Muriels: If I ran the Muriels

This year’s Muriels have been put to bed, so you no longer have to worry about any 2009 film awards, unless you’re dying to see what designer Sandra Bullock will be wearing to the Oscars.

So, now I can finally speak my mind without fear of oppression by those blowhards/proprietors of the Muriel Awards, Steve Carlson and Paul Clark. I’ll finally reveal my full 2009 ballot, and detail the awards as they SHOULD HAVE RIGHTFULLY GONE if only everyone thought just like me.

Best Film: Sita Sings the Blues.

Synopsis as posted during the Muriel Awards.

Watch the entire movie online for free thanks to Creative Commons licensing at

Best Actor: Sam Rockwell, Moon.

Rockwell plays an Everyman (somewhat literally) with a lonely job stuck out on the moon. Rockwell appeared in darn near every scene, and is ultimately watchable and believable as our narrator throughout this throwback sci-fi film.

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton, Julia.

Swinton as a blackout drunk and a calculating kidnapper = OWNAGE. If I didn’t give her this award, she’d probably drive me over with a tank and snatch it.

More after the jump…

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Synopsis as posted during the Muriel Awards.

Best Supporting Actress: Alycia Delmore, Humpday

This one surprised me. Amidst a seriously silly premise, Delmore’s ability to ground her reactions in reality earned her my personal Muriel.

Best Director: Nina Paley, Sita Sings the Blues

The magical director of magical film.

Best Screenplay: Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin and Tony Roche, In the Loop

The cursing is otherworldly, but the blackness of this comedy and the cracking interchanges between its insider cast owe everything to a masterful script. NSFW clip:

Best Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle, Antichrist

Best Music: Inglourious Basterds

Best Cinematic Moment: Sniper fight in the desert, The Hurt Locker

It starts out as confusion in the desert, but director Kathryn Bigelow knows how to film and pace an action sequence. The scene also alters the relationship between the main three soldiers for the rest of the film.

Best Cinematic Breakthrough: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Body of Work: Michael Fassbender, Hunger and Inglourious Basterds

Best Ensemble Performance: In the Loop

Best Web-Based Criticism: The AV Club

10th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film, 1999: Three Kings

Sadly, I don’t think David O. Russell has been the same director since.

25th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film, 1984: Blood Simple

The first Coen Bros. film and still a great one. Even though the final scene is memorable and terrifying, this is the one that hooked me originally:

50th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film, 1959: The 400 Blows

Established the New Wave as an actual movement and featured a memorable ending.

Best Film of the Decade: No Country for Old Men

Best Performance of the Decade, Male: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Performance of the Decade, Female: Naomi Watts, Mulholland Dr.

Best Directorial Work of the Decade: Paul Greengrass, Bloody Sunday, Bourne Supremacy, United 93, Bourne Ultimatum

Thoughts? I await your comments on winners, or the whole ballot. And of course, I’ll be watching to see who Sandy Bullock is wearing. What are you, kidding?


Posted on March 1, 2010, in Film news and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Word, word, word, word (1200 words?) to Three Kings and 400 Blows. As awesome as the last scene in 400 Blows is, the one that always kills me is where Truffaut just puts the camera on Jean-Pierre Leaud while he is asked about girls. …The 800 different vivid emotions that play across his face… Remembering that scene and how AMAZING that kid is and how heartbreaking it is that his parents don’t have time for him makes me want to be a more attentive parent.

    Comcast OnDemand is making a mint off of our housebound and too-busy-even-to-rejoin-Netflix selves this week—watched “Up” over the weekend, am halfway through “Inglourious Basterds,” and then plan to watch “The Hurt Locker.” We saw “Up in the Air” during our last date night, so that’ll make four movies I’ll have some acquaintance with while watching the Oscars.

    Keep in mind that I’m only halfway through the movie and watched the scene at 1:15 AM this morning, but what was WITH the sustained shots of the strudel in the restaurant scene in “Inglourious Basterds”?! Does that pay off in any way? Is it the Portentious Carefully Sculpted Strudel of Doom? The strudel shots didn’t really add anything to an already very menacing scene. With the high-profile presence of milk in the same and other scenes, does QT just have a thing for dairy products?

  2. Re: BASTERDS. Strudel is delicious. Who doesn’t like a nice strudel? I also think that this is evidence of Landa’s arrogance about being refined. QT lingers overs the strudel, as if to say, “He’s right, that’s a delectable strudel.” Again, the Nazi instinctively being correct about things can come off as terrifying to a Jew trying to pass for French right in front of his face.

    Re: dairy. Perhaps QT is lactose-intolerant. Actually, I think Landa’s odd request for milk for Shoshanna during the strudel scene had a lot to do with scaring her (and the audience) about recognizing her from the dairy farm.

    Another thought, is Landa’s ordering her dessert an implication of their age difference – like an adult buying a child an ice cream cone? Or is it an attempt at wooing a young lass? Either way, Waltz is so creepy when he instructs/scolds her to “wait for the cream”. Sexuality? Perversion? Maybe it’s all in the mix.

  3. Re: 400 BLOWS. Yep, that scene is a winner. Although it makes you feel a bit like this isn’t really fiction. With that question, Truffaut captured an actual response, with no artifice of character.

    Can’t believe it got beat by NORTH BY NORTHWEST, which is in my mind, a minor Hitchcock movie featuring famous set pieces.

  4. Ooo! I like your strudel analysis, especially the last paragraph. I hadn’t thought of the “wait for the cream” comment that way, but that makes a lot of sense. OK–now the sumptuous yet sinister strudel shots seem more sensible and significant. And I’m hungry!

    And yeah, that had always been my sense of the scene in 400 Blows, too—that it was a kind of happy documentary accident that Truffaut had the great good sense to just put on the screen whole.

    Oh, and thanks for posting the (FREE! AWESOME!) link to “Sita Sings the Blues”! I’m looking forward to watching it as soon as I get a chance.

    Did you know that Tilda Swinton, in addition to being an acting force of nature, is also (as “SWINTON”) much beloved as a fug force of nature on (I’d include a link to their “SWINTON” posts here, but WordPress was not letting me add this comment, I think perhaps because of that link, so I’m going to have to omit it.)

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