Ray’s 2006 Movie Awards
Best Films of 2006
1. Children of Men
2. Letters From Iwo Jima
3. Little Children
4. United 93
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
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
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
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
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
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 Black Dahlia
Flags of Our Fathers/Letters From Iwo Jima
The Good German
Children of Men
John Powell, United 93
*Thomas Newman, The Good German
Tom Stern, Flags of Our Fathers/Letters From Iwo Jima
The Good German
*Children of Men
Best Animated Movie
Please Make Her a Major Star Already
Best January Movie EVER
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
The fascinating and horrifying story of the Miami drug trade from the 70s to the present.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
Thank You For Smoking
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
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
Better Than It Should Have Been
Best Family Film that (Naturally) NOBODY Saw
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.”
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
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
Worst Pixar Movie EVER
What were they thinking?
Worst Michael Mann Movie Ever
What was he thinking?
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.
Jodie Foster, Inside Man
Jamie Fox, Dreamgirls
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Now turn off your computer and go to the movies!