Wednesday, January 28, 2009

As the world holds its breath...

Presenting...the 2008 Golden Steve Awards.

Far and away the most coveted of motion picture accolades, Golden Steves are frequently described as the Oscars without the politics. Impervious to bribery, unreceptive to ballyhoo, disgusted by sentiment and riddled with integrity, this committee of one might legitimately be termed “fair-mindedness incarnate.” Over 100 of the year’s most acclaimed features were screened prior to the compilation of this ballot. First, a few caveats:

1) Owing to a lifelong suspicion of prime numbers, each category (save Best Animated Feature) is comprised of six nominees, not five.
2) Several of the works under scrutiny received international distribution before January 1, 2008. However, they were unavailable to American audiences and thus ineligible for Golden Steve consideration until now.
3) This list is in no way connected with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—a fact that should be apparent from its acumen. Please look elsewhere for Oscar predictions.

And now, the worthy honorees:

Best Picture
The Edge of Heaven
Let the Right One In
My Winnipeg
The Wrestler

Best Director
Fatih Akin, The Edge of Heaven
Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In
Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler
Matteo Garrone, Gomorra
Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky
Guy Maddin, My Winnipeg

Best Actor
Michael Fassbender, Hunger
Brendan Gleeson, In Bruges
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Maria Heiskanen, Everlasting Moments
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Kristin Scott Thomas, I’ve Loved You So Long
Galina Vishnevskaya, Alexandra
Michelle Williams, Wendy and Lucy

Best Supporting Actor
Michel Blanc, The Witnesses
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Ralph Fiennes, The Duchess
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz, Vicki Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Martina Gedeck, The Baader Meinhof Complex
Ann Savage, My Winnipeg
Hanna Schygulla, The Edge of Heaven
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Best Screenplay--Adapted
The Class (Francois Begaudeau, Robin Campillo)
Everlasting Moments (Niklas Radstrom)
Frost/Nixon (Peter Morgan)
Gomorra (Maurizio Braucci, Ugo Chiti, et al)
Let the Right One In (John Ajvide Lindqvist)
Tell No One (Guillaume Canet and Philippe Lefebvre)

Best Screenplay--Original
The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin)
Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh)
Milk (Dustin Lance Black)
My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin and George Toles)
Revanche (Gotz Spielmann)
The Wrestler (Robert D. Siegel)

Best Animated Feature
Chicago 10 (Brett Morgen)
$9.99 (Tatia Rosenthal)
WALL-E (Andrew Stanton)
Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman)

Best Non-Fiction Film
Bigger, Stronger, Faster (Chris Bell)
Chris and Don: A Love Story (Tina Mascara and Guido Santi)
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (Kurt Kuenne)
Encounters at the End of the World (Werner Herzog)
Trouble the Water (Carl Deal and Tia Lessin)
Up the Yangtze (Yung Chang)

Best Foreign Language Film
The Class (Laurent Cantet)
The Edge of Heaven (Fatih Akin)
Everlasting Moments (Jan Troell)
Gomorra (Matteo Garrone)
Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson)
Revanche (Gotz Spielmann)

Best Original Song
"Dracula's Lament," Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Jason Segel)
"Little Person," Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, Jon Brion)
"Once in a Lifetime," Cadillac Records (Ian Dench, Amanda Ghost, Beyonce Knowles)
"Trouble the Water," Trouble the Water (Kimberly Rivers Roberts)
"Up to Our Nex," Rachel Getting Married (Robyn Hitchcock)
"The Wrestler," The Wrestler (Bruce Springsteen)