2006 Muriel Awards

Steven Carlson


Steven's blog:

The Ongoing Cinematic Education of Steven Carlson

Steven's ballot:

Best Feature-Length Film
1. Jackass Number Two
2. Duck Season
3. Children of Men
4. A Prairie Home Companion
5. The Departed
6. Bubble
7. Down in the Valley
8. Borat
9. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
10. Pan's Labyrinth

Best Lead Performance, Male
1. Ion Fiscuteanu, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
2. Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
3. Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat
4. Edward Norton, Down in the Valley
5. William H. Macy, Edmond

Best Lead Performance, Female
1. Jodelle Ferland, Tideland
2. Debbie Doebereiner, Bubble
3. Laura Dern, Inland Empire
4. Evan Rachel Wood, Down in the Valley
5. Ivana Baquero, Pan's Labyrinth

Best Supporting Performance, Male
1. Ray Winstone, The Proposition
2. Anthony Mackie, Half Nelson
3. Mark Wahlberg, The Departed
4. Aurelien Recoing, 13 Tzameti
5. Nick Nolte, Clean

Best Supporting Performance, Female
1. Danny Perea, Duck Season
2. Emily Watson, The Proposition
3. Shareeka Epps, Half Nelson
4. Deborah Francois, The Child
5. Laetitia Spigarelli, Clean

Best Direction
1. Steven Soderbergh, Bubble
2. Robert Altman, A Prairie Home Companion
3. Terry Gilliam, Tideland
4. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, The Child
5. Martin Scorsese, The Departed

Best Screenplay
1. The Departed
2. Inside Man
3. Children of Men
4. Duck Season
5. Down in the Valley

Best Cinematic Moment
1. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer- Unveiling the perfume from the gallows
2. jackass number two- Bear Trap and resultant musical number
3. The Hills Have Eyes- Mutant killed with American flag
4. Tideland- Jeliza-Rose swims through living room
5. Death of Mr. Lazarescu- Lazarescu's final repose

Best Breakthrough Performance
1. Jodelle Ferland, Tideland
2. Ion Fiscuteanu, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
3. Shareeka Epps, Half Nelson
Honorable Mention: Samantha Sin in Plucked Then Fucked

Best First Feature by a Director
1. Duck Season
2. Slither
3. 13 Tzameti

Best Ensemble Performance
1. A Prairie Home Companion
2. The Departed
3. Jackass Number Two

Best Cinematography
1. Peter Andrews [A.K.A. Steven Soderbergh], Bubble
2. Benoit Delhomme, The Proposition
3. Nicola Pecorini, Tideland

Best new DVD Release (any region)
1. Equinox (Criterion) - really, I'd just like to vote for every disc they put out this year, but I figure the amount of love they lavished on a dumb creature feature like Equinox can stand as representative of the whole, even more so than, say, Play Time or Dazed and Confused
2. 42nd Street Forever #2: The Deuce (Synapse)
3. Murder a la Mod/The Moving Finger (Something Weird - hey, early De Palma!)

1. jackass number two

Miscellaneous commentary:

Most welcome trend: A surfeit of excellent child performances. A startling number of my favorite performances this year - Jodelle Ferland, Shareeka Epps, Ivana Baquero, three-quarters of the cast of Duck Season, even Evan Rachel Wood - came from actors not yet old enough to smoke. Unusual? Yeah. Anomalous? I hope not. (Especially in the case of Ferland, who turned in the best child performance I've seen since Eamonn Owens in The Butcher Boy.)

Least welcome trend: The-ends-justify-the-means revenge flicks. Lady Vengeance, Hard Candy and (to an extent) Silent Hill gloss over the moral issues raised by their premises in order to slake the audience's presumed bloodthirst at seeing ultimate evil punished in the most brutal and violent ways possible. Am I going soft in my old age? Considering that I'd take the thorny, snarling nihilism of I Spit on Your Grave over any of the previously mentioned films, I doubt it - I just prefer that hawkish one-sided arguments for mob justice and victim's right not be cloaked as legitimate art. (Not that Silent Hill is art, but still.) There's been a lot of noise over the supposedly-worrisome ascendence of the torture-porn genre, but it's films like Lady Vengeance that really frighten me.

Strangest trend: The mainstreaming of material usually confined to gay porn in Jackass Number Two and Borat. Whodathunk?

Worst scene: Helen Mirren stares at a deer while her car is stuck in a river in The Queen. Jesus, how much crap symbolism can be crammed into one scene? (Answer: A whole fuck of a lot.)

Biggest disappointment: Cars was a bigger, noisier fiasco, but Svankmajer's Lunacy depressed me more. So it's a toss-up.

Best nudity: Anapola Mushkadiz's impressively commited turn in Battle in Heaven. Runners-up: Tamsin Egerton's breasts in Keeping Mum, Bam Margera's ass in Jackass Number Two. (Mentioning the former in my review of Keeping Mum has resulted in more accidental hits to my website than anything else I've ever written about, with the noted exception of Let My Puppets Come.)

Most surprising nudity: Bryce Dallas Howard going full-frontal for Manderlay, a sight I never ever thought I would see. I mean, she's Ron bloody Howard's daughter. She's not supposed to be going starkers for crazy Dutch auteurs.

Funniest unexpected laugh line: "Hey, aren't there supposed to be two of those?" (Parker Posey in Superman Returns)

Best death scene: Clive Owen casually backtracking to clobber Peter Mullan over the head with a car battery in Children of Men. Runner-up: The Aborigine whose head gets blowed up but good in The Proposition, the chick who pops from slug infestation in Slither.

Best trash: Shadow: Dead Riot. Voodoo zombies kickboxing in a women's prison! Also, a small role for Misty Mundae!

Worst trash: Date Movie. Words are very unnecessary, I imagine.