gARTh's 2008 Movie Awards


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Beginning in 2008, the winners were chosen by user voting via Myspace and Facebook, with the exception of in a few categories added later. These are marked with an *.

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire

Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

Angelina Jolie - Changeling

Supporting Actor:
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight

Supporting Actress:
Kate Winslet - The Reader

Adapted Screenplay:
Eric Roth - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Original Screenplay:
Martin McDonagh - In Bruges

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

Art Direction:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Costume Design:
The Fall

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Visual Effects:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button


Music - Original Score:
A.R. Rahman - Slumdog Millionaire

Music - Original Song:
Jack White and Alicia Keys - "Another Way To Die" - Quantum of Solace

*Music - Use of Previously Recorded Song; Feature:
Flo Rida & T-Pain - "Low" - Tropic Thunder

*Music - Use of Previously Recorded Song; Trailer:
M.I.A. - "Paper Planes" - Pineapple Express

Animated Feature Film:

Documentary Feature Film:
Man On Wire

Foreign Language Film:
Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) - Sweden

*Animated Performance:
Jim Carrey - Horton Hears a Who!

Villainous Performance:
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight

Comedic Performance:
Robert Downey, Jr. - Tropic Thunder

Cameo / Bit-Part Performance:
Tom Cruise - Tropic Thunder

Breakthrough Performance:
Bobb'e J. Thompson - Role Models

Breakthrough Filmmaker:
Martin McDonagh - In Bruges

Tropic Thunder

The Dark Knight - The Joker (Heath Ledger) and his accomplices pull off a bank heist.

Tropic Thunder - "First, take a big step back... and literally, FUCK YOUR OWN FACE! I don't know what kind of pan-Pacific bullshit power play you're trying to pull here, but Asia, Jack, is <i>my</i> territory. So whatever you're thinking, you'd better think again! Otherwise I'm gonna have to head down there and I will rain down in a Godly fucking firestorm upon you! You're gonna have to call the fucking United Nations and get a fucking binding resolution to keep me from fucking destroying you. I'm talking about a scorched Earth, motherfucker! I will massacre you! I will FUCK YOU UP!"

The Dark Knight - "Why so serious?"

Poster Art: (select link to view)
The Dark Knight (One Sheet 4)

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*Most Underrated Film:

Films that did not receive a wide release, were unsuccessful at the box office, were not nominated for any major awards or receive acclaim at any major film festivals, and were generally unknown to most audiences at the time of their release... but were well-liked by most critics and audiences that did happen to see them.

Transsiberian - Directed by Brad Anderson. Written by Brad Anderson and Will Conroy.

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Special Achievement Award:

Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight

Ever since his mainstream breakthrough in 2000 with the film Memento, director Christopher Nolan has only gotten better at enveloping audiences in his vision. From his Alaskan take on the Skjoldbjærg cult classic Insomnia in 2002, to his first voyage into Gotham with Batman Begins in 2005, and then developing a world of mystery, magic, and thrills with The Prestige in 2006, he has taken what he's learned prior and expanded on it considerably. Therefore, it was no surprise that The Dark Knight was more than just another sequel, more than just another comicbook adaptation, and more than just another summer action film. The Dark Knight, as the late Heath Ledger explains in the film, "...has changed things."

Currently resting as the second-highest grossing film of all time at almost a billion dollars in world-wide box office receipts (in the middle of an economic recession), the film will be studied from here on out as an expertly executed masterpiece. Just as Jonathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs and David Fincher's Se7en changed the way thrillers are viewed by audiences and created by filmmakers in the years after their respective releases, so will Nolan's directing choices be analyzed in the years to come. Nolan's solid directing is just the beginning, however, of The Dark Knight's ingenuity. Cinematographer Wally Pfiste's breakthrough use of IMAX film technology in all of the major action set pieces, to enhance the scope and create the largest possible viewing canvas, has already opened the door for Hollywood to use this technology in ways they'd never dreamed. Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's breathtakingly subtle score embeds a sense of threatening madness and underlying bravery into the scenes instead of the standard pumping action cues, therefore adding to the suspense of The Joker's threat, the sadness of Harvey Dent's loss, and the monumental sacrifices our hero must make to ensure the betterment of the city and people he loves. Even the story and character development as written by screenwriters Jonathan and Christopher Nolan defy mainstream conventions, by having the hero take a backseat to what should be the supporting characters throughout the bulk of the film. With this, Nolan says to his audience that Bruce Wayne and his alter-ego Batman are not, in fact, the only story to be told here in Gotham City; his fate is intertwined with that of the city and the array of interesting characters that populate it. The continuing themes of whether or not Batman can, and more importantly why he should, continue to do what he does leaves the audience in the end with a greater sense of what it actually means to be a hero than any superhero film before it.

With outstanding performances by Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, and Gary Oldman, and supporting performances by Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Eric Roberts, Chin Han, Anthony Michael Hall, Joshua Harto, and Colin McFarlane, the film shines scene-to-scene with powerful emotion and intelligent dialogue. Heath Ledger's legendary performance as The Joker stands as a testament to the amount of dedication all those involved put into this film, and Aaron Eckhart's wonderfully powerful journey of a man of duty and honor's fall from grace as a result of tragedy will remain just as poignant ten or twenty years from now as it is in 2008.

Before the film's opening, the groundbreaking viral marketing campaign developed by 42 Entertainment brought fans into the world of Gotham City and let them participate in the story leading up to the film. Whether it was having an army of fans dressed as The Joker's minions search through cities around the country for clues or actively voting in the election for Gotham's new District Attorney Harvey Dent, fans were able to unlock trailers, images from the film, or more viral marketing websites with details bridging the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

With The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan and his wonderful cast and crew have proven that superheroes are more than just a pop-culture phenomena and that films based on comicbooks can be both entertainment and artform, both of the highest caliber. Of all the films of 2008, this will be the one that will be remembered not only for its mass appeal as a landmark in entertainment that broke box-office records, but for its accomplishments along the way that progressed the film industry as a whole even further into the new millennium.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful words about a truly monumental film. The Dark Night is probably the most perfect film of the first decade of the 21st century.........that and Idlewild :)