Ray’s 2006 Movie Awards

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Ray’s 2006 Movie Awards

Best Films of 2006

1.      Children of Men

2.      Letters From Iwo Jima

3.      Little Children

4.      United 93

5.      Brick

6.      Sweet Land

7.      Akeelah and the Bee

8.      The Good Shepherd

9.      Little Miss Sunshine

10. Flags of Our Fathers

Honorable Mention: Dreamgirls, Superman Returns, V For Vendetta, The Confederate States of America, Last Holiday, The Painted Veil, The Queen, The Devil Wears Prada, Notes on a Scandal, Thank You For Smoking, Half Nelson, Infamous, Perfume, Lassie, The Good German, The Illusionist, The Prestige, Monster House, World Trade Center, Kinky Boots, Clerks II, A Prairie Home Companion, Accepted, Borat

Best Actress

Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada

*Helen Mirren, The Queen

Kate Winslet, Little Children

Penelope Cruz, Volver

Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal

Honorable Mention:  Queen Latifah in Last Holiday, Elizabeth Reaser in Sweet Land, Gong Li in Curse of the Golden Flower, Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal

Best Actor

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brick

*Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson

Tim Guinee, Sweet Land

Clive Owen, Children of Men

Peter O’Toole, Venus

Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

Honorable Mention:  Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, Aaron Eckhart in Thank You For Smoking, Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness

Best Supporting Actor

Laurence Fishburne, Akeelah and the Bee

Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls

Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine

Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children

Adam Beach, Flags of Our Fathers

*Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond

Ken Watanabe, Letters From Iwo Jima

Honorable Mention:  Alex Rocco in Find Me Guilty, Tsuyoshi Ihara in Letters From Iwo Jima, Kazunari Ninomiya in Letters From Iwo Jima, Michael Caine in Children of Men, Tony Yalda in American Dreamz, Michael Sheen in The Queen, Daniel Craig in Infamous, Steve Carrel in, Over the Hedge and Little Miss Sunshine, Stanley Tucci in The Devil Wears Prada

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett, Akeelah and the Bee

Shareeka Epps, Half Nelson

Jill Clayburgh, Running With Scissors

Carmen Maura, Volver

*Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada

Honorable Mention: Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls, Toni Collette in The Night Listener,  Diane Lane in Hollywoodland, Frances de la Tour in The History Boys

Breakthrough Performance

Keke Palmer, Akeelah and the Bee

Best Original Screenplay

*Rian Johnson, Brick

Doug Atchison, Akeelah and the Bee

Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine

Pedro Almodovar, Volver

Best Adapted Screenplay

Jason Reitman, Thank You For Smoking

Todd Field/Tom Perrotta, Little Children

Alan Bennett, The History Boys

*Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Otsby, Children of Men

Best Director

Rian Johnson, Brick

Paul Greengrass, United 93

Todd Field, Little Children

Pedro Almodovar, Volver

Clint Eastwood, Letters From Iwo Jima

*Alfonso Cuaron, Children of Men

Best Foreign Language Film

*Volver (Spain)

Russian Dolls (France)

District B13 (France)

Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico)

Best Visual Effects

V For Vendetta

Flags of Our Fathers

Best Art Direction/Production Design

The Illusionist

Perfume

Lassie

The Black Dahlia

*Perfume

Flags of Our Fathers/Letters From Iwo Jima

The Good German

Children of Men

Best Score

John Powell, United 93

*Thomas Newman, The Good German

Best Cinematography

Perfume

Lassie

Tom Stern, Flags of Our Fathers/Letters From Iwo Jima

The Good German

*Children of Men

Best Casting

United 93

Best Animated Movie

Monster House

Please Make Her a Major Star Already

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Best January Movie EVER

Last Holiday

January is the month when the movie dogs of the year are dumped into theaters.  For some odd reason, the producers of Wayne Wang’s lovely Queen Latifah vehicle didn’t have faith that they had a quality movie.  How wrong they were!  It’s a delightful fairy tale about a woman who decides to live it up when she’s told she’s terminally ill.

Least Annoying Oliver Stone Movie in Years

World Trade Center

Ryan Reynolds Award for Best Results From the Gym

James Franco

The formerly skinny smolderer got seriously pumped up to play a smoldering boxer from the wrong side of the tracks in Annapolis.

Puppy Dogs, Snow, AND Paul Walker?  What More Does Any Movie Need?

Eight Below

A surprisingly good Cute Dogs in Peril movie.  And you have to give credit to the ever-buff-and-lovely Paul Walker for finding a way to get shirtless even though the movie takes place in Antarctica!

Best Performance By a Former Classmate of Mine

*Bruce Greenwood in Eight Below

Bruce Greenwood in Déjà vu

Best Performances By Gorgeous 1940s Clothes

The beautiful rags adorning Starlet Johansson, Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett in the otherwise lousy The Black Dahlia

Best Documentaries

Unknown White Male

Fascinating study of a 35 year old man who completely loses his memory.

Sir! No Sir!

History of the veteran-led anti-Viet Nam war movement.

Wordplay

The fascinating world of (no kidding!) competitive crossword puzzling.

*An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore displaying the leadership and brains we wish he had put on display in 1999.

This Film is Not Yet Rated

The secret and shady world of the people who rate our movies.

The Bridge

A study of the Golden Gate Bridge and those who jump off of it.

Deliver Us From Evil

The story of how Roger Mahoney systematically protected pedophilic priests all over California for decades.  Now he’s Archbishop.  Isn’t that special?

Shut Up and Sing

The story of the Dixie Chick’s fall from country music grace and their resurrection as a band who didn’t need fundy rednecks to score big record sales.

Cocaine Cowboys

The fascinating and horrifying story of the Miami drug trade from the 70s to the present.

Fuck

No, not a typo.  It’s a fun documentary about the F word.  Really.

Best Performance By a Rapper as an Extremely Irritating Character

Mos Def in 16 Blocks

Best PowerPoint Presentation

An Inconvenient Truth

Further Proof that Chiwetel Ejiofor is the Most Exciting New Actor in Movies Today

His performances this year in Kinky Boots, Inside Man, and The Children of Men, following on the heels of his performances last year in Four Brothers and Serenity

Best Movie About Shoe Manufacturing

Kinky Boots

Feel Good Movie of the Year!

Death of a President

Best $200 Million Movie Based on an Amusement Park Ride.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

 . . . . I guess.  As long as Disney PROMISED to never make a film based on “It’s a Small World” . . .

Best Favor Done By An Actor For Another Actor

When Dan Futterman was offered the lead role in Sweet Land, he wasn’t able to do it.  “Why not cast my friend Tim Guinee?” he said. 

I Love Stupid Time Travel Movies and You Can’t Stop Me!!

The Lake House

Best Non-Connery Bond Ever

Daniel Craig

Best Sequel

Clerks II

Unlikely Yet Welcome Casting

Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin as singing sisters in A Prairie Home Companion

Unlikely Yet Welcome Nerd Hero

Will Shortz, the guru of crosswords in Wordplay

Unlikely But Welcome Best Superhero Movie Ever

Superman Returns

Who expected THIS to be so good?  Singer’s genius was in emphasizing the Man of Steel’s divinity, NOT his humanity.  This made for an allegorical tale that reached surprisingly deep emotional areas.

Best Western

The Proposition

Funnest Casting

Former child star Lukas Haas as a teenage drug lord who operates out of his mom’s basement in Brick.

Coolest New Addition to Action Films

The crazy French art of “Freewalking” (Le Parkour).  This amazing acrobatic discipline livened up Casino Royale and was at the center of the exciting Precinct B13.

One of the Best Movie Titles Ever

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Lingering Images

The enormous Guy Fawkes-mask-wearing crowd at the end of V For Vendetta.

The Golden Gate Bridge gets uprooted in X-Men: The Last Stand.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Andy Richter French kissing in Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Borat’s nude wrestling

The endless Minnesota prairie in Sweet Land

Great Scenes

Olive’s jaw-droppingly offensive “talent” number in the Little Miss Sunshine regional pageant.

Borat tries to acquire an attack dog.  Oops, you can only see this deleted scene on YouTube.

The one-take scene inside of the car during a harrowing life-and-death chase in Children of Men

A Japanese commander reminisces about life in the USA with a dying American soldier in Letters From Iwo Jima

Jackie Earle Haley goes swimming in Little Children

Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) talks Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) through the ceremony appointing him Prime Minister of the U.K.

Funniest Movies

Thank You For Smoking

Borat

Little Miss Sunshine

Most Interesting Experimental Movie

John Cameron Mitchell’s Shortbus.  It’s either a porno film with a real story and real acting, or a real movie with actual sex.  Rent it from Netflix when it goes to DVD and let me know what you think.

Better Than Everyone Said It Was

Poseidon

Seriously, what was all the complaining about?  This remake really got the job done.  You have studly Josh Lucas and Kurt Russell trying to out-testosterone each other, you have stuffy Andre Brauer getting his just desserts, you have a fun, fey performance by the great Richard Dreyfuss, not to mention Fergie channeling Maureen McGovern!  All this and super production values, too. 

The Da Vinci Code

The movie, like the book, is fun intellectual trash.  It’s not supposed to be anything more than that.  Just shut up and enjoy it!

Okay, It Was Really Good I Guess, But It Just Didn’t Really Do It For Me

The Departed

Better Than It Should Have Been

Accepted

Best Family Film that (Naturally) NOBODY Saw

Lassie

Seriously.  This beautiful movie went back to the original book for its rich story.  The poor mining town is as close to edgy as you’re ever going to get in a Lassie movie.  And the performances by John Lynch, Samantha Morton, Peter O’Toole, Peter Dinklage and Jonathan Mason were wonderful.  Weird note:  Both the last name of the young actor playing the lead and the dog’s real name were “Mason.”

Best Remake

Lassie

Most Enjoyable Bad Movie

Snakes on a Plane

Weird Trend I’m Not Too Uncomfortable With:  Period Magician Movies

Both The Prestige and The Illusionist were pretty darned good!

Please Let’s See More of . . .

J.V. Villareal of Akeelah and the Bee

Keke Palmer of Akeelah and the Bee

Scott Mechlowicz of The Peaceful Warrior

Emily Blunt of The Devil Wears Prada

Shareeka Epps of Half Nelson

Justin Long of Accepted

Joseph Cross of Running With Scissors and Flags of Our Fathers

Jamie Parker and Domonic Cooper of The History Boys

Tony Yalda of American Dreamz

Viva La Senior Citizens!!

It was so wonderful to see the great Diana Rigg in The Painted Veil.  Not to mention Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney in Night at the Museum.  There are many fantastic and accomplished actors of a certain age who we rarely see in films.  This needs to change.  The richness these professionals bring to their roles makes the movies more exciting, interesting, and layered.

Best Gay Movie (weak year)

Adam and Steve

Jennifer Jason Leigh Award for the Actress We Most Desperately Wish Would Retire Immediately

Starlet Johansson

I am just damn tired of this pretty, pouty, empty chick stinking up several A pictures per year.  Someone hurry up and give her a Lifetime Achievement Award so she can retire to Boca and leave us alone!

What’s With Julia Stiles?

She ALWAYS looks bored.  She managed to look bored even as the mother of the spawn of Satan in The Omen remake.  Julia, maybe it’s time you asked your doctor if Ambien is right for you.

Most Unpleasant Movie of the Year

Hard Candy

Worst Pixar Movie EVER

Cars

What were they thinking?

Worst Michael Mann Movie Ever

Miami Vice

What was he thinking?

[yawn]

Babel

Worst Popular Movie Trend

Torture Porn.  Examples:  Hostel, Saw III, Turistas, Hard Candy

Most Reprehensible Smoking

Leonardo DiCaprio’s distracting, unnecessary, nonstop, boring smoking in Blood Diamond.  Leo should take some responsibility and consider not making smoking such an “important” part of his screen character.  Not only is it a very amateurish acting choice, but it promotes smoking needlessly.

Worst Actress

Jodie Foster, Inside Man

Worst Actor

Jamie Fox, Dreamgirls

Worst Remake

The Wicker Man

Stupidest Movie-Related Lawsuits

EVERYONE in Borat suing the film.  Hello, it’s not Borat’s fault you’re anti-Semitic, anti-women, and anti-gay! 

 

So That’s It Then.

Comments?  Advice?  Tributes?  Offers of cash?  Please give me a holler at rayivey@ca.rr.com.  Now turn off your computer and go to the movies!

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