I watched a lot of movies in 2006, both in the theater and at home. I’ve always watched a lot of movies, but I usually find myself catching up with present-year movies. I haven’t seen many of the Oscar hunting movies that come out in limited release towards the end of the year. This is because, well, they’re in limited release and not playing near me. Even still, I think I can come up with something interesting. To start, I’m going to announce some award nominations with slightly different categories than the traditional award shows (i.e. fun awards, more like MTV than the Oscars). I figure that I’ll comment on the traditional awards (best actor/actress, screenplays, etc…) when the Oscar liveblogging comes around. I may actually get a top 10 movies of 2006 list out there relatively soon as well.
To start things off, I’m going to list out some categories and nominees. The rules for this are that it has to be a 2006 movie and I have to have seen the movie (and while I have seen a lot of movies, I don’t pretend to have seen a comprehensive selection – don’t let that stop you from suggesting something though). Also, I suppose I should mention the requisite disclaimer that these sorts of lists are inherently subjective and personal. Part of the reason I’m doing this is just to give some love to films that I like, but which aren’t necessarily great or are otherwise flawed (as such, the categories may seem a bit eclectic). Some of these movies will end up on my top 10, but the grand majority of them will not.
For this category, I’m choosing individuals and not a group of people (or creatures, so no Snakes on a Plane).
- Le Chiffre, played by Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale
- Frank Costello, played by Jack Nicholson in The Departed
- Owen Davian, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in Mission: Impossible III
- Phoenix, played by Famke Janssen in X-Men: The Last Stand
On the flip side, again limited to individuals and not groups. This actually turns out to be a pretty tough category this year. I feel like I have to be missing something (feel free to suggest alternatives in the comments), but here goes:
- Jaguar Paw, played by Rudy Youngblood in Apocalypto
- James Bond, played by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale
- Geum-ja Lee, played by Yeong-ae Lee in Lady Vengeance
- Ethan Hunt, played by Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III
Best Comedic Performance
Comedies aren’t given a lot of respect, even when they make us laugh really hard. In terms of comedic performance, I didn’t love all of the below movies, but I liked these performances:
- Justin Long in Accepted
- Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
- Jeff Anderson in Clerks II
- Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine
- Jack Black in Nacho Libre
- Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
This is more of a personal breakthrough than a mainstream breakthrough (indeed, some of these people may have already had their mainstream breakthrough). My main criteria here is when I watch a movie, then immediately look up one of the actors/actresses to find out who they are and what else they’ve done. Sometimes, they’re someone I recognized but never thought much of, sometimes not.
- Jonah Hill in Accepted
- Rosario Dawson in Clerks II
- Trevor Fehrman in Clerks II
- Nick Swardson in Grandma’s Boy
- Ellen Page in Hard Candy
- Stephen Rea in V for Vendetta
Most Visually Stunning
Sometimes even bad movies can be absolutely gorgeous.
Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film
Genre films get no love, but there really weren’t all that many good options that I had seen, so I had to combine these two categories.
Everyone likes to revisit characters from movies they love. In theory, at least. Most sequels are terrible, but these stood out this year.
I wasn’t sure if I should include a “negative” category, but I think this one works (for this year, at least). There are two components to consider here. First, the overall quality of the movie. Second, my expecations for the movie. In some cases my expectations were low and the film was bad. In others my expectations were high and the film was mediocre. And so on.
Best Action Sequences
Since no single action sequence really, really stoodout from the crowd for me, I’m taking into account all the action sequences in the movies listed.
Best Plot Twist/Surprise
Because of the spoiler potential, you’ll need to swipe this category to see the nominees. I’m limiting the info displayed to simply the movie name, which should keep the spoilers to a minimum, but sometimes even knowing that there’s a twist can affect your enjoyment, so read on at your own risk.
- The Departed
- The Illusionist
- Inside Man
- Lucky Number Slevin
- The Prestige
- X-Men: The Last Stand
Anyone have any suggestions (for either category or nominations)? Comments, complaints and suggestions are welcome, as always.
It looks like Casino Royale, Mission Impossible III, and Clerks II are leading the nominations, with 4 each. The Descent racks up an impressive 3 nominations, while a whole slew of others pick up a respectible 2 (this is not counting the disappointment category). I’m going to give these nominations a week or so to stew in my head. I’ll probably also add some nominations as the week goes on and I remember something that I stupidly forgot (or something I just saw, like perhaps Children of Men – again, feel free to help me out in the comments). I figure I’ll announce the winners next week, perhaps with only one or two categories a day.