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 15 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  I’m only going with the Top 15 because there are 15 **** films and several categories don’t even get that far.  It’s a weak year all around.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Inglourious Basterds  *
  2. The Hurt Locker  **
  3. A Serious Man  *
  4. Up  *
  5. Broken Embraces
  6. An Education  *
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  8. Up in the Air  *
  9. A Single Man
  10. District 9  *
  11. The White Ribbon
  12. The Informant
  13. Sin Nombre
  14. Coraline
  15. Revanche

Analysis:  As mentioned above, I went with 15 films because that’s how many **** films there are in this year.  That the Oscars nominated seven of them (as well as my #16 film, Precious) speaks well of their first year with 10 nominees in 66 years.
The Hurt Locker is the most dominant Consensus winner in over a decade.  It has the most nominations since LA Confidential and the most wins and points since Schindler’s List.  No film since (through 2016) has matched it for points or wins and only The Social Network has matched it for nominations.  Indeed, it’s the first time since 1993 that only one film wins more than one Consensus award.  It might be my #2 but I have no problem with it winning the Oscar.
After three straight years were I agreed with the Oscar winner, this is the start of four straight years where I don’t agree but the Oscar winner is so high on my list (generally #2) that I don’t complain about the Oscar choice either.
This is the weakest Top 5 since 1998.  The Top 10 is better than the year before but still the second weakest since 1998.  Every one of the Top 5 spots is the weakest since 1998 but all of the next five are better than 2008.
I went with a trailer up above and not a picture for a reason.  I don’t think there’s any film that turned out to be so brilliant that had a trailer that made me less want to see it.  In spite of being a big Tarantino fan, I skipped the film in theaters because I was worried it would suck (and I hadn’t liked Grindhouse, so I had reason to worry).  But the trailer focuses on Pitt and his goofy performance (which works well in context for the film but looks awful in the trailer) and totally skips over the actual great performances in the film from Waltz, Laurent and Kruger.

  • Best Director
  1. Quentin Tarantino  (Inglourious Basterds)  *
  2. Kathryn Bigelow  (The Hurt Locker)  **
  3. Joel and Ethan Coen  (A Serious Man)
  4. Pedro Almodovar  (Broken Embraces)
  5. Jason Reitman  (Up in the Air)  *
  6. Michael Haneke  (The White Ribbon)
  7. David Yates  (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
  8. Neill Blomkamp  (District 9)
  9. Lone Scherfig  (An Education)
  10. Tom Ford  (A Single Man)
  11. Steven Soderbergh  (The Informant)
  12. Cary Fukunaga  (Sin Nombre)
  13. Gotz Spielmann  (Revanche)
  14. Terry Gilliam  (The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus)
  15. Tony Gilroy  (Duplicity)

Analysis:  It’s the only Nighthawk nomination for Jason Reitman, the first for Kathryn Bigelow, the third for Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino and the seventh for the Coen Brothers.  The Coens are now at 360 point and just outside the Top 10.
This is the first time since 1990 that the Oscar winners for both Picture and Director are my #2.
This the weakest Top 5 since 1995.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. An Education  *
  2. Up in the Air  **
  3. A Single Man
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. The Informant
  6. Precious  *
  7. District 9  *
  8. Coraline
  9. Fantastic Mr Fox
  10. The Damned United
  11. Crazy Heart
  12. In the Loop  *
  13. Star Trek
  14. A Woman in Berlin
  15. The Last Station

Analysis:  The lack of an Oscar win for Up in the Air is beyond surprising.  In most combinations, it is a singular omission.  It was the first script (adapted or original) to win the Globe and WGA since 1954 to not win the Oscar.  It joined Purple Rose of Cairo as the only BAFTA and Globe winners not to win the Oscar.  It was the first BFCA / Globe winner in either category not to win the Oscar.  It’s the only BFCA winner to win either the Globe or WGA not to win the Oscar and it won all of them.  It earned seven overall wins and didn’t win the Oscar, a record for either category.  Granted, it doesn’t win the Nighthawk either, but that doesn’t make it less surprising that it won the Oscar.  Precious is the first Oscar winner in this category to win no other award since 1998.
I do quite well with the sources in this year.  I have already covered the source material for District 9 and The Damned United for the long future Adapted Screenplay post, I read An Education and A Single Man before seeing the films originally in 2009 and I had long before read Harry Potter, Coraline and Fantastic Mr Fox, not to mention having seen the original television shows for Star Trek and In the Loop.
Precious breaks a streak of six straight years where I agreed with the Oscar winner.
A slight increase from the year before but still the second weakest Top 5 of the decade.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Inglourious Basterds  *
  2. A Serious Man  *
  3. Up  *
  4. The Hurt Locker  **
  5. Broken Embraces
  6. (500) Days of Summer
  7. Sin Nombre
  8. The White Ribbon
  9. The Messenger
  10. Summer Hours
  11. About Elly
  12. Duplicity
  13. The International
  14. The Hangover  *
  15. Revanche

Analysis:  The Hurt Locker (6 noms, 4 wins) and A Serious Man (7 noms, 3 wins) tie in the raw total for the Consensus Award, but Hurt Locker ends up with 8 more points in the weighted total.
Pedro Almodovar earns his third writing Nighthawk nomination.  Quentin earns his fourth nom (and second win).  The Coens earn their eighth writing noms and move up to 400 points and into 7th place all-time.
It’s a great bunch of nominees with an Oscar Score of 94.4, the best post-2003 (through 2016).

  • Best Actor:
  1. Jeremy Renner  (The Hurt Locker)  *
  2. Colin Firth  (A Single Man)  *
  3. George Clooney  (Up in the Air)  *
  4. Jeff Bridges  (Crazy Heart)  **
  5. Michael Stuhlbarg  (A Serious Man)
  6. Morgan Freeman  (Invictus)  *
  7. Matt Damon  (The Informant)
  8. Michael Sheen  (The Damned United)
  9. Peter Sarsgaard  (An Education)
  10. Ben Foster  (The Messenger)
  11. Joseph Gordon-Levitt  ((500) Days of Summer)
  12. Viggo Mortenson  (The Road)
  13. Daniel Radcliffe  (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
  14. Robert Downey, Jr.  (Sherlock Holmes)
  15. Clive Owen  (Duplicity)

Analysis:  Bridges has the fewest Consensus wins (5), noms (6) and points (357) for a winner since 2001.  Also, with Renner and Clooney earning 7 noms each, Bridges is the first Consensus winner to not at least tie for the most noms since 1958.  As I have mentioned before, this year was so easy to predict at the Oscars and the Consensus was so strong (in spite of my dissenting view that bounced Freeman to sixth) that I wrote a piece for LAMB the night before the Oscar nominations were announced.  SAG, the Oscars and the BFCA were in agreement with the Globes dropping Renner (for Tobey Maguire in Brothers, of all things) and the BAFTAs passing over Freeman for Andy Serkis (in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll which gets pushed to 2010).  Freeman is easily the highest 5th place Consensus finisher in history, earning 182 points while no other 5th place finisher (through 2016) has earned more than 133.  Firth (who many believe should be #1) is the highest 4th place finisher, earning 196 points (182 is the next highest and both of those come after this year, in 2012 and 2016 respectively).  This is the second of three straight years where the Globe Comedy nominees all fail to make the Consensus nominees.
This is the only Nighthawk nom for Stuhlbarg and Renner (at least so far).  It’s the first nom for Firth.  It’s, surprisingly, only the second nom for Bridges.  On the other hand, it’s the sixth for Clooney.
Even though I go with Stuhlbarg over Freeman, they have the same score, so the Oscar Score is a perfect 100 for the third time this decade.

  • Best Actress
  1. Carey Mulligan  (An Education)  *
  2. Penelope Cruz  (Broken Embraces)
  3. Gabourey Sidibe  (Precious)  *
  4. Meryl Streep  (Julie and Julia)  **
  5. Melanie Laurent  (Inglourious Basterds)
  6. Helen Mirren  (The Last Station)
  7. Juliette Binoche  (Summer Hours)
  8. Sandra Bullock  (The Blind Side)  *
  9. Abbie Cornish  (Bright Star)
  10. Marion Cotillard  (Nine)
  11. Yolande Moreau  (Seraphine)  *
  12. Golshifteh Farahani  (About Elly)
  13. Zoey Deschanel  ((500) Days of Summer)
  14. Julia Roberts  (Duplicity)
  15. Nina Hoss  (A Woman in Berlin)

Analysis:  These are the only Nighthawk noms for Gabourey Sidibe and Melanie Laurent.  It’s the first nom for Carey Mulligan and the third for Penelope Cruz.  It’s the 16th nom for Meryl Streep, putting her at 630 points all-time.  It’s the first time since 88-89 that Streep has had consecutive nominations.
Sandra Bullock comes in third at the Consensus Awards, the first Oscar winner in this category to do so since 1997.  She’s also the lowest ranked Oscar winner since 1994.  But she’s the first winner since 1973 and only the second since 1958 to be the worst of the nominees.
With all of the Oscar nominees in the Top 8, the Oscar Score is an excellent 94.3.  But it’s the weakest Top 5 in four year and the second weakest of the decade.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Christoph Waltz  (Inglourious Basterds)  **
  2. Alfred Molina  (An Education)
  3. Peter Capaldi  (In the Loop)
  4. Christopher Plummer  (The Last Station)  *
  5. Matt Damon  (Invictus)  *
  6. Stanley Tucci  (The Lovely Bones)  *
  7. Woody Harrelson  (The Messenger)  *
  8. Anthony Mackie  (The Hurt Locker)
  9. Stanley Tucci  (Julie and Julia)
  10. Christian McKay  (Me and Orson Welles)
  11. Zachary Quinto  (Star Trek)
  12. Timothy Spall  (The Damned United)
  13. Alan Rickman  (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
  14. Alec Baldwin  (It’s Complicated)
  15. Fred Melamed  (A Serious Man)

Analysis:  Christoph Waltz sets new Consensus records for wins (10), noms (10) and points (552), all of which will be tied by JK Simmons in 2014.  His 46.94% of all the points is the highest since 1992.  Like with Supporting Actress (see below), the only dissent is the NBR who give their award to Woody Harrelson.
These are the only Nighthawk noms for Capaldi and Molina.  It’s the first nom for Waltz.  It’s the second nom for both Plummer and Damon.
With all the Oscar nominees in my Top 7, the Oscar Score is an excellent 97.0.
Molina is the weakest #2 in this category since 1985.  This is also the weakest Top 5 since 1991.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Mo’nique  (Precious)  **
  2. Anna Kendrick  (Up in the Air)  *
  3. Diane Kruger  (Inglourious Basterds)
  4. Julianne Moore  (A Single Man)  *
  5. Vera Farmiga  (Up in the Air)  *
  6. Penelope Cruz  (Nine)  *
  7. Samantha Morton  (The Messenger)
  8. Maggie Gyllenhall  (Crazy Heart)
  9. Paula Patton  (Precious)
  10. Olivia Williams  (An Education)
  11. Mariah Carey  (Precious)
  12. Emma Thompson  (An Education)
  13. Sari Lennick  (A Serious Man)
  14. Susan Sarandon (The Lovely Bones)
  15. Emma Watson  (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

Analysis:  These are the only Nighthawk nominations for everyone except Julianne Moore.  It’s the seventh nom for Moore, though it’s her first in seven years.
Mo’nique easily takes the Consensus, setting new records for noms (10), wins (10) and points (552) and has the highest percentage since 1992 (when there were fewer awards).  Anna Kendrick, with the NBR, is the only actress to take any award from Mo’nique.  Because of a lack of Consensus outside of Mo’nique, Kendrick and Farmiga, Julianne Moore gets into the 5th Consensus spot with only 48 points, the fewest for a Consensus nominee in this category since 1992.
The idea that Mariah Carey would ever end up on this kind of list above Emma Thompson and Susan Sarandon seems insane but that’s the kind of performances that we saw in Precious.
Both Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress have Oscar-Nighthawk agreement, just like they did the year before, making this the only back-to-back years outside of 83-84 to do that.
With all the Oscar nominees in my Top 8, the Oscar Score is an excellent 94.0, which is actually the weakest acting score in this fantastic year.

  • Best Editing:
  1. Inglourious Basterds
  2. The Hurt Locker
  3. Up
  4. Broken Embraces
  5. A Serious Man
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  7. District 9
  8. Up in the Air
  9. An Education
  10. Duplicity
  11. A Single Man
  12. Star Trek
  13. The Informant
  14. Fantastic Mr Fox
  15. The White Ribbon

Analysis:  At some point, the Oscars will finally start to recognize Pixar’s magnificent editing, but apparently not here.  This is the weakest Top 5 in five years.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Inglourious Basterds  *
  2. The Hurt Locker  *
  3. The White Ribbon  **
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. A Single Man
  6. A Serious Man
  7. District 9
  8. Broken Embraces
  9. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
  10. Bright Star
  11. Up in the Air
  12. Invictus
  13. Star Trek
  14. Sin Nombre
  15. Public Enemies

Analysis:  The White Ribbon (5 wins, 4 noms) and The Hurt Locker (6 wins, 3 noms) tie in the raw total for the Consensus Award but White Ribbon ends up with a higher weighted total.
Robert Richardson wins his third Nighthawk and earns his seventh nomination.  He moves up to 250 points and into 2nd place all-time.  It’s also the first of three straight noms.
The Oscars go with Avatar, which is my #17, the lowest ranked Oscar winner since 1995 and second lowest since 1968.  It’s the first winner since 1934 to be the worst of the nominees and clearly it’s the worst by quite a ways.  Even with Avatar not in the Top 15, the Oscar Score is a great 92.1.
Basterds is my first winner since 1999 not to earn my highest rating.  This is also the weakest Top 5 in nine years.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Up
  2. Star Trek
  3. A Single Man
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. Sherlock Holmes
  6. Ponyo
  7. Fantastic Mr Fox
  8. Avatar
  9. The Informant
  10. The Lovely Bones
  11. Where the Wild Things Are
  12. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
  13. Up in the Air
  14. Bright Star
  15. The Hurt Locker

Analysis:  Michael Giacchino comes in 1st and 2nd place, earning his second and third noms.  Hans Zimmer earns his eighth nom; he’s up to 250 points and 7th place all-time.
I agree with the Oscar winner for the third straight year, the longest streak since 1960-62.

  • Best Sound:
  1. The Hurt Locker
  2. Inglourious Basterds
  3. Avatar
  4. Star Trek
  5. District 9
  6. Up
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  8. Public Enemies
  9. Crazy Heart
  10. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
  11. Invictus
  12. Sherlock Holmes
  13. The Informant
  14. An Education
  15. The International

Analysis:  With my Top 4 all among the Oscar nominees, the Oscar Score is 81.6, the best in the category in six years.  The fifth Oscar nominee is the latest Transformers film, bombarding you with hideous sounds which isn’t on my list at all.

  • Best Art Direction:
  1. The Imaganarium of Dr Parnassus
  2. A Single Man
  3. Inglourious Basterds
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. Sherlock Holmes
  6. Star Trek
  7. The Young Victoria
  8. Avatar
  9. A Serious Man
  10. An Education
  11. District 9
  12. Bright Star
  13. Nine
  14. Public Enemies
  15. Up in the Air

Analysis:  Avatar is the lowest ranked Oscar winner since 1995 and the second lowest since 1971.
Imaginarium is my first winner since 1995 not to earn my highest rating.  This is the weakest Top 5 in nine years and second weakest since 1988.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. District 9
  2. Avatar
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  4. Star Trek
  5. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
  6. The Lovely Bones
  7. Watchmen
  8. The Hurt Locker
  9. Inglourious Basterds
  10. Terminator: Salvation
  11. Inkheart
  12. Sherlock Holmes

Analysis:  Because I give the same score to Harry Potter and Star Trek, the Oscar Score is a perfect 100 for the last time to-date (through 2016).
The semi-finalists are in green.  Watchmen and Sherlock Holmes are the only non-semi-finalists on my list that were even on the eligible list.
Avatar is the first #2 in this category to earn my highest rating in three years.  Thanks to District 9 and Avatar, this is tied for the third best Top 5 to-date.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. The Hurt Locker
  2. Avatar
  3. Inglourious Basterds
  4. District 9
  5. Star Trek
  6. Up
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  8. Ponyo
  9. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
  10. Public Enemies
  11. Sherlock Holmes

Analysis:  For the third straight year, I agree with the Oscar winner, tying 1989-91 for the longest streak in Oscar history.
The Oscar Score is 94.4, the best since 1999.
Hurt Locker is my first winner since 1996 not to earn my highest rating.

  • Best Costume Design:
  1. The Young Victoria
  2. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
  3. Bright Star
  4. Nine
  5. Sherlock Holmes
  6. The Last Station
  7. Coco Before Chanel
  8. Inglourious Basterds
  9. Public Enemies
  10. Forever Enthralled
  11. Cheri
  12. An Education
  13. A Serious Man
  14. Dorian Gray
  15. A Single Man

Analysis:  With all the nominees in my Top 7, the Oscar Score is 97.1, which is down from the perfect 100 of the year before but is still the second best score post-2001 (through 2016).

  • Best Makeup
  1. District 9
  2. Star Trek
  3. The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. Inglourious Basterds
  6. Forever Enthralled
  7. Nine
  8. Inkheart
  9. Broken Embraces
  10. Watchmen
  11. The Young Victoria
  12. The Hurt Locker
  13. The Road
  14. Dorian Gray

Analysis:  For the second straight year, the Oscar winner comes in 2nd.  No Oscar winner since (through 2016) will finish this high.
The one really weak category, with an Oscar Score of 40, the worst since 1999.  It’s also the weakest Top 5 since 1997.
The semi-finalists are in green.  The semi-finalists passed over are better than the actual nominees.

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “The Weary Kind”  (Crazy Heart)
  2. Winter”  (Brothers)
  3. The Other Father Song”  (Coraline)
  4. Take It All”  (Nine)
  5. Petey’s Song”  (Fantastic Mr Fox)
  6. Invictus 9000 Days”  (Invictus)
  7. Almost There”  (The Princess and the Frog)
  8. Somebody Else”  (Crazy Heart)
  9. Down in New Orleans”  (The Princess and the Frog)
  10. We Love Violence”  (The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus)
  11. Cinema Italiano”  (Nine)
  12. When You Find Me”  (Adam)
  13. “We are the Children of the World”  (The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus)
  14. Stu’s Song”  (The Hangover)
  15. Ma Belle Evangeline”  (The Princess and the Frog)

Analysis:, when it existed, listed songs from different films.  It listed 63 songs for this year from 47 different films.  I have seen 28 of those films, accounting for 37 songs (I am missing five songs from Hannah Montana).  All of the songs on this list were listed at
This is the third straight year with Oscar-Nighthawk agreement, the longest such streak in the category’s history.  It’s also the first time in six years that the Globe winner earns an Oscar nom (and it wins).

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. Up  **
  2. Coraline  *
  3. Fantastic Mr Fox  *
  4. Ponyo

Analysis:  For more detail on the race and the Consensus Awards, you can go here.
Henry Selick (Coraline) earns his third nomination.  Pete Docter earns his second nom and his second win.  Hayao Miyazaki earns his ninth nomination putting him at 280 points, just 20 behind Hamilton Luske for 1st place.
The nomination for Miyazaki leads to a five way tie for most points in the decade with 80 between Miyazaki, Nick Park and three Pixar directors: Pete Docter, Brad Bird and Andrew Stanton.
This is the third straight win for Pixar and it gives Pixar 260 points for the decade, more than double any other animation company.

  • Best Foreign Film:
  1. Broken Embraces  *
  2. The White Ribbon  *
  3. Sin Nombre
  4. The Secret in Their Eyes  *
  5. About Elly
  6. Micmacs
  7. I Am Love
  8. Ajami
  9. A Prophet  *
  10. Winter in Wartime
  11. Vincere
  12. OSS 117: Lost in Rio
  13. A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop
  14. Flame & Citron

note:  Films in orange were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.  Films in green were semi-finalists.
Analysis:  Summer Hours, which would have been Oscar eligible in 2008 and thus isn’t listed here, is the Consensus winner, taking four critics awards.  If you don’t count it, then A Prophet becomes the Consensus winner.  The White Ribbon, which comes in 3rd at the Consensus with 120 points would have been 1st in either 2008 or 2010.
After two straight years where the Oscar winner didn’t make my Top 30, there is a nice bounce-back.
This is the first nomination for Asghar Farhadi but he will start to move up the list very quickly.  It’s the second nomination for Michael Haneke.  It’s the seventh nomination and third win for Pedro; he’s at 200 points and ties Jean Renoir and Hayao Miyazaki for 5th place all-time.
Broken Embraces is the best winner in four years.  The White Ribbon is the best #2 in five years.  The Top 10 is the best in five years.

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.

  • Inglourious Basterds  (565)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • The Hurt Locker   (335)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Broken Embraces  (235)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Editing, Foreign Film
  • Up  (205)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Editing, Original Score, Animated Film
  • A Serious Man  (195)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Editing
  • Up in the Air  (180)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • An Education  (180)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • A Single Man  (175)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  (140)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Makeup
  • District 9  (100)
    • Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Precious  (95)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Star Trek  (95)
    • Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus  (85)
    • Art Direction, Visual Effects, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Sherlock Holmes  (60)
    • Original Score, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Avatar  (60)
    • Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Crazy Heart  (55)
    • Actor, Original Song
  • The White Ribbon  (45)
    • Cinematography, Foreign Film
  • The Informant  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Julie and Julia  (35)
    • Actress
  • In the Loop  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Invictus  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • The Last Station  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • The Young Victoria  (30)
    • Costume Design
  • Fantastic Mr Fox  (30)
    • Animated Film, Original Song
  • Coraline  (30)
    • Animated Film, Original Song
  • Nine  (25)
    • Costume Design, Original Song
  • Ponyo  (20)
    • Animated Film
  • Sin Nombre  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • About Elly (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Summer Hours  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Revanche  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Bright Star  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Brothers  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  Up, with far fewer points than Wall-E comes in fourth where Wall-E came in fifth.  On the other hand, there are far more films with 100 or more points in this year than there were in 2008.  There are also five more films than the year before.
With only one Best Picture nominee earning more than eight nominations and three of them earning six or fewer, the 36 combined nominations for my Best Picture nominees are the lowest since 1999.
The winners, as a whole, are the weakest since 1998.  The Tech winners, as a whole, are the weakest since 1995.  Only four categories have a winner that earns my highest rating (Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Sound, Visual Effects), the fewest since 1978.
The nominees, as a whole, are just slightly better than the year before but still the second weakest since 1998.  The acting, on the whole, is the weakest since 1991 and the major categories the weakest since 1995.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • (500) Days of Summer

Analysis:  My #17 film.  Its only Top 10 finish is in Original Screenplay where it comes in 6th.  It does have 5 total Top 20 finishes.  Every **** or ***.5 film for the year finishes at least once in the Top 15 and thus is listed somewhere above.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • The Blind Side

Analysis:  Because it didn’t remotely belong in the awards race.  It won four awards (all for Sandra Bullock) and also, inexplicably, earned a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars.  That only gives it 295 weighted awards points and that’s not a whole lot for this (and is over 600 lower than Frost/Nixon, the winner of this category the year before).

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture
  1. Inglourious Basterds
  2. The Hurt Locker
  3. Broken Embraces
  4. An Education
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Analysis:  Broken Embraces was nominated in Foreign Film.
The Top 5 is the weakest since 1998.  Get used to hearing that.
These are all **** films, as are A Single Man, District 9, The White Ribbon, Sin Nombre and Revanche.  The ***.5 films, in order are: Precious, Star Trek, The Messenger, About Elly, Summer Hours, The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, The Damned United, Invictus, The International, Ponyo, A Prophet, Everlasting Moments, Flame & Citron and A Woman in Berlin.

  • Best Director
  1. Quentin Tarantino  (Inglourious Basterds)
  2. Kathryn Bigelow  (The Hurt Locker)
  3. Pedro Almodovar  (Broken Embraces)
  4. Michael Haneke  (The White Ribbon)
  5. David Yates  (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama noms for Michel Haneke and David Yates, the first for Kathryn Bigelow, the third for Pedro and the fourth for Quentin.
This is the weakest Top 5 since 1998.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. An Education
  2. A Single Man
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  4. Precious
  5. District 9

Analysis:  This is the weakest Top 5 since 1999.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Inglourious Basterds
  2. The Hurt Locker
  3. Broken Embraces
  4. Sin Nombre
  5. The White Ribbon

Analysis:  Pedro Almodovar earns his fourth Drama nom.  Quentin earns his fifth nom and his second win.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Jeremy Renner  (The Hurt Locker)
  2. Colin Firth  (A Single Man)
  3. Morgan Freeman  (Invictus)
  4. Michael Sheen  (The Damned United)
  5. Peter Sarsgaard  (An Education)

Analysis:  These are the first Drama noms for Firth and Renner, the second for Sheen and Sarsgaard and the fifth for Freeman.
The Globe nominees are deceptive – see Comedy below.
This is the weakest Top 5 since 2000 and tied for the weakest since 1987.

  • Best Actress
  1. Carey Mulligan  (An Education)
  2. Penelope Cruz  (Broken Embraces)
  3. Gabourey Sidibe  (Precious)
  4. Melanie Laurent  (Inglourious Basterds)
  5. Helen Mirren  (The Last Station)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama noms for Cruz, Sidibe and Laurent and the first for Mulligan.  It’s the sixth Drama nom for Helen Mirren.
This is the weakest Top 5 in four years and the second weakest since 2000.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Christoph Waltz  (Inglourious Basterds)
  2. Alfred Molina  (An Education)
  3. Christopher Plummer  (The Last Station)
  4. Matt Damon  (Invictus)
  5. Stanley Tucci  (The Lovely Bones)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama noms for Molina and Tucci, the first for Waltz, the second for Plummer and the third for Damon.
This is the weakest Top 5 in four years and the second weakest since 1998.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Mo’nique  (Precious)
  2. Diane Kruger  (Inglourious Basterds)
  3. Julianne Moore  (A Single Man)
  4. Samantha Morton  (The Messenger)
  5. Paula Patton  (Precious)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama noms for Mo’nique, Kruger and Patton.  It’s the fifth Drama for Morton and the eighth for Moore.  This breaks Moore’s tie for 10th place with Janet Gaynor and knocks Janet Gaynor out of the Drama Top 10 for the first time.

  • Inglourious Basterds  (395)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • An Education  (265)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • The Hurt Locker  (205)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor
  • Broken Embraces  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Precious  (165)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  (135)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • A Single Man  (105)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The White Ribbon  (85)
    • Director, Original Screenplay
  • Invictus  (65)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Last Station  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • District 9  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Sin Nombre  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • The Damned United  (35)
    • Actor
  • The Lovely Bones  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • The Messenger  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  The acting categories, on the whole, are the worst since 1998.  The major categories, as a whole, are the worst since 2000.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Revanche

Analysis:  My #15 film and my #10 Drama.  But it doesn’t end up higher than 10th in any category (it’s #10 in Picture, Director and Original Screenplay).

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. A Serious Man
  2. Up
  3. Up in the Air
  4. The Informant
  5. Coraline

Analysis:  Not a great sign that the only nominee I agree with the Globes on was actually nominated by the Globes in Drama.  See down below for my bigger rant on this category.
The Top 5 Drama films average a 93.8 while the Top 5 Comedies average a 92.2, the closest the two have been since 2001.
Up won Best Animated Film while Coraline was nominated there.
These are all **** films but that’s it for **** films.  The ***.5 films, in order are: (500) Days of Summer, Fantastic Mr Fox, Duplicity and Crazy Heart.  I will note that those are all high ***.5 films.  There’s a nine point drop from my #9 film (Crazy Heart) to my #10 film (In the Loop).

  • Best Director
  1. Joel and Ethan Coen  (A Serious Man)
  2. Jason Reitman  (Up in the Air)
  3. Steven Soderbergh  (The Informant)
  4. Tony Gilroy  (Duplicity)
  5. Scott Cooper  (Crazy Heart)

Analysis:  These are the only Comedy noms for Gilroy and Cooper, the second for Reitman and the third for Soderbergh.  It’s the ninth nom for the Coen Brothers and their second win; this puts them at 495 points and they move into a tie with Billy Wilder for fourth place all-time in Comedy.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Up in the Air
  2. The Informant
  3. Coraline
  4. Fantastic Mr Fox
  5. Crazy Heart

Analysis:  Wes Anderson earns his fourth Comedy writing nom.
There actually hasn’t been a better Top 5 in four years and there won’t be another Top 5 as good as this one until 2015.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. A Serious Man
  2. Up
  3. (500) Days of Summer
  4. Duplicity
  5. The Hangover

Analysis:  The Coens earn their seventh Comedy writing noms and their second win.

  • Best Actor:
  1. George Clooney  (Up in the Air)
  2. Jeff Bridges  (Crazy Heart)
  3. Michael Stuhlbarg  (A Serious Man)
  4. Matt Damon  (The Informant)
  5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt  ((500) Days of Summer)

Analysis:  This is really deceptive.  Bridges won in Drama which is also where Clooney earned his nomination.  The other two Globe nominees were Daniel Day-Lewis (Nine) and winner Robert Downey Jr (Sherlock Holmes).  Downey was my #6 but Day-Lewis was my #8 so even if you knock out Clooney and Bridges, he would still be out in favor of Clive Owen (Duplicity).
This is the only Comedy nom for Stuhlbarg, the first for Gordon-Levitt and Damon, the fourth for Bridges and the fifth for Clooney (and his third win).  This puts Clooney at 280 points and moves him into the Top 10 all-time.
The Top 5 is the best in five years, but if Clooney and Bridges weren’t counted then it would be the second weakest since 2001.

  • Best Actress
  1. Meryl Streep  (Julie and Julia)
  2. Marion Cotillard  (Nine)
  3. Zoey Deschanel  ((500) Days of Summer)
  4. Julia Roberts  (Duplicity)
  5. Meryl Streep  (It’s Complicated)

Analysis:  Deschanel was passed over for Sandra Bullock in The Proposition.  Not a good moment for the Globes.
This is the only Comedy nom for Deschanel and the second each for Cotillard and Roberts.  It’s the sixth and seventh for Streep and she leaps from 9th place all-time in Comedy to 4th with 335 points.  This concludes a decade in which Streep earns 270 Comedy points, the most for any actress in any decade, after only having earned 65 points previous to this decade.  She wins Actress twice (Devil Wears Prada is the other), Supporting Actress (Adaptation) and earned another nomination for Actress (Mamma Mia).

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Peter Capaldi  (In the Loop)
  2. Stanley Tucci  (Julie and Julia)
  3. Alec Baldwin  (It’s Complicated)
  4. Fred Melamed  (A Serious Man)

Analysis:  This is the only Comedy nomination for all four actors.
This is the weakest Top 5 since 1993, partially, of course, because I couldn’t even fill the list.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Anna Kendrick  (Up in the Air)
  2. Vera Farmiga  (Up in the Air)
  3. Penelope Cruz  (Nine)
  4. Maggie Gyllenhall  (Crazy Heart)
  5. Sari Lennick  (A Serious Man)

Analysis:  Cruz earns her third Comedy nomination and Gyllenhall earns her second.  The other three actresses are earning their only Comedy noms.

  • A Serious Man  (365)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Up in the Air  (335)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Informant  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Crazy Heart  (150)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Duplicity  (120)
    • Director, Original Screenplay, Actress
  • (500) Days of Summer  (110)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Julie and Julia  (100)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Coraline  (90)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay
  • Up  (90)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay
  • It’s Complicated  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Nine  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • In the Loop  (60)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Fantastic Mr Fox  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Hangover  (40)
    • Original Screenplay

Analysis:  In spite of what you might have believed from watching the actual Globes, a much better year than 2008.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • A Town Called Panic

Analysis:  At only ***, not surprising it earned no nominations.  But that means every **** and ***.5 film earned at least one nom.  It’s my #40 film for the year and my #13 Comedy.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  239

By Stars:

  • ****:  15
  • ***.5:  18
  • ***:  120
  • **.5:  40
  • **:  23
  • *.5:  6
  • *:  8
  • .5:  8
  • 0:  1
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  61.17

Analysis:  The average bounces back two and a half points, though it’s still mired in **.5 territory, the second worst year since 2000.  Even with fewer films, there are 5 more **** films, only two fewer ***.5 films and 17 more *** films.  While the .5 films are at their highest percentage since 1989 (3.35%), the awful films (* or below) are down from the year before and the total of films that are *** or better bounces back from 55 to 64 percent.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  It lands at #28 all-time which is a big improvement over 2008 and is far better than any previous year with more than five nominees.  If they had gone with Invictus instead of Blind Side it would have been at #21 instead.  It’s not a great enough film year to land any higher really, since it doesn’t have any Top 100 films.  Even if they had taken my entire Top 10 list, it still would have only ranked at #8.

The Winners:  The winners, among the nominees, go up quite a bit, from 1.65 to 2.20.  That’s partially because two choices (Actress and Cinematography) are the worst of the nominees.  But it’s also because the Academy only made the best choice in eight categories, the fewest in six years.  The 2.20 is the worst finish between 2002 and 2015.  Among all films, the average finish is 3.45, an improvement of a point and a half over the year before but that’s a bit deceptive because 2008 was brought down by a weak Foreign Film winner that skewed the results.  All the important scores are up, including the major categories (up from 1.25 to 3.50), the acting (from 2.00 to 3.50) and the tech categories (from 2.33 to 3.89).  This is a nice middle of the road.  Only twelve of the twenty categories land at #1 or #2 (weaker than each of the previous two years) but only Cinematography fails to land in the Top 8.

The Nominees:  Because the overall score is based on a total, not an average, the ten nominees for Best Picture count more now and so it’s good that they do well (79.4, one of the best scores in Oscar history).  Overall, the Oscar Score is 85.3, the second best to-date, lead by a best to-date acting score of 96.4.  In fact, Makeup and Song are the only categories to score below 70.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  The first of two back-to-back years that are complete disasters, although this one has a partial excuse.  This year ranks at #58 (out of 67), the worst since 1976, even worse than the terrible year of 1990, which at least had the excuse of not having films worth nominating.  Of the five films nominated this year, only one was worth nominating ((500) Days of Summer) and three of them don’t even reach three stars (It’s Complicated, Julie and Julia, Nine) while the last, The Hangover, is almost a ***.5 (and thus worth nominating) and it actually won.  The average film is a 66.2, tied with 1990 for the lowest since 1976.  The partial excuse is that two of the best films, Up in the Air and Crazy Heart, were classified by the Globes as Dramas and that three more, Up, Coraline and Fantastic Mr Fox, were animated and thus not eligible in the regular Picture – Comedy awards.  That has eliminated five of the nine films that reach my eligibility standards.  The problem is that of the other three (remember – Summer was nominated), all of them were nominated for their acting: A Serious Man, The Informant, Duplicity.  There’s no excuse for nominating mediocrity like It’s Complicated, Julie and Julia and Nine when those films were available and had clearly been seen by voters.  Nine at last has the small excuse that it was seen as an early Oscar contender and the reviews hadn’t yet made clear how bad it was when the Globe nominations were announced; even the BFCA, the damn Critic’s Choice Awards, had nominated it for Best Picture.  I give the Globes a pass for The Hangover because, even though I still have two other Comedies above it (In the Loop and Sherlock Holmes, again, nominated for acting), I still give it a 74 and that’s damn close to being nomination worthy.  But this year, the Globes just completely blew it and it would look even worse if not for the fact that the next year the Globes would make even worse choices (though, to be fair, with a lot less to choose from).

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  Inglourious Basterds  (reviewed here)

2  –  The Hurt Locker  (reviewed here)

3  –  A Serious Man  (reviewed here)

4  –  Up  (reviewed here and discussed here)

5  –  Broken Embraces  (reviewed here)

The Razzies:  Of the five Razzie nominees, three of them (including the winner) are in my bottom five (Old Dogs, GI Joe, winner Transformers), another is my #6 (All About Steve) and the final one is just outside my bottom 10 as a * film (Land of the Lost).  I’m not surprised the Razzies passed over 2012 (which had mixed reviews) but am a bit surprised they completely blanked on Year One.  And so glad they nailed the films that were trying to ruin any good memories of childhood.  Crap, Transformers and GI Joe weren’t great cartoons but they weren’t the utter shit that the films are.  So, the Razzies did a pretty good job this year,
This year, the Razzies also did a “Worst of the Decade”.  Their winner of Worst Picture was Battlefield Earth.  I think I would go with Freddy Got Fingered (also nominated) but it’s close.  They also nominated I Know Who Killed Me, which I probably have at about the 14th worst film of the decade (out of 2398), but not a bad choice.  Their other two nominees were films I have at high .5 but were big star screw-ups that allowed the Razzies to trash on someone (Madonna and Ben Affleck, respectively).  So, I have Swept Away and Gigli at about the 55th and 56th worst films of the decade and not really belonging on a list that should have found my other zero star films of the decade (aside from Battlefield and Freddy): Twentynine Palms, Deuce Bigelow: European Gigolo, Captivity, Death Race, The Hottie and the Nottie or 2012.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. 2012
  2. Year One
  3. Old Dogs
  4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  5. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

note:  And that’s not even close to all the .5 films; there are also All About Steve, The Pit and the Pendulum, G-Force and Observe and Report.
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: Bride Wars, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Couples Retreat, Fame, Fast & Furious, Friday the 13th, Hannah Montana the Movie, The Haunting in Connecticut, Hotel for Dogs, Paul Blart Mall Cop, Saw VI, Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself, Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail.  Just remember – those are just the films that I remember well enough to know what they are; it doesn’t mean some other crappy movie that I’ve forgotten isn’t also something I skipped.  I have a special hatred for Bride Wars in spite of not having seen it.  It was filmed in Boston and because of that, I ended up helping Kate Hudson in Borders one night.  She was polite, but I just didn’t care about her (Almost Famous notwithstanding).  But I wasn’t in the store when Anne Hathaway came in and I do care about her.  So fuck that movie.

Roland Emmerich outdoes Michael Bay by actually making a zero star film.

2012  (dir. Roland Emmerich)

In my 2007 post I made clear my feelings on torture porn.  It’s pathetic and tasteless and almost never artfully done and I think it’s a waste of time.  But that’s not the only subgenre that I think is a waste of time.  Let’s talk here about disaster porn.  Now, not all such films are a waste of time and the range is quite wide.  At the top is The Poseidon Adventure, which has some really strong acting from Gene Hackman and Shelley Winters and provides us with some actual characters and a heroic effort to stay alive.  In the middle is The Towering Inferno, a disaster film so successful that it earned a nomination for Best Picture in the same year as Day for Night and if it’s stupid and mostly badly acted (aside from Fred Astaire) at least it still gives us two heroes to root for: the architect who designed the building and has warned them (Paul Newman) and the fireman (Steve McQueen).  At the very bottom, even below the inept and incorrectly named Krakatoa – East of Java is 2012, the shitty work of Roland Emmerich who is no stranger to such films as he made Independence Day (which I technically classify in the subgenre of Alien Invasion) which again gave us a hero to root for and The Day After Tomorrow.

Now we get to 2012, an insanely stupid movie about the supposed Mayan belief that the world would end on 21 December 2012, never mind that it wasn’t a real belief.  It involves a lot of people realizing that the world is going to basically end and they build arks so that they can be safe, never mind that the cataclysmic events shown in this film would have made the entire world uninhabitable.  To give us someone to root for, we have John Cusack as a struggling sci-fi writer (but isn’t struggling very much in that the key characters have read his books) who saves his wife and kids and his wife’s boyfriend (who they need to pilot the plane but who of course is killed off later when they no longer need him as a pilot; he’s played by Thomas McCarthy and he must have been thinking to himself, “Is the kind of shit I have to do to make brilliant films like The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win Win and Spotlight?”) just as all of California is destroyed and sinks into the sea in an orgy of cataclysmic destruction.  They flee to Yellowstone because that’s where Cusack first learned about the impending destruction and he almost dies but of course doesn’t because he’s the star and again they manage to just get in the air before they would all die as the ground collapses.  We’ve now had two narrow escapes, the kind of cliche that any decent director (but not Roland Emmerich) would have avoided and a ridiculous amount of death and horror (which no one seems to care about, especially those watching the film) and then I looked at the counter and realized there there was still 90 minutes left in the film.  Yes, an entire film was still left to go even after LA and Yellowstone had been destroyed.  When would this end?

Well, for my re-watching of the film, it ended right there because I had seen enough to let me write this review.  I saw this film when it first came out on DVD because it had been nominated for 6 awards, all for its visual effects, and yes its visuals were well-made but to what point?  Even in a pointless disaster film like San Andreas, you still have Dwayne Johnson being heroic, fighting to save his wife and daughter.  Here, they just continually flee all the destruction.  This is almost a nihilistic film in the way it glories in the destruction and never has any other point.  That’s why it dropped down zero stars for me.  Because when all you care about is the destruction and you no longer care about any of the humans in your movie, well then you’ve not only made a shitty film, but you’ve also created a moral vacuum that your film deserves to disappear into.


  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  Inglourious Basterds  (12)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  Inglourious Basterds  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Inglourious Basterds  (565)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Nine
  • 2nd Place Award:  The Hurt Locker  (Picture, Director, Editing, Cinematography)
  • 6th Place Award:  The Last Station  (Actress, Costume Design)  ***
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  Inglourious Basterds  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  Inglourious Basterds  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  Inglourious Basterds  (395)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  The Lovely Bones
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  A Serious Man / Up in the Air  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  A Serious Man / Up in the Air  (3)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  A Serious Man  (365)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Nine

Note:  * means a Nighthawk record up to this point; ** ties a Nighthawk record.
note:  A weird year, in that the major eight awards have eight different 6th place films.

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:  103 (61)  –  Broken Embraces  (66.4)
  • Foreign:  95  –  Broken Embraces  (66.9)
  • Comedy:  47 (12)  –  A Serious Man  (59.4)
  • Kids:  19 (3)  –  Up  (58.2)
  • Crime:  13 (7)  –  Revanche  (63.9)
  • Horror:  13 (1)  –  Thirst  (33.1)
  • Action:  10 (2)  –  Red Cliff  (39.8)
  • Fantasy:  9 (2)  –  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  (69.9)
  • Sci-Fi:  7  –  District 9  (54.9)
  • War:  5 (3)  –  Inglourious Basterds  (83)
  • Suspense:  5 (2)  –  The International  (62)
  • Musical:  4 (1)  –  Crazy Heart  (68.5)
  • Mystery:  3 (1)  –  Sherlock Holmes  (62.3)
  • Adventure:  1  –  Land of the Lost  (17)
  • Western:  0

Analysis:  This is the most Comedies since 2001 and the most Crime films since 2003.  On the other hand, it’s the fewest Musicals since 2000.  The Horror and Action films are so bad that the five War films are better than the 10 Action films and almost as good as the 13 Horror films (total points); Action is the lowest since 2001 and Horror the lowest ever while War films are the highest since 1998.  Crime films are the lowest since 2002.  War films pass Westerns on the total tally (338 to 337), dropping to Westerns to 10th, where it still sits in late 2017.  Sci-Fi films catch Adventure films for 11th place with 284 films for each.
Inglourious Basterds becomes the first War film to win the Nighthawk since 1989 and only the second World War II film to do so.  It’s also the first year with two War films in the Top 10 since 1989.  Amazingly enough there are two Comedies in the Top 10 for the first time since 2001; there are also five in the Top 20 for the first time since 2000.  There are only 6 Dramas in the Top 20, the fewest since 2003.  For only the third time, there are multiple Kids films in the Top 20.  For the first time since 2002 and only the second time since 1986 there are two Sci-Fi films in the Top 20.

Studio Note:  Summit Entertainment leaps way up, into the Top 10 for the year with 8 films, including the Oscar winner (The Hurt Locker).  Focus Features is also way up (9 films) including three in my Top 20.  But it’s Sony Pictures Classics on top with 17 films followed by 14 each for IFC and Fox.  All the majors are terrible with none of them reaching a *** average and Columbia’s 13 films averaging ** (49.5).  Even though this is the only year where The Weinstein Company doesn’t manage to land in the Top 10 for total films (only having 5 that I’ve seen), it wins its first Nighthawk and has another in the Top 10 (A Single Man), making it the only studio with multiple Top 10 films.  The only studio to manage more than two films in the Top 20 is Sony Pictures Classics with three (Broken Embraces, An Education, The White Ribbon) and it has six in the Top 30.

97 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):

  • 3 Idiots  (Hirani, India)
  • About Elly  (Farhadi, Iran)  *
  • Ajami  (Copti, Israel)  ***
  • Alive!  (Minarolli, Albania)  *
  • Amer  (Cattet / Forzani, Belgium)
  • Applause  (Zandvliet, Denmark)
  • Around a Small Mountain  (Rivette, France)
  • Baaria  (Tornatore, Italy)  *
  • Backyard  (Carrera, Mexico)  *
  • Bad Day to Go Fishing  (Brechner, Uruguay)  *
  • Bluebeard  (Breillat, France)
  • A Brand New Life  (Lecomte, South Korea)
  • Broken Embraces  (Almodovar, Spain)
  • Broken Promise  (Chlumsky, Slovakia)  *
  • Cannot Live Without You  (Dai, Taiwan)  *
  • Casanegra  (Lakhmari, Morocco)  *
  • Chameleon  (Goda, Hungary)  *
  • City of Life and Death  (Lu, China)
  • Coco Before Chanel  (Fontaine, France)
  • Copernicus’s Star  (Kudla / Orzechowski, Poland)
  • Dawson, Isla 10  (Littin, Chile)  *
  • December Heat  (Kase, Estonia)  *
  • The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer  (Schuldt, Peru)
  • Don’t Burn  (Minh, Vietnam)  *
  • Donkey  (Nuic, Croatia)  *
  • Doomed Love  (Barroso, Portugal)  *
  • The Double Hour  (Capotondi, Italy)
  • Evangelion 1.0  (Anno, Japan)
  • Everyone Else  (Ade, Germany)
  • Fallen Gods  (Daranas, Cuba)  *
  • Father of My Children  (Hansen-Love, France)
  • Flame & Citron  (Madsen, Denmark)
  • For a Moment, Freedom  (Rishi, Austria)  *
  • Forever Enthralled  (Chen, China)  *
  • The Girl who Played with Fire  (Alfredson, Sweden)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  (Oplev, Sweden)
  • Grandpa is Dead  (Topacio, Philippines)  *
  • Hadewijch  (Dumont, France)
  • Hideaway  (Ozon, France)
  • Home  (Meier, Switzerland)  *
  • Honeymoons  (Paskaljevic, Serbia)
  • The Human Centipede (First Sequence)  (Six, Netherlands)
  • I Am Love  (Guadagnino, Italy)
  • I Killed My Mother  (Dolan, Canada)  *
  • I Saw the Sun  (Kirmizigul, Turkey)  *
  • Inspector Bellamy  (Chabrol, France)
  • Involuntary  (Ostlund, Sweden)  *
  • Kabei: Our Mother  (Yamada, Japan)
  • Kelin  (Tursunov, Kazakhstan)  **
  • Landscape no 2  (Moderndorfer, Slovenia)  *
  • Lebanon  (Maoz, Israel)
  • Letters to Father Jacob  (Haro, Finland)  *
  • Little Girl  (Covi, Italy)
  • Mademoiselle Chambon  (Brize, France)
  • The Maid  (Silva, Chile)
  • Max Manus: Man of War  (Sandberg / Roenning, Norway)  *
  • Micmacs  (Jeunet, France)
  • The Milk of Sorrow  (Llosa, Peru)  ***
  • The Misfortunates  (van Groeningen, Belgium)  *
  • The Missing Lynx  (Sicilia, Spain)
  • Mother  (Bong, South Korea)  *
  • Nightguards  (Kabil, Bosnia)  *
  • Nobody to Watch Over Me  (Kimizuka, Japan)  *
  • OSS 117: Lost in Rio  (Hazanavicius, France)
  • The Other Bank  (Ovashvili, Georgia)  *
  • Police, Adjective  (Porymboiu, Romania)  *
  • The Princess of Montpensier  (Tavernier, France)
  • A Prophet  (Audiard, France)  ***
  • Protektor  (Najbrt, Czech Republic)  *
  • The Reverse  (Lankosz, Poland)  *
  • Reykjavik-Rotterdam  (Jonasson, Iceland)  *
  • Ricky  (Ozon, France)
  • The Road from Elephant Pass  (Rutnam, Sri Lanka)  *
  • Rudo y Corsi  (Cuaron, Mexico)
  • Samson and Delilah  (Thornton, Australia)  **
  • The Secret in Their Eyes  (Campanella, Argentina)  ****
  • Sin Nombre  (Fukunaga, Mexico)
  • Southern Zone  (Carlos Valdivia, Bolivia)  *
  • Spring Fever  (Lou, China)
  • Summer Wars  (Hosoda, Japan)
  • Terribly Happy  (Genz, Denmark)  *
  • Thirst  (Park, South Korea)
  • Time of Fear  (Rezende, Brazil)  *
  • The Time That Remains  (Suleiman, Palestine)
  • A Town Called Panic  (Aubier / Patar, France)
  • Valhalla Rising  (Refn, Denmark)
  • Vengeance  (To, Hong Kong)
  • Vincere  (Bellocchio, Italy)
  • Ward no 6  (Shakhnazarov, Russia)  *
  • White Material  (Denis, France)
  • The White Ribbon  (Haneke, Germany)  ***
  • White Wedding  (Turner, South Africa)  *
  • The Wind Journeys  (Guerra, Colombia)  *
  • Wingless  (Trajkov, Macedonia)  *
  • Winter in Wartime  (Koolhoven, Netherlands)  **
  • A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop  (Yimou, China)
  • The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner  (Komandarev, Bulgaria)  **

Note:  An increase of three to 97, one short of my all-time high.  France leads, of course, with 15 films.  Italy is in second place for the first time since 1994 with 5 films (its most since 1994).  There are, surprisingly, no new countries, though I have only my second film from Sri Lanka (and first in 12 years).  Peru has multiple films for the only time and Chile has multiple films for only the second time.  Thailand has no films for the first time in 10 years (because I am missing their submission for the first time for the first time since 1995 – they didn’t submit in 1999).  Denmark has four films, the only time it has had more than two.  India doesn’t have multiple films for the first time since 1999.  There are 6 Mysteries, twice as many as any previous year.  With India so low, there is only one Musical.  Dramas, as always lead, but with only 55, the fewest (in terms of percentage) since 1993.

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

  • Bangladesh:  Beyond the Circle  (dir. Biplob)
  • Greece:  Slaves in Their Bonds  (dir. Lykouressis)
  • Hong Kong:  Prince of Tears  (dir. Yonfan)
  • India:  Harischandrachi Factory  (dir. Mokashi)
  • Indonesia:  Jamila and the President  (dir. Sarumpaet)
  • Lithuania:  Vortex  (dir. Luksas)
  • Luxembourg:  Refractaire  (dir. Steil)
  • Puerto Rico:  Kabo and Platon  (dir. Rodriguez)
  • Serbia:  St. George Shoots the Dragon  (dir. Dragojevic)
  • Spain:  The Dancer and the Thief  (dir. Trueba)
  • Thailand:  Best of Times  (dir. Thongkongtoon)
  • Venezuela:  Libertador Morales, El Justiciero  (dir. Charlambidis)

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 53 for 65 (82%), my last year to-date over 80%.  With two fewer submissions than the year before this is the first year since 2004 that doesn’t set a new record.  There are a whopping 11 countries out from the year before (Egypt, Lebanon, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Palestine, Afghanistan, Jordan, Latvia), all of whom except Egypt will miss again in either 2010 or 2011 (and Egypt will miss in 2012).  Of the nine countries that are in that didn’t submit in 2008, almost all of them were just missing for one year (Cuba, Peru, Bolivia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, Australia) and the other two have submitted before (Armenia, Sri Lanka).  In fact, it’s the first year since 1988 where there is no country submitting for the first time.
These are my 1st miss (Bangladesh), 3rd (Lithuania, Puerto Rico), 4th (Thailand), 5th (Luxembourg), 6th (India, Indonesia, Serbia), 7th (Hong Kong), 8th (Venezuela), 10th (Greece) and 19th (Spain).

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

  • A Touch of Spice  (2004)
  • The Sun  (2005)
  • 12  (2007)
  • The Secret of the Grain  (2007)
  • Silent Light  (2007)
  • St Trinian’s  (2007)
  • The Trap  (2007)
  • You, the Living  (2007)
  • The Baader Meinhof Complex  (2008)
  • The Brothers Bloom  (2008)
  • Departures  (2008)
  • Dog Eat Dog  (2008)
  • Eldorado  (2008)
  • Everlasting Moments  (2008)
  • Franklyn  (2008)
  • The Headless Woman  (2008)
  • The Hurt Locker  (2008)
  • Il Divo  (2008)
  • In the Loop  (2008)
  • Julia  (2008)
  • Last Stop 174  (2008)
  • Lion’s Den  (2008)
  • Liverpool  (2008)
  • Lorna’s Silence  (2008)
  • Love of Siam  (2008)
  • Masquerades  (2008)
  • The Necessities of Life  (2008)
  • O’Horten  (2008)
  • Paris 36  (2008)
  • Phoebe in Wonderland  (2008)
  • Ponyo  (2008)
  • Red Cliff  (2008)
  • Revanche  (2008)
  • Seraphine  (2008)
  • Serbis  (2008)
  • Somers Town  (2008)
  • The Song of Sparrows  (2008)
  • Still Walking  (2008)
  • The Stoning of Soraya M  (2008)
  • Summer Hours  (2008)
  • Tear This Heart Out  (2008)
  • Three Monkeys  (2008)
  • Tokyo Sonata  (2008)
  • Tony Manero  (2008)
  • Treeless Mountain  (2008)
  • Tulpan  (2008)
  • Two Lovers  (2008)
  • Under the Bombs  (2008)
  • White Night Wedding  (2008)
  • The Window  (2008)
  • A Woman in Berlin  (2008)
  • Zift  (2008)

Note:  These 52 films average a 66.1.  Only two of them rank below **.5 (Serbis, Franklyn) while four of them are ***.5 and Revanche is a **** film.  Then there is The Hurt Locker, released to festivals in 2008 and then released in Italy but not released in the States until mid 2009.  That, of course, is why I do this, because how can I have the Oscar winner in a different year than it won the Oscar?

Films That Weren’t Eligible at the Oscars:

  • The Baader Meinhof Complex
  • Beeswax
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • Departures
  • Easier with Practic
  • Evangelion 1.0
  • Everlasting Moments
  • Fanboys
  • Flame & Citron
  • The Girlfriend Experience
  • Halloween II
  • Kabei: Our Mother
  • Last Stop 174
  • Loren Cass
  • Medicine for Melancholy
  • The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
  • Next Day Air
  • Phoebe in Wonderland
  • The Pit and the Pendulum
  • Police, Adjective
  • Push
  • Revanche
  • The Secret of the Grain
  • Seraphine
  • Somers Town
  • Still Walking
  • Summer Hours
  • The Sun
  • 3 Idiots
  • Three Monkeys
  • Tony Manero
  • Treeless Mountain
  • Tulpan
  • 12
  • You, the Living

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.

Films Not Listed at

  • About Elly
  • Alive!
  • Baaria
  • Broken Promise
  • Cannot Live Without You
  • Casanegra
  • Chameleon
  • Dawson, Isla 10
  • December Heat
  • Don’t Burn
  • Donkey
  • Doomed Love
  • Dorian Gray
  • Eldorado
  • Fallen Gods
  • For a Moment, Freedom
  • Forever Enthralled
  • Franklyn
  • Grandpa is Dead
  • Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
  • Hadewijch
  • The House of the Devil
  • I Saw the Sun
  • Involuntary
  • Kelin
  • Landscape no 2
  • Lion’s Den
  • Liverpool
  • Love of Siam
  • Masquerades
  • The Milk of Sorrow
  • Munyurangabo
  • My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done
  • The Necessities of Life
  • Nightguards
  • Nobody to Watch Over Me
  • O’Horten
  • The Other Bank
  • A Prophet
  • The Reverse
  • Reykjavik-Rotterdam
  • Ricky
  • The Road from Elephant Pass
  • Silent Light
  • Southern Zone
  • St Trinian’s
  • Tear This Heart Out
  • Terribly Happy
  • Time of Fear
  • A Touch of Spice
  • The Trap
  • Under the Bombs
  • White Night Wedding
  • The Wind Journeys
  • The Window
  • Wingless
  • Zift

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).  There are a lot this year because I was fairly successful at seeing the submitted films (plus some holdovers from earlier years).

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

  • Agora  (2010)
  • Ajami  (2010)
  • Amer  (2010)
  • Applause  (2010)
  • Around a Small Mountain  (2010)
  • Backyard  (2010)
  • Bluebeard  (2010)
  • Breaking Upwards  (2010)
  • Chloe  (2010)
  • City Island  (2010)
  • The City of Your Final Destination  (2010)
  • Copernicus’s Star  (2010)
  • The Cry of the Owl  (2010)
  • The Disappearance of Alice Creed  (2010)
  • Down Terrace  (2010)
  • Everyone Else  (2010)
  • The Exploding Girl  (2010)
  • Father of My Children  (2010)
  • Fish Tank  (2010)
  • The Girl who Played with Fire  (2010)
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  (2010)
  • Guy and Madeline on a Park Pench  (2010)
  • Hideaway  (2010)
  • The Human Centipede (First Sequence)  (2010)
  • I Am Love  (2010)
  • I Love You Philip Morris  (2010)
  • Idiots and Angels  (2010)
  • Inspector Bellamy  (2010)
  • Leaves of Grass  (2010)
  • Lebanon  (2010)
  • Letters to Father Jacob  (2010)
  • Mademoiselle Chambon  (2010)
  • Metropia  (2010)
  • Micmacs  (2010)
  • Mother  (2010)
  • My Dog Tulip  (2010)
  • Nowhere Boy  (2010)
  • OSS 117: Lost in Rio  (2010)
  • Paper Man  (2010)
  • Samson and Delilah  (2010)
  • The Secret in Their Eyes  (2010)
  • Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll  (2010)
  • Spring Fever  (2010)
  • Summer Wars  (2010)
  • Valhalla Rising  (2010)
  • Vengeance  (2010)
  • Vincere  (2010)
  • Ward no 6  (2010)
  • White Material  (2010)
  • White Wedding  (2010)
  • A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop  (2010)
  • Bad Day to Go Fishing  (2011)
  • A Brand New Life  (2011)
  • City of Life and Death  (2011)
  • The Double Hour  (2011)
  • Little Girl  (2011)
  • Max Manus: Man of War  (2011)
  • The Princess of Montpensier  (2011)
  • Protektor  (2011)
  • The Time That Remains  (2011)
  • Winter in Wartime  (2011)
  • The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner  (2011)
  • I Killed My Mother  (2012)
  • Solomon Kane  (2012)
  • St Trinian’s 2: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold  (2013)
  • Chameleon  (2014)

Note:  These 66 films average a 61.7.  There are eight ***.5 films, but even the best of them (The Secret in Their Eyes) is not higher than mid ***.5 and none of them really have any effect on the Nighthawk Awards.  At the other end, there are a lot of ** films but only three films worse than that, with two * films (Paper Man, Solomon Kane) but also a zero star film that will get a write-up as the worst film of 2010: Human Centipede.