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
7. Finding Neverland
8. Bad Education
9. The Motorcycle Diaries
10. Hotel Rwanda
11. In Good Company
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.
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
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!
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
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
*House of Flying Daggers
A Very Long Engagement
House of Flying Daggers
*A Very Long Engagement
Million Dollar Baby
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
In Good Company
A Very Long Engagement
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
In Search of Wrong-Eyed Jesus
Best Movie Poster of 2004
Maria Full of Grace
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
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
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 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.
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
Best Harry Potter Yet!
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Good Year For Movies That Confound Audience Expectations
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
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
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
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.
Fun medieval murder mystery!
The Year’s Worst Movies
The Stepford Wives
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
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
I Don’t Care What Anyone Said, I Hated This Movie
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead
Rest In Peace
Bob Keeshan – Captain Kangaroo
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
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