nominees for the junkies.

(This is still one of my favorite pictures on the internet.)

Well, people, I’m stuck in a hotel room.  And were it not for wireless internet, I would be quite bored.  But thanks to technology, even hourly-rate motels that reek of amphetamines now boast wireless internet.

So in the spirit of Oscar season, I’m starting Junkfood’s own damn award ceremony.  What’s it called?  What else would it be called?  The Junkies.

(See what I did there?  Yeah?  Great.  We can move on now.)

Kinda missed the year-end cap, so I won’t speak to music or books or whatever.  But the movie season doesn’t really end until the Academy Awards roll around, so I can still submit my nominations for all things film-related.  Wanna see what they are?  Future tense the damn jump, sucka!

Best Actor.

  1. Patton Oswalt, Big Fan
  2. Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
  3. Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
  4. Sam Rockwell, Moon
  5. Michael Stuhlbarg, A Serious Man

Best Actress.

  1. Amy Adams, Sunshine Cleaning
  2. Carey Mulligan, An Education
  3. Michelle Monaghan, Trucker
  4. Tilda Swinton, Julia
  5. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anti-Christ Brittany Snow, The Vicious Kind

Best Film You Never Saw.

  1. Trucker
  2. Big Fan
  3. Julia
  4. The Vicious Kind
  5. Coraline

Best Film Where Female Snips off Clitoris and Male Ejaculates Blood After Being Savagely Beaten in Groin.

  1. Anti-Christ

Unabashed Guilty Pleasure.

  1. Observe and Report
  2. Taken
  3. Zombieland
  4. Dead Snow
  5. World’s Greatest Dad

Best Director.

  1. Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
  2. Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
  3. Spike Jonze, Where the Wild Things Are
  4. John Hillcoat, The Road
  5. James Cameron, Avatar

Best Picture.

  1. Inglourious Basterds
  2. A Serious Man
  3. The Road
  4. Up
  5. Julia

A few qualifications: I don’t distinguish “supporting” from “lead” actors.  If the performance was good enough, I don’t see the point.  There are a few critically-acclaimed films I have not yet seen (‘Crazy Heart’, ‘Up in the Air’, ‘Sin Nombre’ etc), so nominees from those films were excluded.  ‘Up’ is included in Best Picture because it’s about damn time we start acknowledging that animated films have the potential to transcend a simplistic label and be seen in the same light as other Oscar-contending films.

This list only speaks for Collin and is subject to change.  Comments are more than welcomed.

Thoughts from thinking this over: 2009 was a tremendous year for animated films.  Three in particular (‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, ‘Coraline’, ‘Up’) stood out and I really struggled with how to place them into nominated categories.  Had there been an animated category, all three certainly would have made it.  But I decided the more appropriate course of action was to consider them as I would consider any other film, and Pixar wins out in that case, though just barely.  Regardless, all three are incredible and even if you’re not a fan of animated film (as I wasn’t until ‘The Incredibles’ honestly), you should see them.

I think the nomination that will surprise the most people is ‘The Road’, as it received just “good” reviews and not “great.”  But I can’t get over the work Hillcoat did in directing the film.  When I read Cormac McCarthy’s novel (and believe me, I’m not one of those No Country For Old Men bandwagon fans that runs around professing to have always loved McCarthy’s work or anything, I’ve never read NCFOM and only read The Road three or four years ago because I’m a geek for post-apocalyptic fiction) I thought the novel was absolutely unadaptable.  How do you translate such a bleak, dialogue-starved narrative to the big screen?  But Hillcoat did.  Faithfully and inventively.  For that effort alone, the film gets consideration.  Throw in some terrific performances and some absolutely gorgeous end-of-the-world cinematography, and the film just stuck with me too much to ignore it.

‘Precious’ left a bad taste in my mouth, hence the lack of representation.  Do I think Mo’Nique gave a good performance?  Yes.  But that’s about the extent of positive commentary I have to offer.  Something about the film felt lazy to me.  If I’m going to have my nose rubbed in shit, it better be worth it, and this one just wasn’t.  But that’s my opinion, obviously.  ‘The Messengers’ left me in a similar mood, though Steve Buscemi’s bit role still strikes me as one of my favorite “unexpected actor/actress appearances” of 2009 (others: Robert Duvall in ‘The Road’, Bill Murray in ‘Zombieland’, Aziz Ansari in ‘Observe and Report’ and Clif Collins in ‘Sunshine Cleaning’.)

So that’s a look at The Junkies’ 2009 film review.  Stay tuned for winners, potential changes and general calamity!


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