Friday, February 25, 2011

My Ballot

ETA: Well, the other voters agreed with me on 5 of the categories and disagreed with me on 7 of the categories. Maybe next year I'll have more influence.

Now that the deadline for voting has passed, I can reveal my choices for this year's Independent Spirit Award categories. Last year, it seemed that most of the other voters didn't agree with me, let's hope this year is different. For I only speak the truth!

Best Picture

127 Hours
Black Swan
The Kids Are All Right
Winter's Bone

My choice: I went with Winter's Bone. I found it to be the most well-rounded of the films and the only one that really kept me guessing as to where it was going. Though any of these films are a worthy choice, except Greenberg. Greenberg sucked.

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
Danny Boyle – 127 Hours
Lisa Cholodenko – The Kids Are All Right
Debra Granik – Winter's Bone
John Cameron Mitchell – Rabbit Hole

My choice: Debra Granik. To the victor go the spoils. I'm one of those who believe that if you have the best picture, then you also have the best director.

Best Actor (Best Male Lead)

Ronald Bronstein – Daddy Longlegs
Aaron Eckhart – Rabbit Hole
James Franco – 127 Hours
John C. Reilly – Cyrus
Ben Stiller – Greenberg

My choice: James Franco. An incredible performance given the limited mobility of the character. He really made you feel the arrogance and the vulnerability of the character all in 90 minutes.

Best Actress (Best Female Lead)

Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
Greta Gerwig – Greenberg
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

My choice: Jennifer Lawrence (seeing a theme?). I found this to be the most well rounded of all the performances. I don't think she'll win this year, but she will soon.

Best Supporting Actor (Best Supporting Male)

John Hawkes – Winter's Bone
Samuel L. Jackson – Mother and Child
Bill Murray – Get Low
John Ortiz – Jack Goes Boating
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids Are All Right

My choice: John Hawkes. You never knew if his character was going to help out or pull a gun and shoot. I was afraid watching him. That's good acting.

Best Supporting Actress (Best Supporting Female)

Ashley Bell – The Last Exorcism
Dale Dickey – Winter's Bone
Allison Janney – Life During Wartime
Daphne Rubin-Vega – Jack Goes Boating
Naomi Watts – Mother and Child

My choice: Dale Dickey. She played a mean backwoods mother. The type of person you don't want to cross. I don't want to meet her in a dark alley. Just as scary as John Hawkes.

Best Screenplay

The Kids Are All Right – Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
Life During Wartime – Todd Solondz
Please Give – Nicole Holofcener
Rabbit Hole – David Lindsay-Abaire
Winter's Bone – Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini

My choice: Winter's Bone. What else? It was #5 on my top ten of the year. I liked The Kids Are All Right, but the screenplay was a little too jokey for me.

Best First Screenplay

Jack Goes Boating – Robert Glaudini
Lovely, Still – Nik Fackler
Monogamy – Dana Adam Shapiro and Evan Wiener
Obselidia – Diane Bell
Tiny Furniture – Lena Dunham

My choice: Tiny Furniture. A cute little indie. Nothing too amazing to write home about, but a lot of promise in it.

Best First Feature

Everything Strange and New
Get Low
The Last Exorcism
Night Catches Us
Tiny Furniture

My choice: Get Low. A nice offbeat comedy about an older man who wants to hold his own wake before he dies. Robert Duvall and Bill Murray keep the proceedings enjoyable.

Best Cinematography

Black Swan – Matthew Libatique
Greenberg – Harris Savides
Never Let Me Go – Adam Kimmel
Tiny Furniture – Jody Lee Lipse
Winter's Bone – Michael McDonough

My choice: Michael McDonough. What? You thought I've give up on my Winter's Bone streak now?

Best Foreign Film

The King's Speech – Tom Hooper • UK
Kisses – Lance Daly • Ireland
Mademoiselle Chambon – StĂ©phane BrizĂ© • France
Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux) – Xavier Beauvois • Morocco/France
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Lung Bunmi Raluek Chat) – Apichatpong Weerasethakul • Thailand

My choice: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. This will most likely be on my top ten list for 2011. A lyrical and utterly strange movie that just floats on by as you get into its rhythms. Weerasethakul's films are an acquired taste, but if you acquire it then you are rewarded.

What about The King's Speech? While it will probably win the Oscar, I found the film to have a few too many slow patches for my taste. It's good, yes, but it's not amazing.

Best Documentary

Exit Through the Gift Shop – Banksy
Marwencol – Jeff Malmberg
Restrepo – Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Sweetgrass – Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Thunder Soul – Mark Landsman

My choice: Restrepo. I did not find Gift Shop to be a great film. Too boring. Restrepo, while a little repetitious at times, did what a documentary should do. Show me an aspect of life I'm not to aware of and make me care about it.

And there we go. Let's see how I match up to the actual winners this year.

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