I'd be sort of sad if I had to start my annual year-end film detrius thread here.

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jaymc, is your film critic friend a member of the Chicago Critics group?

Yup. He sez:

I am SO happy with these nominees. I don't agree with all of them, I can't imagine anybody does, that's the nature of democracy, but I think we made some great choices, ignoring several recent disturbing trends like Dreamgirls for pic and Blood Diamond for anything. Babel had a much stronger showing than I thought it would and that makes me happy too. Seeing Brick, Children of Men, and The Fountain score their nominations is great too - they've been underepresented in critics awards so far. They deserve each and every one of them. I love the tech nods for The Fountain. A few categories, including our great choices for breakthrough performer, score, and cinematography include five of my ten (in the first round we voted ten in each category). That's cool.

And here are the Chicago Film Critics nominees (winners to be announced on Dec. 28):

The Departed
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen
United 93

Letters From Iwo Jima
Pan's Labyrinth

Clint Eastwood: Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears: The Queen
Paul Greengrass: United 93
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu: Babel
Martin Scorsese: The Departed

Babel: Guillermo Arriaga
Letters From Iwo Jima: Iris Yamashita
Little Miss Sunshine: Michael Arndt
The Queen: Peter Morgan
United 93: Paul Greengrass

The Departed: William Monahan
Little Children: Todd Field & Tom Perrotta
Notes On A Scandal: Patrick Marber
A Prairie Home Companion: Garrison Keillor
Thank You For Smoking: Jason Reitman

Leonardo DiCaprio-The Departed
Ryan Gosling-Half-Nelson
Peter O'Toole-Venus
Will Smith-The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker-The Last King of Scotland

Penelope Cruz-Volver
Judi Dench-Notes on a Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhaal-Sherrybaby
Helen Mirren-The Queen
Meryl Streep-The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet-Little Children

Ben Affleck-Hollywoodland
Jackie Earle Haley-Little Children
Eddie Murphy-Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson-The Departed
Brad Pitt-Babel
Michael Sheen-The Queen

Adriana Barraza-Babel
Cate Blanchett-Notes On A Scandal
Abigail Breslin-Little Miss Sunshine
Toni Collette-Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson-Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi-Babel

Babel: Gustavo Santaolalla
The Fountain: Clint Mansell
Letters From Iwo Jima: Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens
Notes On A Scandal: Philip Glass
The Queen: Alexandre Desplat

Babel: Rodrigo Prieto
Children of Men: Emmanuel Lubezki
The Departed: Michael Ballhaus
The Fountain: Matthew Libatique
Letters From Iwo Jima: Tom Stern

Deliver Us From Evil
An Inconvenient Truth
Jesus Camp
Shut Up and Sing

Ivana Baquero-Pan's Labyrinth
Sacha Baron Cohen-Borat & Talladega Nights
Shareeka Epps-Half-Nelson
Rinko Kikuchi-Babel
Keke Palmer-Akeelah and the Bee

Rian Johnson-Brick
Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris-Little Miss Sunshine
Gil Kenan-Monster House
Jason Reitman-Thank You For Smoking
James McTeigue-V For Vendetta

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 20 December 2006 19:19 (seventeen years ago) link

xpost re Rexy

Gee, maybe All the King’s Men is worth a look after all.

The Painted Veil and Children of Men are getting more praise than I would've expected, but given Curran and Lubezki (resp) I guess I'm seeing both.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 December 2006 19:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Children of Men edged into the Film Comment critics' poll's Top 20, just sneaking past Casino Royale (?!)


Eric H. (Eric H.), Wednesday, 20 December 2006 21:23 (seventeen years ago) link

well, I guess you're right about Scorsese vs Lynch in polls to come.

That top 10 isn't THAT much more middbrow than Rex Reed's! Half Nelsom, The Queen andeven Borat -- this is the magazine in which Schrader's canon was too safe for the room?

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 December 2006 21:29 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm hoping that with Regular Lovers, Children of Men, Painted Veil, Letters from Iwo Jima, Pan's Labyrinth all opening in NYC in the next 2 weeks, it just might be a Happy Old Year after all.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 20 December 2006 21:33 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, Film Comment's poll has always been at least three big steps towards the center from VV's, hence the Sideways/Before Sunset split in 2004. But, yeah, Half Nelson higher than Hou Hsiao-hsien is sort of a wtf.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Wednesday, 20 December 2006 21:34 (seventeen years ago) link

i don't get FC's 'unreleased films' list -- some of those are going to be released soon, so it's not like they're being kept from the punters.

temporary enrique (temporary enrique), Thursday, 21 December 2006 09:46 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm really baffled by the absence of Children of Men from most of these lists. It was the best movie I saw this year, I think - dinky in a way but on the whole very, very compelling. Certainly more so than something like The Departed! Is it because it's not opened wide in the US yet?

sean gramophone (sean gramophone), Thursday, 21 December 2006 10:42 (seventeen years ago) link

i don't get FC's 'unreleased films' list -- some of those are going to be released soon

And some won't. I don't have a handle on the state of foreign-film distrib in the UK, but many of their choices on that list in past years have still never, ever been released in the US. So they most certainly are being kept from the ever more miniscule number of punters who are interested in world cinema that doesn't have an easy genre hook.

Philippe Garrel's Regular Lovers (two years old) is opening in NYC next week -- he's been making features since the '60s, and I'm pretty sure this is his first commercial release in America.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 21 December 2006 14:35 (seventeen years ago) link

that makes sense only

14. Southland Tales (Richard Kelly, Germany/U.S.)* 53


i mean that so has a distribution deal right?

temporary enrique (temporary enrique), Thursday, 21 December 2006 14:37 (seventeen years ago) link

Does it? When its Cannes screening was a 'disaster'? Kelly himself has said he doesn't think the version he showed will be distributed.

Also, directors of cult movies starring Jake Gyllenhaal are much higher on the arthouse foodchain than, say, Raul Ruiz or Tsai ming-Liang.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 21 December 2006 14:41 (seventeen years ago) link

that's because of that crazy thing called capitalism.

kelly's film will see the light of day in 1x form or another -- trimmed maybe but that's not unusual. cannes is like a test audience of rich media folk.

temporary enrique (temporary enrique), Thursday, 21 December 2006 14:43 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm really baffled by the absence of Children of Men from most of these lists.

Bounces back from being "only" nineteenth on the FC poll to slam into ninth-place on the IndieWire nee VV poll.


Neither Departed nor Inland Empire at #1 (though the latter feel within a 10-point margin of the former, good enough for #3 and #4 respectively). The blue ribbon goes to Lazarescu ... presuming that the voting body is more or less the same as it was in the VV poll days, that has to count as the most surprising winner in the poll's history, in my opinion.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Thursday, 21 December 2006 15:09 (seventeen years ago) link

there's no solid art-house tradition to get with now (ie since the 70s) -- so these random films (that turkish one the other year, or that russian one the same year) somehow get to the top of the pile and stay there.

temporary enrique (temporary enrique), Thursday, 21 December 2006 15:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh, and Children of Men cleaned up in the cinematography category, which I expected (and is the main reason I'm excited to see it ... the promise of good cinematography, I mean, not that it won the category).

Eric H. (Eric H.), Thursday, 21 December 2006 15:14 (seventeen years ago) link

I guess Lubezki is the new Chris Doyle.

I didn't think charges of obscurity/annoyance vs Lynch would disturb the VV poll's core given their past love for the likes of Safe.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 21 December 2006 15:31 (seventeen years ago) link

Haha... I presume by virtue of a new venue, Armond is forced to reveal his hand.


Eric H. (Eric H.), Thursday, 21 December 2006 15:33 (seventeen years ago) link

My charge wasn't that the new Lynch was either obscure that people were tired of Lynch but that a significant proportion of his usual VV-allied demo actively disliked Inland Empire. Didn't turn out to be entirely the case, and it ended up on only a couple less ballots than the I thought widely liked The Departed.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Thursday, 21 December 2006 15:35 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, I think you read a wider spectrum of people than I do; didn't catch all that much of the active dislike.

Wish I had caught up with Broken Sky, I feel in my gut the DVD may not appear til summer.

I'm pleased with the high finish of Nolte in Supporting Perf, who would be my runaway choice at the moment.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 21 December 2006 15:39 (seventeen years ago) link

Rosenbaum's year-end; he like cow "liberation" scene in FFN (as did I as metaphor for the narcotized US public) and Bobby:


I've never been a big Melville fan, but I don't remotely get the Army of Shadows mania. I recall maybe two scenes from it.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 December 2006 15:22 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm more than pleased with all the Nolte and Wahlberg mentions.

Eric or Morbs -- seen The Painted Veil yet? It hasn't opened here yet. At present I'm deciding whether to catch The History Boys or re-screen Withnail & I; doesn't Richard Griffiths give the same perf?

Alfred Soto (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 December 2006 15:40 (seventeen years ago) link

not yet. Will likely see TPV and THB in next 2 weeks.

enrique might want to glance at all 200 of these:


Dr M (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 December 2006 15:45 (seventeen years ago) link

I like Rosenbaum's excuse for a Vin Diesel legal comedy tanking - HOLLYWOOD HATES LIBERALS.

milo (milo), Friday, 22 December 2006 16:25 (seventeen years ago) link

He says the film has a "leftist slant," and you should know that is different from liberal by the way ILX libs shout "NADER 2008" at me all the time.

(ie libs are exulting that the Dems are now the party in Congress who will do nothing about Iraq)

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 December 2006 16:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Is Regular Lovers only opening in NY or did it get a real distribution deal?

C0L1N B... (C0L1N B...), Friday, 22 December 2006 16:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh man, that J.R. Jones list...

C0L1N B... (C0L1N B...), Friday, 22 December 2006 16:58 (seventeen years ago) link


I can't seem to find out; also the NY opening has been bumped to Jan 19.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 December 2006 17:09 (seventeen years ago) link

I don't give Rosenbaum enough credit to assume any subtle distinction between liberal and leftist on his part. (and it is Lumet)

milo (milo), Friday, 22 December 2006 17:12 (seventeen years ago) link

but he also calls it Lumet's best film. Strange things can happen to those vet auteurs when they pass 80. I will see it and evaluate.

(also, a '50s lib is a radical in today's environment, just sayin)

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 December 2006 17:22 (seventeen years ago) link

also ppl tend not to use "leftist" at all if they don't make the distinction. Clinton-loving "liberals" are what JR is fingering I think.

The Good Shepherd does have its supporters (Cheshire, Armond):


Dr M (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 December 2006 17:32 (seventeen years ago) link

De Niro creates a patriotic masterpiece
By Armond White

bohren un der club of gear (bohren un der club of gear), Friday, 22 December 2006 17:48 (seventeen years ago) link

I am neither a leftist nor a liberal, because otherwise I couldn't look at J.R. Jones list and call him a retard and laugh with a clear conscience.

Also, the world should remain centrist or skewed to the right if it means Chris Marker will continue to make bemusedly outraged movies.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Friday, 22 December 2006 17:55 (seventeen years ago) link

Did the Chicago Reader hire an editor or just sell a lot more ads lately, cause Rosenbaum's piece is approximately five percent as long as it usually is.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Friday, 22 December 2006 17:56 (seventeen years ago) link

You could be a lefty or lib of taste and still laugh.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 December 2006 18:02 (seventeen years ago) link

The website doesn't always put up the entirety of the current week's issue right away. When I go out to lunch, I'll pick up a copy to see if there's a longer thinkpiece attached to that top 10.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 22 December 2006 18:03 (seventeen years ago) link

(x-post) knock it off, you closet conservative

Eric H. (Eric H.), Friday, 22 December 2006 18:04 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, looks like that's all we get of Rosenbaum this year. I guess I have noticed a trend lately of wanting to play up the other critics for the paper -- not just JR Jones but the music and theatre critics, too. Rosenbaum used to have a front-page story all to himself for his year-end list, now it's called Critics' Picks 2006.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 22 December 2006 20:09 (seventeen years ago) link

does New Times own the Reader?

(btw, Eric, I like the first 80 minutes of All That Jazz)

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Friday, 22 December 2006 20:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Nope, the Reader is one of the last independent alt-weeklies in the country.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 22 December 2006 20:20 (seventeen years ago) link

Just saw The History Boys: a homo Dead Poets' Society, with Richard Griffiths reprising his obese lech from Withnail; he delivers a moving aria on Hardy's "Drummer Hodge". Not at all bad, although the boy everyone's lusting after looks like the drummer in Culture Club.

Alfred Soto (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 22 December 2006 21:30 (seventeen years ago) link

Rosenbaum's inept political fumblings have written him into a corner.

milo (milo), Saturday, 23 December 2006 02:23 (seventeen years ago) link

(btw, Eric, I like the first 80 minutes of All That Jazz)

That's great to hear, but I sort of think the last 10 are what pushes it into insane, embarrassing greatness.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Saturday, 23 December 2006 02:31 (seventeen years ago) link

well, the first 10 is where I find the greatness.

Why is Nicholson taking a beating for "showboating" in The Departed when that's more diverting than Damon's vanilla corruption or everything embarrassing about the Vera Farmiga scenes? This William Monahan guy is great at the local color and alpha-swearing, characters not so much.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 23 December 2006 23:52 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, Infernal Affairs wins on the script and the opaqueness of the characters' allegiances, but The Departed wins on nearly every other count.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Sunday, 24 December 2006 01:20 (seventeen years ago) link

uhhuh ola

cozeny (cozeny), Sunday, 24 December 2006 01:29 (seventeen years ago) link

Vera Farmina is fine; she does battiness better than Cate Blanchett used to. Those last two scenes however with her and Damon are unplayable. As usual I found myself wishing the director had dispensed with the facile moral dilemmas of his hero and concentrated on the peripheries (which, to his credit, Scorsese mostly does in this movie).

Alfred Soto (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 24 December 2006 02:16 (seventeen years ago) link

I just noticed that the new Marker placed higher on indiewire's rundown of the year's best docs than the Al Gore movie. Him for presidetn!

Eric H. (Eric H.), Sunday, 24 December 2006 18:46 (seventeen years ago) link

But the new Marker is really 5 shorts, ja?

I don't have a problem w/ Farmiga (still haven't seen Down to the Bone), but the whole damn part is unplayable. The shrink in IF wasn't sleeping with both of them, was she? And if Marty fought for the ending, that includes the crowd-pleaser (relatively speaking) of offing Damon?

Think of this film with Wahlberg and Ryan Gosling in the leads. Not all the problems solved, but most.

The atrophying of DiCaprio's talents is one of the tragedies of the last decade in American film (or maybe he just wasn't versatile to begin with). One of the great teenage actors ever, but since turning 21 he's seemed lost in the school play save for Catch Me If You Can. Think of what young Kirk Douglas could do with a line like "The only thing more fulla shit than a cop is a cop on TV." When Leo says it you can hear the keys clacking.

Message to Mark Wahlberg in winning polls/awards for this rather than I Heart Huckabees: BE MORE ONE-NOTE. (After the splendid verbal soul-rape of Leo, it was push Repeat.)

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Monday, 25 December 2006 14:25 (seventeen years ago) link

I would be happy if Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin were cast as tag team cops for the duration of their careers.

Leo was never versatile. Even as a young actor his talent was for acting feral (...Gilbert Grape excepted), and he's gotten better at it at the cost of several yards of charisma. What does Scorsese see in him -- how my generation copped all its cockiness from watching De Niro's mirror scene in Taxi Driver without living first?

Alfred Soto (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 25 December 2006 14:44 (seventeen years ago) link

what Scorsese sees in him = $$$

(Alfred, is yr family sleeping late too?) Yes, Baldwin never better (not sure how much that's sayin).

Merry detrius Christmas

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Monday, 25 December 2006 14:46 (seventeen years ago) link

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