As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

The Muriel Awards are coming – my votes for acting

Posted by Hedwig on February 4, 2008

You may have encountered Paul C. in the comments section. Well, he has a great blog, Silly Hats Only, he’s giving out the Muriel Awards for the second year in a row, and… he’s been kind enough to ask me to participate. So, from the 13th of February onwards, head over there to see the awards being announced. Actually, you should go over there right now and explore, then come back here and find out, just after the jump, who my votes went to in the acting categories. 5 per category, ranked. I generally dislike making lists, but choosing these performers, giving them a small place in the spotlight, was a pleasure.

muriel.jpg

Best Actor 

  1.  Viggo Mortensen – Eastern Promises
  2. Casey Affleck – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    This a supporting performance? Right. Luckily, it seems most Muriel voters agreed with me.
  3. Sam Riley – Control
    I know, I know, imitation isn’t acting, perse. But aside from giving an eery impersonation of Ian Curtis, first-timer Riley manages to make you feel for this ordinary, sensitive guy from Manchester
  4. George Clooney – Michael Clayton
    Like my #1, an understated performance that shows you don’t have to scream and cry to really act
  5. Sasson Gabai – The Band’s Visit
    In this film, you have to believe that a gorgeous woman in her thirties, who has a strapping, romantic, twentysomething boy and a stern, serious, seemingly humorless middle-aged man sleeping over, would choose to pursue the latter. You do, because while Sasson Gabai doesn’t look like a matinee idol, or like he ever looked like one, his Tawfiq is a man behind whose detached, even cold exterior you can’t help but see his heart, his pain, and his appeal.

Best Actress

  1.  Nicole Kidman – Margot at the Wedding
    Margot just won’t get out of my head. She’s a terrible person, a pathetic one, an admirable one, I don’t know. She’s a character I recognize maybe a little too much of myself in, but who at the same time is entirely different. She’s a fascinating character, and while much of her complexity was probably on the page, Nicole Kidman makes sure we never doubt that all her contradictory traits exist within one real person
  2. Amy Adams – Enchanted
    It’s not so much that she blinded me to the fact that Enchanted wasn’t all that good. It’s that she made sure I didn’t care.
  3. Keri Russell – Waitress
  4. Ellen Page – Juno
  5. Marina Hands – Lady Chatterley
    Marion Cotillard may be heralded for her admittedly impressive turn as Piaf, but Hands’ Lady Chatterley managed to make more of an impression with a lot less showing off.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Javier Bardem – No Country for Old Men
  2. Garret Dillahunt – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    and his even smaller role in No Country for Old Men is just as impressive – and funny, too
  3. Kurt Russell – Death Proof
    Tarantino does know how to pick’em, doesn’t he? Russell, grisled and scarred, disgusting but not without allure – or danger – makes you think nobody else could have played Stuntman Mike.
  4. Robert Downey Jr. – Zodiac
  5. Marcus Carl Franklin – I’m Not There
    He may be African-American, but thanks to him I think I have a better idea of what Dylan was like as a kid, brash and overly literate, impossible, and impossible not to adore.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There
    It’s just eery. The way she walks, talks, laughs. And then the scene where she tells off Bruce Greenwood’s journalist…it’s a flashy performance, and I almost feel bad for going for the obvious choice, but hey: the Blanchett is amazing. We might as well admit to it, and surrender to her greatness.
  2. Kelly McDonald – No Country for Old Men
    The soul of that movie.
  3. Charlotte Gainsbourg – I’m Not There
    Yes, another vote for I’m Not There. She has a stereotypical part: that of the neglected, sighing spouse to a famous actor. But she makes it into so much more, and in the early scenes you understand exactly why she fascinated him.
  4. The Great Allison Janney – Juno
    I think we should just append that qualification (there’s a nice greek word for it, you know, what Homer did by referring to Ulysses always as ‘cunning Ulysses’ and so on, but it escapes me) to her name, shouldn’t we? Always great, and great here again, especially in the scene where Juno’s first echo is done.
  5. Anjelica Huston – The Darjeeling Limited

Thoughts? Reactions? Objections? All are welcome, of course. And somewhere between the 13th and the 29th, we’ll see who gets the Muriel in these categories.

I’ve been getting quite a few hits from google searches for iffr directors lately. To make sure people who make these searches have something to find, expect a post on at least Matias Meyer’s Wadley, Gustavo Steinberg’s End of the Line, and Michael Joy’s Men’s Group tomorrow.

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8 Responses to “The Muriel Awards are coming – my votes for acting”

  1. Kaj said

    Once again, I miss Tommy Lee Jones, especially in the supporting category. And I think Clooney is overrated. I completely agree with your number one actor though.

    I did some similar lists with Dutch commentary for the Dutch release year 2007:




    With some you have to scroll down a bit, because of pictures that are still loading when the page is initially placed on the specific post that I’ve linked to.

  2. Kaj said

    Oh, and in regard to your upcoming IFFR posts, I’d love to hear your opinion on Der Verlorene.

  3. Great picks Hedwig. I’m too self conscious to reveal my own.

    I’m also embarrassed to admit I still haven’t seen Control. Ah well, there’s always a couple that slip through the cracks.

  4. sarcastig said

    Wow, Kaj, you do like lists, don’t you?

    Anyway, you say you miss Tommy Lee Jones, but I don’t see him on your lists, either. Truth is, I thought he was awesome in No Country (didn’t see Valley of Elah, have no desire to, either), but I thought Javier Bardem did something more unexpected and revelatory, and there’s no one else on that list I’d like to bump.

    And I loved Der Verlorene, of course. It’s not for nothing that I said it should be a revered classic.

  5. Kaj said

    Well, neither No Country or Elah was released in The Netherlands in 2007, and that was my criterium for those lists. And yes, I like lists too much, way too much.

  6. Paul C. said

    Sweet! Free advertising!

    Also, just out of curiosity- have you seen There Will Be Blood yet?

  7. sarcastig said

    No, alas…I could download it, but I want to see it in its full cinematic glory, and that won’t be possible until Feb. 21st, I’m afraid. Oh well. I’ll just consider it a 1-day-late birthday present!

  8. […] for the simple reason that I haven’t seen There Will Be Blood yet, and I’m guessing my #1 pick for best actress won’t win […]

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