Alex’s 2010 Ira Ballot

What the heck are the Iras, anyway? The Iras are the result of the annual get-together of a bunch of film scholars and writers, many of whom went to Columbia film school together back when Aaron and I were wee tots. They first assembled in 1975, when they named Barry Lyndon the best film of that year (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz). Named for one of the original voters — that is, a dude named Ira — the awards are this circle’s own round-up of the best and worst in the year in film.

The ceremony is this Saturday, March 26. In my apartment. There will be a red carpet outside my building in case you want to get any of the Ira voters’ autographs as they arrive.

Aaron and I will, of course, post the results, but in the meantime, here are our ballots.

I must say that I’ve never had as hard a time composing my ballot as I have for 2010, a year in which I set a new record for movies seen — 91 (though that’s not a patch on Aaron’s total) — but I also saw more good movies in 2010 than I can remember seeing in any year since I’ve been an Ira voter.

It pains me, for instance, that I can’t feature Blue Beard, Inspector BellamyMademoiselle Chambon, Dogtooth more prominently on my ballot. Wonderful movies. And there are movies I really liked — The Father of My Children, Greenberg, The Girl on the Train, The Social Network, Fish Tank — that go entirely unmentioned. I wish I had a way to point up the most unexpectedly moving movie experience of the year (Hot Tub Time Machine) or the shocker that will, I believe, become a landmark horror film (The Human Centipede). And there were so many riveting documentaries this year — October Country, Sweetgrass, Alamar, The Oath, Exit through the Gift Shop, Last Train Home, Catfish — that 2010 presents a great case that we should do a Best Documentary category at the Iras. (A point of contentious argument.)

But alas…. Here, then, is my imperfect ballot.

One last word of explanation: the ballot works on a point system. So Carlos is my top pick for Best Costume Design — my 5-pointer — with Winter’s Bone my next best, then I Am Love, etc.

Alex’s 2010 Ira Ballot

Best Costume Design:

  • 5 points: François Clavel, Carlos
  • 4 points: Rebecca Hofherr, Winter’s Bone
  • 3 points: Antonella Cannarozzi, I Am Love
  • 2 points: Natalie Ward, Red Riding: 1974
  • 1 point: Adelaide Maria Trêpa, The Strange Case of Angelica and Eccentricities of a Blond-Haired Girl

Best Production Design:

  • 5 Dante Ferretti, Shutter Island
  • 4 Robert Stromberg, Alice in Wonderland
  • 3 Jacques Saulnier, Wild Grass
  • 2 Mark Digby, Never Let Me Go
  • 1 Albrecht Konrad, The Ghost Writer

Best Score:

  • 5 John Adams, I Am Love
  • 4 Heitor Pereira & Pharrell Williams, Despicable Me
  • 3 Nathaniel Méchaly, Eyes Wide Open
  • 2 Kaare Bjerkø, Terribly Happy
  • 1 Herbert Grönemeyer, The American

Best Cinematography:

  • 5 Yorick Le Saux, I Am Love & Carlos
  • 4 Yong-kyo Cho, Secret Sunshine
  • 3 Lixin Fan, Last Train Home
  • 2 Goof de Koning, The Human Centipede
  • 1 Edward Lachman, Life During Wartime & Howl

Best Supporting Actress:

  • 5 Aggeliki Papoulia, Dogtooth
  • 4 Dale Dickey, Winter’s Bone
  • 3 Helena Bonham-Carter, Alice in Wonderland (but not The King’s Speech)
  • 2 Maria Paiato, I Am Love
  • 1 Keira Knightley, Never Let Me Go

Best Supporting Actor:

  • 5 Pierce Brosnan, The Ghost Writer
  • 4 Miles Tenner, Rabbit Hole
  • 3 Ciaran Hinds, Life During Wartime
  • 2 Ned Beatty, Toy Story 3
  • 1 Matt Damon, True Grit

Best Actress: (This was the hardest category for me this year. I could make three lists.)

  • 5 Do-yeon Jeon, Secret Sunshine
  • 4 Birgit Minichmayr, Everyone Else
  • 3 Allison Janney, Life During Wartime
  • 2 Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
  • 1 Sandrine Kiberlain, Mademoiselle Chambon

Best Actor:

  • 5 Édgar Ramírez, Carlos
  • 4 Tahar Rahim, A Prophet
  • 3 Qin Hao, Spring Fever
  • 2 Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island (but not Inception)
  • 1 Jim Carrey, I Love You Phillip Morris

Best Screenplay:

  • 5 Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3
  • 4 Chang-dong Lee, Secret Sunshine
  • 3 Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, I Love You Phillip Morris
  • 2 Mariana Chenillo, Nora’s Will
  • 1 Nicole Holofcener, Please Give

Best Director:

  • 5 Olivier Assayas, Carlos
  • 4 Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3
  • 3 Catherine Breillat, Blue Beard
  • 2 Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island
  • 1 Claude Chabrol (R.I.P.), Inspector Bellamy

Best Picture:

  • 5 Toy Story 3
  • 4 Carlos
  • 3 Last Train Home
  • 2 Secret Sunshine
  • 1 I Love You Phillip Morris

And now for the ironic awards…

Mechanical Actress:

  • 5 Natalie Portman, Black Swan
  • 4 Mia Wasikowska, Alice in Wonderland (but not The Kids Are All Right)
  • 3 Helena Bonham-Carter, The King’s Speech (but not Alice in Wonderland)
  • 2 Kerry Washington, Night Catches Us
  • 1 Edith Piaf, Inception (What the hell is her name? Why can I never remember that actress’s name? She won an Oscar for the Edith Piaf movie? Anyway, in Inception she plays Leo’s dead wife. Badly.)

Mechanical Actor:

  • 5 Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception (but not Shutter Island)
  • 4 Niels Arestrup, A Prophet (sorry, Aaron)
  • 3 Sean Penn, Fair Game
  • 2 Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
  • 1 Anthony Hopkins, The Wolfman

Dramamine: (for the movie that makes you sick)

  • 5 Biutiful, or: Is This Horrible Asshole Dead Yet?
  • 4 Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, or: How To Get Whatever You Want By Being a Narcissistic, Solipsistic, Ambition-less, Talentless, Misogynistic Assclown
  • 3 Black Swan, or: Auto-Neurotica
  • 2 Blue Valenine, or: Come Spend Two Hours with the Most Hateful People You’ve Ever Met
  • 1 Enter the Void, or: Anti-Abortion Propaganda Disguised as Hokey Spiritualism, or: Rape: The Movie

Sominex: (for the movie that puts you to sleep)

  • 5 Inception
  • 4 Double Take
  • 3 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  • 2 The King’s Speech
  • 1 Soul Kitchen

About Aaron & Alex

We're two highly opinionated, movie-going, liberal, cynical, (single) New York Jews who like to bitch about movies.
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