Ray’s 2004 Movie Awards


Ray’s 2004 Movie Awards

The Year’s 10 Best Movies.  Okay, the Year’s 14 Best Movies.

1.      A Very Long Engagement

2.      House of Flying Daggers

3.      Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

4.      The Incredibles

5.      Garden State

6.      Kinsey

7.      Finding Neverland

8.      Bad Education

9.      The Motorcycle Diaries

10. Hotel Rwanda

11. In Good  Company

12. Saved!

13. Spiderman 2

14. Shaun of the Dead


Every year I have to say this, and every year it irritates me that I have to say this:  Asterisk indicates the winner.  Thank you for playing.

Best Actor

Paul Giamatti, Sideways

*Jamie Foxx, Ray

Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda

Liam Neeson, Kinsey

Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland

Honorable Mention: Dennis Quaid and Topher Grace in In Good Company, Kimm Rossi Stuart and Andrea Rossi in Keys to the House, Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, Gael Garcia Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries

Best Actress

Catalina Sandena Moreno, Maria Full of Grace

*Zhang Ziyi, House of Flying Daggers

Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby

Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Audrey Tatou, A Very Long Engagement

Sigourney Weaver, Ordinary Heroes

Best Supporting Actor

*Jamie Foxx, Collateral

James Garner, The Notebook

Dermot Mulroney, Undertow

Bobby Cannavale, Shall We Dance?

Peter Saarsgard, Kinsey

Best Supporting Actress

*Sharon Warren, Ray

Virginia Masden, Sideways

Laura Linney, Kinsey

Robin Wright Penn, A Home at the End of the World

Sissy Spacek, A Home at the End of the World

Honorable Mention to Barbra Streisand, for doing what I have been telling her to do for twenty years:  Let someone else direct her.  It’s good to have you back as an actress, even in a movie as stupid as Meet the Fockers. 

Further Honorable Mention to Mandy Moore, for her hilarious turn as an evil Christian in Saved!

Best Director

Bill Condon, Kinsey

Zhang Yimou, House of Flying Daggers

*Jean-Pierre Jeunet, A Very Long Engagement

Mamoru Oshi, Ghost in the Shell 2:  Innocence

Sam Raimi, Spiderman 2

Brad Bird, The Incredibles

Art Direction

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

*House of Flying Daggers

A Very Long Engagement

The Terminal



House of Flying Daggers

*A Very Long Engagement

Million Dollar Baby



Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

*Imaginary Heroes

In Good Company

A Very Long Engagement


The Incredibles

Garden State


Who cares?

Incredible Year for Documentaries

Touching the Void – a mountain climbing expedition gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Super Size Me – 30 days of nothing but McDonalds food!

In Search of Wrong-Eyed Jesus – the culture of charismatic Southern Christians through music

Fahrenheit 9/11  — nuff said

*Control Room – The best documentary of the year.  Behind the scenes at Al Jazeera.

Orwell Rolls in His Grave – the media’s complicity with our overreaching government

The Corporation  — Big Business’s complicity with our overreaching government

OutFoxed  — Rupert Murdoch’s complicity with our overreaching government

Broadway: The Golden Years – showtunes, showtunes, showtunes!!

Riding Giants – exhilarating look at big wave surfing

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster – behind the scenes with the band

Tying the Knot – the struggle for gay marriage

The Yes Men – civil disobedience on a stupifyingly grand scale!

Going Upriver – John Kerry’s experiences during and after Viet Nam

Z Channel –  the story of the first television movie channel!

Tarnation – all about his crazy mother

Best Title

In Search of Wrong-Eyed Jesus

Best Movie Poster of 2004

Maria Full of Grace

Foreign Language

Monsieur Ibrahim (France) – Omar Sharif makes a welcome return in this small, sweet story

Goodbye, Lenin! (Germany) – a son’s devotion drives him into a grand deception

Bon Voyage (France) – screwball comedy with the unlikely background of France about to fall to Germany in WWII

Facing Windows (Italy) – complex adult relationships in modern urban Italy

Maria Full of Grace (Colombia) – a young Columbian woman becomes a drug mule

Bad Education (Spain) – Almodovar is at it again!

Motorcycle Diaries (Argentina)  — Che Guevera when he was still cute and cuddly

*Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (Japan) – stunning anime epic from Japan

Cool Moments

Susan Sarandon’s eloquent monologue on the purpose of marriage in Shall We Dance?

The airport bathroom sinks automatically turning on as Zach Braff walks listlessly by them in Garden State

The grain is blown perfectly by the wind in a tableau from A Very Long Engagement

The “Medicine for my goat” sequence in The Terminal

The various plans for rescuing Mom in Shaun of the Dead

Orphans show the opening night audience how to enjoy “Peter Pan” in Finding Neverland

Winter sets in during a long fight sequence in House of Flying Daggers

Reality folds back in on itself in a mad scientists lair in Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

The huge statue of Lenin flying through the air dangling from a helicopter in Good-Bye, Lenin!

Best Movie Character of 2004

Edna ‘E’ Mode, superhero costumer in The Incredibles

Most Successful Snuff Film of All Time

The Passion of the Christ

Funny Moments

Shaun slips on blood that we see but he doesn’t in Shaun of the Dead

Puppet Sex in Team America: World Police

The “No capes!” sequence in The Incredibles

“It’s a chick thing.”  Fowl politics in Home on the Range.

“I am filled with Christ’s love,” Mandy Moore screams as she uses her Bible as a projectile in Saved!

“If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”  Serious sports training in Dodgeball.

The Hokey-Pokey meets Spin the Bottle in a particularly randy moment from A Dirty Shame

Great to See Him Again!

What a treat to see Omar Sharif again in not one but TWO movies:  Hidalgo and Monsieur Ibrahim

Best Film Starring a Former Resident of My Building

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

Best Movie Starring Someone I See At the Gym Every Week


We Don’t Care if Your Movies Are Never Big Hits, David Mamet, Please Keep Making Them


Please Let  Us See More Of . . .

Grégori Derangère from Bon Voyage
Eva Amurri, Susan Sarandon’s sultry daughter, who made such an impression as the bad girl in Saved!’
Chris Evans, who was terrific as the young man trying to help Kim Basinger in Cellular
Margo Martindale, whose brief turn in Million Dollar Baby (as Hilary Swank’s trailer-trash mom) reminds us that we just don’t see enough of one of our very best character actresses.
Terrific Relationship Movies

Seeing Other People (Long-time couple Jay Mohr and Julianne Nicholson try a disastrous turn at an open relationship)

Easy (Marguerite Moreau struggles to commit)

Really Good Popcorn Movies

Nothing deep, nothing heavy, just good damn fun

The Day After Tomorrow

The Punisher



The Forgotten

The Critics Were Wrong About . . .

Shrek 2.  It was good, but NOT better than the original.  People who say it is are stupid and wrong.

Million Dollar Baby. I was NOT the Second Coming of Christ.

Greatest. Documentary. Gimmick. EVER.

Supersize Me

Morgan Spurlock turns his own body into a depository for MacWaste by eating at McDonalds three times a day for 30 days . . . and living (barely) to tell the tale.

Funniest Movie Since Best in Show

Shaun of the Dead. 

This movie had a truly ingenious comic premise:  Is today’s urban society so numbed and unconscious that we might not even notice if we were surrounded by actual zombies?

Good Year for “Girl Politics” in the Movies


Bad Girls

Best Harry Potter Yet!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Good Year For Movies That Confound Audience Expectations

Open Water

The Clearing

Audiences went into both of these movies expecting thrillers about solving a dire dilemma (being stuck in the middle of the ocean, being kidnapped).  Both movies delivered very different experiences from what was probably expected.  This is a good thing.

Please Can We See the Wonderful Franke Potente in a Role That Lasts More Than Five Minutes?

The wonderful actress who starred in Run, Lola Run was dead practically before the credits were over in The Bourne Supremacy

Woefully Overlooked and Underrated

Two Brothers

This tremendously entertaining film from director Jean-Jacques Annaud managed to have it both ways:  It’s an effective family film while still imparting a serious message about the challenges facing the world’s most exotic animals

The Village

So it’s like a “Twilight Zone” episode, so what?  It’s like a really, really GOOD “Twilight Zone” episode.  Director M. Night Shyamalan continues to be punished for the success of The Sixth Sense.  A movie doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to be darned good.

Movie In Which Colin Farrell’s Cuteness Reached a Level That Could Actually Be Considered Dangerous

A Home At the End of the World

Go Indies!

The Machinist

Stunning cheapie in which pathologically gaunt Christian Bale tries to work himself out of a purgatory of guilt in this nifty thriller shot in Spain.


Stunning cheapie about a couple of yuppies who accidentally invent a time machine.


Stunning cheapie documentary about Jonathan Caouette’s lifelong relationship with his difficult and psychologically damaged mother.

The Reckoning

Fun medieval murder mystery!

The Year’s Worst Movies

The Stepford Wives

Taking Lives

The Ladykillers

When Will I Be Loved

Incident at Loch Ness

Head in the Clouds



The Passion of the Christ

Creepiest Vanity Project

Beyond the Sea

The poster claims it’s about Bobby Darin.  Surprise!  It’s really about Kevin Spacey’s ego!

Worst Movie Poster of the Year

After the Sunset.  Makes star Pierce Brosnan look inexplicably like a raccoon

Special Auto-Cannibalism Award to Stephen King

For Secret Window, an utterly transparent rip-off of his own The Dark Half

Okay, Viggo Looks VERY Home on The Range, Now Please Put Him in a REAL Western


All Style, No Substance

I love Quentin Tarantino, but he needs to stop doing hommages to film genres I could give a rat’s but about (in this case, Chop-Sockey movies and Spaghetti Westerns)

Kill Bill Volume II

Kevin Smith, We Love You, We Loved Dogma, But Dude You Are Trying Our Patience

Jersey Girl

Lousy Relationship Movie

These characters don’t deserve to EVER get laid

We Don’t Live Here Anymore (Mark Ruffalo, Peter Krause, Namoi Watts and Laura Dern play musical beds in this grim and dull downer)

Don’t Blame Peter Jackson



Further Proof (As If Any Were Need) That Tony Scott Should Go Back To Directing Commercials

Man on Fire

The Preview Was Funnier Than the Movie


Meet the Fockers

Perhaps It’s Time for the Brilliant Coen Brothers to Take a Vacation

The Ladykillers

I Don’t Care What Anyone Said, I Hated This Movie

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Worst Title

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead


Rest In Peace

Bob Keeshan – Captain Kangaroo

Spaulding Gray

Jack Paar

Cy Coleman

Tony Randall

David Raksin, composer of “Laura”

Elmer Bernstein, composer of The Ten Commandments, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, and about a million other great movie scores

Jerry Goldsmith, composer of Patton, Chinatown, The Omen, The Boys From Brazil

Rodney Dangerfield

Laura Branigan

Alistair Cooke

Uta Hagen

Arthur Hailey

Rick James

Howard Keel

Alan King

Janet Leigh

Ron O’Neal

Jerry Orbach

Ann Miller

Jan Miner

Robert Pastorelli

Eugene Roche

Isabel Sanford

Artie Shaw

Carrie Snodgress

June Taylor

Peter Ustinov

Noble Willingham

Paul Winfield

Fay Wray


Please send any comments to rayivey@ca.rr.com.  Now get out there and go to the movies!!!


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