Saturday, February 17, 2007


Never mind the Oscars, here's the Bloomies

Not counting film festivals, I saw a total of 74 movies that were either released theatrically or on DVD in 2006 (see list below). Based on this list, here are my selections for the 1st-ever Bloomie Awards:

Best Movie, Drama: World Trade Center
Having not seen United 93, I can't compare the two. But Oliver Stone deserves way more credit than he's received for his passionate portrait of two fireman buried beneath the rubble caused by the 9/11 plane attacks on the World Trade Center.

Best Movie, Comedy: Borat
A longtime fan of Sacha Baron Cohen, I knew what to expect with this movie, but never thought he could pull off the media coup that led up to its release. Cohen proved to be the master manipultor both on the screen and off.

Best Director: Richard Linklater
Linklater helmed not one, but two important movies: A Scanner Darkly and Fast Food Nation.

Best Stoner Movie, Drama: A Scanner Darkly
Linklater's futuristic polemic about the drug war is both dark and comical, thanks to a cast of stony characters and psychedelic animation.

Best Stoner Movie, Comedy: Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny
Jack Black and Kyle Gass not only can sing, they can act. A heavy-mental musical for stoners of all ages.

Best Documentary: Commune
A wistful look at the California commune founded by the Diggers.

Best Music Documentary: Awesome: I Fucking Shot That
The Beastie Boys gave 50 concertgoers DV cameras and asked them to shoot the same live show, then edited all the footage down to a great concert film.

Best Foreign Movie: Mountain Patrol: Kekexili

Amazing docudrama set in the Tibetan tundra where a self-elected security force attempts to catch poachers in a forbidding climate.

Best Performance by an Actor: Nicholas Cage, World Trade Center
Underground and motionless for most of the movie, Cage and his partner hang in there as rescuers search for signs of life.

Best Performance by an Actress: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Sherrybaby
Gutsy acting by Gyllenhaal, who portrays a junkie just out of jail and adjusting to freedom.

Most Overrated Movie: Little Miss Sunshine
Tepid comedy hit a nerve with moviegoers, despite very few funny moments.

Most Overrated Director: Martin Scorcese
Scorcese has made so many better movies than The Departed - GoodFellas and Raging Bull to name just two - yet critics treated the film as some sort of masterpiece, which it's not.

Most Underrated Movie: Bobby
Critics hated it, but Emilio Estevez was onto something when he reconstructed the last day of Robert Kennedy's life.

Most Surprising Movie: Apocalypto
After all the controversy about Mel Gibson's anti-semetic remarks, he proved to be a powerful filmmaker, not just a blood-thirsty one.

Most Apocalyptic Movie: Children of Men
Alfonso Cuaron's look into the future (2027) is hopefully just a bad dream.

Most Topical Movie: The Road to Guantanamo
With this devastating depiction of overzealous policing, Michael Winterbottom continues to be one of cinema's most daring filmmakers.

Most Overrated Performance: Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
As the constantly stoned teacher, Gosling is neither compelling nor empathetic.

Best Pot Scene: Grandma's Boy
Allen Covert and Peter Dante light a fattie, then take a ride with a chimp.

Best Sex Scene: Abbie Cornish and Heath Ledger, Candy
Playing junkies, Cornish and Ledger get it on in a pool.

Funniest Scene: Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
The dinner scene, with Will Farrell and his dysfunctional family.

Bloomie Achievement Award: Woody Allen
Allen rediscovered his sense of humor in Scoop, in which he plays a wacky character straight out of Broadway Danny Rose.

2006 releases: a/k/a Tommy Chong, American Hardcore, An American Haunting, Apocalypto, A Prairie Home Companion, Aquamarine, Art School Confidential, A Scanner Darkly, Awesome: I Fucking Shot That, Babel, Bobby, Borat, Brick, Candy, Casino Royale, Children of Men, Clerks II, Coachella, Cocaine Angel, Come Early Morning, Commune, Crazy Like a Fox, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, Dreadheads: Portrait of a Subculture, Dreamgirls, Duck Season, Factotum, Fast Food Nation, Flags of Our Fathers, Friends with Money, Gram Parson: Fallen Angel, Grandma's Boy, Half Nelson, Haven, Hollywoodland, How to Eat Fried Worms, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, London, Man of the Year, Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School, Mountain Patrol: Kekexili, Music Is My Life Politics My Mistress, Nacho Libre, Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos, Rocky Balboa, Romantico, Scoop, Sherrybaby, Stoned, Strangers with Candy, Tales of the Rat Fink, Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, Thank You for Smoking, The Break-up, The Departed, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, The Last King of Scotland, The Last Kiss, The Notorious Bettie Page, The Outsider, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, The Pusher III: I'm the Angel of Death, The Queen, The Road to Guantanamo, The U.S. vs. John Lennon, Waist Deep, Wassup Rockers, Trudell, We Are Marshall, World Trade Center, You Me and Dupree.

Terrific overview of a year that overall was less than memorable and in some ways decidedly disappointing. We differ on a few points, though, notably The Departed. Anyway, let me say this: I'd love it if you'd (1) do much more movie stuff and (2) get all your movie stuff together in a searchable archive.
I can't believe you haven't seen "United 93" ...
FYI, these aren't the "first ever Bloomies". Robert Bloom has been publishing his list of "Bloomies" for several years already. See his web site for not only this year's Bloomies but lists of best movies for the last century.
Fast Food Nation is an impactful movie indeed... just today i passed up a sausage mcmuffin because of it.
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