Sakeriver Movie Awards for 2007

I wonder how many different ways I can say that I've been lazy lately? Less than two hours remain before the Oscars start (my traditional deadline for these awards) and I haven't even reviewed the last Oscar-nominated film we saw. But enough complaining--here we go.

Best Drama: Once

This was the only no-brainer this year. I simply loved this film. The combination of amazing chemistry between the leads and wonderful music just worked so well for me. Once was definitely my favorite movie of the year, and is now one of my favorites of all time.

Runners-Up: I Am Legend, The Namesake, No Country for Old Men

Best Comedy: Superbad

This category was a bit more difficult, since there were a number of strong contenders. Knocked Up and Juno were probably more well-rounded but in terms of sheer laughs, I think Superbad wins. And, surprisingly, there was a sort of tenderness at the heart of the film, under all of the swearing and toilet humor, an understanding of and nostalgia for the feeling of being a teenager that I really loved.

Runners-Up: Dan in Real Life, Juno, Knocked Up

Best Actor: Kal Penn (The Namesake)

Kal Penn really impressed me with this movie. Obviously, a big part of it was having a great script to work with. Still, for an actor who was previously best known for his roles in movies like Van Wilder and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle to deliver a dramatic performance that wasn't just convincing but was actually really good, that's an achievement, I think.

Runner-Up: Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl)

Best Actress: Ellen Page (Juno)

This was probably the hardest category for me this year, but not because there were a lot of choices. In fact, I couldn't think of a single particularly memorably performance by an actress in a leading role. I ended up going with Ellen Page because even though I don't think the role was much of a stretch for her, she was the first person to come to mind. And she did do a pretty good job. (I know, stunning praise.)

Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men)

I think it's a real shame that Tommy Lee Jones's performance in No Country for Old Men was overlooked at this year's Oscars. Javier Bardem was certainly more noticeable in his turn as Anton Chigurh in that movie, but even though Bardem was certainly chilling and inscrutable, it was a little over the top. Jones, on the other hand, was just about perfect. He managed to do so much, and never overdid anything.

Runners-Up: Michael Cera (Juno), Irfan Khan (The Namesake)

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Garner (Juno)

In the supporting role category, this is the year for tight, unpretentious performances. Jennifer Garner was just spot-on as a woman looking to be an adoptive mother. It was a great example of how much can be done with just a subtle look, and how much more convincing it is to hold in an emotion rather than reach out and ask for a reaction from the audience.

Runner-Up: Kelly Macdonald (No Country for Old Men)