Oh, Josh, that dog was the least of your concerns.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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. No Country for Old Men  **
  2. Atonement  *
  3. Across the Universe
  4. There Will Be Blood  *
  5. Ratatouille
  6. Eastern Promises
  7. Michael Clayton  *
  8. Gone Baby Gone
  9. Juno  *
  10. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  11. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  12. 3:10 to Yuma
  13. Away from Her
  14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
  16. Lust, Caution
  17. I’m Not There
  18. Persepolis
  19. Charlie Wilson’s War
  20. Once

Analysis:  Those are all **** films.  There are also a few more (24 in total), but they will be listed down below in the Drama and Comedy sections.  Both the 24 **** films and the total of 46 **** / ***.5 films are the second most ever, behind only 2005.
The Top 5 and Top 10 are not historically great, but the Top 20 is the fourth best of all-time.  The group from #11 to 20 are tied with 2001 for the second best ever and only one point behind 2005.
With all five Oscar nominees in my Top 9, this is one of only two years with an Oscar Score over 90 (92.1).
No Country has the most Consensus wins and points since 1997.  It is the rare critics darling and Oscar winner, joining Silence of the Lambs and Schindler’s List as movies that won the Oscar after winning at least four critics awards.  There Will Be Blood sets a new points record (415) for a 2nd place finisher at the Consensus Awards (which will only last until 2012).  Atonement, meanwhile, becomes the first film since The Graduate to win the BAFTA and the Globe but nothing else (although The Revenant will also do that in 2015).

  • Best Director
  1. Joel and Ethan Coen  (No Country for Old Men)  **
  2. Joe Wright  (Atonement)
  3. Julie Taymor  (Across the Universe)
  4. Paul Thomas Anderson  (There Will Be Blood)  *
  5. David Cronenberg  (Eastern Promises)
  6. Ben Affleck  (Gone Baby Gone)
  7. Sidney Lumet  (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
  8. Tim Burton  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)  *
  9. Ang Lee  (Lust, Caution)
  10. Paul Greengrass  (The Bourne Ultimatum)
  11. David Fincher  (Zodiac)
  12. Tony Gilroy  (Michael Clayton)  *
  13. James Mangold  (3:10 to Yuma)
  14. Sarah Polley  (Away from Her)
  15. Todd Haynes  (I’m Not There)
  16. David Yates  (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
  17. Mike Nichols  (Charlie Wilson’s War)
  18. Michael Winterbottom  (A Mighty Heart)
  19. Jason Reitman  (Juno)
  20. Christian Mungiu  (4 Months, 3 Weeks and Two Days)

Analysis:  These are the only Nighthawk noms for Julie Taymor and David Cronenberg.  It’s the first nom for Joe Wright.  It’s the third nom for P.T. Anderson.  It’s the sixth nom for the Coens (the first one they technically earn together) and their only directing win.
Anderson finishes third at the Consensus (second was Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly who was my #21 and he manages that because of some festival wins) and he sets a new high for a #3 finish.  But, there is kind of a lack of consensus after the top three spots and Burton, at #4, has the fewest points for a #4 since 1985.  Joe Wright finishes in 6th at the Consensus, with only three points fewer than Gilroy but 15 more points in the raw total

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. No Country for Old Men  **
  2. Atonement  *
  3. There Will Be Blood  *
  4. Away from Her
  5. Gone Baby Gone
  6. Charlie Wilson’s War
  7. A Mighty Heart
  8. Persepolis
  9. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  10. 3:10 to Yuma
  11. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  12. Lust, Caution
  13. I’m Not There
  14. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  *
  15. Stardust
  16. The Bourne Ultimatum
  17. The Namesake
  18. Zodiac
  19. Into the Wild  *
  20. The Kite Runner

Analysis:  I’ve read a remarkable number of these source materials (13), which includes listening to the songs of Bob Dylan that oscars.org listed as the source material for I’m Not There.
P.T. Anderson earns his third writing nom.  The Coens earn their 7th and their second win; they move up to 360 points and into the Top 10.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Ratatouille  *
  2. Juno  **
  3. Across the Universe
  4. Michael Clayton  *
  5. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  6. Eastern Promises
  7. The Darjeeling Limited
  8. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
  9. Once
  10. The Savages  *
  11. Hot Fuzz
  12. Death at a Funeral
  13. Enchanted
  14. The Orphanage
  15. In the Valley of Elah
  16. Fireworks Wednesday
  17. Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman
  18. Lars and the Real Girl  *
  19. 12:08 East of Bucharest
  20. After the Wedding

Analysis:  This is the best Top 5 in six years and in fact is great all the way through the Top 10.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Daniel Day-Lewis  (There Will Be Blood)  **
  2. George Clooney  (Michael Clayton)  *
  3. Viggo Mortenson  (Eastern Promises)  *
  4. Johnny Depp  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)  *
  5. James McAvoy  (Atonement)
  6. Tommy Lee Jones  (In the Valley of Elah)
  7. Russell Crowe  (3:10 to Yuma)
  8. Josh Brolin  (No Country for Old Men)
  9. Tom Hanks  (Charlie Wilson’s War)
  10. Casey Affleck  (Gone Baby Gone)
  11. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (The Savages)
  12. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
  13. Gordon Pinsent  (Away from Her)
  14. Mathieu Amalric  (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
  15. Timothy Spall  (Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman)
  16. Ryan Gosling  (Lars and the Real Girl)  *
  17. Denzel Washington  (American Gangster)
  18. Ethan Hawke  (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
  19. Christian Bale  (3:10 to Yuma)
  20. Frank Langella  (Starting Out in the Evening)

Analysis:  Day-Lewis is the first to earn the highest rating in the category since, well, since Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York.  Because McAvoy and Jones have the same rating, this year earns a perfect 100 Oscar Score, the first in five years and only the fifth in this category.
Day-Lewis always seemed like a shoo-in but he’s actually lower than either of the previous two Consensus winners because he only wins 9 awards (missing out on the BSFC which went to Langella and the NBR which went to Clooney) while Hoffman won 10 and Whitaker won 11.
This is the only Nighthawk nom for James McAvoy, the third for Viggo Mortenson and Johnny Depp and the fifth for George Clooney.  It’s the ninth for Daniel Day-Lewis and his fourth win which moves him up to 445 points and 4th place all-time, passing Claude Rains and Robert De Niro.

  • Best Actress
  1. Marion Cotillard  (La Vie en Rose)  *
  2. Julie Christie  (Away from Her)  **
  3. Keira Knightley  (Atonement)
  4. Ellen Page  (Juno)  *
  5. Angelina Jolie  (A Mighty Heart)  *
  6. Amy Adams  (Enchanted)
  7. Laura Linney  (The Savages)
  8. Naomi Watts  (Eastern Promises)
  9. Anamaria Marinca  (4 Months, 3 Weeks and Two Days)
  10. Cate Blanchett  (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)  *
  11. Helena Bonham-Carter  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
  12. Charlize Theron  (In the Valley of Elah)
  13. Wei Tang  (Lust, Caution)
  14. Nikki Blonsky  (Hairspray)
  15. Evan Rachel Wood  (Across the Universe)
  16. Carice Van Houten  (Black Book)
  17. Martina Gedeck  (Summer ’04)
  18. Dakota Richards  (The Golden Compass)
  19. Bryce Dallas Howard  (As You Like It)
  20. Jodie Foster  (The Brave One)

Analysis:  A fantastic Top 5, tied with 2002 and 2004 for the best of all-time.  It kills me to exclude Adams (and not just because she’s so damn adorable).  That Cate Blanchett earned an Oscar nom and is #10 on my list should say everything that it needs to about how good this Top 10 is.
With Day-Lewis and Cotillard joining Whitaker and Mirren, this is the first time since 1953-54 that I agree with back-to-back winners in Actor and Actress.
Cotillard comes in 2nd at the Consensus Awards with the highest 2nd place total in history (a record she stills holds as of mid 2017).  The awards were pretty well split, with Christie winning three critics awards, SAG, Globe – Drama and the BFCA while Cotillard wins two critics awards, the Oscar, BAFTA and Globe – Comedy.
These are the only Nighthawk noms for Ellen Page and Angelina Jolie.  It’s the first nomination for Marion Cotillard.  It’s the second nom for Keira Knightley.  It’s the third nomination for Julie Christie, 36 years since her second.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Tom Wilkinson  (Michael Clayton)  *
  2. Tommy Lee Jones  (No Country for Old Men)
  3. Javier Bardem  (No Country for Old Men)  **
  4. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (Charlie Wilson’s War)  *
  5. Albert Finney  (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
  6. Casey Affleck  (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)  *
  7. Hal Holbrook  (Into the Wild)  *
  8. J.K. Simmons  (Juno)
  9. Robert Downey, Jr  (Zodiac)
  10. Sydney Pollack  (Michael Clayton)
  11. Max Von Sydow  (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
  12. Vlad Ivanov  (4 Months, 3 Weeks and Two Days)
  13. Armin Mueller-Stahl  (Eastern Promises)
  14. Gary Oldman  (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
  15. Irffan Khan  (The Namesake)
  16. Ben Foster  (3:10 to Yuma)
  17. Joe Anderson  (Across the Universe)
  18. Hamid Farrokhnezhad  (Fireworks Wednesday)
  19. Alan Rickman  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
  20. Paul Schneider  (Lars and the Real Girl)

Analysis:  The best Top 5 in six years and tied for the best since 1997.  I really wouldn’t argue with anyone who chose Jones or Bardem.
While DDL was a weaker winner than the previous two, Bardem wins 8 awards, more than the two previous Consensus winners combined and has the most Consensus points since 1994.
It’s the first Nighthawk nom for Javier Bardem, the second for Tommy Lee Jones, the second for Tom Wilkinson but also his second win, the third for Philip Seymour Hoffman and the fourth for Albert Finney (though his first in 23 years).
The Oscar nom for Casey Affleck and the two below for 3:10 to Yuma were the first nominations for any Western in 13 years.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Cate Blanchett  (I’m Not There)  *
  2. Saoirse Ronan  (Atonement)  *
  3. Tilda Swinton  (Michael Clayton)  *
  4. Romola Garai  (Atonement)
  5. Amy Ryan  (Gone Baby Gone)  **
  6. Marisa Tomei  (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
  7. Kelly MacDonald  (No Country for Old Men)
  8. Vanessa Redgrave  (Atonement)
  9. Olympia Dukakis  (Away from Her)
  10. Imelda Staunton  (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
  11. Ruby Dee  (American Gangster)  *
  12. Archie Panjabi  (A Mighty Heart)
  13. Amy Adams  (Charlie Wilson’s War)
  14. Allison Janney  (Juno)
  15. Samantha Morton  (Control)
  16. Michelle Pfeiffer  (Hairspray)
  17. Pantea Bahram  (Fireworks Wednesday)
  18. Michelle Pfeiffer  (Stardust)
  19. Jennifer Jason Leigh  (Margot at the Wedding)
  20. Emily Mortimer  (Lars and the Real Girl)

Analysis:  For only the fourth time, all four acting categories earn Oscar Scores above 90 (all of them at 92.1 or higher).
These are the only Nighthawk noms for Swinton, Garai and Ryan.  It’s the first nomination for Ronan.  In just 11 years, this is Blanchett’s eighth nomination and fourth win; she’s now up to 385 points and 6th place all-time.

  • Best Editing:
  1. No Country for Old Men
  2. Atonement
  3. The Bourne Ultimatum
  4. Across the Universe
  5. There Will Be Blood
  6. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  7. Eastern Promises
  8. Michael Clayton
  9. Away from Her
  10. Ratatouille
  11. Gone Baby Gone
  12. 3:10 to Yuma
  13. Juno
  14. The Darjeeling Limited
  15. Persepolis
  16. I’m Not There
  17. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  18. A Mighty Heart
  19. In the Valley of Elah
  20. Lust, Caution

Analysis:  The other two Oscar nominees, Into the Wild and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, are just outside my Top 20 but are on my list.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. There Will Be Blood  **
  2. Atonement  *
  3. No Country for Old Men  *
  4. Zodiac
  5. Eastern Promises
  6. Gone Baby Gone
  7. The Bourne Ultimatum
  8. Lust, Caution
  9. Across the Universe
  10. 3:10 to Yuma
  11. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  *
  12. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  13. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford  *
  14. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  15. Michael Clayton
  16. The Darjeeling Limited
  17. Into the Wild
  18. Black Book
  19. The Orphanage
  20. American Gangster

Analysis:  With an Oscar Score of 95.1, the Oscars did great here, the second highest score since the black-and-white and color divides were done away with.
Robert Elswit earns his third Nighthawk nom and his first win.  Roger Deakins, again working with the Coens, earns his eight nom and moves up t0 200 points and into a tie for 4th place.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Atonement
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  3. Ratatouille
  4. There Will Be Blood
  5. 3:10 to Yuma
  6. Stardust
  7. The Kite Runner
  8. Michael Clayton
  9. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  10. Blood Tea and Red String
  11. Lust, Caution
  12. No Country for Old Men
  13. The Golden Compass

Analysis:  Michael Giacchino earns his first Nighthawk nom for Ratatouille.  There Will Be Blood was widely expected to earn an Oscar nomination until it was announced that it wouldn’t be eligible because there wasn’t enough original music in the film.  I have no such rules.

  • Best Sound:
  1. The Bourne Ultimatum
  2. No Country for Old Men
  3. There Will Be Blood
  4. Atonement
  5. Across the Universe
  6. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  7. 3:10 to Yuma
  8. Zodiac
  9. Ratatouille
  10. The Golden Compass
  11. Eastern Promises
  12. I’m Not There
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  14. Gone Baby Gone
  15. La Vie en Rose
  16. American Gangster
  17. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  18. I Am Legend
  19. Stardust
  20. Rescue Dawn

Analysis:  The fifth Oscar nominee was Transformers which just assaulted you with sound and I can’t understand how it was nominated.  With the Oscars love of Musicals in this category (three Oscars in the previous five years), it’s a bit strange that they passed over both Across the Universe and Sweeney Todd.  3:10 to Yuma was the first Western to earn a nomination in this category in 15 years.

  • Best Art Direction:
  1. Atonement
  2. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  3. There Will Be Blood
  4. The Golden Compass
  5. Across the Universe
  6. Stardust
  7. Zodiac
  8. La Vie en Rose
  9. Enchanted
  10. Lust, Caution
  11. The Darjeeling Limited
  12. Eastern Promises
  13. American Gangster
  14. Elizabeth: The Golden Age
  15. No Country for Old Men
  16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  17. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  18. Michael Clayton
  19. Blood Tea and Red String
  20. Gone Baby Gone

Analysis:  A fantastic Oscar Score of 97.4 but also just a great Top 5.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  2. The Golden Compass
  3. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  4. Stardust
  5. The Bourne Ultimatum
  6. The Host
  7. Transformers
  8. Spider-Man 3
  9. Across the Universe
  10. Sunshine
  11. I Am Legend

Analysis:  Harry Potter is the first winner in this category not to earn my highest rating since 1998.  It’s also the weakest Top 5 in four years and tied for the weakest since 2000.
The semi-finalists are in green.  Evan Almighty and 300, which don’t even make my list were both semi-finalists while Harry Potter wasn’t and Stardust wasn’t even listed on the eligible list.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. The Bourne Ultimatum
  2. No Country for Old Men
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  4. 3:10 to Yuma
  5. There Will Be Blood
  6. Ratatouille
  7. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  8. Stardust
  9. The Golden Compass
  10. Transformers
  11. The Host
  12. I Am Legend
  13. Spider-Man 3
  14. Atonement
  15. Across the Universe
  16. Rescue Dawn

Analysis:  No Country is the weakest #2 in this category since 2000.  But the Oscar Score is a strong 88.9, the highest in eight years.
With Bourne winning the Oscar and the Nighthawk, this is the start of the longest streak in this category’s history (and one of the longest in any category): seven straight years of agreements in this category.

  • Best Costume Design:
  1. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  2. Atonement
  3. Elizabeth: The Golden Age
  4. There Will Be Blood
  5. Stardust
  6. La Vie en Rose
  7. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  8. As You Like It
  9. Moliere
  10. Lust, Caution
  11. Across the Universe
  12. The Golden Compass
  13. Enchanted
  14. 3:10 to Yuma
  15. Goya’s Ghosts
  16. American Gangster
  17. Black Book
  18. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  19. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  20. Amazing Grace

Analysis:  Sweeney Todd is the first winner in this category not to earn my highest rating since 1991.  This is also the weakest Top 5 in six years.  Another high Oscar Score, with a score of 89.2, the highest in five years.

  • Best Makeup
  1. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
  3. Stardust
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  5. La Vie en Rose
  6. No Country for Old Men
  7. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  8. The Golden Compass
  9. There Will Be Blood
  10. Across the Universe
  11. I Am Legend
  12. Hot Fuzz
  13. Goya’s Ghosts
  14. Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Analysis:  The semi-finalists are in green.  Just remember that the Academy nominated Norbit‘s fatsuit in this category rather than Sweeney Todd.  Harry Potter and Stardust weren’t even semi-finalists.  Just embarrassing for the Academy.

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Falling Slowly”  (Once)
  2. Le Festin”  (Ratatouille)
  3. Walk Hard”  (Walk Hard)
  4. Rise”  (Into the Wild)
  5. Happy Working Song”  (Enchanted)
  6. Hoist the Colours”  (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End)
  7. Let’s Duet”  (Walk Hard)
  8. Guilty as Charged”  (Walk Hard)
  9. Beautiful Ride”  (Walk Hard)
  10. That’s How You Know”  (Enchanted)
  11. Rule the World”  (Stardust)
  12. Guaranteed”  (Into the Wild)
  13. If You Want Me”  (Once)
  14. Society”  (Into the Wild)
  15. So Close”  (Enchanted)

Analysis:  Oscars.org, when it existed, listed songs from different films.  It listed 59 songs from 38 different films.  I have seen 25 of those films accounting for 38 songs.  “Hoist the Colours” and “Guilty as Charged” weren’t on the oscars.org list.
“Le Festin” is the first #2 in this category since 2003 (and the last until 2016) to earn my highest rating.  The top two songs are both amazingly beautiful and both work perfectly in their films (“Le Festin” has the great montage when things start going well as well as being used again at the end).  This is also the best Top 5 in four years and the best between 2003 and 2016.

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. Ratatouille  **
  2. Persepolis  *
  3. Blood Tea and Red String

Analysis:  Ratatouille is the second best winner to-date behind only Spirited Away.  Persepolis is the 2nd best 2nd place to-date behind only Corpse Bride.
Brad Bird becomes the first Pixar director win two Nighthawks (and the first director at all to win two Oscars).
This is the first of a streak of four straight wins for Pixar, both at the Nighthawks and at the Oscars.
For much more on everything about this category go here.

  • Best Foreign Film:
  1. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days  **
  2. Lust, Caution  *
  3. Persepolis
  4. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  *
  5. The Orphanage
  6. Fireworks Wednesday
  7. The Kite Runner

note:  Films in orange were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.  Films in green were semi-finalists (none this year).
Analysis:  The Academy chunks it, with none of the submitted films on my list even making the semi-finalists.  The failure of 4 Months to even make the semis is regarded by some as one of the reasons that the process was re-defined (especially since it shatters the record for Consensus points for a film that was submitted but not nominated).  4 Months has the most Consensus points since 2001.  This year earns an Oscar Score of 0 for the first time in 15 years and only the fourth time ever.  The actual Oscar winner, The Counterfeiters, is my #31, which is the worst finish for a winner since 1992, yet way better than what will happen in 2008.  The best of the Oscar nominees, Mongol, just misses out on my list.
Romania earns its only Nighthawk nom (and win).  Taiwan earns its fifth nom (all from Ang Lee).  France ups its streak of consecutive nominations to 10 years (and once again earns multiple noms).
Of the directors, only Ang Lee has been nominated before or since (though future multiple winner Asghar Farhadi finishes in 6th), earning his 5th nom and moving up to 120 points and into a tie for 11th place, appropriately tied with Fritz Lang, the only other director with this many points to make as many English language films as Lee.
Both the Top 5 and Top 10 are better than each of the last two years (even though the year before had nine films listed and this year only has seven).

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.

  • No Country for Old Men  (445)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Atonement   (440)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • There Will Be Blood  (380)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Costume Design
  • Ratatouille  (205)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Original Score, Original Song, Animated Film
  • Across the Universe  (200)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Sound, Art Direction
  • Michael Clayton  (165)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Bourne Ultimatum  (125)
    • Editing, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Eastern Promises  (105)
    • Director, Actor, Cinematography
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street  (105)
    • Actor, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  (95)
    • Original Score, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • La Vie en Rose  (80)
    • Actress, Makeup
  • Away from Her  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress
  • Juno  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Gone Baby Gone  (70)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead  (70)
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • I’m Not There  (60)
    • Supporting Actress
  • 3:10 to Yuma  (45)
    • Sound, Sound Editing
  • Stardust  (45)
    • Visual Effects, Costume Design, Makeup
  • The Golden Compass  (40)
    • Art Direction, Visual Effects
  • Persepolis  (40)
    • Animated Film, Foreign Film
  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days  (40)
    • Foreign Film
  • A Mighty Heart  (35)
    • Actress
  • Charlie Wilson’s War  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End  (30)
    • Visual Effects, Makeup
  • Zodiac  (25)
    • Cinematography
  • Once  (20)
    • Original Song
  • Blood Tea and Red String  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Black Book  (20)
    • Foreign Film (2006)
  • Lust, Caution  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • The Orphanage  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Into the Wild  (10)
    • Original Song
  • Enchanted  (10)
    • Original Song
  • Walk Hard  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  A rare year in that only one film has more than two wins but five different films have two wins.  The winners, as a whole, are the weakest since 1998.  Yet, the winners, as a whole, are stronger than the next five years.  Overall, the acting categories are the best since 2002 and there hasn’t been a better once since (through 2016).

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • The Darjeeling Limited

Analysis:  My #21 film and a **** film, the only one not to earn at least one Nighthawk nom.  One of my 100 Favorite Films of all-time but can’t crack the Top 5 anywhere.

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

  • Hot Fuzz
  • Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman
  • American Gangster
  • Death at a Funeral
  • The Namesake

note:  All of these films earn at least one Top 20 finish (all but Death at a Funeral earn at least two) and American Gangster has six, but none of them manage to break into the Top 10 anywhere.

***.5 Films That Earn No Top 20 Finishes:

  • This is England
  • Black Friday

note:  This is a rarity.  Not because of This is England – there have been films before not to earn Top 20 finishes.  But for Black Friday, a Foreign film not to earn a Top 20 means it came from a year that was stacked with solid Foreign films; indeed, it was originally released in 2004 and it finished in 21st in Best Foreign Film.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • American Gangster

Analysis:  Its 18 nominations landed it in the Top 10 for the year but its 538 points was only good for 11th.  That’s a reflection of a lack of major noms and a lack of wins (only one – SAG for Supporting Actress).  It finishes in the Top 10 in points at the BAFTAs, Globes and Guilds.  It does land in my Top 20 six times but never finishes higher than 11th.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Drama:

  • Best Picture
  1. No Country for Old Men
  2. Atonement
  3. There Will Be Blood
  4. Eastern Promises
  5. Michael Clayton

Analysis:  Eastern Promises is the weakest #4 film since 2000.
Don’t think that just because all those titles are in blue or red that I fully agreed with the Globes.  They also nominated American Gangster (my #23 among Dramas) and The Great Debaters (my #79 among Dramas).
The other **** Dramas, in order, are: Gone Baby Gone, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, 3:10 to Yuma, Away from Her, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Lust Caution, Persepolis, A Mighty Heart, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and The Bourne Ultimatum.  The ***.5 Dramas, in order, are: In the Valley of Elah, Zodiac, Stardust, Black Book, The Orphanage, Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman, American Gangster, Fireworks Wednesday, Into the Wild, The Kite Runner, The Golden Compass, This is England, The Namesake, Blood Tea and Red String, The Host and Black Friday.

  • Best Director
  1. Joel and Ethan Coen  (No Country for Old Men)
  2. Joe Wright  (Atonement)
  3. Paul Thomas Anderson  (There Will Be Blood)
  4. David Cronenberg  (Eastern Promises)
  5. Ben Affleck  (Gone Baby Gone)

Analysis:  Surprisingly enough, the weakest Top 5 in seven years.
This is the only Drama nom for David Cronenberg, who just barely missed out in 2005.  It’s the first nom each for Ben Affleck and Joe Wright.  It’s the third nom for Anderson and the fourth for the Coens (who have been much more successful in Comedy).

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. No Country for Old Men
  2. Atonement
  3. There Will Be Blood
  4. Away from Her
  5. Gone Baby Gone

Analysis:  P.T. Anderson earns his third Drama writing nom.  The Coens earn only their fourth Drama writing noms, but it’s their third win.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Michael Clayton
  2. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
  3. Eastern Promises
  4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
  5. The Orphanage
  • Best Actor:
  1. Daniel Day-Lewis  (There Will Be Blood)
  2. George Clooney  (Michael Clayton)
  3. Viggo Mortenson  (Eastern Promises)
  4. James McAvoy  (Atonement)
  5. Tommy Lee Jones  (In the Valley of Elah)

Analysis:  This is the only Drama nomination for McAvoy, the second for Jones (the third is below), the second for Clooney, the third for Mortenson.  It’s the 11th for Day-Lewis and coupled with his four wins he moves up to 515 points and passes Jack Nicholson and Humphrey Bogart and moves into 1st place all-time.

  • Best Actress
  1. Julie Christie  (Away from Her)
  2. Keira Knightley  (Atonement)
  3. Angelina Jolie  (A Mighty Heart)
  4. Naomi Watts  (Eastern Promises)
  5. Anamaria Marinca  (4 Months, 3 Weeks and Two Days)

Analysis:  The best Top 5 in five years and tied with several other years for the second best of all-time (behind 1950).
These are the only Drama noms for Jolie and Marinca, the first for Knightley, the fourth for Christie and the fifth for Watts (also her third in a row).

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Tom Wilkinson  (Michael Clayton)
  2. Tommy Lee Jones  (No Country for Old Men)
  3. Javier Bardem  (No Country for Old Men)
  4. Albert Finney  (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)
  5. Casey Affleck  (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)

Analysis:  The best Top 5 since 1997 and there hasn’t been a better once since (through 2016).
This is the first Drama nomination for Bardem and Affleck, the second for Wilkinson, the third for Jones (the second is above) and the third for Finney.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Saoirse Ronan  (Atonement)
  2. Tilda Swinton  (Michael Clayton)
  3. Romola Garai  (Atonement)
  4. Amy Ryan  (Gone Baby Gone)
  5. Marisa Tomei  (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)

Analysis:  This is the first Drama nom for Ronan and the only ones for Swinton, Garai and Ryan.  It’s the second nom for Tomei.

  • No Country for Old Men  (330)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Atonement  (295)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Michael Clayton  (255)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • There Will Be Blood  (205)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Eastern Promises  (205)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Gone Baby Gone  (115)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • Away from Her  (110)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress
  • Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead  (100)
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress
  • The Orphanage  (65)
    • Original Screenplay
  • In the Valley of Elah  (45)
    • Actor
  • A Mighty Heart  (35)
    • Actress
  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  Five fewer films than the year before, with only one film nominated for just its writing as opposed to four.  The four acting categories, as a whole, are the strongest of all-time, just beating out 1993.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • 3:10 to Yuma

Analysis:  My #12 film and my #8 Drama.  It comes closest in Actor, where it finishes in 6th.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. Across the Universe
  2. Ratatouille
  3. Juno
  4. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  5. I’m Not There

Analysis:  The Top 5 just squeaks into the all-time Top 10 list.  This is the only year between 2003 and 2013 to have **** films that don’t make the Top 5.  There are three such **** films: Charlie Wilson’s War, Once and The Darjeeling Limited.  The ***.5 films, in order, are: As You Like It, The Savages, Hot Fuzz, Enchanted, Death at a Funeral and 12:08 East of Bucharest.

  • Best Director
  1. Julie Taymor  (Across the Universe)
  2. Tim Burton  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
  3. Todd Haynes  (I’m Not There)
  4. Mike Nichols  (Charlie Wilson’s War)
  5. Jason Reitman  (Juno)

Analysis:  While the Drama Top 5 was the weakest in several years, this is the best Top 5 between 2001 and 2013.
These are the only Comedy noms for Taymor and Haynes.  It’s the first for Reitman but he will quickly earn two more.  It’s the fourth for Nichols, though his first since 1971.  It’s the sixth nom for Tim Burton and he moves into a tie for 6th place all-time with 360 points.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Charlie Wilson’s War
  2. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  3. I’m Not There
  4. As You Like It

Analysis:  Obviously a weak year, but a diverse year, with a non-fiction book, a Sondheim musical, the songs of Bob Dylan and a Shakespeare play transported to Japan.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Ratatouille
  2. Juno
  3. Across the Universe
  4. The Darjeeling Limited
  5. Once

Analysis:  Tied with 1994 and 1998 for the best Top 5 to-date (which will be beaten in 2013).
Wes Anderson earns his third Comedy writing nom.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Johnny Depp  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
  2. Tom Hanks  (Charlie Wilson’s War)
  3. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (The Savages)
  4. Ryan Gosling  (Lars and the Real Girl)
  5. Jim Sturgiss  (Across the Universe)

Analysis:  Sturgiss makes the Top 5 here without making my Top 20 above but his co-star, Evan Rachel Wood, who was in 15th place above can’t make the Top 5 here because Actor is a much weaker category.
This is the only Comedy nom for Jim Sturgiss, the first for Ryan Gosling, the third for Hoffman (his fourth is below), the fourth for Hanks (the first in 13 years) and the sixth for Depp (and his second win).  Depp moves up to 280 points and into the Top 10 all-time.

  • Best Actress
  1. Marion Cotillard  (La Vie en Rose)
  2. Ellen Page  (Juno)
  3. Amy Adams  (Enchanted)
  4. Laura Linney  (The Savages)
  5. Helena Bonham-Carter  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)

Analysis:  These five are all in the Top 11.  The other three acting categories require the Top 16 or further to get five performances.
This Top 5 crushes any previous Top 5; no other year in film history is within five points of this Top 5.  This is the only Top 5 in Actress – Comedy that would be a perfectly strong Top 5 in the regular awards.
This is the only Comedy nom for Page and Bonham-Carter, the first for Cotillard and Adams (the second for Adams is below) and the second for Linney.
I’d have to go through to check which I won’t but I think this might be the first year that I have agreed with the four main Globe acting choices.
Yes, Linney managed an Oscar nom but actually missed out on a Globe nom (Nikki Blonsky, who is my #6 for Hairspray, was nominated instead).

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Philip Seymour Hoffman  (Charlie Wilson’s War)
  2. J.K. Simmons  (Juno)
  3. Joe Anderson  (Across the Universe)
  4. Alan Rickman  (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
  5. Paul Schneider  (Lars and the Real Girl)

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1993.
This is the only Comedy nomination for J.K. Simmons, Joe Anderson and Paul Schneider, the third for Alan Rickman and the fourth for Hoffman (his third is above), including his second win.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Cate Blanchett  (I’m Not There)
  2. Amy Adams  (Charlie Wilson’s War)
  3. Allison Janney  (Juno)
  4. Samantha Morton  (Control)
  5. Michelle Pfeiffer  (Hairspray)

Analysis:  Blanchett is #1 for the year and Adams is #13.  Everyone else between them was from a Drama.  Blanchett is the best winner in this category in five years.
This is the only Comedy nom for Janney, the second for Adams (the first is above), the second for Morton, the third for Blanchett and the fifth for Pfeiffer.

  • Across the Universe  (295)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street  (270)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Charlie Wilson’s War  (250)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Juno  (230)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • I’m Not There  (195)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • Ratatouille  (130)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay
  • The Savages  (70)
    • Actor, Actress
  • La Vie en Rose  (70)
    • Actress
  • Lars and the Real Girl  (65)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor
  • As You Like It  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Darjeeling Limited  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Once  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Enchanted  (35)
    • Actress
  • Control  (30)
    • Supporting Actress
  • Hairspray  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Analysis:  A comeback from the year before, with the acting, as a whole, better than the previous two years and much stronger than the weak five years to come.  The Comedy categories, as a whole, are the best between 2001 and 2013.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Hot Fuzz

Analysis:  My #31 film and my #11 Comedy, it comes closest in Original Screenplay.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  256

By Stars:

  • ****:  24
  • ***.5:  22
  • ***:  121
  • **.5:  39
  • **:  28
  • *.5:  8
  • *:  6
  • .5:  7
  • 0:  1
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  62.70

Analysis:  The average changes little, going up less than half a point.  That’s because this year has a slightly higher percentage of films at the top, but also a slightly higher percentage of films at the bottom as well.  This year has 65.23% of its films at *** or better, which won’t be matched again until 2014 and is almost three points higher than the year before, but the difference is more than made up for in **.5 films, so there is still a higher percentage at the bottom, evening things out.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  The second best year ever, only the second in which all five films are **** and the fifth Top 10 finish in seven years as the Academy continues to do mostly right.  And, unlike the #1 (2002) and #3 (1994) years, this year, the win goes to the best film.  How good is this year?  The average nominee is a 95.  There are 14 years in which no nominee is that good, most recently 1988 and 1982.  But this year is also the only one in the Top 13 without a single Top 50 film, with No Country topping out at #57.  On the other hand, they are all in the Top 201 and there are six years in which no film reaches the Top 201.  In fact, the only other years to even have four Top 200 films in the five nominee BP era are 1973, 2002 and 2003.

The Winners:  These are strong winners (coupled with strong nominees below).  The average winner ranks at 3.25 among all films, the best in four years and second best since 1991.  The Tech categories, at 2.11, are the second best since 1993.  Only two winners, Makeup and Foreign Film, rank outside the Top 3 and only Foreign Film fails to earn a Nighthawk nom (but, down at #31, it brings down the rest).  The 11 winners that the Nighthawks agree with are the highest in four years and second highest since 1991.  Among the nominees, the average winner ranks at 1.60, again the best in four years and second best since 1991.  Only Supporting Actress, Costume Design and Foreign Film don’t go to the best or second best choice among the nominees.  It’s also only the second time since 1991 that no category awarded the weakest nominee.

The Nominees:  Across the board, they are fantastic.  The major categories earn an 85.4, the fourth highest to-date, with Picture earning over 90 for only the second time ever.  All of the acting categories earn scores above 90 for only the fourth time and the total acting score of 94.7 is the highest since 1972 and second highest to-date.  The Tech categories are extremely strong, with a total score of 85.6, the second highest to-date.  In fact, the only categories at all that fail to earn at least a 77 are Makeup (59.1), Original Song (59.0) and the disaster of Foreign Film (0).  The overall score of 84.5 is the third highest to-date.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  As could probably be expected from the high quality of the Comedies listed above and that three of my Top 5 were nominated at the Globes, this is a fantastic year at the Globes just like it was at the Oscars.  It’s the third best year ever and the second best to-date, behind only 1996.  Perhaps the biggest surprise was that Sweeney Todd won the Globe yet Juno, which lost, would go on to earn an Oscar nom.  That would be only the eighth time in history that had happened, though the second year in a row (Dreamgirls won the Globe but Little Miss Sunshine earned the Oscar nom).  In fact, it had happened as many times from 1996 to 2007 as it had happened in all the years before that (four), though it hasn’t happened since 2007 (and is unlikely to happen again given the Oscar changes).  But both those films were **** films and deserved to be there as did Across the Universe.  Charlie Wilson’s War was my #6 and is another **** film.  The only outlier is Hairspray, but even that is a high *** (the highest Comedy / Musical outside my list) and is my #15.  Yes, there were other films they could have gone with including The Savages (nominated for Actor), Enchanted (nominated for Actress) or Once.  But given how far and away this year is better than the year before it (the average nominee earns an 89, the highest to-date and only the third time to-date it’s reached **** level while the year before it had no film higher than an 85) and the two terrible years soon to come (2009 and 2010 will both be in the bottom 10 ever), I can’t really complain.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  No Country for Old Men  (reviewed here)

2  –  Atonement  (reviewed here and here)

3  –  Across the Universe  (reviewed here and here)

4  –  There Will Be Blood  (reviewed here)

5  –  Ratatouille  (reviewed here)

The Razzies:  They got it right and wrong.  They got it wrong because they didn’t nominate Captivity, the worst film of the year (or Epic Movie, the second worst).  Yet, they saw those films, because they nominated both in other categories.  Yet, they also got it so right.  The five nominees are my 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th worst films of the year (the winner being my 3rd).  The other film they missed (my 7th worst) is a shitty Disney Channel version of The Prince and the Pauper that oscars.org used to list, which means it got an LA theatrical release in spite of what you may see on the IMDb.  But kudos to the Razzies for nominating I Know Who Killed Me, Norbit, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Daddy Day Camp and Bratz, which average a 5.2 and that might be the lowest average yet for the Razzie nominees.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Captivity
  2. Epic Movie
  3. I Know Who Killed Me
  4. Norbit
  5. I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

note:  Three Comedies in the bottom 5 is a really bad sign but shitty parodies, Eddie Murphy movies and Adam Sandler movies are a sign of the times.
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: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem, The Brothers Solomon, Delta Farce, Fred Claus, Good Luck Chuck, Halloween, Hannibal Rising, The Heartbreak Kid, The Hills Have Eyes 2, The Hitcher, The Hottest State, The Nanny Diaries, The Number 23, Primeval, Reno 911!: Miami, Resident Evil: Extinction, Saw IV, Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls, Underdog, Wild Hogs.

I am not a believer that torture porn is a better choice than actual porn.

Captivity  (dir. Roland Joffe)

I have a phrase that Veronica is used to by now: generic blonde.  There seems to be a belief in Hollywood (and in the porn industry) that every blonde is good-looking, no matter how fake and platinum the hair and no matter how good looking she actually is.  Talent seems to be irrelevant.  Except that talent is not irrelevant, which is why the actual really hot blondes who have cropped up in Hollywood from time to time (Miriam Hopkins, Grace Kelly, Michelle Pfeiffer, Naomi Watts, Michelle Williams, Elle Fanning) tend to actually be really talented as well.  You can’t just take any blonde and assume she can be a star.  Case in point, of course, is Elisha Cuthbert.  She rose to prominence in 24, a show I never watched and then rose higher by being the supposedly desirable hot girl in The Girl Next Door, a movie I never saw.  The ironic thing in that film is that she was playing a porn actress but doesn’t actually show any nudity (there is a body double for a brief scene).  The reason that’s ironic is because making a porn film would have actually been a better choice in every way than making Captivity.

Because, after all, Captivity is a porn film.  It’s just that it’s torture porn instead of actual porn.  In other words, she was willing to show herself being kidnapped and pushed to the point of utter depravity but not show any skin.  Now, this is not an argument that an actress should have to be nude.  Naomi Watts has done nude scenes coupled with great acting (Mulholland Drive, 21 Grams) and Michelle Pfeiffer has never done any and both are great actresses.  But Cuthbert’s decision to push sex away and indulge in ridiculous amounts of violence speaks to something that bothers me about what people desire to watch on-screen.  Because, quite frankly, I think it’s far more civilized to watch sex on screen than the kind of violence and depravity that tries to pass itself as a film here.

I think it’s pretty clear that I have no use for torture porn.  And there’s no other way to discuss this pathetic film, one which was directed by a man, who, in 1984, made one of the greatest debut films in the history of motion pictures: The Killing Fields.  A famous model is hunted, kidnapped, tortured (including being in a glass case filling up with sand), has sex with a man she thinks is a fellow captive (he’s not) and then is eventually able to escape.  What is the point?  And yet, the film doesn’t even begin with her.  It begins with an unknown male having blood pumped out and battery acid pumped in.  That was supposed to be Cuthbert’s revenge on her captor but audiences didn’t like it, so rather than drop the senseless appallingly violent scene, they tacked it on the front of the film with no explanation.  Which makes sense, because nothing in the film really has an explanation, or anything like directing, writing, acting or editing.  This isn’t the first film I will describe as having been edited in a Cuisinart but it might be the most apt, given the content.

I never dismiss entire genres outright even if I am not a fan of the genre as a whole and I dislike doing so for even subgenres.  Splatter films, when made by directors like Peter Jackson (Dead Alive) or Sam Raimi (Evil Dead II) can have fascinating direction and a sense of humor.  But, going back even to the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I have always failed to understand the fascination people have for watching other people get carved up.  If Cuthbert’s argument against appearing naked on screen is because she doesn’t want to be disempowered (and I’m not saying that it is – I’m saying I don’t give a shit to find out), then she still would have been better off actually making a porn film.  Yes, she eventually frees herself in this film, but by then, who cares?  People didn’t watch it for that – it was to watch her powerless, waiting for her to either die or be cruelly abused.  I watched this film because its director was once an Oscar nominee.  If you’ve seen it, I’m not sure I want to know why.

Points:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  Atonement  (13)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  No Country for Old Men  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  No Country for Old Men  (445)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Elizabeth: The Golden Age
  • 2nd Place Award:  Atonement  (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Costume Design)
  • 6th Place Award:  Eastern Promises  (Picture, Original Screenplay)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  Atonement  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  No Country for Old Men  (3)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  No Country for Old Men  (330)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street / Juno  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  Across the Universe / Charlie Wilson’s War  (2)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  Across the Universe  (295)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Control

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:  113 (63)  –  Atonement  (65.2)
  • Foreign:  98  –  4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days  (67.0)
  • Comedy:  44 (11)  –  Juno  (55.9)
  • Musical:  18 (7)  –  Across the Universe  (70.5)
  • Kids:  15 (1)  –  Ratatouille  (56.7)
  • Horror:  15 (4)  –  The Orphanage  (50.5)
  • Crime:  12 (5)  –  No Country for Old Men  (71.9)
  • Action:  11 (1)  –  The Bourne Ultimatum  (50.7)
  • Fantasy:  8 (1)  –  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  (70.3)
  • Suspense:  5 (1)  –  Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead  (73.6)
  • Mystery:  4  –  Gone Baby Gone  (73.3)
  • War:  3 (1)  –  Black Book  (76)
  • Adventure:  3 (2)  –  Ten Canoes  (62.7)
  • Sci-Fi:  3 (1)  –  Sunshine  (47.3)
  • Western:  2  –  3:10 to Yuma  (73)

Analysis:  The 98 Foreign films is tied for the 2nd most.  The 11 Action films is tied with several years for the 2nd most to-date.  The 113 Dramas are way down from the year before but still the 3rd highest to-date.  The 15 Horror films are tied for the most since 1990 and there hasn’t been a year with more since (through 2016); the score of 50.5 is also the highest in six years and second highest in 11 years.  The 18 Musicals are the most since 1980 and tied for the most since 1944; the 70.5 score is also the highest post-2001.  The Comedies are the worst in seven years, though several points above what 2008 will be.  With its 15 films, Kids moves into 6th place in total films (436), passing Suspense; as recently as 1995 it was in 11th.
Crime wins its 8th Nighthawk Award and wins back-to-back for the first time since 1932-33.  For the first time in 10 years, Crime has two Top 10 films.  Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is the first Top 10 Suspense film in nine years.  For the first time in 10 years, no Foreign film is in the Top 10.  For the first time in six years, no Action film makes the Top 20.  There are 4 Musicals in the Top 20 for the first time and it marks only the fourth time since 1961 that a genre other than Drama or Comedy has 4 Top 20 films.  3:10 to Yuma becomes the first Top 20 Western since 1992.

Studio Note:  With the Weinsteins gone, Miramax still manages to win its second Nighthawk and is the only studio with more than one Top 10 film (No Country, Gone Baby Gone).  No studio manages more than two Top 20 films.  Warner Bros leads the way with 18 films, followed by IFC (17), Paramount (16) and Fox / Fox Searchlight (15).  For some reason, MGM bounces back a little, with 8 films, the most I’ve seen from them since 1991.
Most of the majors are mired in mediocrity, with average scores ranging from 57.4 to 63.5 with the exception of crappy Columbia (52.2) and solid Disney (72.4).  With 32% of the films, the majors account for more than 30% for the last time until 2015.

86 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, three asteriskes were nominated, four asterisks won the Oscar):

  • 12  (Mikhalkov, Russia)  ***
  • 881  (Tan, Singapore)  *
  • 2 Days in Paris  (Delpy, France)
  • 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days  (Mungiu, Romania)  *
  • 5 Centimeters per Second  (Shinkai, Japan)
  • Aaja Nachle  (Mehta, India)
  • Adrift in Tokyo  (Miki, Japan)
  • Alexandra  (Sokurov, Russia)
  • The Band’s Visit  (Kolirin, Israel)
  • Beaufort  (Cedar, Israel)  ***
  • Belle toujours  (de Oliveira, Portugal)  *
  • Ben X  (Balthazar, Belgium)  *
  • Boarding Gate  (Assayas, France)
  • The Boss of It All  (von Trier, Denmark)
  • Caramel  (Labaki, Lebanon)  *
  • Caucasia  (Gumbatov, Azerbaijan)  *
  • Chak De India!  (Amin, India)
  • The Class  (Raag, Estonia)  *
  • The Counterfeiters  (Ruzowitsky, Austria)  ****
  • Days of Darkness  (Arcand, Canada)  **
  • Denias, Singing on the Cloud  (De Rantau, Indonesia)  *
  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly  (Schnabel, France)
  • Drama/Mex  (Naranjo, Mexico)
  • The Duchess of Langeais  (Rivette, France)
  • The Edge of Heaven  (Akin, Germany)  *
  • Eduart  (Antoniou, Greece)  *
  • Eklavya – The Royal Guard  (Chopra, India)  *
  • Exiled  (To, Hong Kong)  *
  • Fireworks Wednesday  (Farhadi, Iran)
  • Flight of the Red Balloon  (Hou, France)
  • La France  (Bozon, France)
  • Heartbeat Detector  (Klotz, France)
  • The Home Song Stories  (Ayres, Australia)  *
  • I Just Didn’t Do It  (Suo, Japan)  *
  • I Served the King of England  (Menzel, Czech Republic)  *
  • Island Etude  (Huai-En, Taiwan)  *
  • It’s Hard to Be Nice  (Vuletic, Bosnia)  *
  • Jani Gal  (Rostami, Iraq)  *
  • Johnny Gaddaar  (Raghavan, India)
  • Katyn  (Wajda, Poland)  ***
  • King of Fire  (Yukol, Thailand)  *
  • Kings  (Collins, Ireland)  *
  • The Kite Runner  (Forster, USA)
  • Late Bloomers  (Oberli, Switzerland)  *
  • Little Moth  (Peng, China)
  • Little Secrets  (Cruchten, Luxembourg)  *
  • Los Andes no creen en Dios  (Eguino, Bolivia)  *
  • Love Sickness  (Ruiz, Puerto Rico)  *
  • Lust, Caution  (Lee, Taiwan)
  • M for Mother  (Mollagholipour, Iran)  *
  • Moliere  (Tirard, France)
  • Mongol  (Bodrov, Kazakhstan)  ***
  • Mother of Tears  (Argento, Italy)
  • Munyurangabo  (Chung, Rwanda)
  • My Brother is an Only Child  (Luchetti, Italy)
  • Om Shanti Om  (Khan, India)
  • On the Wings of Dreams  (Biplob, Bangladesh)  *
  • The Orphanage  (Bayona, Spain)  *
  • Paris Je T’Aime  (Tykwer, France)
  • Persepolis  (Paronnaud / Satrapi)  *
  • The Pope’s Toilet  (Fernandez, Uruguay)  *
  • Roman de Gare  (Lelouch, France)
  • The Romance of Astrea and Celadon  (Rohmer, France)
  • The Russian Triangle  (Tsabadze, Georgia)  *
  • Saawariya  (Bhansali, India)
  • Satanas  (Baiz, Colombia)  *
  • The Secret of the Grain  (Kechiche, France)
  • Secret Sunshine  (Lee, South Korea)  *
  • Shadows  (Manchevski, Macedonia)  *
  • Silent Light  (Reygadas, Mexico)  *
  • The Silly Age  (Giroud, Cuba)  *
  • Sukiyaki Western Django  (Miike, Japan)
  • Takva: A Man’s Fear of God  (Kiziltan, Turkey)  *
  • Taxidermia  (Palfi, Hungary)  *
  • Tekkonkinkreet  (Arias, Japan)
  • The Trap  (Golubovic, Serbia)  **
  • United Red Army  (Wakamatsu, Japan)
  • The Unknown Woman  (Tornatore, Italy)  **
  • Vanaja  (Domalpalli, India)
  • La Vie en Rose  (Dahan, France)
  • Warden of the Dead  (Simeonov, Bulgaria)  *
  • The Warlords  (Chan, Hong Kong)
  • The White Silk Dress  (Huynh, Vietnam)  *
  • XXY  (Puenzo, Argentina)  *
  • The Year My Parents Went on Vacation  (Hamburger, Brazil)  **
  • You, the Living  (Andersson, Sweden)  *

Note:  A small drop from the year before.  I have my first films from Azerbaijan, Estonia, Ireland and Rwanda.  Both Croatia and Chile are absent, the first time for each since 1998.  France is in first place with 14 films, followed by India with 7 and Japan with 6.
I have my first Western since 1978 but no Mystery for the first time since 1998 and no Kids film for the first time since 1995.  A year after no Musicals, I have seven, the most since 1983 and tied for the most ever (and surprisingly, only four of them are from India).

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

  • Chile:  Padre Nuestro  (dir. Sepulveda)
  • China:  The Knot  (dir. Li)
  • Croatia:  Armin  (dir. Svilicic)
  • Denmark:  The Art of Crying  (dir. Schnau Fog)
  • Egypt:  In the Heliopolis Flat  (dir. Khan)
  • Finland:  A Man’s Job  (dir. Salmenpera)
  • Iceland:  Jar City  (dir. Kormakur)
  • The Netherlands:  Duska  (dir. Stelling)
  • Norway:  Gone with the Woman  (dir. Naess)
  • Peru:  Crossing a Shadow  (dir. Tamayo)
  • The Philippines:  Donsol  (dir. Alix)
  • Slovakia:  Return of the Stocks  (dir. Repka)
  • Slovenia:  Short Circuits  (dir. Lapajne)
  • Venezuela:  Postcards from Leningrad  (dir. Rondon)

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 solid 50 for 64 (78%).  The 64 submissions are again a new here, just one higher than the year before with 6 countries from the year before not submitting (Algeria, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, Lithuania) and 7 countries submitting that hadn’t the year before, which include five countries back after only one year (Uruguay, Estonia, Georgia, Singapore, Slovakia) and two countries submitting for the first time (Azerbaijan, Ireland).
I am missing Chile for the 1st time, Croatia and Peru for the 3rd time, China for the 4th time, Egypt and Slovenia for the 5th time, Venezuela for the 6th time, Slovakia for the 7th time, The Philippines for the 8th time, Norway for the 10th time, Finland for the 11th time, Iceland and The Netherlands for the 17th time and Denmark for the 25th god damn time.

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

  • The Goddess  (1934)
  • Twin Sisters  (1934)
  • The Highway  (1935)
  • Street Angel  (1937)
  • Princess Iron Fan  (1941)
  • Sicario  (1995)
  • The Castle  (1997)
  • Tears of the Black Tiger  (2000)
  • Kite  (2003)
  • Black Friday  (2004)
  • Adam’s Apples  (2005)
  • The Italian  (2005)
  • L’iceberg  (2005)
  • 12:08 East of Bucharest  (2006)
  • After the Wedding  (2006)
  • As You Like It  (2006)
  • Avenue Montaigne  (2006)
  • Bamako  (2006)
  • Black Book  (2006)
  • Black Sheep  (2006)
  • Blood Tea and Red String  (2006)
  • Brand Upon the Brain  (2006)
  • Bug  (2006)
  • Cashback  (2006)
  • Chronicle of an Escape  (2006)
  • Colma: The Musical  (2006)
  • Comedy of Power  (2006)
  • Dans Paris  (2006)
  • The Exterminating Angels  (2006)
  • Fay Grim  (2006)
  • Flanders  (2006)
  • Golden Door  (2006)
  • Grbvica  (2006)
  • Half Moon  (2006)
  • The Host  (2006)
  • Hula Girls  (2006)
  • The Island  (2006)
  • Lady Chatterley  (2006)
  • Lights in the Dusk  (2006)
  • Macbeth  (2006)
  • Nomad  (2006)
  • Offside  (2006)
  • Pierrepoint – The Last Hangman  (2006)
  • Poison Friends  (2006)
  • Private Fears in Public Places  (2006)
  • Private Property  (2006)
  • Red Road  (2006)
  • Samoan Wedding  (2006)
  • Starter for 10  (2006)
  • Steel City  (2006)
  • Stephanie Daley  (2006)
  • Summer ’04  (2006)
  • Sweet Mud  (2006)
  • Syndromes and a Century  (2006)
  • Ten Canoes  (2006)
  • Them  (2006)
  • Triad Election  (2006)
  • Vitus  (2006)
  • The Way I Spend the End of the World  (2006)
  • White Palms  (2006)
  • Wild Tigers I Have Known  (2006)
  • The Wind That Shakes the Barley  (2006)
  • Taare Zameen Par  (2008)

Note:  That’s not a typo at the end.  Oscars.org listed Taara Zameen Par as a film with an LA release in this year, but it would be submitted the following year for Best Foreign Film from India.  Those five films at the top of the list are all Chinese films that were released this year by Cinema Epoch.

Films That Weren’t Eligible at the Oscars:

  • Aaja Nachle
  • Adam’s Apples
  • After the Wedding
  • Avenue Montaigne
  • Bamako
  • Black Friday
  • Black Sheep
  • Blood Tea and Red String
  • The Boss of It All
  • Brand Upon the Brain
  • Broken English
  • Captivity
  • Cashback
  • Chak De India
  • Colma: The Musical
  • Dans Paris
  • Day Night Day Night
  • Drama/Mex
  • Exiled
  • The Exterminating Angels
  • Fay Grim
  • Flanders
  • Grbavica
  • Half Moon
  • Hannah Takes the Stairs
  • The Host
  • The Italian
  • Itty Bitty Titty Committee
  • King of California
  • The Last Winter
  • Macbeth
  • Nomad
  • Om Shanti Om
  • Oopsy Does It
  • Paris, Je T’Aime
  • Poison Friends
  • The Prince and the Pauper
  • Private Fears in Public Places
  • Private Property
  • Red Road
  • Samoan Wedding
  • Secret Sunshine
  • Smiley Face
  • Summer ’04
  • Sweet Mud
  • Taara Zameen Par
  • Taxidermia
  • Tears of the Black Tiger
  • Ten Canoes
  • The Ten Commandments
  • Them
  • This is England
  • Triad Election
  • 12:08 East of Bucharest
  • Wild Tigers I Have Known

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 oscars.org (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.

Films Not Listed at Oscars.org:

  • 881
  • 5 Centimeters per Second
  • As You Like It
  • August Evening
  • Belle toujours
  • The Castle
  • Chronicle of an Escape
  • The Class
  • Comedy of Power
  • Days of Darkness
  • Denias, Singing on the Cloud
  • Eduart
  • Fireworks Wednesday
  • Four Sheets to the Wind
  • The Goddess
  • The Highway
  • The Home Song Stories
  • Hula Girls
  • I Just Didn’t Do It
  • Island Etude
  • The Island
  • It’s Hard to Be Nice
  • Jani Gal
  • Johnny Gaddaar
  • King of Fire
  • Kite
  • L’iceberg
  • Late Bloomers
  • Little Secrets
  • Los Andes no creen en Dios
  • Love Sickness
  • M for Mother
  • On the Wings of Dreams
  • Princess Iron Fan
  • The Russian Triangle
  • Satanas
  • Shadows
  • Sicario
  • The Silly Age
  • Steel City
  • Street Angel
  • Syndromes and a Century
  • Takva: A Man’s Fear of God
  • Twin Sisters
  • Warden of the Dead
  • The Way I Spent the End of the World
  • White Palms
  • The White Silk Dress

Note:  I used to use the list at Oscars.org 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 Oscars.org 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:

  • Alexandra  (2008)
  • August Evening  (2008)
  • Beaufort  (2008)
  • Ben X  (2008)
  • Boarding Gate  (2008)
  • Bob the Builder: On Site: Roads and Bridges  (2008)
  • Caramel  (2008)
  • Caucasia  (2008)
  • Closing the Ring  (2008)
  • The Counterfeiters  (2008)
  • The Duchess of Langeais  (2008)
  • The Edge of Heaven  (2008)
  • Flawless  (2008)
  • Flight of the Red Balloon  (2008)
  • Funny Games  (2008)
  • Heartbeat Detector  (2008)
  • I Served the King of England  (2008)
  • In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale  (2008)
  • Kabluey  (2008)
  • Katyn  (2008)
  • Kings  (2008)
  • La France  (2008)
  • Mongol  (2008)
  • Mother of Tears  (2008)
  • My Blueberry Nights  (2008)
  • My Brother is an Only Child  (2008)
  • Paranoid Park  (2008)
  • The Pope’s Toilet  (2008)
  • Roman de Gare  (2008)
  • The Romance of Astrea and Celadon  (2008)
  • Snow Angels  (2008)
  • Sukiyaki Western Django  (2008)
  • Timecrimes  (2008)
  • What We Do is Secret  (2008)
  • XXY  (2008)
  • The Year My Parents Went on Vacation  (2008)
  • 12  (2009)
  • Munyurangabo  (2009)
  • The Secret of the Grain  (2009)
  • Silent Light  (2009)
  • St Trinian’s  (2009)
  • The Trap  (2009)
  • You, the Living  (2009)
  • Little Moth  (2010)
  • The Warlords  (2010)
  • Adrift in Tokyo  (2011)
  • United Red Army  (2011)

Note:  These 47 films average a 62.6.  They are a mostly middling bunch.  The only two films below ** are In the Name of the King and Funny Games.  Only three more films are even ** (Closing the Ring, Timecrimes, Mother of Tears).  On the other end, only one film ranks above *** and it’s only a mid ***.5 (Paranoid Park).

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