Thursday, March 08, 2012

My 2011 Muriels Ballot

The Muriel Awards posted their final standings over the weekend while I was out gallivanting around the film festival. They (predictably) named The Tree of Life as the best film of 2011. And that's fine. I don't mind being at odds with my friends in the movie-o-sphere. Nature loves diversity, after all. I promised to post my ballot after everything was posted, so here it is:

Best Feature-Length Film [10]
(the best film- documentary, experimental, or fiction- over 70 minutes)
1. Poetry
2. Attack the Block
3. Hugo
4. The Skin I Live In
5. Weekend
6. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
7. Trollhunter
8. Jane Eyre
9. Le Havre
10. Friends With Benefits

Best Lead Performance, Male [5]
1. Michael Shannon, Take Shelter
2. Michael Fassbender, Jane Eyre
3. Min-sik Choi, I Saw the Devil
4. Jean Dujardin, The Artist
5. John Boyega, Attack the Block

Best Lead Performance, Female [5]
1. Jeong-hie Yun, Poetry
2. Charlize Theron, Young Adult
3. Elena Anaya, The Skin I Live In
4. Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
5. Mila Kunis, Friends with Benefits

Best Supporting Performance, Male [5]
1. Patton Oswalt, Young Adult
2. Alan Rickman, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2
3. Alan Tudyk, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
4. Christopher Waltz, Carnage
5. John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene

Best Supporting Performance, Female [5]
1. Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
2. Emma Roberts, Scream 4
3. Elle Fanning, Super 8
4. Rose Byrne, Bridesmaids
5. Helen McCrory, Hugo

Best Direction [5]
1. Chang-dong Lee, Poetry
2. Martin Scorsese, Hugo
3. Joe Cornish, Attack the Block
4. Pedro Almodovar, The Skin I Live In
5. Cary Fukunaga, Jane Eyre

Best Screenplay [5]
(original or adapted)
1. Chang-dong Lee, Poetry
2. Andrew Haigh, Weekend
3. Diablo Cody, Young Adult
4. Joe Cornish, Attack the Block
5. Abbas Kairostami, Certified Copy

Best Cinematography [5]
(film or video)
1. Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
2. Robert Richardson, Hugo
3. Jose Luis Alcaine, The Skin I Live In
4. Mogae Lee, I Saw the Devil
5. Adriano Goldman, Jane Eyre

Best Editing [5]
1. Kenji Yamashita, 13 Assassins
2. Na-young Nam, I Saw the Devil
3. Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
4. Timo Linnasalo, Le Havre
5. Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo

Best Music [5]
(original, adapted, or compiled)
1. Ludovic Bource, The Artist
2. The Chemical Brothers, Hanna
3. Steven Price, Attack the Block
4. Alberto Iglesias, The Skin I Live In
5. Kôji Endô, 13 Assassins

Best Cinematic Moment [10]
(best scene or sequence- include YouTube link if available)
1. "I just…I had a date.", Captain America
2. "Are you trying to ask me if I'm gay?", Bill Cunningham in New York
3. "Well, they're either lying or their vaginas are made of burlap.", Friends with Benefits
4. "Muslim is okay, right?" "I honestly don't know." Troll Hunter
5. "When a Cimmerian feels thirst, it is the thirst for blood." Conan the Barbarian (
6. Woodchipper, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (
7. Taxi scene, I Saw the Devil (
8. Sandra Freehauf's (Collette Wolfe's) rant at the end of Young Adult
9. Angela Davis on violence in The Black Power Mixtape (
10. The end of Martha Marcy May Marlene

Best Cinematic Breakthrough [5]
(vague explanation: a performer, filmmaker, or technician who made a notable debut in film, took his/her career to a higher level, or revealed unforeseen layers to his/her talent during the year 2011)
1. Elle Fanning, Super 8
2. Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
3. Joe Cornish, Attack the Block
4. Pollyana Macintosh, The Woman
5. Manie Malone (and the film industry of the Congo), Viva Riva

Best Body of Work [5]
(a performer, filmmaker, or technician who made superior contributions to multiple films released in calendar year 2011)
1. Michael Fassbender, Jane Eyre, X-Men First Class, A Dangerous Method
2. Martin Scorsese, Hugo, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Public Speaking.
3. Brad Pitt, Moneyball and The Tree of Life
4. Rose Byrne, Bridesmaids, X-Men First Class, Insidious
5. Edgar Wright, The Adventures of Tintin and Attack the Block

Best Ensemble Performance [5]
1. Bridesmaids
2. Carnage
3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
4. Margin Call
5. X-Men: First Class

Best Web-Based Criticism [5]
(Please include the site name and URL. Remember, sites run by Muriel Awards voters are ineligible to win, although sites that Muriel voters contribute to are eligible. Also, any previous winner is ineligible. (Previous winners: The House Next Door, Some Came Running, The AV Club.))
1. The Self-Styled Siren,
2. Ferdy on Film,
3. The Girl with the White Parasol,
4. And You Call Yourself a Scientist,
5. Love Train to the Tenebrous Empire,

10th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 2001 [5]
1. Monsters, Inc.
2. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
3. Frailty
4. Mulholland Drive
5. Hedwig and the Angry Inch

25th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1986 [5]
1. The Fly
2. Peking Opera blues
3. Aliens
4. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
5. Ruthless People

50th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1961 [5]
1. Yojimbo
2. Viridiana
3. The Human Condition part 3
4. One Two Three
5. Pigs and Battleships

Special Award: Best Film of the 1990s [10]
1. Unforgiven
2. Miller's Crossing
3. All About My Mother
4. The Blade (Dao)
5. Crash
6. Audition
7. Cure
8. The Pillow Book
9. Kundun
10. The Iron Giant

At the time I submitted my ballot, I had not seen Drive, A Separation, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Melancholia, The Interrupters, Margaret, Shame, War Horse, and several other films that made the final list. Drive would certainly have placed on my own list had I seen it in time. Who knows with the others? In a sense, this is all to the good, because I can look forward to discovering some of these movies in the future. 2011, it should be said, was a very good year for movies, but most years are good years for movies if you look at them closely enough. My 2012 is already off to a terrific start. If I see ten movies I like more than I did The Grey or 1/2 Revolution or even The Woman in Black, I'll account this year a good year, and we're just coming out of the wasteland of February, when distributors like to dump product in which they have no faith. Hell, there's even stuff that will be in the multiplexes that I'm excited to see.

Also, take my own list with a grain of salt. These things are entirely fungible, depending on what I've seen recently, what kind of mood I'm in, and what I had for breakfast the day I composed the lists. In truth, I'm a ROTTEN list maker, because I don't have any kind of conviction that, say, Poetry is any better than Friends with Benefits. They're so different that comparisons, even in a list, are pretty arbitrary. Plus, I have my prejudices. I don't list darlings like The Tree Of Life, Take Shelter, Meek's Cutoff, and Certified Copy--all of which I've seen--on my own list because they're not really to my tastes. There's nothing wrong with these films or with the Muriel's results, just as there's nothing wrong with my own ballot. But buyer beware, anyway.

In any event, thanks to Steven Carlson and Paul Clark for inviting me to participate. This was more fun than I was expecting.


Aubyn said...

Vulnavia, you definitely are diverse but your answers are fascinating. I think of your top films, the one I've been craving to see the most is the Almodovar but I'm interested in all of them.

And thank you again for nominating me in the Muriels. It means a lot.

Coincidentally, just as you posted your ballot, I just nominated you for a blogging award ( On a much smaller scale than the Muriels of course, but consider it a gesture of affection and support, all the same.

Vulnavia Morbius said...

Hi, Rachel. Thanks!

I hope you get to see the Almodovar. More than that, I hope you write about it, even if it's outside of your usual bailiwick.