the fresh talent and original voice that came from Jenkins’ work was not fully known to a more wide audience. It took nine years for us to finally receive a sophomore effort from the writer/director, and this time a bigger chunk of the movie-going world will not be able to go without noticing her gift of creating an outstanding balance between mundane comic environments and deeply familiar family situations. The reason her new film will bring her to a higher pedestal, called The Savages, is simply because audiences are naturally more and more attracted to credible star names, especially names that are on a roll at the time. In independent film, it is hard to argue against Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the most go-to for solid performances and most of the time outstanding choices of projects. And even though Slums might not have gotten the commercial recognition it deserved, it was obvious that Jenkins’ work was well-loved and respected by actors everywhere. I’m sure the parts of John and Wendy Savage were sought after by more names than just Linney’s and Hoffman’s. Once you see this film, you’d never be able to picture anyone else playing these terrifically written and performed characters.

It is apparent in the opening scene, featuring Philip Bosco as the aging Savage father, that Jenkins has not lost her trademark style of making us laugh in the strangest of situations. When their father is basically run out of his girlfriend’s house by her kids after she passes away, John and Wendy Savage must travel across the country from New York to Arizona to find a place for him to live. They have little to no relationship with each other, but it is far more close than that of what they have with their dad, who they haven’t spoken to in a very long time. They are the kind of adults that lack that little something that you get only if you were parented in any decent kind of way growing up. Wendy is the more caring of the Savage siblings, but is in total denial of everything that is crumling in her personal and professional life. She has to do some major persuading to even get her brother to come with her to Arizona. John is a university professor that has problems as well, just in a slightly different manner than that of his sibling. Linney and Hoffman are remarkable as usual, and their chemistry together works even better than one would assume going into the film, for they seem like they could easily be brother and sister in real life. I believe that Hoffman is one of the five greatest actors working today, and will most likely beone of the best to ever live by the time his days end, and he is simply brilliant as John. What is most impressive about this film, however, is the performance of Linney as Wendy, which is really the heart and soul of The Savages. She holds her ground so well opposite Hoffman, which is certainly a tough thing to do, and nearly steals the show with several scenes to display her talents. It is her best performance since You Can Count On Me, in my opinion, and should earn her some independent nominations across the board.

What really makes this a different, special and near-masterpiece of the downtrodden comedy genre is Jenkins’ knack for slightly disfigured, distinctive characters and dialogue that could only come from her pen. It is a more than welcome and overdue sophomore film, which I only consider overdue because I loved Slums to such a high level that nine days was going to be too long to wait for the next work, let alone nine years. Both of her films have extremely similar themes, focusing on the strange bond a family can experience when they’re least expecting to. Although each of her first two films do not reach the level of perfection, I can easily say that they are two treasures of mine personally, and will be singled out as poignant labors of love by an underrated filmmaker.

Rating: A
1 hour 53 minutes
Fox Searchlight

My 300 Favorite Songs of 2007: Part One

January 3, 2008

2007 proved to be a terrific year for the arts, whatever they were, and music was certainly no exception. Here are my favorite songs from the year that has recently left us…

300
“Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades”
The Berg Sans Nipple
299
“The Radio’s Hot Sun”
Handsome Furs
298
“Wild Mountain Nation”
Blitzen Trapper
297
“The Lake Pt. 2”
Paul Duncan
296
“Rachel”
Marissa Nadler
295
“A Man Needs A Woman or A Man To Be A Man”
Bill Callahan
294
“The Ticonderoga”
Bowerbirds
293
“A Rent Boy Goes Down”
Apostle of Hustle
292
“The World That I Wanted”
Willy Mason
291
“Burns”
Rob Crow
290
“Rain”
Bishop Allen
289
“Fluorescent Adolescent”
Arctic Monkeys
288
“Vessel”
Nine Inch Nails
287
“Sometime’s Like A River”
Pegi Young
286
“Soul Singer in a Session Band”
Bright Eyes
285
“Alfie”
Lily Allen
284
“Too Young”
Taken By Trees
283
“Trouble in Mind”
Magnolia Electric Co.
282
“Sweet”
Jay-Z
281
“Pastel Blue”
Sister Vanilla
280
“Lake Shore Drive”
The Innocence Mission
279
“One Hell of A Party”
Air
278
“Missed the Boat”
Modest Mouse
277
“I Woke Myself Up”
Julie Doiron
276
“Running to the Ghost”
James Blackshaw
275
“Uniform”
Bloc Party
274
“Cut Cut Paste”
Tokyo Police Club
273
“Littlest Things”
Lily Allen
272
“Icky Thump”
The White Stripes
271
“Reciting the Airships”
Eluvium
270
“Sad Songs”
The Frames
269
“Yankee Go Home”
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
268
“Marry Song”
Band of Horses
267
“Void”
The Mary Onettes
266
“The Shape Is In A Trance”
Thurston Moore
265
“Your Name”
The One A.M. Radio
264
“Of the Sung”
The Berg Sans Nipple
263
“Leyendecker”
Battles
262
“Learning How To Live”
Lucinda Williams
261
“Chances Are”
Apostle of Hustle
260
“Lady”
Two Gallants
259
“Far Behind”
Eddie Vedder
258
“Do I Disappoint You”
Rufus Wainwright
257
“Your Own Worst Enemy”
Bruce Springsteen
256
“First Words”
Trans Am
255
“Pale Rider Blues”
Arbouretum
254
“If You Want Me”
Marketa Irglova
253
“High in the Morning”
Paul Duncan
252
“Leather Made Shoes”
Marissa Nadler
251
“The Tape”
Sondre Lerche
250
“Badger’s Black Brigade”
Blitzen Trapper
249
“The Keeper of Youth”
The Only Children
248
“Everything’s Just Wonderful”
Lily Allen
247
“The Birth and Death of the Day”
Explosions in the Sky
246
“Scuby”
Little Wings
245
“Only Ones Who Know”
Arctic Monkeys
244
“Lolliposichord”
Black Moth Super Rainbow
243
“Vortex”
Grinderman
242
“Song For Clay (Disappear Here)”
Bloc Party
241
“Community”
Mirah and Spectratone International
240
“I’m Lovin’ the Street”
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
239
“Satan Said Dance”
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
238
“People Get Ready”
The Frames
237
“Click, Click, Click, Click”
Bishop Allen
236
“Requiem on Frankfort Ave.”
Eluvium
235
“Simple X”
Andrew Bird
234
“Handsome Furs Hate This City”
Handsome Furs
233
“Dear Employee”
Papercuts
232
“No One Would Riot For Less”
Bright Eyes
231
“Dark Horse”
Bowerbirds
230
“Ghostship”
Menomena
229
“Tonto”
Battles
228
“Conquest”
The White Stripes
227
“A Wave is Rolling”
The Innocence Mission
226
“Hello Brooklyn 2.0”
Jay-Z
225
“Capital G”
Nine Inch Nails
224
“Don’t Pass On Me”
Woods
223
“Lovesong of the Buzzard”
Iron & Wine
222
“Disaster”
The Besnard Lakes
221
“Sycamore”
Bill Callahan
220
“Cliquot”
Beirut
219
“The Monitor”
Bishop Allen
218
“Get Innocuous!”
LCD Soundsystem
217
“Lest I Forget”
The One A.M. Radio
216
“Beautiful Bluebird”
Neil Young
215
“Fire It Up”
Modest Mouse
214
“Magic”
Bruce Springsteen
213
“Parachute”
Minus Story
212
“Black Mirror”
Arcade Fire
211
“Come On”
Lucinda Williams
210
“Six O’Clock News”
BLT
209
“The Perfect Me”
Deerhoof
208
“Am I Demon”
Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy
207
“National Anthem of Nowhere”
Apostle of Hustle
206
“What If I Knew”
Dinosaur Jr.
205
“Up”
Rob Crow
204
“Signposts and Instruments”
Arbouretum
203
“Brainy”
The National
202
“Feathers”
Marissa Nadler
201
“You’ll Be Comin’ Down”
Bruce Springsteen

PART TWO coming soon
featuring  #200-101