You definitely don’t want to be the other guy.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Departed  **
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth
  3. Children of Men
  4. The Fountain
  5. The Queen  *
  6. The Prestige
  7. Casino Royale
  8. United 93
  9. Army of Shadows
  10. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  11. Volver
  12. The Lives of Others
  13. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  14. Stranger than Fiction
  15. The Painted Veil
  16. Brick
  17. Sophie Scholl – The Final Days
  18. Blood Diamond
  19. Babel  *
  20. Joyeux Noel

Analysis:  The Departed has the lowest Consensus total in five years but that doesn’t mean it’s a competitive race.  It just means that there was a lack of consensus, with a record eight different films winning a Best Picture award (1974 is the only other year with more than six and that was because different eligibility years lead to three films winning the BAFTA).  The Departed wins the Oscar, BFCA, LAFC and CFC while Letters from Iwo Jima wins the LAFC, NBR and the Globe for Best Foreign Film.  The other award winners are The Queen (BAFTA), Little Miss Sunshine (PGA), Babel (Globe – Drama), Dreamgirls (Globe – Comedy / Musical), United 93 (NYFC) and Pan’s Labyrinth (NSFC).  Every Consensus winner after this (through 2016) will score at least 585 points (The Departed has 485) and every year will have at least one film that wins five awards.
Through 2007, I went back and forth on my top film of this year, going through the top four films on my list before finally settling in permanently on The Departed, which has stayed there ever since.  But all of the top four films are pretty even for me.
A strong Top 5, in the Top 20 all-time, but two points lower than 2005.  The Top 10 is tied for 12th all-time, with the average film being a 94.1, but that doesn’t look as good when you look at the year before (95.0) and the year after (94.3).  That’s because #6-10 are the weakest in six years.
With only three Oscar nominees in my Top 20, the Oscar Score is 51.3, the lowest since 2000.
This is the start of a trio of years in which I agree with the Oscars on Picture and Director, joining 1991-3.  Also, like in those three years, I agree with Adapted Screenplay, though in 1992, it wasn’t the Picture winner.

  • Best Director
  1. Martin Scorsese  (The Departed)  **
  2. Guillermo del Toro  (Pan’s Labyrinth)
  3. Alfonso Cuarón  (Children of Men)
  4. Darren Aronofsky  (The Fountain)
  5. Paul Greengrass  (United 93)  *
  6. Christopher Nolan  (The Prestige)
  7. Martin Campbell  (Casino Royale)
  8. Stephen Frears  (The Queen)  *
  9. Jean-Pierre Melville  (Army of Shadows)
  10. Tom Tykwer  (Perfume – The Story of a Murderer)
  11. Ed Zwick  (Blood Diamond)
  12. Pedro Almodóvar  (Volver)
  13. Marc Forster  (Stranger than Fiction)
  14. Rian Johnson  (Brick)
  15. Alejandro González Iñárritu  (Babel)  *
  16. John Curran  (The Painted Veil)
  17. Clint Eastwood  (Letters from Iwo Jima)  *
  18. Spike Lee  (Inside Man)
  19. John Hillcoat  (The Proposition)
  20. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck  (The Lives of Others)

Analysis:  These are the only Nighthawk noms for del Toro, Aronofsky and Greengrass.  Cuarón is earning his second nomination.  But Marty, well, Marty is winning his 4th Nighthawk and earning his 8th nomination.  This gives Marty 540 points and he moves into a tie for 5th place with Kubrick.
This year is a good example of why I do my weighted scale as well.  By my regular point system (90 for winner, 45 for nominee), Christopher Nolan would have 45 points at this time and be tied with numerous other directors for, essentially, last place.  But, with the weighted scale of earning a weighted number of points based on each Top 20 finish, he earned 11 points for Following, 57 for his fifth place finish for Memento, 6 for Insomnia, 36 for his near miss 7th place finish the year before for Batman Begins and 39 points for his near miss 6th place finish here for The Prestige.  That puts him at 149 points and into the Top 100.  Marty himself has benefited from this, as he has, by this point, earned Top 10 finishes in six different years, none of which does he receive nomination points for, but all of which he receives weighted points for, although, ironically, he still sits at 5th place on that list at this time.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The Departed  **
  2. Children of Men
  3. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  4. The Prestige
  5. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  6. Casino Royale
  7. Army of Shadows
  8. The Painted Veil
  9. Thank You for Smoking
  10. Notes on a Scandal  *
  11. Little Children  *
  12. The History Boys
  13. The Pursuit of Happyness
  14. A Prairie Home Companion
  15. Tsotsi
  16. Nanny McPhee
  17. Fateless
  18. V for Vendetta
  19. The Last King of Scotland  *
  20. The Good German

Analysis:  Alfonso Cuarón earns his second writing Nighthawk nom.  Christopher Nolan also earns his second and begins his trend of being nominated in even-numbered years (which will run through 2014).
After six straight years of the winner earning my highest rating, we’re back to a more normal approach, with only one of the next ten Nighthawk winners earning my highest rating.  The Top 5 is the weakest in seven years.
So far, I have read The Departed (if, by reading, you mean I have seen Infernal Affairs), Tristram Shandy (though never finished it and probably never will), The Prestige (very good), Perfume (very very good), Casino Royale and V for Vendetta.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Pan’s Labyrinth  *
  2. The Queen  **
  3. The Fountain
  4. Volver
  5. Stranger than Fiction  *
  6. Brick
  7. The Lives of Others
  8. United 93  *
  9. Sophie Scholl – The Final Days
  10. Babel  *
  11. Inside Man
  12. Blood Diamond
  13. Flushed Away
  14. Joyeux Noel
  15. Driving Lessons
  16. Letters from Iwo Jima
  17. For Your Consideration
  18. American Gun
  19. Happy Feet

Analysis:  The Queen, even though it fails to win four of the five awards groups, has the highest Consensus total between 1994 and 2014.  It loses those four awards groups to Little Miss Sunshine which doesn’t even make my list.  In fact, this year joins 1943 and 1957 as years in which I agree with the Academy on Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay but I feel they picked the worst choice for Original Screenplay, although, thankfully, this is the last year through 2016 in which I think they made the worst choice here.  In fact, through 2016, it’s the last year in which the Oscar winner ranks lower than 4th on my list.
With the typical in-balance between Original and Adapted, this Top 5 is the strongest in four years.  But, with only two Oscar nominees in my Top 9 and one of the nominees not even making my list, the Oscar Score is 55.6, the lowest since 1995.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Forest Whitaker  (The Last King of Scotland)  **
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio  (The Departed)  *
  3. Clive Owen  (Children of Men)
  4. Christian Bale  (The Prestige)
  5. Hugh Jackman  (The Fountain)
  6. Leonardo DiCaprio  (Blood Diamond)  *
  7. Will Smith  (The Pursuit of Happyness)  *
  8. Aaron Eckhart  (Thank You for Smoking)
  9. Edward Norton  (The Painted Veil)
  10. Ulrich Muhe  (The Lives of Others)
  11. Peter O’Toole  (Venus)  *
  12. Matt Damon  (The Departed)
  13. Daniel Craig  (Casino Royale)
  14. Ben Whishaw  (Perfume – The Story of a Murderer)
  15. Hugh Jackman  (The Prestige)
  16. Ryan Gosling  (Half Nelson)
  17. Richard Griffiths  (The History Boys)
  18. Greg Kinnear  (Little Miss Sunshine)
  19. Sean Penn  (All the King’s Men)
  20. Joseph Gordon-Levitt  (Brick)

Analysis:  This is the first Nighthawk nom for Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman and the second for Forest Whitaker and Clive Owen.  Leo earns his third nom.
Forest Whitaker becomes the first Actor to sweep all the awards, going 11 for 11 (though he tied twice).
This is the year of multiple performances.  Leo and Hugh Jackman are both on this list twice.  Dustin Hoffman and Michael Caine will be on the Supporting Actor list twice.  Meryl Streep will be on the Actress list twice.  Cate Blanchett will earn multiple Nighthawk noms in Supporting Actress.  Emma Thompson and Judi Dench will appear on both the Actress and Supporting Actress list.
I feel the need to point out that in spite of Ben Whishaw, Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the list, this is my list and not Veronica’s.
With only three Oscar nominees my Top 10, the Oscar Score is 85.7, the lowest in five years.

  • Best Actress
  1. Helen Mirren  (The Queen)  **
  2. Judi Dench  (Notes on a Scandal)  *
  3. Penelope Cruz  (Volver)  *
  4. Meryl Streep  (The Devil Wears Prada)  *
  5. Kate Winslet  (Little Children)  *
  6. Naomi Watts  (The Painted Veil)
  7. Rachel Weisz  (The Fountain)
  8. Julia Jentsch  (Sophie Scholl – The Final Days)
  9. Ivana Baquero  (Pan’s Labyrinth)
  10. Eva Green  (Casino Royale)
  11. Ellen Page  (Hard Candy)
  12. Toni Collette  (Little Miss Sunshine)
  13. Meryl Streep  (Prairie Home Companion)
  14. Kirsten Dunst  (Marie Antoinette)
  15. Emma Thompson  (Nanny McPhee)
  16. Yeong-ae Lee  (Lady Vegeance)
  17. Sarah Polley  (The Secret Life of Words)
  18. Annette Bening  (Running with Scissors)
  19. Anna Cieslak  (Your Name is Justine)
  20. Natalie Portman  (V for Vendetta)

Analysis:  This is the first Nighthawk nom for Penelope Cruz, the fourth for Winslet, the fifth for Dench and the sixth for Mirren.  It’s the 14th nom for Meryl and she ties Katharine Hepburn in 1st place with 560 points; this tie will last only two years and then Meryl will soar to the top on her own.
There is 100% Consensus in this category.  Mirren wins every award (Streep wins the Globe – Comedy and the NBR for Supporting) without any ties while Dench, Cruz, Streep and Winslet earn the other SAG, Oscar, BAFTA and BFCA noms (and even the Nighthawk noms).  Mirren gives one of the greatest performances of all-time.  That also means an Oscar Score of 100 in this category for the first time since 1977.
For the first time since 1991, I agree with the Oscar winners in both Actor and Actress, but then again, they were easy choices.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Michael Sheen  (The Queen)
  2. Mark Wahlberg  (The Departed)  *
  3. Jack Nicholson  (The Departed)
  4. Jackie Earl Haley  (Little Children)  *
  5. Eddie Murphy  (Dreamgirls)  **
  6. Djimon Honsou  (Blood Diamond)  *
  7. Sergi Lopez  (Pan’s Labyrinth)
  8. Brad Pitt  (Babel)
  9. Michael Caine  (Children of Men)
  10. Martin Sheen  (The Departed)
  11. Dustin Hoffman  (Stranger than Fiction)
  12. Alec Baldwin  (The Departed)
  13. Alan Arkin  (Little Miss Sunshine)  *
  14. James MacAvoy  (The Last King of Scotland)
  15. Dustin Hoffman  (Perfume – The Story of a Murderer)
  16. Michael Caine  (The Prestige)
  17. Bill Nighy  (Notes on a Scandal)
  18. Rob Bryden  (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story)
  19. Alex Jennings  (The Queen)
  20. Ben Affleck  (Hollywoodland)

Analysis:  These are the only Nighthawk noms for Michael Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Jackie Earl Haley and Eddie Murphy.  Those are contrasted against Jack.  With this nomination, Jack finishes his career (he makes more films but earns no more noms) with 13 noms and 565 points and in 1st place, something he will hold through at least 2017 and unless Daniel Day-Lewis starts making more films, probably a lot longer.
This is the second of back-to-back years with a strong consensus for the nominees but not for the winner.  Murphy does win, but he’s followed fairly closely by Arkin, Haley and Wahlberg (in that order).  Because Arkin was the only one of those to earn a BAFTA nom and he didn’t earn a Globe nom we have no one with more than 4 nominations.  It’s the last year to date where no actor receives at least 6 noms; in fact it’s the last time for six years where no actor wins at least 6 awards.
In a bizarre coincidence, this is the fifth year in a row in which my Top 5 has exactly the same score.
Alan Arkin is the first Oscar winner to not make my Top 10 since 1968 and he’s the lowest finishing Oscar winner ever.  He joins James Dunn (1945) and Edmund O’Brien (1954) as the only Oscar winners that I feel were the worst choice among the nominees in this category.  He’s the only Oscar winner after 2001 to come in lower than 3rd.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Rinko Kikuchi  (Babel)  *
  2. Cate Blanchett  (Notes on a Scandal)  *
  3. Jennifer Hudson  (Dreamgirls)  **
  4. Emma Thompson  (Stranger than Fiction)
  5. Cate Blanchett  (Babel)
  6. Adriana Barazza  (Babel)  *
  7. Shareeka Epps  (Half Nelson)
  8. Simone Signoret  (Army of Shadows)
  9. Sylvia Sims  (The Queen)
  10. Vera Farmiga  (The Departed)
  11. Lindsay Lohan  (Prairie Home Companion)
  12. Abigail Breslin  (Little Miss Sunshine)  *
  13. Emily Blunt  (The Devil Wears Prada)
  14. Judi Dench  (Casino Royale)
  15. Frances de la Tour  (The History Boys)
  16. Catherine O’Hara  (For Your Consideration)
  17. Maribel Verdu  (Pan’s Labyrinth)
  18. Helen McCrory  (The Queen)
  19. Julianne Moore  (Children of Men)
  20. Rachel Hurd-Wood  (Perfume – The Story of a Murderer)

Analysis:  These are the only Nighthawk noms for Rinko Kikuchi, Jennifer Hudson and Adrianna Barazza (who earns one because of Blanchett’s multiple noms).  It’s the sixth and seventh noms for Cate Blanchett; she moves up to 325 points and 8th place.  It’s the eighth nom for Emma Thompson; she moves up to 375 points and 6th place.
Kikuchi is the weakest winner in seven years.  She also only recently became my winner; for a long time, Hudson was my #1.

  • Best Editing:
  1. The Departed
  2. The Fountain
  3. United 93
  4. Casino Royale
  5. Children of Men
  6. The Prestige
  7. Pan’s Labyrinth
  8. The Queen
  9. Blood Diamond
  10. Babel
  11. The Lives of Others
  12. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  13. Brick
  14. Army of Shadows
  15. Inside Man
  16. Stranger than Fiction
  17. Letters from Iwo Jima
  18. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  19. Lady Vengeance
  20. Joyeux Noel

Analysis:  Tied with 2001 for the best Top 5 of all-time.  With all five Oscar nominees my Top 10, the Oscar Score is 88.4, the highest since 1991, the third highest to-date and the fourth highest of all-time.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Pan’s Labyrinth  *
  2. Children of Men  **
  3. The Prestige
  4. The Fountain
  5. The Departed
  6. The Black Dahlia  *
  7. Blood Diamond
  8. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  9. United 93
  10. Army of Shadows
  11. Casino Royale
  12. Babel
  13. The Good German
  14. The Painted Veil
  15. Flags of our Fathers
  16. The Queen
  17. Brick
  18. The Illusionist  *
  19. The Proposition
  20. Letters from Iwo Jima

Analysis:  Wally Pfister, working with Christopher Nolan, earns his first Nighthawk nom.  Michael Ballhous earns his fifth nomination (all with Scorsese).  Emmanuel Lubezki (Chivo) earns his second nomination.
Children of Men wins the Consensus with ease but Pan’s Labyrinth would have won each of the three previous years and has the most points for a 2nd place finisher at the Consensus Awards since 1998.  Pan is also the only post-1989 film to win the Oscar without an ASC nomination.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. The Da Vinci Code
  2. The Fountain
  3. Pan’s Labyrinth
  4. The Pursuit of Happyness
  5. Blood Diamond
  6. The Queen
  7. Babel
  8. The Good German
  9. Brick
  10. The Painted Veil
  11. The Prestige
  12. Notes on a Scandal
  13. The Illusionist
  14. Stranger than Fiction
  15. Curse of the Golden Flower
  16. Little Children
  17. Nanny McPhee
  18. Casino Royale
  19. Flushed Away
  20. Fateless

Analysis:  Hans Zimmer earns his sixth Nighthawk nom and his second win; this puts him at 200 points and he moves into the Top 10.  As much as The Da Vinci Code is a ridiculous movie, the score is really well done, especially in the final scene (a piece of music that has been played on my iTunes in excess of 200 times since I bought this computer in 2009).

  • Best Sound:
  1. Casino Royale
  2. United 93
  3. The Departed
  4. Blood Diamond
  5. Pan’s Labyrinth
  6. Flags of our Fathers
  7. The Prestige
  8. Superman Returns
  9. Children of Men
  10. The Black Dahlia
  11. The Lives of Others
  12. Letters from Iwo Jima
  13. Dreamgirls
  14. World Trade Center
  15. The Fountain
  16. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  17. Army of Shadows
  18. Apocalypto
  19. Lady Vengeance
  20. District B13

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 in six years.  Coming in 13th, Dreamgirls is the lowest listed Oscar winner in this category since 1985.  The Oscar Score is also only 69.4, the lowest since 1999.

  • Best Art Direction:
  1. The Prestige
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth
  3. Marie Antoinette
  4. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  5. The Fountain
  6. The Queen
  7. Children of Men
  8. The Black Dahlia
  9. Dreamgirls
  10. The Devil Wears Prada
  11. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  12. The Lives of Others
  13. Army of Shadows
  14. Curse of the Golden Flower
  15. The Good German
  16. Nanny McPhee
  17. The Painted Veil
  18. Prairie Home Companion
  19. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  20. The Illusionist

Analysis:  Tied with 1997 and 2002 for the best Top 5 of all-time.  After three straight agreements with the Oscar, their winner comes in 2nd on my list but it’s really a coin toss for me; I wouldn’t argue with anyone who chose Pan.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. The Fountain
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth
  3. Superman Returns
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  5. Casino Royale
  6. Children of Men
  7. The Prestige
  8. X-Men: The Last Stand
  9. Night at the Museum
  10. Flags of our Fathers
  11. Curse of the Golden Flower
  12. Letters from Iwo Jima
  13. Blood Diamond
  14. V for Vendetta
  15. Nanny McPhee

Analysis:  The best Top 5 of all-time although you wouldn’t think that from just looking at the Oscar nominees.  Pirates is the first Oscar winner in this category since 2000 to come in lower than 2nd on my list and the last one to date to come in lower than 3rd.  The Oscar Score is a dismal 61.5, the lowest in this category since 1975.
The films in green were semi-finalists.  That’s right.  Poseidon‘s big wave earned a nomination and Eragon‘s derivative dragon earned a semi-finals spot but nothing for The Fountain or Pan’s Labyrinth.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Casino Royale
  2. Superman Returns
  3. United 93
  4. The Fountain
  5. Blood Diamond
  6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  7. Pan’s Labyrinth
  8. Flags of our Fathers
  9. Letters from Iwo Jima
  10. Children of Men
  11. Apocalypto
  12. X-Men: The Last Stand
  13. Curse of the Golden Flower
  14. The Departed
  15. World Trade Center
  16. District B13
  17. The Prestige
  18. V for Vendetta
  19. Mission: Impossible III
  20. The Black Dahlia

Analysis:  With this year, this becomes a permanent full award, with five nominees and no more lists of semi-finalists.  It stuns me that they didn’t nominate Casino Royale, which, in fact, earned no Oscar nominations at all.

  • Best Costume Design:
  1. Marie Antoinette
  2. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  3. The Prestige
  4. Curse of the Golden Flower
  5. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  6. The Fountain
  7. The Black Dahlia
  8. The Painted Veil
  9. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men’s Chest
  10. The Devil Wears Prada
  11. Pan’s Labyrinth
  12. Legend of the Black Scorpion
  13. Dreamgirls
  14. The Good German
  15. The Illusionist
  16. The Queen
  17. Army of Shadows
  18. Joyeux Noel
  19. Letters from Iwo Jima
  20. Sweet Land

Analysis:  Perfume is the third #2 in a row in this category to earn my highest rating but it’s also the last until 2012.

  • Best Makeup
  1. Pan’s Labyrinth
  2. The Prestige
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  4. The Fountain
  5. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  6. X-Men: The Last Stand
  7. Apocalypto
  8. Marie Antoinette
  9. Lady Vengeance
  10. The Departed
  11. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  12. Dreamgirls
  13. Casino Royale
  14. Curse of the Golden Flower
  15. Nanny McPhee
  16. Night at the Museum
  17. The Devil Wears Prada

Analysis:  This is, through 2016, the last Oscar winner to-date to also win the Nighthawk.
The films in green were semi-finalists.  Three of their semi-finalists make my Top 6 but the Oscar nominee Click doesn’t even make my list.  That leads to an Oscar Score of 52.2, the lowest in six years.

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Upside Down”  (Curious George)
  2. Kickapoo”  (The Pick of Destiny)
  3. You Know My Name”  (Casino Royale)
  4. Never Gonna Break My Faith”  (Bobby)
  5. History”  (The Pick of Destiny)
  6. POD”  (The Pick of Destiny)
  7. Listen”  (Dreamgirls)
  8. Beezleboss (The Final Showdown)”  (The Pick of Destiny)
  9. Master Exploder”  (The Pick of Destiny)
  10. Family of Me”  (Over the Hedge)
  11. Try Not to Remember”  (Home of the Brave)
  12. Heist”  (Over the Hedge)
  13. Till the End of Time”  (Little Miss Sunshine)
  14. Jua Hua Tai”  (Curse of the Golden Flower)
  15. Love You I Do”  (Dreamgirls)
  16. Still”  (Over the Hedge)
  17. Real Gone”  (Cars)
  18. Shine on ‘Em”  (Blood Diamond)
  19. Patience”  (Dreamgirls)
  20. The Book I Write”  (Stranger than Fiction)

Analysis:, when it existed, listed songs from different films.  This year it lists 56 songs from 49 different films.  I have seen 39 of those films, accounting for 45 songs.  It doesn’t list any songs from The Pick of Destiny, but I have tried to find the ones written specifically for the film (which is why “Classico”, written before the film, isn’t listed) and they clearly dominate my list.
“I Need to Wake Up” isn’t on the list in spite of the Oscar because I don’t consider Documentaries for my awards.  If it was on the list, it would have come in 7th and that makes it the only winner between 1999 and 2015 to fail to earn a Nighthawk nom.

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. Flushed Away  *
  2. Happy Feet  **
  3. Monster House  *
  4. Cars  *
  5. Paprika

Analysis:  Flushed Away is the weakest post-1998 winner in this category, the only one in that time not to earn ****.  Happy Feet is the weakest #2 since 2001 but there will be a weaker one in 2008.  Happy Feet is the only Oscar winner between 2001 and 2011 not to win the Nighthawk.  It also leads to an Oscar Score of just 71.4, the lowest so far and there won’t be a lower one until 2010.
Of the six directors here (Flushed Away has two), only two of them earn nominations in any other year: John Lassetter, who earns his fourth nomination and becomes just the sixth to earn 100 points in this category and Satoshi Kon who also earns his fourth (but, with no wins, only has 80 points).
Warner Bros earns its third nom but won’t earn another one until 2014.  Sony Pictures Classics earns the first of three straight noms.  Aardman wins its second straight Nighthawk but also its last to-date (through 2016) and it’ll be another five years before it is nominated again (namely because it will be another five years before they make another film).  Cars is the only Pixar film to earn a nomination and lose between 1999 and 2013.  After this year, Pixar will win four straight awards.
Looking at the three year stretch, it’s too bad that Corpse Bride didn’t come out a year later or Persepolis a year sooner, as both finish 2nd in their respective years and easily would have been my winner here.
For much more on everything about this category go here.

  • Best Foreign Film:
  1. Pan’s Labyrinth  *
  2. Volver  *
  3. The Lives of Others  **
  4. Black Book
  5. OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies
  6. Letters from Iwo Jima  *
  7. 12:08 East of Bucharest
  8. The Host
  9. Paprika

note:  Films in orange were submitted to the Academy but not nominated (none this year).  Films in green were semi-finalists (the first year of such a thing).
Analysis:  The Lives of Others and Pan’s Labyrinth tie for the raw Consensus total but Lives pulls ahead with the weighted total.  Pan would have won in any of the previous four years and has the most points for a 2nd place film ever (through 2016).
A better Top 5 than the previous year but still weaker than the first half of the decade.  Only the first three films are ****.
An interesting mix of directors.  Guillermo del Toro is a previous nominee.  Pedro Almodovar is earning his 6th nomination and is now in 7th place with 160 points.  Florian von Donnersmarck, howevere, will later make one of the worst films ever to be nominated for a Golden Globe (The Tourist).  Paul Verhoeven earns his second nomination, 29 years after his first and in between makes some of the worst Hollywood films of the era.  Michel Hazanavicius won’t earn another Nighthawk nom for Foreign Film but will for Best Director when he actually wins the Oscar (The Artist).
Every country nominated has already earned at least one other nomination this decade and all five of them have at least four total nominations.  France runs its consecutive nomination streak up to nine years.  Germany earns a third straight nomination, the third time it has had a streak that long.
Coming in 3rd, The Lives of Others is the highest ranked Oscar winner between 2000 and 2011.

By Film:

note:  They’re in points order.  You get twice as many points for a win as for a nomination.  Hopefully your math skills will let you figure out the system.

  • The Departed  (460)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Sound
  • Pan’s Labyrinth   (370)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Makeup, Foreign Film
  • The Fountain  (335)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Children of Men  (220)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography
  • The Queen  (220)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • The Prestige  (140)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Casino Royale  (135)
    • Editing, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Original Song
  • Babel  (120)
    • Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • United 93  (110)
    • Director, Editing, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Volver  (95)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress, Foreign Film
  • Perfume – The Story of a Murderer  (85)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Stranger than Fiction  (70)
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • The Last King of Scotland  (70)
    • Actor
  • Little Children  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Notes on a Scandal  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Blood Diamond  (65)
    • Original Score, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Dreamgirls  (60)
    • Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story  (55)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Costume Design
  • The Da Vinci Code  (50)
    • Original Score
  • Marie Antoinette  (50)
    • Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Superman Returns  (40)
    • Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Flushed Away  (40)
    • Animated Film
  • The Devil Wears Prada  (35)
    • Actress
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest  (30)
    • Visual Effects, Makeup
  • The Pursuit of Happyness  (25)
    • Original Score
  • Curious George  (20)
    • Original Song
  • The Pick of Destiny  (20)
    • Original Song, Original Song
  • Happy Feet  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Monster House  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Cars  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Paprika  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Army of Shadows  (20)
    • Foreign Film  (1969)
  • The Lives of Others  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Sophie Scholl – The Final Days  (20)
    • Foreign Film  (2005)
  • Tsotsi  (20)
    • Foreign Film  (2005)
  • Joyeux Noel  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Curse of the Golden Flower  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Bobby  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  An increase of four films for the third straight year.  That’s a total of 38 films, tying 1995 for the most nominated films in one year.  The Tech winners, as a whole, hit the maximum points, with every winner earning my highest rating for the fifth time in six years but also the last time to date (at least through 2016).

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • The Painted Veil

Analysis:  My #15 film, a **** film that just can’t get higher than sixth anywhere.  It does come in 6th in Actress and makes the Top 10 in Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Score and Costume Design.

***.5 Films That Earn No Top 10 Finishes:

  • A Prairie Home Companion
  • The Proposition
  • Inside Man
  • The History Boys
  • V for Vendetta
  • Nanny McPhee

note:  All of these films earn at least two Top 20 finishes with Nanny earning six but none of them have a finish higher than 11th in any category.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Little Miss Sunshine

Analysis:  A film that seems to drop every time I see it.  Its 1112 points is the most in three years for a film with no Nighthawk noms and the fifth most to-date.  It won 7 awards (including two Oscars, Supporting Actor, which is 13th on my list and Original Screenplay which didn’t even make my list) among 33 total nominations.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture
  1. The Departed
  2. Pan’s Labyrinth
  3. Children of Men
  4. The Fountain
  5. The Queen

Analysis:  Drama kicks the crap out of Comedy this year, with the top 10 films and 17 of the Top 20.  All of these films are high ****.  The other **** films are: The Prestige, Casino Royale, United 93, Army of Shadows, Perfume, The Lives of Others, The Painted Veil, Brick, Sophie Scholl and Blood Diamond.  There is also a big list of ***.5 films: Babel, Joyeux Noel, Tsotsi, Notes on a Scandal, The Proposition, Little Children, Inside Man, The Pursuit of Happyness, Lady Vengeance, Letters from Iwo Jima, Last King of Scotland, V for Vendetta, The Good German, Fateless, Paprika.

  • Best Director
  1. Martin Scorsese  (The Departed)
  2. Guillermo del Toro  (Pan’s Labyrinth)
  3. Alfonso Cuarón  (Children of Men)
  4. Darren Aronofsky  (The Fountain)
  5. Paul Greengrass  (United 93)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama noms for del Toro, Aronofsky and Greengrass.  It’s the second Drama nom for Cuarón.  Marty has been a bit more successful; it’s his 10th nomination and 4th win giving him 630 points so he moves from a tie for 3rd into taking 3rd place by himself.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The Departed
  2. Children of Men
  3. The Prestige
  4. Perfume – The Story of a Murderer
  5. Casino Royale

Analysis:  Alfonso Cuarón earns his second Drama writing nom.  Christopher Nolan earns his fourth Drama writing nom.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Pan’s Labyrinth
  2. The Queen
  3. The Fountain
  4. Brick
  5. The Lives of Others

Analysis:  Not only the best Top 5 in four years but there hasn’t been a better one since.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Forest Whitaker  (The Last King of Scotland)
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio  (The Departed)
  3. Clive Owen  (Children of Men)
  4. Christian Bale  (The Prestige)
  5. Hugh Jackman  (The Fountain)

Analysis:  This is the only Drama nom for Whitaker, the first for Bale and Jackman, the second for Owen and the third for Leo.

  • Best Actress
  1. Helen Mirren  (The Queen)
  2. Judi Dench  (Notes on a Scandal)
  3. Kate Winslet  (Little Children)
  4. Naomi Watts  (The Painted Veil)
  5. Rachel Weisz  (The Fountain)

Analysis:  This is the second Drama nom for Rachel Weisz, the fourth for Dench and Watts, the fifth for Mirren and the sixth for Winslet.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Michael Sheen  (The Queen)
  2. Mark Wahlberg  (The Departed)
  3. Jack Nicholson  (The Departed)
  4. Jackie Earl Haley  (Little Children)
  5. Djimon Honsou  (Blood Diamond)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama noms for Wahlberg, Haley and Honsou and the first for Sheen.  Jack has been a bit more successful; it’s his 11th Drama nom (and first since 1992) which finishes him off with 495 points and in 2nd place all-time (though that drops to 3rd place the next year).

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Rinko Kikuchi  (Babel)
  2. Cate Blanchett  (Notes on a Scandal)
  3. Cate Blanchett  (Babel)
  4. Adriana Barraza  (Babel)
  5. Shareeka Epps  (Half Nelson)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama noms for Kikuchi, Barazza and Epps.  It’s the sixth and seventh noms for Blanchett and she goes up to 325 points and enters the Top 10.
The weakest Top 5 in four years.  Kikuchi is the weakest winner in five years.

  • The Departed  (365)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Queen  (220)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • The Fountain  (205)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Pan’s Labyrinth  (175)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay
  • Children of Men  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Babel  (120)
    • Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Prestige  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • The Last King of Scotland  (70)
    • Actor
  • Notes on a Scandal  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Little Children  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • United 93  (45)
    • Director
  • Casino Royale  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Perfume – The Story of a Murderer  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Lives of Others  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Brick  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • The Painted Veil  (35)
    • Actress
  • Blood Diamond  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Half Nelson  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Army of Shadows

Analysis:  My #9 film (which also makes it my #9 Drama).  It finished in sixth place in Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. Volver
  2. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  3. Stranger than Fiction
  4. Thank You for Smoking
  5. Prairie Home Companion

Analysis:  Volver is the weakest winner since 1995 and many people wouldn’t even consider it a Comedy (the Globes didn’t).  This is also the first year since 1995 with fewer than four **** films.  Only the top three films are ****.  The Top 5 is the lowest since 1995 and the second lowest since 1990.  The other ***.5 films are Flushed Away, Happy Feet, Dreamgirls, The History Boys, Nanny McPhee, Monster House and Cars.
The Top 5 in Drama this year is five points higher than 2004 while the Top 5 in Comedy is 26 points lower, yet the #6 film in both Drama and Comedy has the same rating as the #6 film in Drama and Comedy in 2004.  That’s just really weird.
You can read about me bitching about the Globes picks down below.

  • Best Director
  1. Pedro Almodóvar  (Volver)
  2. Marc Forster  (Stranger than Fiction)
  3. Michael Winterbottom  (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story)
  4. Robert Altman  (Prairie Home Companion)
  5. Bill Condon  (Dreamgirls)

Analysis:  These are the only Comedy noms for Forster, Winterbottom and Condon.  It’s the third Comedy nom for Almodóvar.  It’s the sixth and final nom for Altman with his final film and he finishes with 360 points and in a tie for 6th place all-time.
Tied with 2003 for the weakest Top 5 since 1997.  Pedro is the weakest winner since 1995.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
  2. Thank You for Smoking
  3. The History Boys
  4. A Prairie Home Companion
  5. Nanny McPhee

Analysis:  Emma Thompson, who already has a Drama win, earns a Comedy writing nom.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Volver
  2. Stranger than Fiction
  3. Flushed Away
  4. Driving Lessons
  5. For Your Consideration

Analysis:  Pedro wins his first Comedy award with his second writing nom.
The weakest Top 5 in four years.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Aaron Eckhart  (Thank You for Smoking)
  2. Peter O’Toole  (Venus)
  3. Richard Griffiths  (The History Boys)
  4. Greg Kinnear  (Little Miss Sunshine)
  5. Will Ferrell  (Stranger than Fiction)

Analysis:  These are the only Comedy noms for Eckhart, Griffiths and Ferrell, the third for Kinnear and the fourth for O’Toole.
The weakest Top 5 in five years.  Eckhart is the weakest winner in five years.
Peter O’Toole was nominated in Drama at the Globes.  The Comedy winner was Sacha Baron Cohen who is on my list, but down at 7th.

  • Best Actress
  1. Penelope Cruz  (Volver)
  2. Meryl Streep  (The Devil Wears Prada)
  3. Toni Collette  (Little Miss Sunshine)
  4. Meryl Streep  (Prairie Home Companion)
  5. Emma Thompson  (Nanny McPhee)

Analysis:  This is the first Comedy nom for Penelope Cruz and the third for Toni Collette.  It’s the fifth for Emma Thompson (see below).  It’s the fourth and fifth for Meryl Streep.
Penelope Cruz was nominated at the Globes in Drama.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Eddie Murphy  (Dreamgirls)
  2. Dustin Hoffman  (Stranger than Fiction)
  3. Alan Arkin  (Little Miss Sunshine)
  4. Rob Bryden  (Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story)
  5. Steve Carrell  (Little Miss Sunshine)

Analysis:  This is the only Comedy nom for Bryden and Murphy (surprisingly), the first for Carrell, the fourth for Arkin and the fifth for Hoffman.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Jennifer Hudson  (Dreamgirls)
  2. Emma Thompson  (Stranger than Fiction)
  3. Lindsay Lohan  (Prairie Home Companion)
  4. Abigail Breslin  (Little Miss Sunshine)
  5. Emily Blunt  (The Devil Wears Prada)

Analysis:  This is the only Comedy nom for Jennifer Hudson, Lindsay Lohan and Abigail Breslin and the first for Emily Blunt.  After the nom above, it’s the sixth for Emma Thompson and she goes up to 235 points and enters the Top 10.
This is the strong Comedy category, the strongest Top 5 in this category in five years.

  • Volver  (340)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Stranger than Fiction  (230)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story  (205)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • A Prairie Home Companion  (200)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Dreamgirls  (165)
    • Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Thank You for Smoking  (160)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Little Miss Sunshine  (160)
    • Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The History Boys  (110)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Nanny McPhee  (110)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress
  • The Devil Wears Prada  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Flushed Away  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Driving Lessons  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • For Your Consideration  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Venus  (35)
    • Actor

Analysis:  Really a weak year for Comedy overall, the weakest since, you guessed it, 1995.  The winners, as a whole, are also the weakest since 1995.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Happy Feet

Analysis:  My #29 film and my #7 Comedy.  It also came in sixth place in Original Screenplay.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  268

By Stars:

  • ****:  18
  • ***.5:  25
  • ***:  124
  • **.5:  50
  • **:  29
  • *.5:  8
  • *:  9
  • .5:  5
  • 0:  0
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  62.26

Analysis:  The average goes down almost four points.  That’s because of several things.  The **** stars account for less than 7% of the total films for the first time in six years.  Over 10% of the films are ** for the first time in four years.  Less than 63% of the films are *** or better, the lowest in five years.  The 268 total films are the most in any year.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  A throwback year?  It’s better than any year prior to 1972, but at #31 overall, it’s the weakest year in six years and the third weakest of the decade.  That’s because only two of the nominees are **** (The Departed, The Queen), the lowest since 2000.  It’s saved from dropping too far because two of the other nominees are ***.5 (Babel, Letters from Iwo Jima) and the fifth nominee is a relatively high *** (Little Miss Sunshine).  If the Academy had nominated Dreamgirls, as was widely predicted, it wouldn’t have changed the rank almost at all as I only have a one point difference between it and Letters.  While this doesn’t affect the rank, it is the start of the second three year stretch in Oscar history where the Oscar and Nighthawk winners are the same.

The Winners:  While Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay all go to the best choice, the overall winner rank among the nominees is still only 2.00 and among all films is only 4.60, neither great, though both are better than the year before.  That’s because there are two categories where the Oscars picked the weakest choice (Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor) and several more where they didn’t pick the best or second best nominee.  There were three categories where the Oscar winner doesn’t make my Top 10 (the same two plus Sound) and three more where they don’t make my Top 5 (Score, Sound Editing, Song).

The Nominees:  Like with Best Picture, the overall Oscar Score is historically strong (better than any year prior to 1981) and relatively weak (lowest score post-2000 through 2016).  It’s not the fault of the acting categories (two over 90, all over 85) and only partially the fault of the Tech categories (only Visual Effects and Makeup below 70 but only Cinematography above 90).  But none of the four major categories break 80 and the 51.3 Score for Picture and the 55.6 Score for Original Screenplay are the two weakest major category scores since 2000.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  After a stretch of strong years (every year from 1999 to 2005 finished in the Top 20), this year takes a bad tumble.  It finishes all the way down at #48, the worst finish since 1990.  In 2005, the lowest film earned a 72 while the average nominee here is only a 69.6.  It’s the first year since 1990 and only the second since 1981 to not have a single **** film among the nominees, although it will happen two more times in the next three years.  Now, granted, there wasn’t a lot to work with.  The best Comedy of the year was Volver, which was a Foreign film (ineligible) and the Globes considered it a Drama anyway (nominating star Penelope Cruz in Actress – Drama).  Of the other 11 films that make my eligibility list of earning at least ***.5, four were Animated and thus ineligible.  That leaves only seven films.  Three of those were distinctly British and while eligible, weren’t all that likely as nominees (Tristram Shandy, History Boys, Nanny McPhee) and indeed, they were all passed over in the acting categories as well.  That left Thank You for Smoking and Dreamgirls (both nominated) and the real snubs: Stranger than Fiction (nominated for Actor) and A Prairie Home Companion.  The Globes also nominated Little Miss Sunshine, which was a big enough awards film that it’s hard to complain about the nomination even if the film doesn’t hold up at all.  Borat, which I have as **.5, was at least critically acclaimed, though I’ll never understand why.  But there’s also The Devil Wears Prada, and while Streep was great, there’s no way that film (also **.5) belongs among the nominees, not when Stranger than Fiction was eligible.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  The Departed  (reviewed here)

Un amigo.

2  –  Pan’s Labyrinth  (dir. del Toro)

There is a moment halfway through Pan’s Labyrinth that is as suspenseful, as terrifying and as fascinating in its visuals and storytelling as anything ever put on film.  It is a reminder that while Guillermo del Toro hasn’t often delivered on his potential for great films (two out of nine), he has nonetheless always given us fascinating and visually exciting films that thrill us.

The scene I am talking about is the lair of the Pale Man.  The Pale Man is a child-eating monster and if he doesn’t look terrifying when you first see him, seemingly comatose at a table, things will happen that change your mind.  The lair has been entered by Ofelia, a child who is in a world of danger on multiple levels.  Her mother is now married to a brutally sadistic captain working for Franco, rooting out rebels around an old farm house where they are staying.  A maid (Maribel Verdu, whose performance in Y tu mama tambien is one of the sexiest in film history) working in the house is a member of the rebels and tries to protect Ofelia while also trying to work against Franco’s regime.  The captain himself is capable of the worst kind of things you can imagine and Ofelia doesn’t know how to feel, since he is her stepfather, because her mother is weak (and pregnant) and because she stumbles a world of fantasy that is fascinating but also frightening.  She has the met the Faun, who has given her tasks that might save her mother and this second task is to retrieve a dagger from the lair of the Pale Man.

Ofelia, played by Ivana Baquero in a remarkable performance (more proof that ever since the early 90’s, we’ve really been in a golden age for young female film performances) is everything you would want in your young female fantasy protagonist.  She is smart and plucky and determined.  But she also sometimes disobeys what she has been told (another characteristic common to the genre) and though she has been warned not to consume anything in the lair, she eats two grapes.  This brings the Pale Man to life, gathering his eyes from the tables (they go in the palms of his hands, where he then holds them up in front of his eyelids) and he then eats the two fairies that have been accompanying Ofelia.  Then he notices her and it’s a race for her to escape the lair before he can eat her as well.  The entire scene is so well done, so brilliantly imagined, so terrifying, so perfectly brought to life with a combination of deservedly Oscar winning Cinematography, Art Direction and Makeup and Visual Effects that somehow got passed over by the Academy in favor of yet another giant wave that it’s a feast for the eyes at the same time that it brings panic to your heart.

There is so much more to this film and if you have never seen it, then you really must.  Its nomination for Best Original Screenplay (which should have won and is miles away better than the actually Oscar winner) made del Toro the third of the Oscar nominees among the Three Amigos that year, that trio of unbelievably talented Mexican directors who are all good friends (two of whom now are also Oscar winning directors).  It is brilliantly conceived, imaginatively executed and one of the great Foreign films of the entire decade, which means, of course, like Amelie, that it would fail to win the Oscar.

dos amigos

3  –  Children of Men  (dir Cuarón)

In the spring of 1993, when I was a Freshman in college, the concept of global warming or climate change was not as well known or as well accepted as it is today.  That was when my Sociology professor asked us how many thought we were destroying the Earth and how many thought the Earth was just fine.  I didn’t raise my hand for either option and instead posited the notion, inspired by the ideas that Ian Malcolm posits in the novel Jurassic Park, that the Earth itself would go on long after we were gone and that what we were doing was not destroying the planet per-se, but rather instead destroying the planet as a habitable place to sustain human life.  The world would survive; humans would not.  All of that, like so many opening paragraphs in my reviews, is a roundabout way of approaching the film in question, which is Children of Men.  Children of Men doesn’t deal with the particular issue of climate change (though the Oscar winning documentary of the year, An Inconvenient Truth would) but with human society.  In this film, human society is crumbling around us.  But that’s the same kind of basic notion that I posited back in my Sociology class.  We were destroying ourselves.

The last one to die, please turn out the light.  That is both the tagline of this film (the best serious one of the year in my Nighthawk Notables) and graffiti seen scrawled on the wall by Theo, a civil servant who has lost every light in his life.  The year is 2027 and there are no more children and have not been for almost 20 years.  But Theo’s light went out before that, when his infant son died in a flu pandemic.  He walks through the world as through a daze, bumbling into a shop for some coffee while everyone else is watching the news that the world’s youngest human, aged 18, has just been stabbed and killed.  It’s a good thing he is in that daze because that means Theo doesn’t linger and he isn’t killed when the shop explodes.  We see that Theo isn’t a James Bond type, as he ducks down, dropping the coffee whose readiness saved his life, but it’s not enough to pull him out of his daze.  Not until he’s kidnapped by a terrorist organization that happens to be run by his ex-wife.  Theo wants to think of her as uncaring but in fact she has trouble looking her ex in the face because, as she says, their son had his eyes.

This will drag Theo into a quest that will help him find some meaning again and may present some basic hope for human civilization.  The question, of course, that Theo seems to be asking himself, is whether humanity deserves to be saved from what has happened.  His country rounds up immigrants and throws them in a camp to be deported.  The rest of the world outside the UK is a disaster zone.  Terrorists kill each other to get on top and create chaos.  His best friend numbs himself with pot.  We see all of this through the lens of Alfonso Cuarón, one of the great filmmakers of our time.  He creates long shots that follow Theo, art direction that allows us to really see the crumbling state of civilization and smart, crisp editing that keeps riveted to Clive Owen’s performance, no matter what miseries he endures.  In fact, it’s remarkable to realize how much this film belongs to Owen and it’s unfortunate to realize that his performance, moving from numbness to anger to determination didn’t receive a single nomination.  It’s easily one of the best of the year and it’s hard to imagine how the film would work without it (literally it would have been a different film, since, as Cuarón says, Owen kept giving them notes on the character to the point where they actually got him to work on the script with them).  In this world, we see art treasures that are kept alive (wonderful visual effects that allow us to see Michelangelo’s David with a broken leg), different groups that band together and yet the same basic human failures of grasping for control and publicity.

There are other aspects of Children of Men, of course.  There is Julianne Moore as Owen’s ex-wife and she is fantastic, as always.  There is Michael Caine as Owen’s best friend, a former political cartoonist who has hidden himself away from the world and his performance is a welcome amusing change of pace in the same year that he also starred in The Prestige.  There is also Chiwetel Ejiofor, once again playing against Owen as he did in another film this year, Inside Man.  Since both men often seem to be the smartest person in the room, it’s hard to know which should come out ahead.  And guiding all of this is the sure, amazing hand of Cuarón, coming off the best of the Harry Potter films.  Sadly, after this film, it would be another seven years before we would see a film by him, but that film would be Gravity, the best film of 2013.

4  –  The Fountain  (reviewed here)

5  –  The Queen  (reviewed here)

The Razzies:  Only two of my bottom 5 ended up nominated (Little Man, The Wicker Man) but the winner (Basic Instinct 2) was my 6th worst film and a fourth nominee (BloodRayne) was my 7th worst.  The best of the nominees was Lady in the Water, which I did give *.5, but its place was kind of earned by how far Shyamalan had fallen and for his swipe at critics in the film.  Overall, a pretty good choice of nominees.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Doogal
  2. Little Man
  3. Pucked
  4. The Wicker Man
  5. Romeo and Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss

note:  It’s weird to have an Animated Film at #1 here, but it’s even weirder to have a second Animated Film on the list.
The list of Presumably Crappy Films That I Would Confirm are Crappy But I Haven’t Seen Them and Don’t Intend to See Them are: Big Momma’s House 2, Date Movie, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties, Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder 2, The Omen, Saw III, Scary Movie 4, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Tristan & Isolde, You Me & Dupree.

Jon Stewart on television? Usually a great sign. Jon Stewart in a film? Usually a terrible sign.

Doogal  (dir. Frank Passingham)

I have my doubts as to whether Doogal could have actually been good but there is no doubt that it didn’t need to be nearly as bad as it is.  In fact, it didn’t need to be at all.  Doogal is the American version of a British-French co-production called The Magic Roundabout, a fairly well-received animated film starring a number of big British names (Ian McKellen, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Tom Baker).  But, in spite of the talent involved, Harvey Weinstein, doing the kind of thing he is least well-liked for, decided to drop all the British dialogue (except McKellen) and bring in American comedians like Jon Stewart, Chevy Chase, Whoopi Goldberg and Jimmy Fallon to re-dub the film.  Then it was completely re-edited as well.  The result was one of the worst received films of the year, one which Stewart kept jokingly defending on The Daily Show at the time as the critics ripped it to shreds and the audiences stayed away.

I have never seen The Magic Roundabout because it isn’t available in the States but it has to be better than this.  Given the lackluster computer animation that mostly looks like the stuff Pixar was doing in its shorts fifteen years before, a clearly very silly world with interacting giant talking animals and humans, a weird jack-in-the-box blue evil wizard and an annoying little dog as the hero, I don’t seem how good it could have been.  But the original film was actually made by its filmmakers with some care and didn’t randomly decide to rely on pop culture references, flatulence jokes and bizarre editing that takes a dream sequence from the middle of the film and somehow use it as the conclusion.

This is a perfect example of trying to make a film that revolves around jokes rather than making a film and trying to focus on the story and the characters.  It’s interesting that Kevin Smith is in this film.  His best films do revolve around pop culture and some very lowbrow humor.  But they concentrate first on making believable characters and having them interact in real ways.  It doesn’t start with the jokes.  Whoever wrote this film clearly never understood that.

This film isn’t as bad as most of the worst films of this decade.  It at least earns a 4, which is better than the zero of the worst films of the year before and after this.  But as of this writing (mid 2017) I have seen 591 animated films and this is the worst.


  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  The Fountain  (11)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  The Departed / Pan’s Labyrinth  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  The Departed  (460)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  The Devil Wears Prada
  • 2nd Place Award:  Pan’s Labyrinth  (Picture, Director, Art Direction, Visual Effects)
  • 6th Place Award:  The Prestige  (Picture, Director, Editing)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  The Departed  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  The Departed  (3)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  The Departed  (365)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  Half Nelson
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  Stranger than Fiction  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  Volver  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  Volver  (340)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  The Devil Wears Prada

Note:  * means a Nighthawk record up to this point; ** ties a Nighthawk record.

Progressive Leaders:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  The Wizard of Oz  /  The Godfather  /  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King  (18)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  The Wizard of Oz  /  Bonnie and Clyde  /  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (14)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Bonnie and Clyde  (865)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards without winning Best Picture:  Frankenstein  /  The Magnificent Ambersons  /  Tom Jones  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Nominations without a Best Picture Nomination:  Yojimbo  /  Kagemusha  /  House of Flying Daggers  (11)
  • Most Nighthawk Nominations without a Nighthawk Award:  Throne of Blood (13)
  • Actor:  Jack Nicholson  (500)
  • Actress:  Katharine Hepburn  (560)
  • Director:   Akira Kurosawa  (765)
  • Writer:  Ingmar Bergman  (1040)
  • Cinematographer:  Sven Nykvist  (375)
  • Composer:  John Williams  (950)
  • Foreign Film:  Akira Kurosawa  /  Ingmar Bergman  (600)

Breakdown by Genre  (Foreign in parenthesis, best film in genre following, avg. score is afterwards, in parenthesis):

  • Drama:  136 (67)  –  Children of Men  (65.4)
  • Foreign:  98  –  Pan’s Labyrinth  (66.4)
  • Comedy:  43 (6)  –  Volver  (58.8)
  • Kids:  24 (1)  –  Flushed Away  (53.8)
  • Action:  11 (4)  –  Casino Royale  (68.1)
  • Horror:  10 (2)  –  The Descent  (36.4)
  • War:  8 (6)  –  Army of Shadows  (78.3)
  • Fantasy:  8 (4)  –  Pan’s Labyrinth  (54.2)
  • Crime:  5 (2)  –  The Departed  (77.4)
  • Musical:  5  –  Dreamgirls  (66.6)
  • Mystery:  5 (1)  –  Brick  (60)
  • Suspense:  5 (1)  –  The Good German  (50.4)
  • Sci-Fi:  3 (1)  –  The Fountain  (63.7)
  • Western:  2 (1)  –  The Proposition  (72)
  • Adventure:  2 (2)  –  Libertas  (59.5)

Analysis:  The Dramas account for just over half the films for only the second time since 1946.  The 11 Action films are the most since 1996.  The 5 Crime films are the fewest since 1989 and ironic since a Crime film wins the Nighthawk.  The 136 Dramas are the most all-time.  The 98 Dramas are the second most all-time.  The 24 Kids films are the most all-time.  The 8 War films are the most since 1989; it also has its highest average in eight years.  Horror has its lowest average since 1991.
Army of Shadows is the first War film in the Top 10 since 1999.  There are 10 Dramas in the Top 20 for the first time since 1995.  There are two War films in the Top 20 for the first time since 1989.

Studio Note:  With the Weinsteins now gone to their own new company, Miramax drops to 5 films, the first time it’s in single digits since 1989.  While only three studios had more than 10 films in 2005, here Fox has 20, Warners has 18, Columbia / Sony has 15, Paramount has 13 and there are 12 each from Universal, Sony Pictures Classics and IFC.  But the films from the majors are worse than the year before, with only Columbia showing an improvement (and that’s only from a 53 to a 56).  The majors account for just over one-third of all the films, the last time it will do so until 2015.
For the second year in a row, Warners wins the Nighthawk, its 14th overall, though this time it is the main studio and not Warner Independent.  After a three year gap when they had no Top 20 films, Paramount has two (Perfume, Babel).  Warners has 4 Top 20 films a year after having 5, giving it 9 in two years, the most for any studio since Paramount had 11 in 1973-74.  Sony Pictures Classics also manages 3 Top 20 films for the second year in a row.

92 Films Eligible for Best Foreign Film (alphabetical, with director and country in parenthesis – red are ****, blue are ***.5 – both those colors qualify for my Best Foreign Film Award; an asterisk means it was the Official selection for the Oscar, two asterisks were semi-finalists (a new thing this year), three asteriskes were nominated, four asterisks won the Oscar):

  • 12:08 East of Bucharest  (Porumboiu, Romania)
  • 9th Company  (Bondarchuk, Russia)  *
  • After the Wedding  (Bier, Denmark)  ***
  • Ahimsa: Stop the Run  (Kittkorn, Thailand)  *
  • Alice  (Martins, Portugal)  *
  • Alice’s House  (Teixeira, Brazil)
  • American Visa  (Valdivia, Bolivia)  *
  • Apocalypto  (Gibson, USA)
  • Aurora  (Bayrak, Ukraine)  *
  • Avenue Montaigne  (Thompson, France)  **
  • Azur & Asmar: The Prince’s Quest  (Ocelot, France)
  • Bamako  (Sissako, Mali)
  • El Benny  (Luis Sanchez, Cuba)  *
  • Black Book  (Verhoeven, Netherlands)  **
  • The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros  (Solito, Philippines)  *
  • Blue Cha Cha  (Wen-tang, Taiwan)  *
  • Border Cafe  (Partovi, Iran)  *
  • Children  (Bragason, Iceland)  *
  • Chronicle of an Escape  (Caetano, Argentina)
  • Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures  (Gomes, Brazil)  *
  • Climates  (Ceylan, Turkey)
  • Comedy of Power  (Chabrol, France)
  • Curse of the Golden Flower  (Yimou, China)  *
  • Dans Paris  (Honore, France)
  • Days of Glory  (Bouchareb, Algeria)  ***
  • Dragonball Z: Fusion Reborn  (Yamauchi, Japan)
  • Dreams  (Al-Daradji, Iraq)  *
  • En la cama  (Bize, Chile)  *
  • The Exterminating Angels  (Bisseau, France)
  • Family Law  (Berman, Argentina)  *
  • Fanaa  (Kohli, India)
  • Flanders  (Dumont, France)
  • Forever Flows  (Sayeed, Bangladesh)  *
  • Fullmetal Alchemist  (Mizushima, Japan)
  • Golden Door  (Crislese, Italy)  *
  • Grbvica  (Zbanic, Bosnia)  *
  • Half Moon  (Ghobadi, Iran)
  • Heading South  (Cantet, France)
  • The Host  (Bong, South Korea)
  • Hula Girls  (Lee, Japan)  *
  • Ice Cream, I Scream  (Aksu, Turkey)  *
  • The Island  (Lungin, Russia)
  • Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna  (Johar, India)
  • King and the Clown  (Jun-ik, South Korea)  *
  • Kontakt  (Stanjovkoski, Macedonia)  *
  • Lady Chatterley  (Ferran, France)
  • Lage Raho Munna Bhai  (Hirani, India)
  • Legend of the Black Scorpion  (Feng, Hong Kong)  *
  • Letters from Iwo Jima  (Eastwood, USA)
  • Libertas  (Bulajic, Croatia)  *
  • Lights in the Dark  (Kaurismaki, Finland)  *
  • The Lives of Others  (von Donnersmarck, Germany)  ****
  • Love for Share  (di Nata, Indonesia)  *
  • Lunacy  (Svankmajer, Czech Republic)  *
  • Madeinusa  (Llosa, Peru)  *
  • Maroa  (Hoogesteijn, Venezuela)  *
  • Monkeys in Winter  (Andonova, Bulgaria)  *
  • Nomad  (Bodrov, Kazakhstan)  *
  • Offside  (Panahi, Iran)
  • OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies  (Hazanavicius, France)
  • Pan’s Labyrinth  (del Toro, Mexico)  ***
  • Paprika  (Kon, Japan)
  • Poison Friends  (Bourdieu, France)
  • Priceless  (Salvadori, France)
  • Private Fears in Public Places  (Resnais, France)
  • Private Property  (Lafosse, Belgium)
  • Rang de Basanti  (Mehra, India)  *
  • Reprise  (Trier, Borway)  *
  • Still Life  (Zhangke, China)
  • Story of Pao  (Quang Hai, Vietnam)  *
  • Summer ’04  (Krohmer, Germany)
  • Summer Palace  (Lou, China)
  • Sweet Mud  (Shaul, Israel)  *
  • Syndromes and a Century  (Weerasethakul, Thailand)
  • Tales from Earthsea  (Miyazaki, Japan)
  • Tell No One  (Canet, France)
  • Ten Canoes  (De Heer, Australia)  *
  • Them  (Moreau, France)
  • Thieves & Liars  (Mendez Matta, Puerto Rico)  *
  • Times and Winds  (Erdem, Turkey)
  • Tomorrow Morning  (Novkovic, Serbia)  *
  • Tried Election  (To, Hong Kong)
  • Trinity Blood  (Hirata, Japan)
  • Vitus  (Murer, Switzerland)  **
  • Volver  (Almodovar, Spain)  **
  • Water  (Mehta, Canada)  ***
  • The Way I Spent the End of the World  (Mitulescu, Romania)  *
  • The Wedding Chest  (Egen, Kyrgyzstan)  *
  • White Palms  (Hajdu, Hungary)  *
  • The Witnesses  (Techine, France)
  • The Yacoubian Building  (Hamed, Egypt)  *
  • Your Name is Justine  (de Pena, Luxembourg)  *

Note:  A big jump back up, to 92 films, the third highest total to-date.  I have my first film from Iraq.  I have countries returning after big gaps: Australia (10 years), Kazakhstan (14 years) and Mali (19 years).  On the other side, it’s the first time I don’t have a film from Colombia in six years and the first time I don’t have one from Austria in seven years.  It’s a rare year in that two films are by formerly Oscar nominated English speaking directors.  For the first time I have two films from Romania.  For the first time in nine years I only have one film from Italy.  As usual, France leads with 15 films and Japan is in second with 6 films.
While Drama still dominates (58 films), Fantasy has five films, the same total as the previous four years combined and War has four films, the most since 1981.

Foreign Films Submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars That I Haven’t Seen:

  • Austria:  Earth and Ashes  (dir. Rahimi)
  • Belgium:  Olga  (dir. Monjardim)
  • Colombia:  Far Side of the Moon  (dir. Lapage)
  • Greece:  El Rey  (dir. Dorado)
  • Lebanon:  Revolution of Pigs  (dir. Funk)
  • Lithuania:  Cold Light  (dir. Oddsson)
  • Morocco:  A Legendary Love  (dir. Hin)
  • Nepal:  Simon  (dir. Terstall)
  • Poland:  The Olive Harvest  (dir. Elias)
  • Slovenia:  The Miracle According to Salome  (dir. Barroso)
  • Sweden:  20:30:40  (dir. Chang)

note:  At this point I am making a concerted effort to see as many submitted films as I can.  The full list can be found here.  This year I am a very solid 52 for 63 (83%) if I include the disqualified submissions, my best year since 1976 and my best year ever that has more than 25 submissions.  The 63 submissions are again a new high, just one higher than the year before with 11 countries from the year before not submitting (Costa Rica, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Mongolia, Palestine, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Uruguay) and 12 countries submitting that hadn’t the year before, which include four countries back after only one year (Egypt, Macedonia, Philippines, Ukraine), seven countries back after longer gaps (Algeria, Australia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nepal) and Lithuania as the only country submitting for the first time.  South Africa joins Bosnia (2002), The Ivory Coast (1977) and Algeria (1970) as the only countries not to submit in the year after winning the Oscar.
I am missing Lithuania for the first time (obviously) and Poland, after only being missed once prior to 2005 is missing for the second year in a row.  After that, it’s my 2nd miss (Lebanon), 3rd (Morocco, Nepal), 4th miss (Colombia, Slovenia), 9th (Greece), 14th (Sweden), 16th (Belgium) and 17th (Austria).

Films Eligible in This Year But Originally Released in a Different Year:

  • Gatling Gun  (1968)
  • Army of Shadows  (1969)
  • Hero of the Year  (1987)
  • La Frontera  (1991)
  • 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance  (1995)
  • Fine Dead Girls  (2002)
  • I’m Taraneh, 15  (2002)
  • Evil  (2003)
  • The Forest for the Trees  (2003)
  • Nathalie  (2003)
  • Tiger and the Snow  (2003)
  • Agnes and His Brothers  (2004)
  • Changing Times  (2004)
  • Clean  (2004)
  • Dead Man’s Shoes  (2004)
  • District B13  (2004)
  • Duck Season  (2004)
  • Gilles’ Wife  (2004)
  • Hawaii, Oslo  (2004)
  • The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things  (2004)
  • Look Both Ways  (2004)
  • Mountain Patrol: Kekexili  (2004)
  • Night Watch  (2004)
  • On the Outs  (2004)
  • Pinocchio 3000  (2004)
  • Somersault  (2004)
  • Swades: We the People  (2004)
  • When the Sea Rises  (2004)
  • Woman is the Future of Man  (2004)
  • 12 and Holding  (2005)
  • American Gun  (2005)
  • The Aura  (2005)
  • Aurora Borealis  (2005)
  • Battle in Heaven  (2005)
  • Be with Me  (2005)
  • Blood and Bones  (2005)
  • The Cave of the Yellow Dog  (2005)
  • Cavite  (2005)
  • CSA: Confederate States of America  (2005)
  • The Death of Mr Lazarascu  (2005)
  • Edmond  (2005)
  • Evil Aliens  (2005)
  • Fateless  (2005)
  • Fearless  (2005)
  • Four-Eyed Monsters  (2005)
  • Gabrielle  (2005)
  • Hard Candy  (2005)
  • The House of Sand  (2005)
  • Intruder  (2005)
  • Iron Island  (2005)
  • Joyeux Noel  (2005)
  • Keeping Mum  (2005)
  • Kinky Boots  (2005)
  • L’Enfant  (2005)
  • Lady Vengeance  (2005)
  • Lassie  (2005)
  • Man Push Cart  (2005)
  • Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing and Charm School  (2005)
  • La Moustache  (2005)
  • Nanny McPhee  (2005)
  • Le Petit lieutenant  (2005)
  • The Propisition  (2005)
  • The Puffy Chair  (2005)
  • Riding Alone for Thousand of Miles  (2005)
  • Russian Dolls  (2005)
  • Shadowboxer  (2005)
  • Sophie Scholl – The Final Days  (2005)
  • Sorry Haters  (2005)
  • Three Times  (2005)
  • Time to Leave  (2005)
  • Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story  (2005)
  • Tsotsi  (2005)
  • Viva Cuba  (2005)
  • Welcome to Dongmakgol  (2005)
  • A Wonderful Night in Split  (2005)

Note:  These 75 films average a 63.4.  They only combine for six Nighthawk nominations, four of which are Foreign Film.  The worst films are Shadowboxer (in the bottom 10) and Evil Aliens (just outside the bottom 10).

Films That Weren’t Eligible at the Oscars:

  • 12 and Holding
  • American Gun
  • Army of Shadows
  • The Aura
  • Battle in Heaven
  • Bloodrayne
  • Bubble
  • The Cave of the Yellow Dog
  • Cavite
  • Changing Times
  • Clean
  • Climates
  • Dead Man’s Shoes
  • The Death of Mr Lazarescu
  • District B13
  • Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn
  • Edmond
  • Evil
  • Evil Aliens
  • Family Law
  • Fanaa
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Gabrielle
  • Gilles’ Wife
  • The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things
  • Hero of the Year
  • Ice Cream, I Scream
  • The Intruder
  • Iron Island
  • Joyeux Noel
  • Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
  • Keeping Mum
  • Lady Vengeance
  • Lassie
  • Lunacy
  • Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dance and Charm School
  • Mountain Patrol: Kekexili
  • La Moustache
  • Mutual Appreciation
  • Night Watch
  • On the Outs
  • Le Petit lieutenant
  • Pinocchio 3000
  • The Road to Guantanamo
  • Romeo and Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss
  • Russian Dolls
  • Shadowboxer
  • Sleeping Dogs Lie
  • Somersault
  • Sophie Scholl – The Final Days
  • Sorry Haters
  • Strangers with Candy
  • Strawberry Shortcake: The Sweet Dreams Movie
  • Three Times
  • Tideland
  • Trinity Blood
  • Tsotsi
  • The Yacoubian Building

Note:  This is different from the list below.  Starting in 1994, I have full lists from Academy press releases of all the eligible films.  But there are a lot of films in each year that weren’t officially eligible for a variety of reasons but were released in what would normally be considered qualifying runs.  So, these are films that were listed on (unlike the list below), but weren’t actually eligible for the Oscars.  I ignore that, of course, and these films are all eligible for the Nighthawks.  But having them on the list helps me know what year they were “eligible” even if they really weren’t.  Bear in mind that some of these films were eligible (and sometimes even nominated) for Best Foreign Film in their original release year, like Sophie Scholl.

Films Not Listed at

  • 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance
  • 9th Company
  • Agnes and His Brothers
  • Ahimsa: Stop to Run
  • Alice
  • American Visa
  • Aurora
  • Be with Me
  • El Benny
  • Blood and Bones
  • Blue Cha Cha
  • Border Cafe
  • Children
  • Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures
  • The Contract
  • Crusade: A March Through Time
  • Dreams
  • En la cama
  • Fine Dead Girls
  • The Forest for the Trees
  • Forever Flows
  • Four-Eyed Monsters
  • Free Zone
  • La Frontera
  • Gatling Gun
  • Hawaii, Oslo
  • I’m Taraneh, 15
  • King and the Clown
  • Kontakt
  • Legend of the Black Scorpion
  • Libertas
  • Love for Share
  • Madeinusa
  • Maroa
  • Monkeys in Winter
  • Nathalie
  • Pucked
  • Story of Pao
  • Swades: We the People
  • Thieves & Liars
  • Tomorrow Morning
  • Viva Cuba
  • The Wedding Chest
  • Welcome to Dongmakgol
  • When the Sea Rises
  • Woman is the Future of Man
  • A Wonderful Night in Split
  • Your Name is Justine

Note:  I used to use the list at for deciding which year films are eligible in before it went apparently defunct.  Thankfully, I copied all the lists while it was still live.  Some films, however, didn’t appear in that database.  For those films, I use the IMDb.  These are the films that weren’t listed in the database but that end up in this year.
As is usually the case, most of these are Foreign films which never got an L.A. release.  The films marked in orange were those that were submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars (not necessarily in this year).

Films Released This Year Originally But Eligible in a Different Year:

  • 12:08 East of Bucharest  (2007)
  • After the Wedding  (2007)
  • As You Like It  (2007)
  • Avenue Montaigne  (2007)
  • Bamako  (2007)
  • Black Book  (2007)
  • Black Sheep  (2007)
  • Blood Tea and Red String  (2007)
  • Brand Upon the Brain  (2007)
  • Bug  (2007)
  • Cashback  (2007)
  • Chronicle of an Escape  (2007)
  • Colma: The Musical  (2007)
  • Comedy of Power  (2007)
  • Dans Paris  (2007)
  • The Exterminating Angels  (2007)
  • Fay Grim  (2007)
  • Flanders  (2007)
  • Golden Door  (2007)
  • Grbvica  (2007)
  • Half Moon  (2007)
  • The Host  (2007)
  • Hula Girls  (2007)
  • The Island  (2007)
  • Lady Chatterley  (2007)
  • Lights in the Dusk  (2007)
  • Macbeth  (2007)
  • Nomad  (2007)
  • Offside  (2007)
  • Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman  (2007)
  • Poison Friends  (2007)
  • Private Fears in Public Places  (2007)
  • Private Property  (2007)
  • Red Road  (2007)
  • Samoan Wedding  (2007)
  • Starter for 10  (2007)
  • Steel City  (2007)
  • Stephanie Daley  (2007)
  • Summer ’04  (2007)
  • Sweet Mud  (2007)
  • Syndromes and a Century  (2007)
  • Ten Canoes  (2007)
  • Them  (2007)
  • Triad Election  (2007)
  • Vitus  (2007)
  • The Way I Spend the End of the World  (2007)
  • White Palms  (2007)
  • Wild Tigers I Have Known  (2007)
  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley  (2007)
  • Alice’s House  (2008)
  • Azur & Asmar: The Prince’s Quest  (2008)
  • Kenny  (2008)
  • Mister Lonely  (2008)
  • OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies  (2008)
  • Priceless  (2008)
  • Reprise  (2008)
  • Still Life  (2008)
  • Summer Palace  (2008)
  • Tell No One  (2008)
  • Times and Winds  (2008)
  • The Witnesses  (2008)
  • Tales from Earthsea  (2010)

Note:  These 49 films average a 65.8.  There are no **** films and no film below ** and none of the ***.5 films have any effect on the Nighthawk Awards in either this year or their eligibility year.