The 2007 Chizfilm Awards Chizfilm Movie Reviews
March 12, 2008

The 2007 Chizfilm Awards: Better Late than Never

by Jonathan Chisdes

Well, it’s that time of year again. Okay; no it isn’t. It’s past that time. The annual Chizfilm Awards are usually announced prior to the Oscars, but this year I’ve had too many personal issues to deal with, so the awards are a bit late. But better late than never, right?

The point of the Chizfilm Awards, of course, is to highlight the greatest achievement in cinema of the past year, at least in my personal opinion. Some of these feats are well-celebrated and popular; some are hardly heard of by people outside the industry; all winners, nonetheless, are excellent and deserve recognition.

The rules are the same as previous years: to qualify for a Chizfilm award, a film must have been shown in a theater or on television in the US during the year 2007, but not in a previous year. Also, the film must have been seen by me. This year I managed to see 60 films. They are:

“2 Days in Paris,” “Across the Universe,” “Amazing Grace,” “Atonement,” “The Big Bad Swim,” “Black Book,” “Black Snake Moan,” “Blame It on Fidel,” “Born Again,” “The Bothersome Man,” “Broken English,” “Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?” “The Darjeeling Limited,” “Epic Movie,” “Evan Almighty,” “For the Bible Tells Me So,” “Fracture,” “Freedom Writers,” “Golden Door,” “Goya’s Ghosts,” “The Great Match,” “Hard Road Home,” “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” “Heavens Fall,” “I Just Didn’t Do It,” “I am Legend,” “I’m Reed Fish,” “In the Shadow of the Moon,” “In the Valley of Elah,” “The Island,” “La Vie en Rose,” “The Last Jews of Libya,” “Live Free or Die,” “Madeinusa,” “Margot at the Wedding,” “Mother of Mine,” “Moving Midway,” “My Kid Could Paint That,” “The Namesake,” “The Nanny Diaries,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa,” “Paris, Je T’aime,” “Persepolis,” “Pictures of Hollis Woods,” “Rendition,” “Right at Your Door,” “Sacco and Vanzetti,” “The Savages,” “Seraphim Falls,” “Sex and Breakfast,” “Sicko,” “Swedish Auto,” “Sydney White,” “Things We Lost in the Fire,” “The Valet,” “Viva Cuba,” “The Way I Spent the End of the World,” “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” and “You Kill Me.”

These are the films which qualify for awards. Some are really excellent and give their competition a run for their money. Some are mediocre and don’t really stand a chance of winning a Chizfilm Award (I’m talking to you, “Viva Cuba”). Nonetheless, even with the least of these, hundreds of people poured their blood, sweat, tears, and talent into them; they deserve at least some recognition for that.

This year, there are fourteen categories. A few categories from previous years have been eliminated (such as Best Remake, Best Jewish Film, Best Movie Made for Under $100,000, etc.) simply because there were so few films, or no films, which qualified for those categories. Perhaps next year, they will be brought back. We’ll see.

Okay, enough talking. I know everyone is anxious to find out the winners. So now, on with the awards:

Best Effects: “Across the Universe.” (Runners up: “Right at Your Door,” “I am Legend,” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”)

Best Cinematography: “Things We Lost in the Fire.” (Runners up: “Seraphim Falls,” “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” “Goya’s Ghosts,” “The Darjeeling Limited,” “The Island,” “Fracture,” “Mother of Mine,” and “No Country for Old Men.”)

Best Ensemble: “Rendition.” (Runners up: “The Big Bad Swim,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “Paris, Je T’aime.”)

Best Supporting Female Actor: Imelda Staunton for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” (Runners up: Natalie Portman for “Goya’s Ghosts,” Laura Linney for “The Nanny Diaries,” and Sissy Spacek for “Pictures of Hollis Woods.”)

Best Supporting Male Actor: Bill Sage for “Heavens Fall.” (Runners up: Albert Finny for “Amazing Grace,” Gary Oldman for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” Javier Bardem for “No Country for Old Men,” Javier Bardem for “Goya’s Ghosts,” Peter Saragaard for “Rendition,” Omar Metwally for “Rendition,” and Sebastian Koch for “Black Book.”)

Best Underage Actor: Evanna Lynch for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” (Runners up: Daniel Radcliffe for “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” Nina Kervel-Bey for “Blame it on Fidel,” Jodelle Ferland for “Pictures of Hollis Woods,” Saoirse Ronan for “Atonement,” and Topi Majaniemi for “Mother of Mine.”)

Best Comedy: “2 Days in Paris.” (Runners up: “You Kill Me,” and “The Big Bad Swim.”)

Best Female Actor: Laura Linney for “The Savages.” (Runners up: Christina Ricci for “Black Snake Moan,” Maria Lundqvist for “Mother of Mine,” Carice van Houten for “Black Book,” Marion Cotillard for “La Vie en Rose,” and Mary McCormack for “Right at Your Door.”)

Best Male Actor: Adam Goldberg for “2 Days in Paris.” (Runners up: Philip Seymour Hoffman for “The Savages,” Ben Kingsley for “You Kill Me,” Will Smith for “I am Ledged,” Tommy Lee Jones for “In the Valley of Elah,” Benicio Del Toro for “Things We Lost in the Fire,” and Kal Penn for “The Namesake.”)

Best Director: Julie Delpy for “2 Days in Paris.” (Runners up: Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi for “Persepolis,” Julie Taymor for “Across the Universe,” Godfrey Cheshire for “Moving Midway,” Michael Moore for “Sicko,” Tamara Jenkins for “The Savages,” Chris Gorak for “Right at Your Door,” Gavin Hood for “Rendition,” Paul Verhoeven for “Black Book,” Julie Garvas for “Blame it on Fidel,” and Mira Nair for “The Namesake.”)

Best Short: “Fridays at the Farm.” (Runners up: “One Hundredth of a Second,” “The Caress of the Creature,” “Help Is Coming,” “Soft,” and “Uncle.”)

Best Documentary: “Moving Midway.” (Runners up: “My Kid Could Paint That,” “Sacco and Vanzetti,” “Born Again,” “Sicko,” and “For the Bible Tells Me So.”)

Best Foreign Film: “Mother of Mine.” (Runners up: “Blame it on Fidel,” and “I Just Didn’t Do It.”)

Best Feature: “Across the Universe.” (Runners up: “2 Days in Paris,” “Right at Your Door,” “Things We Lost in the Fire,” “Mother of Mine,” and “Persepolis.”)

So there you have it. Congratulations to the winners and also to the runners up!

If you haven’t had a chance to see any of these films, I highly recommend you go see them. It’s the performance of the year.

Now the question is what great films will 2008 bring? Well, we’ll just have to stay in touch to see. It’s an answer I anxiously await.

Return to Chizfilm Movie Reviews where you are welcome to leave comments.