Including Ann Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Adrian Grenier, Tracie Thoms, Rich Sommer and Gisele Bündchen.
Mostly all of them are making this film incredibly enjoyable and you can tell they were all best buds off camera too.
Including Laura Linney, Gabriel Byrne, Deborra-Lee Furness, John Howard, Simon Stone, Leah Purcell, Eva Lazzaro, Sean Rees-Wemyss, Alice Garner, Stelios Yiakmis, Betty Lucas and Chris Haywood.
They felt like a real community, a real group of friends and real families. Impressive work.
Including Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin, Paula Newsome and Matt Winston.
Very much the family (plus a couple of others along the way). All that time on set together must have really bonded them.
Including Ben Sliney and literally everyone else.
All together they create a collection of random people who I routinely forgot were actors.
Including Penélope Cruz, Lola Dueñas, Carmen Maura, Yohana Cobo, Blanca Portilla and Chus Lampreave.
Just like the cast of Little Miss Sunshine, these lovely ladies all seem to come from the same gene pool off camera. Almodovar knows how to work casts.
The cast of United 93
The cast of Volver
The cast of Little Miss Sunshine
One of a two high-profile cameos built to add extra pathos to this story (the other is William McInnes), Bourne is actually great as the weary medical officer sprouting sage advice.
Thank You For Smoking
Continuing his nerdy jewish geek shtick, Brody continues to prove adept at these smallish cameos, but I can't imagine spending two hours with this man. Still fun though.
Destilling a whole chunk of what the movie is about in his one amazing scene. The scene also works as a representation of other issues including agism and homophobia in public life.
Proving that he doesn't have to be a bonehead with an IQ of 20 for a role, Sampson shows that he is one of those actors to watch if he starts getting major roles of this variety.
Fast Food Nation
Gets one of this film's major scenes as the man who, literally, talks shit. Willis is on fire in his brief appearance, so much so that I wish he'd do something this good elsewhere.
No Honourable Mentions.
Bruce Willis for Fast Food Nation
Shane Bourne for Kokoda
Alan Mandell for Shortbus
"Mother in Hospital"
World Trade Center
Giving the film it's only truly amazing moment as a grieving mother. Steals the movie with one tiny scene without a name. No pics of her anywhere (not even a clip on youtube) to prove it. Sad.
The Black Dahlia
With a nudge and a wink, McGowen proves she knows exactly what sort of movie she's in with this bizarre Cleopatra lesbian sequence. Deranged, but I loved it.
Hilarious as Grandma Paula who shows utter disdain for niece Sole. Lampreave has tread this road before with Almodóvar, but it's still fresh and fun.
Playing the "Disapproving Ethnic Mother" role can be a call to overact and descend into cliché, but Rehman's Bhagavati is quiet, soulful and you can understand where she's coming from.
This predominately TV and stage actress gets a small two-scene role in this miserable Aussie flick and takes it beyond everything I could expect. Some of the finest five minutes of the year.
Again though, there aren't any pictures out there to show for it.
Honourable Mentions: Just like the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories, there was plenty to choose from here this year. Betty Lucas was cold but caring in Jindabyne. Illeana Douglas is still a riot in Factory Girl, Sandra Oh shows up briefly as the suspicious neighbour in Hard Candy. Emma Lung was the only good thing in Footy Legends and she was barely even there. Loretta Devine was just that (er, divine) in Dreamgirls. Victoria Hill had fun with her saucy screaming lounge singer in BoyTown. Elspeth Ballantyne did fine work in The Caterpillar Wish. Donna Murphy's twofer of World Trade Center and The Fountain are more to add to the Murphy file. Marylouise Burke was funny as the fussy lunchlady in A Prairie Home Companion. Debra Wilson's impersonation of Oprah Winfrey always makes me laugh like it did in Scary Movie 4.
Kat Stewart for Em4Jay
Viola Davis for World Trade Center
Waheeda Rehman for Water
"Hammy the Squirrel"
Over the Hedge
Manic and crazy. Actually creating a character with his voice, not merely voicing a character.
Clearly relishing the chance to do something a little different. It's a shame we never got Maggie on screen before she was too old to play bitchy high schoolers. She seems like a good fit here!
"Roddy St James"
Jackman showing off his flawless (well, it sounds pretty darn good to me, can any Brits clarify?) British accent and his rarely demonstrated comic timing to great effect.
Paul Newman and Bonnie Hunt for Cars were the only honourable mentions but didn't feel like putting them in.
Steve Carell for Over the Hedge
Maggie Gyllenhaal for Monster House
Hugh Jackman for Flushed Away
The Devil Wears Prada
A true star-making performance, and she did it by keeping her accent! Way to go. Hopefully Blunt can parlay this success into work and hopefully she keeps comedy within grasp.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America...
In terms of the big screen, nobody made a bigger splash than Cohen, which his unPC humour. Is sure to transfer it into being one of the cinemas more refreshing comedians.
Little Miss Sunshine (Plus, The King and Fast Food Nation)
Dano's first major role L.I.E. never received a release down here as far as I can tell, so his great hatrick added, for me, another talented young man to the acting roster.
"Lady Macbeth" and "Alma Brooks"
Macbeth and Hunt Angels
A big breakthrough year for Hill who also had a fun cameo in BoyTown. I have a big feeling that Hill is gonna grow to be a favourite of mine. Not sure why. I just clicked to her.
Stamping her face and voice onto cinema for the first, she definitely broke through. The future is aces for Hudson, I suspect, both on and off the cinema screen.
Honourable Mentions: Claire-Hope Ashitey is another african-british actress (after the likes of Marieanne-Jean Baptiste and Sophie Okonedo) on her way to stardom. Shane Jacobson hopefully won't coast on Kenny love forever. Sook-Yin Lee and Lindsay Beamish had great screen presence in Shortbus. Rafi Gavron impressed me in Breaking and Entering. Rinko Kikuchi can hopefully demonstrate her talent further after Babel. Anika Noni Rose didn't get the plaudits, but she has the talent after seeing her in Dreamgirls. Christian Byers and Victoria Thaine seem like two great young Aussie talents from Opal Dream and Caterpillar Wish respectively.
Emily Blunt for The Devil Wears Prada
Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls
Victoria Hill for Macbeth, Hunt Angels and BoyTown
I'm giving the debut casts of 2:37 and 12 and Holding honourary UMA awards. They're all excellent (except for perhaps one, but it's mean to exclude him) and I could've made a final five making performers from just these two films. I hope to see them on screen in the future. They include:
From 2:37: Teresa Palmer, Frank Sweet, Sam Harris, Joel Mackenzie, Marni Spillane, Clementine Mellor, Charles Baird and Sarah Hudson
From 12 and Holding: Conor Donovan, Zoe Weizenbaum and Jesse Camacho
Little Miss Sunshine
I hope this husband and wife team can build on the buzz they created with Little Miss Sunshine, they're obviously talented behind the camera and seem to work well as a team.
It will be interesting to see whether Jacobson can get out of the immense shadow of Kenny and make another hit. As it stands he's one of our great hopes for Aussie comedy in cinema.
It's always nice to have a new geek director around. His talents lie in his ability to create a whole universe on film, so I hope his next film (featuring Rinko Kikuchi!) is equally intoxicating.
If Kenan continues to add the freshness to animated films like he did with Monster House he could become a formidible force in the realm of animation.
Despite my misigivings about the film and about Thalluri's copying of Elephant aesthetics, for such a young man, he sure did seem confident and talented.
Honourable Mentions: Can a distributer seriously release Michael Cuesta's L.I.E. because 12 and Holding was great stuff. Sandra Scibberas showed a keen eye in The Caterpillar Wish. Christian Volkcman would be best to work on a better screenplay, because with the visual panache of Reneissance he could have a doozy up his sleeve if they matched.
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for Little Miss Sunshine
Murali K Thalluri for 2:37
Rian Johnson for Brick
Craig Conway and others
Utterly frightening and grotesque. The moment these baddies show up it's non-stop terror. Just thinking about them gives me the shivers.
The Devil Wears Prada
Viciously licking her lips at the prospect of destroying another young mortal soul, Streep's Priestly is everyone's worst nightmare that is scarily very real.
Only appearing in the film in a few select scenes, Haywood's Gregory is just like the monster who is scarier when you only see him in glimpses. Killing for no reason.
A despicable, if slimily charming, general with a sick mind. Seemingly gets his rocks off by smashing people's faces in with bottles and sowing his face back together.
An utterly deranged off her nut crazy psycho bitch. The even scarier thing is, Barclay's portrayal of Katrina is so spot-on (trust me on that) that it's like a documentary.
Honourable Mentions: "Constance" was one mean motha' in Monster House. "Davey Jones" (Bill Nighy) was a wildly inventive villain for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. "The Creature" (Grant Grant) from Slither was grotesque to the highest order, as were "The Mutants" of The Hills Have Eyes. And, yes, the snakes from Snakes on a Plane hissed like nothin' else.
I was also going to put the Right-Wing Arseholes from Shut Up & Sing in there, but there was nothing good about those villains. They're probably the worst kind, but not right for here.
"Katrina Skinner" from Suburban Mayhem
"The Crawlers" from The Descent
"Miranda Priestly" from The Devil Wears Prada
An Inconvenient Truth
I disapprove of his methods (attacking, blaming, making people feel solely responsibly for something they had no control over), but his aim is worthy and it's seemingly worked. A little bit.
Children of Men
Showing clarity in the face of danger, Owen's Theo takes the reigns to prove to himself that there is still something in this and his own world worth fighting for.
Voices of Mitchel Musso, Sam Lerner and Spencer Locke
Battling that demon of suburbia, the haunted house, these kids pull together to save their street.
Shut Up & Sing
Flying in the face of rational thinking, Maines stands her ground against a-grade arseholes without trepidation. Showing those bigots that they may fool some, but the Chicks are now stronger than ever.
Er, there were a lot of 'em
Teaming together to defeat the terrorists and to stop their names being synonymous with the murder of more people, they perform the biggest act of courage imaginable.
Honourable Mentions: "Rupert Kathner" and "Alma Brooks" (Ben Mendelsohn and Victoria Hill) were out to save Australian film in Hunt Angels. "James Bond" (Daniel Craig) did his thing in Casino Royale with class. "Bill Pardy" (Nathan Fillion) was a hoot while saving the townsfolk of Slither.
"Natalie Maines" from Shut Up & Sing
"The Passengers" from United 93
"Theo" from Children of Men
Bond gets a gratuitous out-of-the-water shot and becomes the sex fantasy of everybody and their dogs immediately. For good reason. A very fanciable reboot of the character.
Believable as the "Prom King" in high school AND as a hot daddy in the park. Can anyone honestly say they wouldn't wanna revolve their day around him?
The Notorious Bettie Page
Effervescent and full of spirit, this Bettie Page is a charmer, but when she flicks that switch inside her she becomes a full blown sex machine. Smokin'.
Thank You For Smoking
The best thing I can say about Aaron/Nick is that I totally understand why everyone would wanna jump into bed with him. He's rip-your-top-off-who-cares-about-the-buttons sexy.
Voluptuous and curvy is always preferably to skinny stick figures, and Cruz encaspulates this perfectly as Raimunda. She is the "exotic beauty".
Honourable Mentions: Hugh Jackman was his usual delicious self as "Peter Nylan" in Scoop (imagary proof). "Luke", Sam Harris, in 2:37 had that cocky jock thing going on and he had a behind nude scene. Nice way to make an impression if you ask me. "Narayan", John Abraham, was all sorts of dreamy in Water (imagary proof). And while "Macbeth" wasn't sexy in the movie Macbeth, I would jump Sam Worthington any day of the week. Plus, here he had a shower scene, so...
Daniel Craig for Casino Royale
Penélope Cruz for Volver
Aaron Eckhart for Thank You For Smoking
At first you're not quite sure and it's unclear what it is you just saw, but quickly after when The Crawler makes it's presence felt, it hits you like a stack of bricks. I jumped outta my seat!
The Devil Wears Prada
An iconic entrance for a now iconic character. The occasional glimpse: the silver hair, the killer shows. Even the models are intimidated. And then the elevator door opens...
The Good German
Out of the shadows we see a figure just like they did in the classics. It's a woman, slowly the light hits her and it's Lena. We already know she's gonna cause trouble.
We enter the funeral parlour, Katrina goes up to the coffin and cries her heart out before returning to her seat. Then she receives an SMS - "I wanna fuck you doggy style". She laughs. And so it begins.
Sole runs through the house, fearing a mysterious person is roaming around her mother's home. Then out from the shadows emerges... her mother. Her dead mother. Oy...
Honourable Mentions: "Pan the Faun" (Doug Jones) in Pan's Labyrinth memorably emerges from his (?) camouflage state. "Marie Antoinette" and "HRM Queen Elizabeth II" (Kirsten Dunst and Helen Mirren) both have winking "hello subjects" moments at the start of Marie Antoinette and The Queen.
"Miranda Priestly" in The Devil Wears Prada
"Katrina Skinner" in Suburban Mayhem
"The Crawler" in The Descent