Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The IRA Top 100 Films Of All Time

The IRA film group I've been a member of for 20 years gathers annually to name their top movies of the year. You can see our top picks for 2011 here. This year -- in conjunction with the every-decade Sight & Sound poll (due out in August) -- we made our picks for the top films of all time.

The final vote over the March 23-25 weekend was the culmination of months of debate, argument and balloting. First we each watched a bunch of movies we hadn't seen in years or classics which slipped through the cracks. Then we made our own personal lists of the Top 100 films of all time. We took all those lists, combined them and came up with a master list of the 100+ films that got the most votes. Then we broke ties and narrowed it down to exactly 100 films. I for one had never seen 20 of them so that meant more movie watching. Finally, on the big night we took those 100 films ten by ten and re-ranked them after discussion and debate. So the Top 10 vote getters (movies like The Magnificent Ambersons, The Searchers and Vertigo) were all treated as a group and ranked from #1 to #10. Then we did the same with the next batch of ten and so on.

The result? A list none of us are truly happy with, naturally. I bemoan the lack of animated films and just one documentary that made the cut. Others are embarrassed by the omission of Bollywood. And so on. But it's a good list: watch all 100 films and you will have a good grounding in some classic cinema. It happened for me. I somehow had never caught director Max Ophuls. Now The Earrings Of Madame De... is high on my personal list of the best movies of all time. Same with the ground-breaking, revelatory Jeanne Dielman. So debate and mock the list, but do watch the movies you've never seen before. Enjoy!

THE IRA TOP 100 MOVIES OF ALL TIME

1. The Rules Of The Game
2. The Magnificent Ambersons
3. Citizen Kane
4. Vertigo
5. The Searchers
6. Letter From An Unknown Woman
7. The Big Sleep
8. Psycho
9. The Man Who Shot LIberty Valance
10. The Apartment

11. Shoah
12. The Earrings Of Madame de...
13. The Shop Around The Corner
14. Tokyo Story
15. Rear Window
16. Notorious
17. Touch Of Evil
18. North By Northwest
19. The Palm Beach Story
20. The General (1926)

21. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
22. The Big Heat
23. Sunset Blvd.
24. Red River
25. Chinatown
26. Sunrise
27. Double Indemnity
28. Laura
29. His Girl Friday
30. Ugetsu

31. Rio Bravo
32. Anatomy Of A Murder
33. The Miracle Of Morgan's Creek
34. Chimes At Midnight
35. All About Eve
36. The Decalogue
37. The Awful Truth
38. Some Like It Hot
39. Danton
40. Imitation Of Life

41. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
42. Sherlock Jr.
43. Once Upon A Time In The West
44. 2001: A Space Odyssey
45. Ordet
46. A Man Escaped
47. Man With A Movie Camera
48. Written On The Wind
49. The Philadelphia Story
50. Kiss Me Deadly

51. Out Of The Past
52. Force Of Evil
53. Advise & Consent
54. Home From The Hill
55. Sweet Smell Of Success
56. The Lady Eve
57. Make Way For Tomorrow
58. Breathless
59. The Third Man
60. Cluny Brown

61. Pickup On South Street
62. Shanghai Express
63. The Passion Of Joan Of Arc
64. The Naked Spur
65. White Heat
66. The Crowd
67. The Crime Of Monsieur Lange
68. Night Of The Hunter
69. The Band Wagon
70. The Scarlet Empress

71. Red (1994)
72. All That Heaven Allows
73. Victor/Victoria
74. Band Of Outsiders
75. Day Of Wrath
76. Rebel Without A Cause
77. In A Lonely Place
78. The Marriage Of Maria Braun
79. It's A Wonderful Life
80. The 400 Blows

81. Metropolis
82. Diary Of A Country Priest
83. Casablanca
84. Lola Montes
85. Raging Bull
86. The Last Picture Show
87. Shock Corridor
88. Meet Me In St. Louis
89. Fanny & Alexander
90. A Star Is Born (1954)

91. Ali: Fear Eats The Soul
92. The Leopard
93. Play Time
94. A Matter Of Life And Death
95. How Green Was My Valley
96. Mildred Pierce
97. What Ever Happened To Baby Jane
98. Travels With My Aunt
99. Days Of Heaven
100. In The Mood For Love

IRAs 2012: "The Tree Of Life," "A Separation," "Hugo" and "Tinker Tailor" Top Winners

THE 37TH ANNUAL IRA FILM AWARDS

The IRA Film Awards are the most prestigious, mysterious and exclusive movie awards in the world. Long after the frenzy of "awards season" has passed, the members of the IRAs meet to soberly discuss, debate, argue, bicker, fight, and mock each other as they decide what truly are the best films, performances and technical achievements of the previous year. They also shine a light on some of the worst achievements in cinema.

The IRAs were founded in the 1970s with one very simple thought: we've got better taste than those other award shows; let's do our own. And thus the IRAs were born. Its ranks have contained future Oscar winners, acclaimed and best-selling authors of both fiction and nonfiction (especially movie history), power players in the studio system, influential members of the media, hardcore cineastes and the team behind Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards, the most acclaimed (really, the ONLY acclaimed) awards book in history and the template for all the ones that followed in its wake. Usually composed of 10-20 members, the IRAs spend their year watching and debating the movies that really matter, the ones they hope will last and then share their judgment with the rest of the world. The "kids" -- younger members who joined in the 90s and the noughts -- have brought a new-found appreciation for animation and genres like sci-fi. The veterans remain loyal to stalwarts like Alain Resnais and the late, lamented Blake Edwards.

This year's gathering was especially lavish and bittersweet. IRA member Joe generously hosted the event at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut over the March 23-25 weekend. Why was it so lavish? To accommodate a second day of voting. On Saturday, we determined the best films released commercially in 2011. But on Friday night, we established the final ranking of our top films of all time, the culmination of a process that involved a good six months of bickering and voting and watching and re-watching a bunch of classic films. Why was it so bittersweet? Because weeks before the event founding IRA member Damien Bona -- the co-author of Inside Oscar -- died after a short and unexpected illness. His scathing wit and love of movies was sorely missed.

Four films dominated every single award (including the new edition of Best Editing), so you'll find it easy to check out the taste of the IRAs this year. But after the winners, we'll show the entire winning ballots so you can see the range of films that were favored by at least some factions. You'll discover 22 movies well worth your time, for one reason or another. According to some of us. (Others may vehemently disagree.) After that, you'll find a list of all the award winners in IRA history from 1975 to the present. So without further ado, this year's top winners are...

2011 IRA FILM AWARD WINNERS

Best Picture: The Tree Of Life
Best Director: Terrence Malick - The Tree Of Life
Best Actor: Peyman Moadi - A Separation
Best Actress: Leila Hatami - A Separation
Best Supporting Actor: Hunter McCracken - The Tree Of Life
Best Supporting Actress: Sareh Bayet - A Separation
Best Screenplay: Ashgar Farhadi - A Separation
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki - The Tree Of Life
Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti - Hugo
Best Score: Alberto Iglesias - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Skin I Live In
Best Editing: Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz, Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber, Mark Yoshikawa - The Tree Of Life
Best Costumes: Jacqueline Durran - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Sominex Award (The Movie That Put Us To Sleep): Midnight In Paris
Dramamine Award (The Movie That Made Us Sick): The Help
Mechanical Actress: Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Mechanical Actor: Owen Wilson - Midnight In Paris

FILMS CITED BY THE IRAS FOR 2011 IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

Another Earth (1 mention)
The Artist (1 mention)
Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (1 mention)
A Dangerous Method (6 mentions)
The Descendants (1 mention)
Drive (1 mention)
The Help (1 mention)
Hugo (8 mention)
In Darkness (3 mentions)
Jane Eyre (1 mention)
Margin Call (2 mentions)
Meek's Cutoff (2 mentions)
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (1 mention)
Moneyball (2 mentions)
My Week With Marilyn (1 mention)
Pina (1 mention)
A Separation (7 mentions)
Shame (1 mention)
Take Shelter (3 mentions)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (9 mentions)
The Tree Of Life (11 mentions)
Win Win (2 mentions)


FILMS CITED BY THE IRAS FOR 2011 IN ORDER OF MENTIONS (HOW MANY TIMES THEY APPEARED ON A FINAL LIST OF WINNERS -- NOT INCLUDING THE "NEGATIVE AWARDS")

The Tree Of Life (11 mentions)
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (9 mentions)
Hugo (8 mention)
A Separation (7 mentions)
A Dangerous Method (6 mentions)
In Darkness (3 mentions)
Take Shelter (3 mentions)
Margin Call (2 mentions)
Meek's Cutoff (2 mentions)
Moneyball (2 mentions)
Win Win (2 mentions)
Another Earth (1 mention)
The Artist (1 mention)
Cave Of Forgotten Dreams (1 mention)
The Descendants (1 mention)
Drive (1 mention)
The Help (1 mention)
Jane Eyre (1 mention)
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (1 mention)
My Week With Marilyn (1 mention)
Pina (1 mention)
Shame (1 mention)


THE COMPLETE BALLOTS IN ORDER OF VOTING

BEST COSTUMES

1. Jacqueline Durran - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 35 pts.
2. Jacqueline West - The Tree Of Life 29 pts.
3. Sandy Powell - Hugo 27 pts.
4. Victoria Farrell - Meek's Cutoff 13 pts. (tie)
Denise Cronenberg - A Dangerous Method (tie)


BEST EDITING

1. Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz, Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber, Mark Yoshikawa - The Tree Of Life 28 pts.
2. Thelma Schoonmaker - Hugo 22 pts.
3. Dino Jonsater - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 15 pts.
4. Paul Hirsch - Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
5. Toni Froschhammer - Pina 10 pts.

After many years of consideration, the IRAs have finally added an award for editing. Some argued for excluding it because they felt editing was too difficult to judge without knowing what material an editor had to work with and how involved the director was in the process. But obviously this is true of virtually every category. Finally, still others felt that documentary films are invariably "found" in the editing room so they would dominate this award; why not just add Best Documentary? But still others said if a documentary is the best film of the year, it should win as the best film of the year and not be placed in a ghetto. (In fact, documentaries have won the top award, including Eyes On The Prize in 1986 and arguably Decasia in 2003. This year the winner was for "most editing," with the five person team dealing with the endless footage generated by Malick being recognized for their work.

BEST MUSIC

1. Alberto Iglesias - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Skin I Live In 33 pts.
2. Howard Shore - Hugo and A Dangerous Method. 23 pts.
3. Ernst Reijseger - Cave Of Forgotten Dreams 15 pts (tie)
David Wingo - Take Shelter 15 pts (tie)
5. Alexandre Desplat - The Tree Of Life 14 pts.

Here, it's already clear that three films will be dominant players in tonight's voting. Widespread approval of Iglesias's work on Tinker made him a popular front-runner from the start.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. Dante Ferretti - Hugo 37 pts.
2. Jack Fisk - The Tree Of Life 35 pts.
3. Maria Djurkovic - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 29 pts.
4. Laurence Bennett - The Artist 20 pts.
5. James McAteer - A Dangerous Method 7 pts.

In a squeaker, Hugo beats out The Tree Of Life for Production Design. It would turn out to be Hugo's only win but put the fear of God in Malick supporters (who were mostly anti-Hugo as well, with one notable exception). Serious politicking began in the two camps. Snagging Production Design may have been the warning sign that brought together its passionate detractors and kept Hugo out of the winner's circle for the rest of the night.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. Emmanuel Lubezki - The Tree Of Life 38 pts.
2. Hoyte Van Hoytema - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 19 pts.
3. Robert Richardson - Hugo 18 pts.
4. Guillaume Schiffman - The Artist 13 pts. (tie)
Jolanta Dylewska - In Darkness 13 pts. (tie)

With the night's highest point total and largest margin of victory, it's clear that IRA's voters agree on one thing: The Tree Of Life looks spectacular.

BEST SCREENPLAY

1. Ashgar Farhadi - A Separation 37 pts.
2. Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 31 pts.
3. Terrence Malick - The Tree Of Life 14 pts. (tie)
John Logan - Hugo 14 pts. (tie)
5. J.C. Chandor - Margin Call 11 pts.

Finally, A Separation makes its first appearance. Humanist dramas are often overlooked in tech categories and the Iranian winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar is no exception. At least when it comes to the IRAs. Margin Call got a deserved nod for its screenplay, which captured the complexity of the financial meltdown in a fictional tale of disillusionment.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Sareh Bayat - A Separation 26 pts.
2. Jessica Chastain - The Tree Of Life, Take Shelter, The Help 24 pts.
3. Shailene Woodley - The Descendants 17 pts.
4. Sarina Farhadi - A Separation 12 pts. (tie)
Amy Ryan - Win Win 12 pts (tie)

In many other award groups, it was the cast of The Help that dominated the supporting actress awards. At the IRAs, it was the supporting cast of A Separation, clearly one of the best films of the year. Some supported the care-giver, others supported the daughter and still others argued that the wife was the supporting role and that the caregiver should have been up for best actress. One key pleasure of the IRAs is to correct the "mistakes" of the Oscars, which sometimes put people in the wrong categories because of politicking by the studios or due to star power instead of what makes sense. But it ain't east. Just check out the Supporting Actor category.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Hunter McCracken - The Tree Of Life 29 pts.
2. Albert Brooks - Drive 21 pts.
3. Vincent Cassell - A Dangerous Method 12 pts.
4. Alex Shaffer - Win Win 9 pts.
5. Kevin Spacey - Margin Call 7 pts (tie)
Jonah Hill - Moneyball 7 pts. (tie)

See what I mean? I'd argue that Hunter McCracken's character in The Tree Of Life is the lead role. He's the heart of the film and it's told from his point of view and perspective. I haven't put a stopwatch to the film, but since Young Jack has countless scenes with his father and more with his mother and then goes off to play with friends, it's inconceivable to me that anyone could think the supporting role of Brad Pitt as his father Mr. O'Brien would be anything but what it is. The Oscars saw it differently because Pitt is a star. But in fact, the Ira votes also felt McCracken's character was not the lead, split as it was between him and Sean Penn. We certainly aren't waiting for Pitt to show up for the awards ceremony so the Ira voters must be sincere. At the least, this award inspired one of the night's funnier lines: "Release the McCracken!"

BEST ACTRESS

1. Leila Hatami - A Separation 27 pts.
2. Keira Knightley - A Dangerous Method 22 pts
3. Michelle Williams - Meek's Cutoff, My Week With Marilyn 15 pts.
4. Britt Marling - Another Earth 14 pts.
5. Viola Davis - The Help 10 pts. (tie)
Chloe Grace Moretz - Hugo 10 pts. (tie)

A Separation continued to dominate the acting awards and inspired thoughts that it might upend the support for The Tree Of Life, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Hugo to snag the night's biggest awards. it helped that several Ira voters went to see the film for the first time (and some for the second or third) the afternoon of the voting, so it was also fresh in everyone's minds. It also helped Hatami that besides being a very talented actress she is luminously beautiful and inspired some to compare her to Ingrid Bergman.

BEST ACTOR

1. Peyman Moadi - A Separation 33 pts.
2. Gary Oldman - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - 30 pts.
3. Brad Pitt - Moneyball, The Tree Of Life 28 pts.
4. Michael Fassbender - A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame 13 pts. (tie)
Michael Shannon - Take Shelter 13 pts.

The momentum keeps building for A Separation with its lead actor winning the top prize among the men. With Tree, Separation and Hugo still jockeying for supremacy, Tinker Tailor seemed to fade in the home stretch. If it was going to win any major award, it should have been for Gary Oldman's performance, one of the most subtle and effective in recent memory. Also, it was good to see Michael Shannon get recognition for his terrific work in the vivid indie Take Shelter, a favorite of many Ira voters, even if it didn't break into the top 5. With the very high point totals for the top three actors, it's clear they were all deeply admired by the vast majority of Ira voters.

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Terrence Malick - The Tree Of Life 32 pts.
2. Martin Scorsese - Hugo 27 pts.
3. Tomas Alfredson - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 23 pts.
4. Ashgar Faradi - A Separation 23 pts.
5. Agnieszka Holland - In Darkness 12 pts.

it wasn't a nail-biter, but Malick's triumph in the Best Director category wasn't a walk. Both Scorsese and Alfredson scored in the 20s, very respectable showings. (Scorsese's long career gave him the edge over Alfredson, who has deeply impressed with Tinker and his debut Let The Right One In; he's definitely made the most of his opportunity.) The Holocaust film hadn't broken through in many categories but put in a strong showing here and in Best Picture.

BEST PICTURE

1. The Tree Of Life 32 pts.
2. A Separation 26 pts.
3. Hugo 24 pts.
4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 19 pts.
5. In Darkness 12 pts. (tie)
Cave Of Forgotten Dreams 12 pts. (tie)

Thirty three years after winning the IRA award for Best Picture with Days Of Heaven, director Terrence Malick triumphed again with The Tree Of Life, beating off upstarts like the terrific Iranian drama A Separation (which dominated the acting awards), Martin Scorsese's Hugo (a controversial film with as many detractors as supporters at the Iras) and the generally admired Tinker, whose supporters were just as quiet and reserved as the film itself. In Darkness and Cave Of Forgotten Dreams also made showings. Cave was the most popular documentary of the year at the Iras, though Pina and several others had strong support. It's likely that the voting for Cave and In Darkness drained some points from A Separation and kept it from competing for an upset win.

SOMINEX AWARD (THE MOVIE THAT PUT US TO SLEEP)

1. Midnight In Paris 28 pts.
2. Beginners 10 pts. (tie)
Hugo 10 pts. (tie)
Moneyball 10 pts. (tie)
5. Three Backyards 7 pts.

This award is for the film that put us to sleep this year. It's often a chance for some spoilsports to make their displeasure over certain films known (hence the voting for Hugo, which scored highly on most Ira ballots). Some voters hated Woody Allen's latest, while others were bemused by its massive popularity (just as Woody himself says he can never guess which film of his will click with audiences). But everyone agreed Midnight In Paris is not one of Woody's finest.

DRAMAMINE AWARD (THE MOVIE THAT MADE US SICK)

1. The Help 22 pts.
Arthur 12 pts. (tie)
The Iron Lady (tie)
4. Buried Prayers 10 pts.
5. Sarah's Key 9 pts.

Half the fun of the Iras is talking about movies you love. The other half? Making fun of the movies you hate and the taste of other Ira voters and mainstream critics. The Help was not exactly polarizing -- most Ira voters disliked it immensely. But a few held the acting in the film in high regard, which is why Viola Davis made it onto the Best Actress ballot. But the critical acclaim combined with Hollywood's invariable gambit of telling the story of black characters by focusing on a white character proved catnip to Ira voters. Buried Prayers and Sarah's Key are two Holocaust-themed films that certain voters found noxious in their politics and storytelling, to say the least. Liberals many of the Ira members may be, but liberal piety won't get you far with them (and certainly not in the movies).

MECHANICAL ACTRESS

1. Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady 22 pts.
2. Natalie Portman - Thor 15 pts.
3. Frida Pinto - Miral 10 pts.
4. Berenice Bejo - The Artist 9 pts.
Bryce Dallas Howard - The Help 6 pts.

The Mechanical acting awards aren't for stiffness as such. It's more about calling out actors for reverting to a set of tics we've seen many times before. In the case of Streep (a brilliant stage actress), the award seemed to be as much for the film's soft-pedaling of a major figure who is far more controversial and transfixing than this fuzzy around the edges biopic made clear.

MECHANICAL ACTOR

1. Owen Wilson - Midnight In Paris 23 pts.
2. Shia LaBeouf - Transformers: Dark Of The Moon 15 pts.
3. James Franco - Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes 13 pts.
4. Christopher Plummer - Beginners 7 pts. (tie)
Keifer Sutherland - Melancholia 7 pts (tie)

Here's a great example of a Mechanical Acting award. Personally, I didn't vote for Owen Wilson because I actually thought he was fine and a pretty good substitute Woody. But many others felt he was coasting on his usual surfer dude schtick. Shia was pegged for Transformers, perhaps an irresistible target given the mechanical nature of the battling Autobots and their enemies.


THE COMPLETE IRA MOVIE AWARD WINNERS

1975 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Barry Lyndon
Best Director: Claude Chabrol for La Rupture and Just Before Nightfall
Best Actor: Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Best Actress: Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
Best Supporting Actor: François Perrier in Just Before Nightfall
Best Supporting Actress: Blythe Danner in Hearts Of The West
Best Screenplay: Tom Stoppard and Thomas Wiseman for The Romantic Englishwoman
Best Cinematography: John Alcott for Barry Lyndon



1976 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: (tie) Lipstick, and The Marquise Of O
Best Director: Eric Rohmer for The Marquise Of O
Best Actor: Sean Connery in Robin And Marian
Best Actress: Sissy Spacek in Carrie
Best Supporting Actor: Jason Robards in All The President’s Men
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Bancroft in Lipstick
Best Screenplay: Alain Tanner and John Berger for Jonah Who Will Be 25 In The Year 2000
Best Cinematography: Nestor Almendros for The Marquise Of O



1977 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Annie Hall
Best Director: Wim Wenders for The American Friend
Best Actor: John Gielgud in Providence
Best Actress: Dianne Keaton in Annie Hall and Looking For Mr. Goodbar
Best Supporting Actor: G. D. Spradlin in One On One
Best Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave in Julia
Best Screenplay: Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman for Annie Hall
Best Cinematography: Robby Müller for The American Friend


1978 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Days Of Heaven
Best Director: Terence Malick for Days Of Heaven
Best Actor: Jon Voight in Coming Home
Best Actress: Jane Fonda in Coming Home
Best Supporting Actor: Dom DeLuise in The End
Best Supporting Actress: Stephane Audran in Violette
Best Screenplay: Eric Rohmer for Perceval
Best Cinematography: Nestor Almendros for Days Of Heaven


1979 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Fedora
Best Director: Blake Edwards for 10
Best Actor: Clint Eastwood in Escape From Alcatraz
Best Actress: Hanna Schygulla in The Marriage Of Maria Braun
Best Supporting Actor: Denholm Elliott in Cuba and Saint Jack
Best Supporting Actress: Frances Sternhagen in Fedora and Starting Over
Best Screenplay: Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond for Fedora
Best Cinematography: Tak Fujimoto for Last Embrace and Remember My Name
Best Music: Miklos Rozsa for Fedora and Last Embrace
Best Production Design: Dean Edward Mitzner for 1941


1980 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: The Big Red One
Best Director: Sam Fuller for The Big Red One
Best Actor: Lee Marvin for The Big Red One
Best Actress: Jodie Foster for Carny and Foxes
Best Supporting Actor: (tie) Joe Pesci in Raging Bull and Harry Dean Stanton in The Black Marble, The Long Riders, Private Benjamin and Wise Blood
Best Supporting Actress: Pamela Reed in The Long Riders and Melvin And Howard
Best Screenplay: Sam Fuller for The Big Red One
Best Cinematography: Jordan Cronenweth for Altered States
Best Music: Dana Kaproff for The Big Red One
Best Production Design: Tambi Larsen for Heaven’s Gate


1981 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Cutter’s Way
Best Director: Ivan Passer for Cutter’s Way
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges in Cutter’s Way
Best Actress: Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest
Best Supporting Actor: Jack Nicholson in Reds
Best Supporting Actress: Mona Washbouurne in Stevie
Best Screenplay: John Guare for Atlantic City
Best Cinematography: Jordan Cronenweth for Cutter’s Way
Best Music: Georges DeLerue for The Last Metro, Rich and Famous, True Confessions and The Woman Next Door
Best Production Design: Ken Adam for Pennies From Heaven
Best Costume Design: Shirley Russell for Reds


1982 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Victor/Victoria
Best Director: Blake Edwards for Victor/Victoria
Best Actor: Jack Lemmon in Missing
Best Actress: (tie) Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria and Jessica Lange in Frances
Best Supporting Actor: Robert Preston in Victor/Victoria
Best Supporting Actress: Lesley Ann Warren in Victor/Victoria
Best Screenplay: Blake Edwards for Victor/Victoria
Best Cinematography: Xaver Schwartzenberger for Lola and Veronika Voss
Best Music: Henry Mancini and Leslie Bricusse for Victor/Victoria
Best Production Design: Rodger Maus for Victor/Victoria
Best Costume Design: Patricia Norris for Victor/Victoria

1983 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Berlin Alexanderplatz
Best Director: Andrzej Wajda for Danton
Best Actor: Eric Roberts for Star ’80
Best Actress: Shirley MacLaine for Terms Of Endearment
Best Supporting Actor: Jerry Lewis for The King Of Comedy
Best Supporting Actress: Jamie Lee Curtis for Trading Places
Best Screenplay: Bill Forsyth for Local Hero
Best Cinematography: Sven Nykvist for Star ’80
Best Music: Peer Raben for Berlin Alexanderplatz
Best Production Design: Fernando Scarfiotti for Scarface
Best Costume Design: Yvonne Sassinot DeNestle for Danton


1984 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: (tie) L’Argent and Once Upon A Time In America
Best Director: Sergio Leone for Once Upon A Time In America
Best Actor: Clint Eastwood in Tightrope
Best Actress: Helen Mirren in Cal
Best Supporting Actor: Jean-Luc Godard in First Name: Carmen
Best Supporting Actress: Christine Lahti in Swing Shift
Best Screenplay: Franco Arcalli, Leonardo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi, Franco Ferrini, Sergio Leone, Enrico Medioli for Once Upon A Time In America
Best Cinematography: Robby Müller for Paris Texas and Repo Man
Best Music: Ennio Morricone for Once Upon A Time In America
Best Production Design: James Singelis for Once Upon A Time In America
Best Costume Design: Mic Cheminal for Entre Nous


1985 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Prizzi’s Honor
Best Director: Martin Scorsese for After Hours
Best Actor: Jack Nicholson in Prizzi’s Honor
Best Actress: Mia Farrow in The Purple Rose Of Cairo
Best Supporting Actor: William Hickey in Prizzi’s Honor
Best Supporting Actress: Anjelica Huston in Prizzi’s Honor
Best Screenplay: Joseph Minion for After Hours
Best Cinematography: Andrzej Bartkowiak for Prizzi’s Honor
Best Music: Brian Gascoigne and Junior Hamrich for The Emerald Forest
Best Production Design: Jeffrey Townsend for After Hours
Best Costume Design: Ann Roth for The Jagged Edge and Sweet Dreams


1986 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Eyes On The Prize
Best Director: David Lynch for Blue Velvet
Best Actor: (tie) Daniel Day-Lewis in My Beautiful Laundrette and Jeff Goldblum in The Fly
Best Actress: Laura Dern in Smooth Talk
Best Supporting Actor: Steve Buscemi in Parting Glances
Best Supporting Actress: Mary Stuart Masterson in At Close Range
Best Screenplay: Hanif Kureishi for My Beautiful Laundrette
Best Cinematography: Frederick Elmes for Blue Velvet
Best Music: (tie) George Delerue for Platoon and Herbie Hancock for Round Midnight
Best Production Design: Patricia Norris for Blue Velvet
Best Costume Design: Jenny Beaven and John Bright for A Room With A View



1987 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Housekeeping
Best Director: Bill Forsyth for Housekeeping
Best Actor: Gary Oldman in Prick Up Your Ears
Best Actress: Christine Lahti in Housekeeping
Best Supporting Actor: John Mahoney in Moonstruck and Tin Men
Best Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave in Prick Up Your Ears
Best Screenplay: Bill Forsyth for Housekeeping
Best Cinematography: Phillippe Rousselot for Hope And Glory
Best Music: David Byrne, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Cong Su for The Last Emperor
Best Production Design: Santo Loquasto for Radio Days
Best Costume Design: Mary-Jane Reyner for Housekeeping


1988 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Dead Ringers
Best Director: David Cronenberg for Dead Ringers
Best Actor: Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers
Best Actress: Jodie Foster in The Accused
Best Supporting Actor: Divine in Hairspray
Best Supporting Actress: Claudia Karvan in High Tide
Best Screenplay: Christopher Hampton for Dangerous Liaisons
Best Cinematography: Vittorio Storaro for Tucker: The Man And His Dream
Best Music: George Fenton for Dangerous Liaisons
Best Production Design: Dean Tavoularis for Tucker: The Man And His Dream
Best Costume Design: Van Smith for Hairspray


1989 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Story Of Women
Best Director: Claude Chabrol for Story
Of Women

Best Actor: John Hurt in Scandal
Best Actress: Isabelle Huppert in Story Of Women
Best Supporting Actor: Ethan Hawke in Dad and Dead Poets Society
Best Supporting Actress: Anjelica Huston in Enemies: A Love Story
Best Screenplay: Blake Edwards for Skin Deep
Best Cinematography: Jeff Preiss for Let’s Get Lost
Best Music: Michael Kamen for The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti for The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen
Best Costume Design: Jane Robinson for Scandal


1990 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: GoodFellas
Best Director: Martin Scorsese for GoodFellas
Best Actor: Michel Blanc in Monsieur Hire
Best Actress: Anjelica Huston in The Grifters
Best Supporting Actor: Joe Pesci in GoodFellas
Best Supporting Actress: Lorraine Bracco in GoodFellas
Best Screenplay: Craig Lucas for Longtime Companion
Best Cinematography: Oliver Stapleton for The Grifters
Best Music: Elmer Bernstein for The Grifters
Best Production Design: Dennis Gassner for The Grifters
Best Costume Design: Richard Bruno for The Grifters


1991 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: The Man In The Moon
Best Director: Robert Mulligan for The Man In The Moon
Best Actor: River Phoenix in Dogfight and My Own Private Idaho
Best Actress: Judy Davis in Barton Fink, Impromptu, and Naked Lunch
Best Supporting Actor: Harvey Keitel in Bugsy, Mortal Thoughts, and Thelma & Louise
Best Supporting Actress: Juliette Lewis in Cape Fear
Best Screenplay: Michael Tolkin for The Rapture
Best Cinematography: Freddie Francis for Cape Fear and The Man In The Moon
Best Music: Ennio Morricone for Bugsy
Best Production Design: Dennis Gassner for Barton Fink and Bugsy
Best Costume Design: Albert Wolsky for Bugsy


1992 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Raise The Red Lantern
Best Director: Robert Altman for The Player
Best Actor: Tim Robbins in Bob Roberts and The Player
Best Actress: Emma Thompson in Howards End
Best Supporting Actor: Jaye Davidson in The Crying Game
Best Supporting Actress: Judy Davis in Husbands And Wives
Best Screenplay: Michael Tolkin for The Player
Best Cinematography: Zhao Fei and Lun Yang for Raise The Red Lantern
Best Music: Lenny Niehaus for Unforgiven
Best Production Design: Marc Caro for Delicatessen
Best Costume Design: Alexander Julien for The Player
Sominex Award: A Few Good Men
Dramamine Award: Basic Instinct
Mechanical Actor: Michael Douglas in Basic Instinct
Mechanical Actress: ****


1993 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Six Degrees Of Separation
Best Director: Nancy Savoca for Household Saints
Best Actor: Dennis Quaid in Flesh And Bone
Best Actress: Stockard Channing in Six Degrees Of Separation
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio in A Boy’s Life and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
Best Supporting Actress: Regina Tourney in Like Water For Chocolate
Best Screenplay: Mike Leigh for Naked
Best Cinematography: Michael Balhaus for The Age Of Innocence
Best Music: Elmer Bernstein for The Age Of Innocence and The Cemetery Club
Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti for The Age Of Innocence
Best Costume Design: Gabriella Pescucci for The Age Of Innocence
Sominex Award: Heaven And Earth
Dramamine Award: Falling Down
Mechanical Actor: Richard Gere in Sommersby
Mechanical Actress: Madonna in Body Of Evidence

1994 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Red
Best Director: Krzyzstof Kieslowski for Red and White
Best Actor: Terence Stamp in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
Best Actress: Linda Fiorentino in The Last Seduction
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale in Little Women
Best Supporting Actress: Kristin Scott Thomas in Four Weddings and a Funeral
Best Screenplay: Steve Baranczek for The Last Seduction
Best Cinematography: Stephen Czapsky for Ed Wood
Best Music: Zbigniew Preissner for Red and White
Best Production Design: Dennis Gastner for The Hudsucker Proxy
Best Costume Design: Lizzie Gardiner and Tim Chappel for Priscilla, Queen of The Desert
Sominex Award: Wyatt Earp

1995 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Exotica
Best Director: Terry Zwigoff for Crumb
Best Actor: John Travolta in Get Shorty
Best Actress: (A three-way tie) Mia Kershner in Exotica; Alicia Silverstone in Clueless; Nicole Kidman in To Die For
Best Supporting Actor: Tim Roth in Rob Roy
Best Supporting Actress: Mare Winningham in Georgia
Best Screenplay: (tie) Atom Egoyan for Exotica and Buck Henry for To Die For
Best Cinematography: Newton Thomas Sigel for The Usual Suspects
Best Music: John Ottman for The Usual Suspects
Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti for Casino
Best Costumes: Mona May for Clueless
Sominex Award: The Brothers McMullen
Dramamine Award: Braveheart
Mechanical Actor: Dennis Miller in The Net and the cast of The Brothers McMullen
Mechanical Actress: Annette Bening in The American President


1996 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: La Ceremonie
Best Director: Claude Chabrol for La Ceremonie
Best Actor: Ewen McGregor in Trainspotting
Best Actress: (tie) Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient and Emily Watson in Breaking The Waves
Best Supporting Actor: Ian Holm in Big Night
Best Supporting Actress: Mary Kay Place in Citizen Ruth and Manny & Lo
Best Screenplay: John Sayles for Lone Star
Best Cinematography: (tie) Darius Khondji for Stealing Beauty and Oliver Stapleton for Kansas City
Best Music: Tiffany Anders, Burt Bacharach, David Baerwald, Carole Bayer Sager, Ed Berghoff, Elvis Costello, Gerry Goffin, Louise Goffin, Tonio K, Larry Klein, J. Mascis, Joni Mitchell, Boyd Rice, David A. Stewart, and J. Mayo Williams for Grace Of My Heart
Best Production Design: Harley Jessup for James And The Giant Peach
Best Costume Design: Dona Granata for Kansas City
Sominex Award: The English Patient
Dramamine Award: A Time To Kill
Mechanical Actor: All the men in She’s The One
Mechanical Actress: Maxine Bahns in She’s The One


1997 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: (tie) Crash and Grosse Pointe Blank
Best Director: David Cronenberg for Crash
Best Actor: John Cusack for Grosse Pointe Blank
Best Actress: Julie Christie in Afterglow
Best Supporting Actor: Kevin Spacey in L. A. Confidential
Best Supporting Actress: Christina Ricci in The Ice Storm
Best Screenplay: Neil LaBute for In The Company Of Men
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins for Kundun
Best Music: (tie) Eleni Karaindrou for Ulysses’ Gaze and Michael Nyman for Gattaca
Best Production Design: (tie) Dan Weil for The Fifth Element and Jan Roelfs for Gattaca
Best Costume Design: Denise Cronenberg for Crash
Sominex Award: The Pillow Book
Dramamine Award: Con Air
Mechanical Actor: Billy Zane in Titanic
Mechanical Actress: Elisabeth Shue in Deconstructing Harry and The Saint


1998 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Gods And Monsters
Best Director: (tie) Bill Condon for Gods And Monsters and Todd Solondz for Happiness
Best Actor: Ian McKellen in Gods And Monsters
Best Actress: Christina Ricci in The Opposite Of Sex
Best Supporting Actor: Dylan Baker in Happiness
Best Supporting Actress: Lisa Kudrow in The Opposite Of Sex
Best Screenplay: Bill Condon for Gods And Monsters
Best Cinematography: Maryse Alberti for Happiness and Velvet Goldmine
Best Music: Carter Burwell for Gods And Monsters
Best Production Design: Thérèse DePrez for Happiness
Best Costume Design: Bruce Finlayson for Gods And Monsters
Sominex Award: Dangerous Beauty
Dramamine Award: Stepmom
Mechanical Actor: Bruce Willis in Armageddon, The Siege and Mercury Rising
Mechanical Actress: Jena Malone in Stepmom

1999 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Fight Club
Best Director: (tie) David Fincher for Fight Club and Spike Jonze for Being John Malkovich
Best Actor: Terence Stamp in The Limey
Best Actress: (tie) Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut and Hillary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry
Best Supporting Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman in Magnolia and The Talented Mr. Ripley
Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Keener in Being John Malkovich
Best Screenplay: Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for Election
Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson for Bringing Out The Dead and Snow Falling On Cedars
Best Music: Trey Parker and Marc Shaiman for South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Best Production Design: Owen Paterson for The Matrix
Best Costume Design: Michael Kaplan for Fight Club
Sominex Award: The World Is Not Enough
Dramamine Award: The Green Mile
Mechanical Actor: Kevin Spacey in American Beauty
Mechanical Actress: Annette Bening in American Beauty

2000 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: L’ Humanite
Best Director: (tie) Terence Davies for The House Of Mirth and Jim Jarmusch for Ghost Dog: Way Of The Samurai
Best Actor: Forrest Whitaker in Ghost Dog: Way Of The Samurai
Best Actress: (tie) Severine Caneele in L’ Humanite and Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Best Supporting Actor: Jack Black in High Fidelity and Jesus’s Son
Best Supporting Actress: Lupe Ontiveros in Chuck And Buck
Best Screenplay: Kenneth Lonnergan for You Can Count On Me
Best Cinematography: Remi Adefarasin for The House Of Mirth
Best Music: RZA for Ghost Dog: Way Of The Samurai
Best Production Design: Gideon Ponte for American Psycho and Hamlet
Best Costume Design: Monica Howe for The House Of Mirth
Sominex Award: Mission Impossible 2
Dramamine Award: The Replacements (aka The Scabs)
Mechanical Actor: Ian Holm in Joe Gould’s Secret
Mechanical Actress: Charlize Theron in Reindeer Games

2001 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: The Werckmeister Harmonies
Best Director: Bela Tarr for The Werckmeister Harmonies
Best Actor: John Cameron Mitchell for Hedwig And The Angry Inch
Best Actress: Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive
Best Supporting Actor: Steve Buscemi in Ghost World
Best Supporting Actress: Scarlett Johansson in Ghost World and The Man Who Wasn’t There
Best Screenplay: Daniel Clowes and Terry Zwigoff for Ghost World
Best Cinematography: (tie) Peter Deming for From Hell and Mulholland Drive and Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-bin for In The Mood For Love
Best Music: Mihály Vig for The Werckmeister Harmonies
Best Production Design: Edward T. McAvoy for Ghost World
Best Costume Design: Mary Zophres for Ghost World
Sominex Award:
Dramamine Award:
Mechanical Actor:
Mechanical Actress:


2002 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: (tie) Far From Heaven and The Son’s Room
Best Director: (tie) Todd Haynes for Far From Heaven and Aleksandr Sokurov for Russian Ark
Best Actor: Greg Kinnear in Auto Focus
Best Actress: (tie) Emmanuelle Devos in Read My Lips and Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven and Samantha Morton in Minority Report and Morvern Callar
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Izzard in The Cat’s Meow
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Clarkson in Far From Heaven
Best Screenplay: Bill Condon for Chicago
Best Cinematography: Tilman Büttner for Russian Ark
Best Music: Elmer Bernstein for Far From Heaven
Best Production Design: Mark Friedberg for Far From Heaven
Best Costume Design: Sandy Powell for Far From Heaven and Gangs Of New York
Sominex Award: Naqoyqatsi
Dramamine Award: Bowling For Dollars
Mechanical Actor: Anthony Hopkins in Red Dragon
Mechanical Actress: Catherine Keener in Lovely And Amazing


2003 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Decasia
Best Director: Bill Morrison for Decasia
Best Actor: Johnny Depp in Pirates Of The Caribbean
Best Actress: Hope Davis in American Splendor and The Secret Lives Of Dentists
Best Supporting Actor: Max Pirkis in Master and Commander: The Far Side Of The World
Best Supporting Actress: Ludivine Sagnier in Swimming Pool
Best Screenplay: Shari Springer Bergman and Robert Pulcini for American Splendor
Best Cinematography: Peter Suschitzky for Spider
Best Music: Michael Gordon for Decasia
Best Production Design: Andrew Laws for Down With Love
Best Costume Design: Daniel Orlandi for Down With Love
Sominex Award:
Dramamine Award: In My Skin
Mechanical Actor: Anthony Hopkins in The Human Stain
Mechanical Actress: Nicole Kidman in The Human Stain


2004 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Kinsey
Best Director: Bill Condon for Kinsey
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset
Best Actress: Laura Linney in Kinsey and P.S.
Best Supporting Actor: Peter Sarsgaard in Kinsey
Best Supporting Actress: Kirsten Dunst in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Best Screenplay: Bill Condon for Kinsey
Best Cinematography: Christopher Doyle for Hero, Last Life In The Universe and Days Of Being Wild
Best Music: Alberto Iglesias for Bad Education
Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti for The Aviator
Best Costume Design: Emi Wada for Hero and House Of The Flying Daggers
Sominex Award: The Village
Dramamine Award: The Passion Of The Christ
Mechanical Actor: Cate Blanchett in The Aviator
Mechanical Actress: Anthony Hopkins in Alexander


2005 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Mysterious Skin
Best Director: Gregg Araki for Mysterious Skin
Best Actor: Joseph Gordon-Leavitt in Mysterious Skin
Best Actress: Maria Bello in A History Of Violence
Best Supporting Actor: Paddy Constantine in My Summer Of Love
Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Keener in Capote
Best Screenplay: Gregg Araki for Mysterious Skin
Best Cinematography: Robert Elswit for Good Night And Good Luck and Syriana
Best Music: Howard Shore for A History Of Violence
Best Production Design: William Chang Suk Ping for 2046
Best Costume Design: William Chang Suk Ping for 2046
Sominex Award:
Dramamine Award:
Mechanical Actor:
Mechanical Actress:

2006 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: L’Enfant
Best Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne for L’Enfant
Best Actor: Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson
Best Actress: Maggie Cheung in Clean
Best Supporting Actor: Anthony Mackie in Half Nelson
Best Supporting Actress: Carmen Maura in Volver
Best Screenplay: (tie) Guillermo Del Toro for Pan’s Labyrinth and Jean- Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne for L’Enfant
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki for Children Of Men
Best Production Design: Eugenio Caballero for Pan’s Labyrinth
Best Music: Philip Glass for Notes On A Scandal and The Illusionist
Best Costume Design: Sharon Davis for Dreamgirls
Sominex Award: The Da Vinci Code
Dramamine Award: Babel
Mechanical Actor: Robert Downey, Jr. in Fur and A Scanner Darkly
Mechanical Actress: Julianne Moore in Children Of Men

2007 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Best Director: Andrew Dominik for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Best Actor: Casey Affleck in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and Gone Baby Gone
Best Actress: Marina Hands in Lady Chatterley
Best Supporting Actor: Paul Schneider in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford and Lars And The Real Girl
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone
Best Screenplay: Corneliu Porumboiu for 12:08 East Of Bucharest
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, In The Valley Of Elah and No Country For Old Men
Best Production Design: Patricia Norris for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Best Music: Nick Cave and Warren Ellis for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Best Costume Design: Patricia Norris for The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Sominex Award: Youth Without Youth
Dramamine Award: Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
Mechanical Actor: John Travolta in Hairspray
Mechanical Actress: Meryl Streep in Lions For Lambs and Rendition

2008 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: The Edge Of Heaven
Best Director: Fatih Akin - The Edge Of Heaven
Best Actor: Michael Shannon - Shotgun Stories
Best Actress: Anamaria Marinca - 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Best Supporting Actor: Emile Hirsch - Milk
Best Supporting Actress: Hanna Schygulla - The Edge Of Heaven
Best Screenplay: Fatih Akin - The Edge Of Heaven
Best Cinematography: Jody Shapiro - My Winnipeg
Best Production Design: Rejean Labrie - My Winnipeg
Best Music: Carter Burwell for In Bruges and Burn After Reading
Best Costumes: Danny Glicker - Milk
Sominex: The Happening
Dramamine: The Reader
Mechanical Actor: Mark Wahlberg for The Happening
Mechanical Actress: Meryl Streep for Doubt

2009 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: Hunger
Best Director: Olivier Assayas - Summer Hours
Best Actor: Sharlto Copley - District 9
Best Actress: Catalina Saavedra - The Maid
Best Supporting Actor: Liam Cunningham - Hunger
Best Supporting Actress: Anna Faris - Observe & Report
Best Screenplay: Olivier Assayas - Summer Hours
Best Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt - Hunger
Best Production Design: Philip Ivey - District 9
Best Music: Marvin Hamlisch - The Informant!
Best Costumes: Janet Patterson - Bright Star
Sominex: Public Enemies
Dramamine: Anti-Christ
Mechanical Actor: Peter Sarsgaard for An Education
Mechanical Actress: Hilary Swank for Amelia


2010 IRA Film Award Winners
Best Picture: A Prophet/Un Prophete
Best Director: Jacques Audiard - A Prophet/Un Prophete
Best Actor: Edgar Ramirez - Carlos
Best Actress: Tilda Swinton - I Am Love
Best Supporting Actor: Niels Arestrup - A Prophet/Un Prophete
Best Supporting Actress: Dale Dickey - Winter's Bone
Best Screenplay: Thomas Bidegain and Jacques Audiard - A Prophet/Un Prophete
Best Cinematography: Yorick Le Saux - I Am Love
Best Production Design: Francesca Balestra Di Mottola - I Am Love
Best Music: John Adams - I Am Love
Best Costumes: Antonella Cannarozzi - I Am Love
Sominex: Cairo Time
Dramamine: Black Swan
Mechanical Actor: Vincent Cassel for Black Swan
Mechanical Actress: Natalie Portman for Black Swan
The Governor Scott Walker Award For Achievement In Political Thuggery: Waiting For "Superman"


The Best Movies Of The 2000s (Voted in 2010)
1. The Son/Le Fils
2. Zodiac
3. Yi Yi
4. The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
5. The Edge Of Heaven (tie)
In The Mood For Love
(tie)
7. The Heart Of The World
(short by Guy Maddin)
8. Mysterious Skin
(tie)
Bus 174
(tie)
10. The Death Of Mr. Lazarescu (tie)
Head-On (tie)
Spirited Away (tie)

2011 IRA FILM AWARD WINNERS

Best Picture: The Tree Of Life
Best Director: Terrence Malick - The Tree Of Life
Best Actor: Peyman Moadi - A Separation
Best Actress: Leila Hatami - A Separation
Best Supporting Actor: Hunter McCracken - The Tree Of Life
Best Supporting Actress: Sareh Bayet - A Separation
Best Screenplay: Ashgar Farhadi - A Separation
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki - The Tree Of Life
Best Production Design: Dante Ferretti - Hugo
Best Score: Alberto Iglesias - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Skin I Live In
Best Editing: Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz, Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber, Mark Yoshikawa - The Tree Of Life
Best Costumes: Jacqueline Durran - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Sominex Award (The Movie That Put Us To Sleep): Midnight In Paris
Dramamine Award (The Movie That Made Us Sick): The Help
Mechanical Actress: Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Mechanical Actor: Owen Wilson - Midnight In Paris

Friday, March 16, 2012

DVDs: Monty Python's Cinematic Peak Out Now On BluRay



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MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL ($19.99 BluRay; Sony) -- This is Monty Python at its absolute peak. Their show just ended its 5 year run on the BBC and now their first movie with all original material was opening in theaters. Quite simply, it's one of the funniest comedies of all time and signal moment in the career of one of the most influential groups of comics in history, ranking alongside fellow Brits the Beyond The Fringe fellows, Canada's SCTV and Saturday Night Live. It looks surprisingly good on BluRay for such a low-budget, throw anything against the wall and see if it sticks movie. New extras (like some bonus footage and bloopers as well as animated bits, sit alongside extras from earlier editions. It's a complete pain in the neck to access the app with a making-of story and tons of bonus material (you have to pay for it and then get a rebate), but this physical copy is loaded as is. The movie? Brilliantly silly, stupidly clever as always. I jumped randomly to one scene to check picture quality. King Arthur is asking peasants who lives in the castle nearby and the levels of humor are breathtaking. He calls an old man "old woman." The peasant reacts angrily and then later says, "I'm 37," also taking offense at being called old. Arthur tries to steer the conversation where he wants, but they're puzzled by his claim of being King of the Brits. Who named him king? He launches into a speech about the Lady of the Lake who handed him Excalibur and the peasant rudely interrupts with a discussion of feudal systems and his preference for a vaguely socialistic set-up. Arthur tries again, and finally in anger demands the peasant stop talking, who then explodes in mock anger, exclaiming "I'm being oppressed!" All throughout this, the peasants are mindlessly kneeling on the ground, slapping mud into little piles. If the peasant were so clever, it wouldn't be funny. But in amongst all the other levels of humor, the peasant is really rather annoying, much like a college student who is spouting off with his newly discovered knowledge about power structures as if he's the first in the world to discover it. Python, Monty both celebrate erudition but also mock their cerebral ways. Of course, much of the film involves farts and flying cows and maidens who like to be spanked and knights who say "Neee!" How I love it.


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VANYA ON 42ND STREET ($39.95 BluRay; Criterion) -- I think Anton Chekhov is a much better source for great movies than great plays. I know, he's one of the most acclaimed playwrights of all time. (And his short stories are where his greatest achievement lies.) Nonetheless, his plays are notoriously difficult. I've seen great productions but far more often -- even with the most talented cast in the world -- I've seen Chekhov plays that remained emotionally inert. I think that's because his material works best in close-up. His rich language is best delivered very, very quietly. Perhaps that's why this adaptation of Uncle Vanya works so beautifully. It's certainly a late career peak for director Louis Malle and a signal work for the entire cast. They share their stories in a new substantial documentary. Malle is missed, but like Chekhov his work will live on. Chekhov's The Duel was another terrific film from 2010. He's one of our greatest writers and film I think is the ideal medium for his dramatic work. Criterion's usual care presents the film beautifully.


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OUT OF AFRICA COLLECTOR'S SERIES BLURAY ($39.95; Universal)
THE DEER HUNTER COLLECTOR'S SERIES BLURAY ($19.95; Universal) -- These two films have swapped places in my estimation since i first saw them. Enthralled wth Meryl Streep (quite rightly), I ignored the picture postcard thinness of Sydney Pollack's romance when it first came out and put it on my best of the year list. Streep is very good but having since read many of writer Isak Dinesen's stories, I feel the film is even wider of the mark compared to what it might have been. (Though any true depiction of Dinesen and her work would be complicated by her maternalistic attitude toward Africa). I was a little cool to The Deer Hunter at first, but its power in key scenes has only grown with the years. Both it and Apocalypse Now are problematic for me, but both have a strange mystery that keeps me watching. Director Michael Cimino never had the major career one might have expected, but watching this reminds you of why people expected it. Both films look very good, thanks to Universal's celebration of its 100th anniversary by presenting some of its key films as lovingly as possible.


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AMERICAN PIE 1/2/WEDDING ($19.98 each on BluRay; Universal) -- Far less prestigious but probably far more profitable than Out Of Africa is the American Pie series, the raunchy comedy that made home-made pie lovers wary forever.The series gets a new edition with the inevitable American Reunion and that's an excuse to put out all three in the series onto BluRay with the big new extra a three-hour (!) making of documentary about the series on the original film's release. Thin stuff, though Seann William Scott is amusingly perfect for this sort of stuff.


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ANATOMY OF A MURDER ($39.95 BluRay; Criterion) -- Director Otto Preminger often made self-consciously "important" films, like Advise and Consent (Washington corruption) and The Man With The Golden Arm (drug addiction). This may be a process film -- showing how murder trials really work -- but it's pure fun as well and his greatest movie. Jimmy Stewart as the righteous defense attorney is pitch perfect but it's a great cast up and down the line. This loaded release contains strong extras from new interviews with a Preminger biographer and Gary Giddins on the landmark score by Duke Ellington to a fun 10 minute segment showing Preminger debate William F. Buckley Jr. on film censorship. One of the greats in a worthy presentation.


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SPIDERS ($29.95; Kino)
SCARLET STREET ($29.95 BluRay; Kino) -- Director Fritz Lang had a hell of  a career from his early silents to German peaks (M and Metropolis) to a heady Hollywood period. Two new releases from Kino capture that breadth. Spiders is a two-part movie that plays like one of those old serials, following an Indiana Jones-style adventure (oddly named Kay Hoog) who is often on a search for treasure while combatting gang of criminals known as the Spiders. It's a bit creaky but fun. Better is his late period noir Scarlet Street (1945) with Edward G. Robinson as a timid little man thoroughly transformed by an obsession with street-walker Joan Bennett. Both look strong, given their provenance.


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NIJINSKY ($24.95; Olive/Paramount) -- Director Herbert Ross followed his smash hit The Turning Point with another dance melodrama. Nijinsky contains some strong dance scenes but was far less successful, due perhaps to the gay love story at its heart. In the early 1900s, Nijinsky is at his peak, but torn between a ballerina and the imperious Diaghilev (Alan Bates) and the pressure drove him bonkers. Literally. Also notable is Jeremy Irons in his film debut right before The French Lieutenant's Woman and Brideshead Revisited made him a star.


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MY MAN GODFREY ($14.98; Universal)
SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS ($14.98; Universal) -- Universal's 100th anniversary has meant a fine excuse to provide fine new prints of some of the key films in its library. My Man Godfrey is a classic example of the screwball comedy. William Powell is perfect as a down on his luck bum who becomes the perfect butler -- and more -- to a madcap heiress (Carole Lombard). It's Hollywood at its very best. Many hold Sullivan's Travels in equally high esteem. It's the most personal movie from the great Preston Sturges. Here Joel McCrea is a director tires of making silly comedies and yearns to go out and find the "real" America and tell a real story. Rather insultingly, to my mind, he finally accepts that the lowly common man wants frothy comedies to take their minds off mundane reality. It's heavy-handed Hollywood satire. I'll take the real deal of My Man Godfrey over a movie about a man who spends most of his movie thinking Godfrey is a waste of time.


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THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI ($29.95 BluRay; Criterion) -- My interest is always raised when Criterion adds a film I'm not familiar with to its lineup. Three Outlaw Samurai, I'm happy to report, is a corker. It's the spin-off from a wildly successful Japanese TV series and is a key film in the "chanbara" genre. I'm not quite clear how chanbara differs from other samurai films, but it's great fun. Released in 1964, it's the origin story of how the three traveling do-gooders first got together. One is an unemployed ronin who stumbles upon some peasants that have kidnapped the local leader's daughter to try and force him to pay attention to their desperate straits. He's amused by their haplessness and stands by while they flounder until he accepts the dignity of their cause. The other two are in the employ of the evil leader but are soon won over by the code of honor they've almost entirely abandoned. It's pure narrative fun, beautifully shot and with some excellent fight scenes and above all terrifically vivid characters. Any fan of spaghetti westerns and classic samurai movies should jump.


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THAT SHOW WITH JOAN RIVERS ($24.98; Synergy)
LAWRENCE WELK CLASSIC EPISODES 1-4 ($39.99; Synergy) -- Neither one of these releases will win any points for picture quality. They're just old episodes tossed onto DVD. The Joan Rivers show is a genuine time capsule. Rovers hosted a local show in NYC that followed a familiar pattern. Rivers performed a monologue, brought in an expert to discuss a topic (like Nudism, Natural Childbirth, the Jet Set and the like) and then brought in a personality to expand the discussion. It's great to see Rivers coming into her own here on these 18 shows. The Welk set has 12 hour-long episodes of his easy listening show from the early 1960s when it was broadcast in black and white. It's of rather so-so picture quality but those hankering for a shot of nostalgia will care more about memories stirred up than sharpness on the DVD. Others should stay away.


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CHARADE ($14.98; UNIVERSAL)
TO CATCH A THIEF ($22.99 BluRay; Paramount) -- We all know Cary Grant is a great actor. Even with the best actors, it's not always clear who will have chemistry with whom. Sometimes great stars simply bump up against each other on screen rather than complementing one another. So that brings us to another remarkable element of Grant's movie success. He had off-the-charts chemistry with more co-stars than almost anyone else in history, from Katharine Hepburn to Doris Day. Here are two classic examples: Grant is charming with Audrey Hepburn in the lighter-than-air caper film Charade and sizzling with Grace Kelly in one of Alfred Hitchcock's lesser entertainments To Catch A Thief. Quite simply, like the best athletes on a team, Grant made everyone around him better. The BluRay transfer of Thief, by the way, is exceptionally good.

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Thanks for reading. Michael Giltz is the cohost of Showbiz Sandbox, a weekly pop culture podcast that reveals the industry take on entertainment news of the day and features top journalists and opinion makers as guests. It's available for free on iTunes. Visit Michael Giltz at his website and his daily blog. Download his podcast of celebrity interviews and his radio show, also called Popsurfing and also available  for free on iTunes. Link to him on Netflix and  gain access to thousands of ratings and reviews.

Note: Michael Giltz is provided with free copies of DVDs and BluRays with the understanding that he would be considering them for review. Generally, he does not guarantee to review and he receives far more titles than he can cover.