Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Sixth Annual Jagged Edge Awards Nominations

When you see nearly 60 movies in a single year (and I did, and it was difficult), it's extremely hard to single out five directors, five actors, five sound designers, as representations of the best work of the year.  Especially in a year like 2008, when I left the theater feeling underwhelmed more times than I did satisfied, it becomes even more difficult to try and spread the playing field and figure out what made the biggest impact.  These nominations reflect a salute to some superbly original films, to some films whose technical prowess was awe-inspiring, and to a few films that managed to surprise me in ways I would not have guessed.  In order to adhere to my own tagline, and "award filmmaking excellence above the cut," I had to redefine for myself where that cut was and make some hard edits.  Hopefully they most accurately reflect my true opinions, for it's hard to rank such diverse films as "The Dark Knight," "Slumdog Millionaire," and "Synecdoche, New York."  But I tried.

The Sixth Annual Jagged Edge Awards

Awarding Filmmaking Excellence Above the Cut

 

Best Picture of the Year

 

The Dark Knight

Milk

Synecdoche, New York

Wall-E

The Wrestler

 

Best Direction

 

Darren Aronofsky for The Wrestler

Charlie Kaufman for Synecdoche, New York

Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight

Andrew Stanton for Wall-E

Gus Van Sant for Milk

 

This is the first nomination for Darren Aronofsky, and Gus Van Sant.

Andrew Stanton is also nominated this year for his screenplay for Wall-E

Christopher Nolan was previously nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Prestige in 2006. He is also nominated for Adapted Screenplay for his film this year.

Charlie Kaufman was nominated for – and won – the award for Best Original Screenplay in 2004 for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He is also nominated this year for Best Original Screenplay for his film.

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

 

Clint Eastwood for Gran Torino

Philip Seymour Hoffman for Synecdoche, New York

Richard Jenkins for The Visitor

Sean Penn for Milk

Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler

 

This is the fourth nomination for Clint Eastwood.  He was previously nominated in this category for Million Dollar Baby and for Direction for Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby

This is Philip Seymour Hoffman’s second nomination. He was nominated – and won – the category in 2005 for Capote.

This is Sean Penn’s second nomination. He was nominated – and won – the category in 2003 for Mystic River.

This is the first nomination for Richard Jenkins and Mickey Rourke.

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

 

Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky

Melissa Leo for Frozen River

Lina Leandersson for Let the Right One In

Meryl Streep for Doubt

Michelle Williams for Wendy and Lucy

 

This is the first nomination for Sally Hawkins, Lina Leandersson and Melissa Leo.

This is the second nomination for Meryl Streep. She was previously nominated – and won – this category in 2006 for The Devil Wears Prada.

This is the second nomination for Michelle Williams. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain. She is also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Synecdoche, New York.

 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

 

Mathieu Amalric for A Christmas Tale

Josh Brolin for Milk

Robert Downey, Jr. for Tropic Thunder

Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight

Brad Pitt for Burn After Reading

 

This is the first nomination for Mathieu Amalric and Josh Brolin

This is the second nomination for Robert Downey, Jr. He was nominated in this category last year for Zodiac

This is the second nomination for Heath Ledger. He was nominated for Lead Actor in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain.

This is the second nomination for Brad Pitt. He was nominated last year in Lead Actor for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

 

Amy Adams for Doubt

Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Frances McDormand for Burn After Reading

Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler

Michelle Williams for Synecdoche, New York

 

This is the first nomination for Penelope Cruz, Frances McDormand, and Marisa Tomei.

This is the second nomination for Amy Adams. She was nominated – and won – the Lead Actress category in 2007 for Enchanted.

This is the third nomination for Michelle Williams. She was nominated for this category in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain and is nominated this year in Lead for Wendy and Lucy.

 

Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

 

Dustin Lance Black for Milk

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for Burn After Reading

Charlie Kaufman for Synecdoche, New York

Martin McDonagh for In Bruges

Andrew Stanton for Wall-E

 

This is Dustin Lance Black’s and Martin McDonagh’s first nomination.

This is Joel and Ethan Coen’s fourth nomination. Last year they won three awards – for Directing, Writing, and Editing No Country for Old Men.

This is Charlie Kaufman’s third nomination. He won in 2004 for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and is nominated this year for direction for his film.

This is Andrew Stanton’s second nomination. He is also nominated this year for his film’s direction.

 

Best Screenplay Adapted from Previous Material

 

Slumdog Millionaire

Screenplay by Simon Beaufoy

Based on the Novel “Q & A” by Vikas Swarup

 

Let the Right One In

Screenplay by John Ajvide Lindqvist

From his Novel

 

The Dark Knight

Screenplay by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan

Story by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer

Based on Characters Appearing in Comics Created by DC Comics

Original Character “Batman” Created by Bob Kane

 

Doubt

Screenplay by John Patrick Shanley

From his Stage Play

 

Wendy and Lucy

Screenplay by Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt

From a Short Story by Jonathan Raymond

 

This is the second nomination for Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan as a writing team; they were previously nominated for The Prestige. Christopher Nolan is additionally nominated as director this year.

This is the first nomination for other nominees.

 

Best Performance by a Cast Ensemble

 

Burn After Reading: George Clooney, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, Tilda Swinton

A Christmas Tale: Catherine Deneuve; Jean-Paul Roussillon, Anne Consigney, Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupaud, Hippolyr Girardot, Chiara Mastroianni, Laurent Capelluto, Emmanuelle Devos

Milk: Sean Penn, James Franco, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, Alison Pill

Synecdoche, New York: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Tom Noonan, Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton, Hope Davis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Emily Watson, Dianne Wiest

Tropic Thunder: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr, Jack Black, Nick Nolte, Tom Cruise, Brendan T. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, Steve Coogan

 

Best Art Direction

 

Appaloosa, Steve Arnold

Australia, Ian Gracie and Karen Murphy

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Kelly Curley, Randy Moore, Tom Reta

Doubt, Peter Rogness

Synecdoche, New York, Adam Stockhausen

 

This is the first nomination for all nominees

 

Best Cinematography

 

Australia, Mandy Walker

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Claudio Miranda

The Dark Knight, Wally Pfister

Milk, Harris Savides

Slumdog Millionaire, Anthony Dod Mantle

 

This is Claudio Miranda’s, Wally Pfister’s and Mandy Walker’s first nomination

This is Harris Savides’ second nomination. He was nominated last year for Zodiac

This is Anthony Dod Mantle’s second nomination. He was nominated in 2003 for Dogville

 

Best Costume Design

 

Australia, Catherine Martin

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Jacqueline West

The Dark Knight, Lindy Hemming

Happy-Go-Lucky, Jacqueline Durran

The Wrestler, Amy Westcott

 

This is Jacqueline West’s, Amy Westcott’s, Lindy Hemmings’ and Catherine Martin’s first nomination.

This is Jacqueline Durran’s third nomination. She was nominated in 2007 for Atonement and 2005 for Pride and Prejudice.

 

Best Film Editing

 

The Dark Knight, Lee Smith

Milk, Elliot Graham

Slumdog Millionaire, Chris Dickens

Synecdoche, New York, Robert Frazen

The Wrestler, Andrew Weisblum

 

This is Lee Smith’s third nomination. He was nominated in 2006 for The Prestige and 2003 for Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

This is Chris Dickens’ second nomination. He was nominated in 2007 for Hot Fuzz

This is Robert Frazen’s, Andrew Weisblum’s and Elliot Graham’s first nomination

 

Best Makeup

 

The Dark Knight, Peter Robb-King

Synecdoche, New York, Judy Chin

Tropic Thunder, Gerald Quist

 

This is the first nomination for all nominees.

 

Best Music

 

Australia, David Hirschfelder

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat

The Dark Knight, James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer

Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman

Wall-E, Thomas Newman

 

This is Alexandre Desplat’s, Thomas Newman’s, A.R. Rahman’s, and David Hirschfelder’s first nomination

This is James Newton Howard’s and Hans Zimmer’s second nomination; they were collaboratively nominated for Batman Begins in 2005

 

Best Sound

 

The Dark Knight, Richard King

Iron Man, Christopher Boyes, Frank Eulner

Let the Right One In, Mikael Brodin, Christoffer Demby, Maths Kallqvist

Slumdog Millionaire, Tom Sayers, Resul Pookutty, Ben Barker, Niv Adiri

Wall-E, Ben Burtt

 

This is Ben Burtt’s third nomination. He was nominated twice in 2005 for Munich and for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

This is the first nomination for all other nominees.

 

Best Visual Effects

 

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Ted Allen

The Dark Knight, Chris Corbould

Iron Man, Stan Winston

 

This is the first nomination for Chris Corfloud and Stan Winston

Ted Allen was previously nominated for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.

 

Best Original Song

 

“Jia Ho” by A.R. Rahman from Slumdog Millionaire

“Little Person” by Jon Brion from Synecdoche, New York

“The Wrestler” by Bruce Springsteen from The Wrestler

 

Body of Work Award

Award given to an individual who has made an impact in two or more productions in a single year.

 

Robert Downey, Jr. for Iron Man and Tropic Thunder

James Franco for Pineapple Express and Milk

Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt and Synecdoche, New York

Richard Jenkins for The Visitor, Step Brothers, and Burn After Reading

Brad Pitt for Burn After Reading and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

 

The Scene of the Year

 

Australia: Dancing in the Rain

Burn After Reading: The Spook in the Closet

The Dark Knight: The Chase in the Streets

Doubt: Sister vs. Father

Forgetting Sarah Marshall: The Dracula Musical

In Bruges: Getting Stoned with a Dwarf

Let the Right One In: Climax/Resolution

Man on Wire: The Tight Rope

Milk: First Rally in the Streets

Pineapple Express: F*ck the Po-lice!

Slumdog Millionaire: The Third Musketeer (The Final Question)

Synecdoche, New York: The Funeral, Again and Again and Again

Tropic Thunder: Satan’s Alley

Wall-E: Define Dancing

The Wrestler: Dance in the Warehouse

 

Nominations Total

 

The Dark Knight – 12

Synecdoche, New York – 10

Milk – 9

The Wrestler – 8

Slumdog Millionaire – 7

Wall-E – 6

Doubt – 5

Burn After Reading – 5

Australia – 5

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – 5

Let the Right One In – 4

Tropic Thunder – 4

In Bruges – 2

Wendy and Lucy – 2

A Christmas Tale – 2

Happy-Go-Lucky – 2

Iron Man – 2

Appaloosa – 1

The Visitor – 1

Forgetting Sarah Marshall – 1

Man on Wire – 1

Pineapple Express – 1

Vicky Cristina Barcelona – 1

Frozen River – 1

Gran Torino – 1

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