Martin McClellan

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Martin McClellan is a designer and writer living in Seattle. He can't remember a time when he didn't love movies. When he was in elementary school he begged his father, a minister, to take him to see this new film Apocalypse Now. He snuck across the street to the neighbors to watch films on the Z Channel whenever he could, occasionally getting in trouble for watching films he really shouldn't have. You can find out more about Martin at his website.

Best Feature-Length Film
1. There Will Be Blood
2. No Country for Old Men
3. 2 Days in Paris
4. Eastern Promises
5. Zodiac
6. Black Book
7. In the Valley of Elah
8. Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten
9. Ratatouille
10. Helvetica

Best Lead Performance, Male
1. Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
2. Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
3. Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah)
4. Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Before the Devil Knows your Dead)
5. Mathieu Amalric (Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Best Lead Performance, Female
1. Carice van Houten (Black Book)
2. Nicole Kidman (Margot At the Wedding)
3. Julie Delpy (2 Days in Paris)
4. Ellen Page (Juno)
5. Dakota Blue Richards (The Golden Compass)

Best Supporting Performance, Male
1. Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
2. Jonah Hill (Superbad)
3. Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood)
4. Vincent Cassel (Eastern Promises)
5. Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson’s War)

Best Supporting Performance, Female
1. Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
2. Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)
3. Emmanuelle Seigner (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
4. Jennifer Jason Leigh (Margot at the Wedding)
5. Allison Janney (Juno)

Best Direction
1. Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
2. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)
3. Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
4. Sidney Lumet (Before The Devil Knows Your Dead)
5. Robinson Devor (Zoo)

Best Screenplay (original or adapted)
1. Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
2. Gerard Soeteman & Paul Verhoeven (Black Book)
3. Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard (Gone Baby Gone)
4. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)
5. Kelly Masterson (Before The Devil Knows You're Dead)

Best Cinematography
1. Janusz Kaminski (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
2. Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood)
3. Sean Kirby (Zoo)
4. Harris Savides (Zodiac)
5. Robert Anderson & Sharon Calahan (Ratatouille)

Best Music (original, adapted, or compiled)
1. Carter Burwell (No Country for Old Men)
2. Johnny Greenwood (There Will Be Blood)
3. Jim Dunbar (Music Coordinator, The Darjeeling Limited)
4. Ian Neil (Music Supervisor, Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten)
5. Adam Schlesinger (Music and Lyrics)

Best Cinematic Moment
1. The Penis Drawings (Superbad)
2. The Naked Shower Fight (Eastern Promises)
3. The Well Fire (There Will Be Blood)
4. Bowling Pin Murder Sequence (There Will Be Blood)
5. Flying Over the under-construction Transatlantic Building, (Zodiac)
6. Seizure on Stage (Control)
7. The poke-your-eyes-out opening sex-scene, (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)
8. Learning how to cook with a Rat on the head in the Paris Apartment (Ratatuoille)
9. Young Mother Almost Gets Murdered on a dark highway (Zodiac)
10. Helvetica Letterpress Opening Sequence (Helvetica)

Best Cinematic Breakthrough
1. Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
2. Nicole Kidman (Margot at the Wedding)
3. Paul Verhoven (Black Book)
4. The Host
5. Coen Brothers (No Country)

Best Body of Work
1. Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Before the Devil Knows your Dead, The Savages, Charlie Wilson's War)
2. Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, produced Superbad & Walk Hard)
3. Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah, No Country for Old Men)
4. Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno)
5. Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, Grindhouse)

Best Ensemble Performance
1. Superbad
2. Margot At the Wedding
3. Darjeeling Limited
4. Grindhouse
5. No Country for Old Men

Best new DVD Release
1. House of Games (Criterion)
2. Twin Peaks Gold Box
3. Blade Runner Box set

10th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1997
1. Boogie Nights
2. Fast, Cheap and Out of Control
3. Jackie Brown
4. Starship Troopers
5. The Spanish Prisoner

25th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1982
1. Fitzcarraldo
2. Blade Runner
3. Pink Floyd: The Wall
4. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
5. ET

50th Anniversary Award, Best Feature Film 1957
1. Face in the Crowd, A
2. Bridge on the River Kwai
3. Seventh Seal, The
4. 3:10 to Yuma
5. 12 Angry Men

There Will Be Blood


Miscellaneous Commentary:

On There Will Be Blood and NCfOM: This was a year of cold movies. Movies that didn’t linger on humanity. My top two picks were lambasted by mainstream critics for lacking heart, for providing no solace or comfort in their decaying light or musical scores. But they played within the rules of narrative. They didn’t break any boundaries. When Marcel Duchamp and the dadaists started making intentionally nonsensical art, it was a reaction to the world they lived in. It was a way of saying that if World War I is sensical, then we can only be nonsensical. By the same token, the Coens and Anderson brilliantly hold a mirror back to ourselves. They say: If you want a world that is religion and oil and money, and that’s all that you trade on, then don’t expect humanity to be found anywhere when you catch hold of your reflection.
Also trading on this same line: Zodiac, Black Book, In the Valley of Elah, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which is not about setting yourself free within restraint, but about delusion and selfishness. This year is the year of the ice mirror. Welcome to the end of the Bush Presidency. I expect 2008 to be about the celebration of transition.

On 2 Days in Paris: The funniest movie of the year, bar none. Brilliantly unravels and plays with your perception of the characters and situation. Deals with the darker, more human side of love -- mistrust, fear, honesty. Delpy’s real parents play her movie parents, and you couldn’t hope to spend a few hours with a stranger bunch. This movie is remarkably underrepresented in praise, from what I’ve seen. I think of a few scenes (walking with her father keying the cars, and the last cafe scene) and I can’t help but laugh out loud.

- Eastern Promises is a soap opera for the big screen. The slightly detached tone, the slightly surreal characters who act just past the stereotypes. It has a certain ironic lilt and a magical tone. In no sense did I ever feel that I was in the real world. In no sense was I anything but riveted throughout.

On Helvetica: I’m a typographer, but I still didn’t have to choose it. This movie, showing some of my heroes, explains to lay people a small bit of the excitement I get when I look at letterforms. It’s a sickness, and I’m glad to share it with a larger audience.

Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood: Ruthless. Human. Terrible. Murderous. Sadistic. Lesser actors tremble at this man who masters every project he approaches. He drinks your milkshake. He drinks it up.

Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises: Another transformative role, as was his last with Cronenberg.

Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah: It seems to me that the man can make the cracks on his face act.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead: From the opening scenes, showing more than you’ve ever wanted to see of the man, to the tense manipulation of his portfolio of lies, the tension builds in such restrained ways that the end result is shocking, but not surprising. I think of the confidence on his face as he breezily sells his brother on immorality, and the squeezing of his features as he pulls the trigger of the gun through the pillow in the drug-den murders.

Matthieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: “You wanna take me on? I can out act you with one-hand tied behind my back. Matter-of-fact, I can do it in French with ONE EYEBALL, motherfucker!”

Carice Van Houten, Black Book: A complex, deeply moving and tense performance. A classic film role that calls for the character to trade on sexuality and appeal in a very classic filmic way. She could have been in film 70 years ago and would be proclaimed as great.

Ellen Page, Juno: A lot has been said and said again about this movie, but the truth is that the 20% or so too-clever-for-itself-script was saved by Page’s performance.

Dakota Blue Richards, The Golden Compass: A bit of an out layer, but I loved her tom-boy confidence and bitter determination. They let the girl be the girl, and not a small woman.

Paul Dano, There Will Be Blood: The scene where he casts out the demons was the most riveting sermon I’ve ever witnessed.

Vincent Cassel, Eastern Promises: Cassel plays tough and dumb well. Here he plays tough, dumb and vulnerable, with just enough of the homosexual hinting to give bigger subtext.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War: This year’s over-the-top award, but the scene chewing was so fun and so appropriate that you can’t help but applaud every time he’s on screen.

Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone: A blistering performance that would have felt over played, if it didn’t feel so real.

Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton: That it is one of her lesser roles only shows what an absolute master she is.
Emmanuelle Seigner, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: Playing a certain type -- the long suffering (almost) wife. But she played it so well -- on either side of obligation, spite, forgiveness, and open wounds. A raw performance.

Allison Janney, Juno: Took a caricature and turned her into someone you can relate to.

Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: The Spielberg team goes indie! This man is the master of the moving camera.

Sean Kirby, Zoo: Relatively unknown, but his work on Police Beat, Zoo and Cthulhu has been some of the best looking indie work around. He’s going to go far, I suspect, much farther than many of the local Seattle filmmakers he works with.

Harries Savides, Zodiac: The scenes of 70s San Francisco are incredibly satisfying, as is the atmosphere in every corner of this movie.

Carter Burwell, No Country for Old Men: Let us take a moment to praise the man who scored the film with no score. Like John Cage and his infamous 4’33”, Burwell was serving a higher calling -- the psychology of the audience. He realized that this was the time when a scoreless movie could make the biggest impact, by crossing expectation. I make this nomination in all earnestness, without irony.
Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood: Take that, Academy.

Ian Neil, music supervisor, Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten: Had great material to work with.

Adam Schlesinger, Music and Lyrics: A moderate movie, only made successful by the believability of the pop music they were making. It showed the process of writing a song in a fairly realistic way, as much as Once which didn’t show the actual creation. Hiring a real pop musician was a smart move.

Naked Shower Fight, Eastern Promises: “Horror movies are all about the vulnerability of the body.” Wes Craven. Epic Horror.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead sex scene: Thank god for Marisa Tomei.

Ben Affleck, Gone Baby Gone: Shows he can pick scripts to direct much better than scripts to act in, and proves without a shadow of a doubt, his talent behind the lens. He has a free pass from me now. I will pay to see whatever film he directs as his sophomore effort.

Nicole Kidman, Margot at the Wedding: Kidman has proven her versatility, but never has she inhabited such an ugly character. A character who wants to be beautiful, but is poisoned by her own mental instability. She was masterfully passive aggressive, the woman who needs to be the center of attention. It’s a joyless film (it even took the joy out of Jack Black), but Kidman rules the screen every moment with her twitching, second-guessing and tight-lipped facial expressions.

Paul Verhoeven, Black Book: Showgirls? What Showgirls?

The Host: Great tone, great monster, great fear, great comedy, great humanity. Just great.

The Coen brothers, No Country for Old Men: Watching this was like the day that the most sarcastic, ironic kid in class comes up to you and tells you about his father dying. “Is he being serious?” you ask after he has left. And then you realize he is, and that everything you knew about him is kind of wrong and needs a deeper understanding.

Fitzcarraldo: I love this film. It’s alive in a disquieting, disgusting, moist and fragrant way. It creeps like tendrils into your subconscious. It’s about madness and achievement. The energy from off screen- where (depending on who you believe) actor and director were both absolutely crazy (and armed)- carries through on screen. The white man in the white suit pursuing culture in the jungle. As they say on the internet these days, epic fail.

A Face in the Crowd: Andy Griffith exorcising the devil from his soul before Mayberry. Supposedly (and possibly apocryphally) he scared himself so much in this role that he turned to comedy and away from his dark side. A role that rhymes with Robert Blake’s performance ten years later for “In Cold Blood.”