Dec 25, 2007

Sweeney Odd

Again, I wish I hadn't read A.O. Scott's completely exaggerated review. If I hadn't perhaps the fountains of blood would have shocked me. As it was, I expected them. If I hadn't perhaps I, like him, would have nightmares after watching this film. He must be a very sensitive man. With the amount of violence and gore American audiences have for breakfast, lunch and dinner I doubt that anybody except the very impressionable will have trouble going to sleep over this film. There is indeed a lot of blood, but it looks fake (too orange, too bright) and it looks way over the top, and the fact that someone is singing while throats are being slit somehow helps mitigate the horror.
I enjoyed the movie, but mostly because I enjoyed the music and the lyrics. I applaud the decision of bringing this quirky musical to the screen, because it isn't exactly The Sound of Music. But there are certain things that did not work for me at all. Helena Bonham Carter is a fantastic actress and she does a great job here, but she is not right for the role. First, her pleasant voice is extremely thin, and this particular score requires a much more potent voice that will not get drowned by the rich, powerful orchestrations. But the main problem is the concept of the character of Mrs. Lovett. I was 14 years old when I saw Angela Lansbury on Broadway, and as soon as I saw Bonham Carter, Lansbury's performance came back to me as clear as day. She was a vulgar, loud, earthy, feisty cockney harridan, not a dainty Victorian beauty who can't bake a meat pie. She was full of life, and shockingly, of love, and had the film version more of that brashness, her love for Sweeney Todd would have been more surprising and more poignant. As it is, it's conventional and watered down. This is my biggest problem with the film.
Johnny Depp also doesn't have a particularly rousing voice; but his performance is fantastic and he is believable in the role of a haunted man. He is a great movie star and he expresses much with very little, in this case, much pain. It is a thrill to watch him sing. I may be nuts, but in several instances it seemed to me that the lips of the actors singing were out of sync by a hair, which may mean that their voices were added or sweetened later.
Fortunately, there is Alan Rickman as evil Judge Turpin, and his slimy sidekick Beadle Bamford, played by the always magnificent Timothy Spall, and there is Sacha Baron Cohen in a wonderful turn as Signor Pirelli, a rival barber. Alan Rickman could read me the phone book with his buttery, velvety, delicious speaking voice and I would swoon.
All in all, Sweeney Todd is enjoyable but flawed and not in an unimportant way. For me the biggest thrill was to rediscover the dark wit and the power of the original songs.

Walk Hard

It was Chinese food and a double feature as the Enchilada avoided celebrating the birth of Christ today in the time honored NY Jewish fashion.
After Sweeney Todd I saw Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
John C. Reilly can in fact, sing. He can also act. He can also be funny and winning. He is utterly sincere and affecting in this smart parody of the pop star biopics like Ray and Walk the Line, by writer Judd Apatow and writer/director Jake Kasdan. The movie is really a fun send up of the different periods of pop music from the birth of rock and roll to the sexagenarians doing reunion tours that we have today. The costumes are a hoot, the songs are right on target, and the jokes are raunchy, mischievous, crass and also totally on target. The performers are all delightful and the satire is just right.

Dec 20, 2007

Classics: A Star Is Born

A story about the price of fame, "A Star is Born" (William Wellman, 1937) with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March is thoroughly enjoyable. Dorothy Parker is credited as one of the writers, and I'd like to believe that many of the really smart zingers in this film came from her pen. The film is pretty funny until it gets melodramatic and schmaltzy, but the performances by the two stars are gorgeous. There is more sexiness and smartness in this movie than in any of the vulgar crap we see today. However, the movie is some sort of fantasy where a small town girl goes to Hollywood and doesn't even bother taking acting lessons or having a job and she is discovered by a famous drunken movie star on his way down. Fifteen minutes later she is winning her first Oscar. AS IF. Still, the movie condenses pretty briskly the bitter price of fame. And except for a very schmaltzy turn at the end, (she will sacrifice her career so he can come back from the brink, with a twist), it's pretty hard edged.
I am now officially in love with Fredric March. Problem is, he is dead. He is so damn SEXY in this movie. What a fantastic actor. Very nuanced, not a ham. Super charming. Bring him back!!!!
I found these two nice quotes from him:
"Stardom is just an uneasy seat on top of a tricky toboggan. Being a star is merely perching at the head of the downgrade. A competent featured player can last a lifetime. A star, a year or two. There's all that agony of finding suitable stories, keeping in character, maintaining illusion. Then the undignified position of hanging on while your popularity is declining."
"I have earnestly endeavored to perform my own share without fuss or temperament. An actor has no more right to be temperamental than a bank clerk. Possibly a very sane bringing up as a child has helped me to retain my sense of proportion in these matters."

Dec 16, 2007

Lust, Caution

I'm glad I didn't listen to the tepid, unfair reviews for this perfectly satisfying film by Ang Lee, because I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a beautifully sustained story about a love affair between a radical acting student and a collaborationist minister at the time of the Japanese invasion of China in the 1940s. It is a spy romance sort of thriller. I haven't seen a spy romance since Casablanca, so what's not to like?
I guess the critics were impatient because the much touted graphic sex scenes take a good while to show up. But that good while is wisely spent by Ang Lee lovingly developing his characters, and allowing them to raise the sexual tension, so why the rush? When the sex finally arrives in this film nothing really prepares one for the violence of the passion, since everybody in this movie is unfailingly polite. Sex is notoriously difficult to portray well and many a serious movie has been derailed by a failure to do so. The sex in Lust, Caution works because plenty of groundwork is laid before the characters finally make it to bed. It is emotionally realistic and it is photographed with great sensibility and restraint. It looks sincere. It works. Perhaps the movie should be called Caution, Lust.
The lovers are played by the unflappable Tony Leung and the absolutely gorgeous and amazing Wei Tang, who is a major discovery, as far as I'm concerned. She is stunning as an innocent who fast develops a taste for intrigue and playacting, and takes to deception like a fish to the water. It's a great female character and she shows admirable command in her performance of a performance.
The movie is shot by Rodrigo Prieto, who brings out absolute beauty without calling too much attention to the cinematography. The lighting seems natural; it is subtle and gorgeous and not show-off at all. The movie is a feast for the eyes and it is just lovely to let them wander and take in the richness of the textures in each frame, never crammed with too many tchotchkes, but radiant with beautiful faces and gorgeous, deep colors.
And someone had the endless good taste to hire the great Alexandre Desplat to write the score, which is a perfect melding of haunting Eastern melodies with lush romantic and suspenseful passages. It works beautifully with the film. I'm hoping Oscar nomination for Mr. Desplat.
Ang Lee is a very elegant director. Restrained and romantic, he is patiently enamored of the quiet reactions in the human face. His actors are all wonderful. I can't think of a better way to spend three hours on a dreary, wintry Sunday than to sit back and take Lust, Caution in.

Dec 14, 2007

Review of a Movie that I May See But That I Have Strong Reservations About

Am I the only person in the universe that finds the sight of a computer generated destroyed Brooklyn bridge obscene? Some movie critics seem to think that is it enchanting to see New York City utterly destroyed, and they live here, by the way. I saw the preview for I Am Legend, the new Will Smith blockbuster, and I gasped in terror at the sight of a broken Brooklyn bridge.
First thing that came to mind was: don't be giving people ideas!
Didn't we just have a real Al Qaeda generated disaster 7 years ago that looked like something out of Godzilla? Excuse me, but I don't like the lines between reality and the movies to be that blurred. Luckily, there are flesh eating zombies in this movie, so we can rest assured that blowing up our bridges is an activity that remains safely ensconced in the realm of fantasy. As if.
Even if the movie is smart and entertaining, it is obscene to spend so much money fantastically destroying NY (they also destroyed traffic here for weeks while shooting).
I will admit that every New Yorker has a fantasy of having the city all to ourselves. In his review, A.O Scott describes some scenes where Smith fishes in the Temple of Dendur and golfs in the West Side Highway. Me, I'd raid Bergdorf's first. Then Saks, Barney's, Jeffrey, the Prada store, Sephora, you get the idea. Do I care that I am the only woman left on the face of Earth? Not after that kind of shopping, I don't. Only men could have a post apocalyptic New York scenario and not think of free shopping. DUH!
In fact, the week after 9/11, here downtown, New Yorkers took out their rollerblades and bicycles and realized their dream come true of having the streets to themselves. I can see that, but still, these kinds of spectacles are special effects porn, and not of the healthy kind.

Dec 13, 2007

Show Me The Globe

The official celebrity handicapping season started today with the Golden Globe nominations.
There are like 7 best pictures instead of the regular 5. Many of the nominees deserve their awards and only some are slightly baffling, but the Golden Globes seem relatively decorous this year. The one person I think was forgotten was Frank Langella, but I guess his movie was too small.
Interestingly, Persepolis, which should be the best animated movie of the year, is not competing as animation but as best foreign film. I guess this is so that they can give the prize to Ratatouille and still feel good about themselves. Persepolis is a lovely film but it should compete and win in its category.

Department of Happiness:
• Tilda Swinton for her astounding turn in Michael Clayton. Go Tilda!
• Clooney getting awards is something that never bothers me. Today, he and Don Cheadle won an award for their work against the genocide in Darfur, for which I'm sure he actually cares.
• Cate Blanchett for I'm not There. She kicks ass.
• Ellen Page for Juno
• Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose
Michael Clayton as best movie. Yay!
• Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone
• Viggo Mortensen for Eastern Promises.
• Julie Christie for Away from Her. I haven't seen the movie, but she deserves an award just for existing.
• Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton. So right.
• La Jolie was mighty fine in A Mighty Heart. Good for her.

Department of Huh?
• Casey Affleck for ...The Coward Richard Ford. I don't get it.
• John Travolta for Hairspray.
• Knightley and McAvoy for Atonement. They are gorgeous and they are fine, but they are not award material. He was award material in the Last King of Scotland.
• Tony Gilroy, the director of Michael Clayton deserves a directing nod much more than Joe Wright, of Atonement, but Atonement is the kind of film the Globes love, big, sweeping, romantic and none too challenging.

Not that I saw it, but:
• Jodie Foster. The same role she always plays, in a useless movie. Why?
• I understand Sarah Polley deserves directorial kudos for Away from Her. It wouldn't have killed the Globes to include her, instead of predictable people like Ridley Scott or Tim Burton.
• El Clinto, this time nominated for writing a song. I don't care if it's a symphony. I'm tired of El Clinto.
• Julia Roberts, really?
• Tom Hanks. I'm sure he's good, but we like some variety with our perenially awarded to death megastars.
• John C. Reilly for Walk Hard. I love him and I'm happy for him.

I don't know about you, but I'm already tired of this and it's just beginning.

I'm Not There, Either

I finally saw I'm Not There, the Todd Haynes Dylan Extravaganza. I can only report that it failed to touch my dear, old, jaded heart in every single possible respect, except for Cate Blanchett's wonder of a performance. The only thing that kept me rooted to my seat was the music. (And Ed Lachman's rich photography).
As I was sitting through this movie, I was thinking that perhaps all of us are entitled to one Bob Dylan movie in our head. If I had my way, mine would be just the songs, no visuals. Somehow, I think that Dylan's music defies visualization. It has the power of verbal narrative, like rich, complex novels that resist screen adaptations; not to mention the power of its chords, that seem to come from the depths of American experience, with the dark, disturbing undertow that most people in this country insist in ignoring. It has a sting that hurts. You would have to be an expert in haunting, spine-tingling enigma, and sharpness and irony to get it right. Maybe the Coen Brothers would nail it somehow. They come from the same place. Minnesota, that is.
The only moment where I found authenticity in this movie, was the one bit of actual footage of Dylan playing the harmonica in concert. I know this is very literal of me, but there he was himself, in all his elfin and stubbornly enigmatic power, and he is more convincing in a few seconds of that than 5 different people trying to inhabit his persona, to mostly cheesy effect.
I tend to worship Christian Bale, but he seemed ridiculous in this one. Heath Ledger and Charlotte Gainsbourg playing a soured couple to the accompaniment of the Vietnam War seemed like an American telenovela to me, utterly banal. The very talented black kid was very distracting. The guy who plays Dylan giving interviews was trying his darnedest to be a prick, which is what Dylan used to do with great success. But only Cate Blanchett was given the opportunity to react to something. She was the only one with a personal conflict. Namely, Dylan in England answering questions about his honesty and dealing, badly, for the most part, with his fame. At times I forgot she was Cate Blanchett, she was so good. So her storyline provided the only instance where there was drama, instead of a procession of tableaux vivants.
The movie is a pastiche. A pastiche of film references, a pastiche of sentimentality, which is the last thing you'd expect in a movie about Bob Dylan, I would think. My heart sank as Richard Gere rode into a town of full of carnies. My wise friend Don told me that this is a reference to Dylan's own movie disaster Renaldo and Clara, which helped mitigate the circumstances, but only slightly.
The moment I see carnies and circuses on screen, in my mind, I run away.
It is totally fine to come up with a different way to do a biopic. It is totally fine to write a filmed love letter to your hero, it is even admirable to try to be original and think we are all Bob Dylan and Bob Dylan is all of us, or that the peripatetic life of Bob Dylan can be taken to represent something ineffable about American culture. I just didn't quite get what it was from this film. And it is not that I need a conventional plot or a sustained narrative, or a three-act screenplay. It's that either you do the biopic or you don't, but you can't have it both ways. If you want to take actual parts of his life and make them into stories that have little to do with him, there needs to be a huge resonance of meaning, not just dressed up snippets of gossip.
I was baffled by the inconsistencies: such an eloquent songwriter and such an inarticulate rock star. Christian Bale, who is a large, beautiful man, is described time and again as elfin and tiny, (by Julianne Moore, playing Joan Baez) and you can see the actor trying to shrink himself as much as possible. It simply doesn't work. Dylan was famously evasive on purpose, of course, but in the footage I've seen of his interviews, he seems to make sense: ornery, dripping with sarcasm, almost oracular. I gather that Dylan's autobiography is extremely well written, so I understand even less why the filmmakers insist in making him unintelligible, on all counts.
But this is the movie that Todd Haynes had in his head, and this is the movie he did. At least it's not a Broadway show, like The Times They Are A Changing. Or a Victoria's Secret runway show to the tune of Knocking on Heaven's Door. Sheesh.
Dylan is no sacred cow, but each one of us reveres him in our own way. Mine is not with carnies.

Dec 10, 2007


As I read it, I thought Atonement, the novel by Ian McEwan, would make a great movie, for it is a great story; but I thought that it would be daunting, if not impossible, to translate the main gist of the novel to a film format, since it is a novel of memory and guilt and writing, with many fine, gorgeous layers of meaning, and an interesting literary twist at the end. My questions about the film version, directed with much aplomb by Joe Wright, were whether it would capture the sparseness, the elegance and the power of McEwan's tone; whether it would respect the discomfiting darkness in the story, whether the exquisite ironies would pile up and surprise us as they do in the novel. Screenwriter Christopher Hampton has come up with a very faithful adaptation that successfully synthesizes the main themes of the book.
Of course, no amount of visual shorthand can substitute for McEwan's precise powers of observation and his masterful command of language, but the movie acquits itself quite well. It doesn't shy away from the quietly disturbing facts that McEwan brings to bear; for instance, and bless him for it, that innocence is not necessarily synonymous with goodness. Atonement is a love story told through a very complex prism of human emotion, in which the love story almost takes a backseat to the messy rest. McEwan is a very smart writer who likes to disturb people. In this case, a little girl causes terrible damage by telling a lie. She happens to be a budding writer. It is a very literary work, and the movie's challenge is to balance out this darkness with the romantic sprawl of the love story and not to lose sight of the fact that the topic of writing, recollecting or inventing is very important. It's a tall order, but the screenplay resolves it quite neatly.
The music by Dario Marianelli punctuates the writing theme by using a typewriter, very cleverly, as percussion, and this works wonders. Alas, the music gets a little corny later on.
Visually, the movie's style reflects what is recollected in memory, not only because you see the same scene from different points of view, but because in many instances people are shot through mirrors or glass. The lighting of the first part of the movie is clean and delicate and almost gossamer, like the fragile but enduring memory of a summer long ago that you can't shake out of your mind. The cinematography by Seamus McGarvey is gorgeous.
Keira Knightley does the job and she does it well. She is beautiful and too thin and I wish her character, Celia Tallis, had been explored in more depth. They could have taken time from the wartime sequence which sports an endless tracking shot, (that must have cost half the movie's budget and that I'm sure the director loves), to explore her mind a little more. Endless tracking shots are now achieved with the help of computers. I am far more partial to the tracking shots that were done on camera like Orson Welles' famous one in Touch of Evil. The only part of this movie that taxed my patience was part of the wartime sequence. It is very ambitious and I understand why it looks and feels like it does, but it drags on a little too long. And I can't tell you more about it, because I'd be giving it away.
Romola Garai is very impressive as the adult Briony Tallis. So is the kid that plays her as a child. But the brightest, smartest dreamboat of them all is James McAvoy, who delivers a thoughtful, dashing performance as Robbie the groundskeeper, Celia Tallises' lover. He is fabulous. Atonement feels like a very satisfying, almost old-fashioned, romantic movie but it gives the audience much more than that. It is smart and complex and its many layers of meaning will keep your brain happily engaged for hours.

Dec 4, 2007

2007: A Year of So So Movies

Hello and welcome to the time of year dreamed of and dreaded by all.
Thinking back, the movies of 2007 were not Earth-shatteringly good. I can't think of one movie that blew my socks off. There were a lot of decent movies, but in my view, many of the super well reviewed movies are quite overhyped. I have not seen several worthy contenders, which I will add once I do, but in the meantime, here is my humble estimation of what didn't suck this year. For your consideration, you can link to my reviews.

Absolutely Lovely:

Secret Sunshine (from Korea). The best movie of the year, in my view.
Encounters at The End of The World (Werner Herzog's documentary about the South Pole)
The Host
Michael Clayton
Rescue Dawn
We Own the Night
Blades of Glory
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Absolutely Lovely Documentaries

No End in Sight
Don Rickles: Mr. Warmth
Deep Water

Honest to God Decent Movies:

Gone Baby Gone
3:10 To Yuma
The Darjeeling Limited
Knocked Up
Starting Out in The Evening
The Hoax
A Mighty Heart.
I saw this movie on a plane. Why do they have this movie on a plane?

Overrated but Good:

No Country for Old Men
The Savages
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Interesting Mishmashes:

Eastern Promises
La Vie en Rose
Across the Universe

Pretentious and/or Truculent but not totally Unredeemable.

The Assassination of Jesse James by The Coward Richard Ford
Silent Light

Ni Fu Ni Fa (neither here nor there)

I Refuse to See
Margot at The Wedding. I don't see what's so great about unadulterated nasty smarminess. And I detest J.J.L.
Lions for Lambs. It just sounds deadly.
Mr. Magorium Magic Emporium. Hate the name, hate the Portman.

Review of A Movie I Haven't Seen III

The New York Times reports that Luis Mandoki's documentary on Andrés Manuel López Obrador, "Fraude, Mexico 2006", has been a huge box office success in Mexico and that people are screaming at the screens in frustration for what the documentary clearly, to judge from the title, considers the fraudulent win of the current President, Felipe Calderón.
I have not seen the movie but I understand it is a deeply one sided affair that portrays AMLO as a victim of corporate and government manipulation. Perhaps it is true, but how can you believe a documentary that is financed in part by one of AMLO's friends and that has clear subjective leanings towards its hero?
In the period before the election, Mr. Mandoki made a glowing biographical film about Mr. López Obrador, a populist who promised to end tax breaks for the rich and break up monopolies.The new film, “Fraud, Mexico 2006,” lays out in detail the arguments of leftists who say the combination of a smear campaign and fraud at polling places swung the election to President Calderón. Mr. Mandoki got financial backing for the movie from Federico Arreola, a journalist, entrepreneur and close campaign adviser to Mr. López Obrador.
It would not have killed Mr. Mandoki to balance it out a bit. AMLO is not a little innocent political dove. He gives as good as he gets. It would have been far more interesting if the documentary was more nuanced and showed the disgraceful circus on both sides that is Mexican politics.
What is troubling is that Warner Brothers had enthusiastically decided to support the film, and according to Mandoki, it bowed out due to pressure from Televisa, the long time Mexican media conglomerate. They claimed it was because they decided that a documentary in Mexico would not be profitable. This would be laughable if it weren't so repulsively cynical. After the mass demonstrations AMLO commandeered in Mexico City, where hundreds of thousands of people disrupted life for months on end, how could anyone think that nobody'd be interested in such a film? Mexicans are always starved for the actual truth. They love reading, talking and making jokes about their own reality, and finally a film comes out about it, and the pretext is that it's not profitable.
It is insulting, to say the least.
In what must feel like a delicious dose of schadenfreude to the producers, the film has grossed about a million dollars to date, a huge amount for a documentary in Mexico. Maybe the media conglomerates will learn a little lesson that strongarming and trying to silence a film is not good for business.
As a first successful political documentary in Mexico, it's a good thing, but I'm not surprised that this is what we get: we are still not there yet when it comes to true plurality of opinions.

Dec 3, 2007

The Savages

I love Slums of Beverly Hills, Tamara Jenkins first movie. I think it is one of the most unfairly underrated American comedies, a brilliant little dark comedy of a very disfunctional family, led by Alan Arkin who plays a loser dad and his oddball kids who don't fit in. The comedy is bittersweet (more towards the bitter side) but there is genuine empathy in the family's spunky resilience and in the fact that as screwed up a father as Arkin is, he is trying to do the best by his kids. Everybody is a screamer, everybody has big dreams and big emotions and the cast is a goldmine: Alan Arkin, Natasha Lyonne, the great David Krumholz, Marisa Tomei in a hilarious, moving role as a very disturbed cousin, Rita Moreno and Carl Reiner.
I was expecting to equally love The Savages. But, as well written, smart and committed to show a very dark side of human existence, namely death and decay, it is a movie that holds you at arms' length. The characters do not allow you to get near them, let alone grow fond of them; in the end one feels a chill. I respect Jenkins' integrity and I respect her choice of subject matter. My hat's off to her for wanting to communicate to the American people that old age, illness and death cannot be sugarcoated. And I applaud the bravery in making this a comedy, as opposed to a tearjerker. But making a comedy about having to put your dad in a nursing home proves a very hard thing to do. I find it interesting that Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor are among the producers, for it is exactly what makes their satires winning that is absent in this film. Payne's comedies can be very cruel to their characters (think of any of them: Citizen Ruth, Election, About Schmidt and Sideways, even that little jewel of a short in Paris Je T'aime), but there is always a strong current of empathy underlying the satire. You can find Reese Witherspoon's character in Election absolutely hateful, until you see her mom and you understand the strain that is to grow up like that, the horror that is to be like that, and you feel for her. You almost root for her. Nothing of the sort, alas, happens in The Savages. Perhaps it's the choice of characters: two neurotic, competitive playwright siblings; perhaps it's the choice of actors. One tries, but it is impossible to connect to or ultimately care about Laura Linney in particular, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the siblings who have to take care of a father that never took care of them. Linney is shrill and overacted and works very hard to be funny. And Hoffman is so pent up in his feelings, as good as he is, he can't be reached. These two adult kids are both so insufferable, not even their terrible plight helps in making us like them.
However, as their father, the great Phillip Bosco gives an astounding performance as a man in the throes of dementia. It must be very frightening for a mature actor to go to a place like that, and he gives a fearless, giant performance. The mix of rage, impotence, genuine beffudlement, cunning and sadness is the only truly moving thing in the movie. The rest is intermittently funny, certainly very sharply written and observed, very well directed. But the movie is more brittle and belabored than I wish it would be.

Dec 1, 2007

The Stuffed Enchilada Awards

Every time the Film Critics Society of Tejeringo el Chico, or The Golden Chicken Awards, or the National Bores of Review or the Morons' Choice Awards announce their nominations, I writhe in frustration because I don't get it. With any luck, the obviously great performances that cannot possibly be overlooked make it to the list, but the rest is random bullshit. Like for instance, nominating Daniel Craig for best British actor (BAFTAS) but ignoring Clive Owen's much superior performance in Children of Men. Or giving Babel 758 nominations and ignoring Children of Men. Why?
I know this is a frivolous, banal and moronic subject, but I don't care. Here are my nominations and the people who are winning my awards:

And the Stuffed Enchilada goes to:
Best Film not in English

and Indigenes (In my awards there are plenty of ties and nobody complains)

Best Supporting Actress
Abigail Breslin -- Little Miss Sunshine
Carmen Maura -- Volver

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin -- Little Miss Sunshine
James McAvoy -- Last King of Scotland
Michael Sheen -- The Queen

Best Actress
Helen Mirren -- The Queen
Judi Dench -- Notes on a Scandal
Meryl Streep -- The Devil Wears Prada

Best Actor
Clive Owen -- Children of Men
Toby Jones -- Infamous

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki -- Children of Men
Rodrigo Prieto -- Babel

Best Art Direction
Geoffrey Kirkland -- Children of Menand
Brigitte Broch -- Babel

Best Original Screenplay
Paul Greengrass -- United 93
Peter Morgan -- The Queen

Best Adapted Screenplay
Patrick Marber -- Notes on a Scandal
Douglas McGrath -- Infamous
the 83 people who adapted Children of Men

Best Director
Paul Greengrass -- United 93
and Stephen Frears -- The Queen
and Alfonso Cuarón -- Children of Men
and Martin Scorsese -- The Departed

Best Movie
United 93
and The Queen

The Sour Enchilada for Unfairly Praised Movies Award goes to:
Pan's Labyrinth
Little Children