The Iras March On

Yes, another year has come and gone and the 2006 film awards season reaches its latest end ever. That is to say, the Iras were held last night and this is definitely the latest we've ever waited. Hey, 626 movies were released in New York City last year and it takes some time to catch up, right?

Or more accurately, we're a bunch of over-committed but lazy bastards and finding a weekend that was okay for everyone -- well, it just isn't possible as last night's depressing turnout reminds me. We had twelve voters, but only eight physically present. (Obviously those in the room felt the need to take up the slack; we finished at 1 a.m. which is the latest I can recall in many years.)

All joking aside, we have been doing this for 32 years and no single voter has attended every one of those Ira evenings. I missed one in the '70s because I was acting in a Eugene O'Neill play (one of my very few leads); Damien Bona boycotted a year in protest of our having given the Best Actor award to Eric Roberts for the egregious Star 80.

So I'd like to dedicate this posting to those of our friends who were unable to attend due to family crisis, work and family commitments or sheer distance.

The results were admirable, I think. Giving the director and film awards to the Dardennes is a reminder of those years when we were the only people honoring Fassbinder and Chabrol. And kudos to Assayas's Clean is a tribute to our willingness to seek out the neglected but worthy films that get lost in that 600-plus-film flood.

Best Picture -- L'Enfant
Best Director -- Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, L'Enfant
Best Actor -- Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson
Best Actress -- Maggie Cheung, Clean
Best Supporting Actor -- Anthony Mackie, Half Nelson and We Are Marshall
Best Supporting Actress -- Carmen Maura -- Volver, Free Zone and Queens
Best Screenplay -- (tie) Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, L'Enfant and Guillermo Del Toro, Pan's Labyrinth
Best Cinematography -- Emmanuel Lubezki, Children Of Men
Best Score -- Philip Glass, The Illusionist and Notes On A Scandal
Best Production Design -- Eugenio Caballero, Pan's Labyrinth
Best Costumes -- Sharen Davis, Dreamgirls, The Pursuit Of Happyness, Akeelah and the Bee


Dramamine Award -- Babel
Sominex Award -- The Da Vinci Code
Mechanical Actor -- Robert Downey Jr, A Scanner Darkly, A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait Of Diane Arbus, and The Shaggy Dog
Mechanical Actress -- Julianne Moore, Children Of Men, Freedomland

If you want to see a more complete rundown, including the vote totals for the top five finishers in each category and an astute recounting of the thinking behind the votes, I heartily recommend Michael Giltz's post on his blog, Popsurfing.

And now, on to 2007. After all, it is nearly April. I have a full schedule of screenings this week -- okay, three of them are older films so I'm only adding two titles to my 2007 Ira-eligible list -- so there should be much to read here. With the Rockland Country JFF ending this week (I'm introducing two of my favorite films of 2006, 51 Birch Street and Family Law, on Monday and Wednesday, respectively), I should be back to my normal abnormal schedule.

Long live the Iras and all who vote for them!


Alex Lewin said…
Yay for the Iras! So sorry I couldn't be there, but thank you again for inviting me to participate. Hope to see you guys next year!