It's awards season again, with the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Oscars all making headlines and Christopher Priest's For Your Consideration to remind us how the awards system works. Does it really reflect what's best about the movie industry? Does it represent what you, the viewing public, most enjoy? You may recall that Eye For Film recently ran a poll to find out what you thought were the best and worst films of 2006. Now we can bring you the results.
Far and away the most popular choice among Eye For Film readers, Guillermo Del Toro's poetic story of a girl seeking solace in a fantasy world during the Spanish Civil War has crossed the language barrier to win fans all across the world. Struggling to cope with the cruelty of her stepfather and his troops, young Ofelia meets a faun who tells her she is really a princess and encourages her to undertake a series of tasks through which she might recover her birthright. Is this real or is it just a dream? The story never reaches any firm conclusions, but there's an element of magic underlying even its most brutal real-world scenes. Pan's Labyrinth seems destined to become a classic.
2. The Departed
A return to form for Martin Scorsese - many fans are calling this his greatest film to date. It certainly has a great cast, with the likes of Jack Nicholson, Ray Winstone and Martin Sheen providing sterling support to Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon, who play two young men from opposite sides of the law going undercover to spy on their opponents. As tensions reach boiling point, each is commissioned with discovering the identity of the other, precipitating a bloody struggle where it's hard just to stay alive. If you like your films gritty and close to the bone, our readers agree that you won't find much better than this.
The surprise hit of the year, darling of the Sundance and Edinburgh Film Festival and unexpected Oscar nominee, Little Miss Sunshine has also proved a hit with Eye For Film readers who enjoyed our extensive feature coverage when it came out in August. Low-budget, quirky and utterly charming, this is the story of Olive, an awkward young girl determined to win a beauty pageant, and the misfit family who drive her across the country in their old VW bus. It has no flashy special effects and no A-list stars, but it has won the hearts of viewers everywhere - we've yet to hear from a single person who didn't like it!
There were a lot of different nominees in this category, but the one which received the most consistent support (if that's the right word) was Kurt Wimmer's vampire assassin bullet-fest Ultraviolet. Despite the popularity of Wimmer's previous work and the presence of the lovely Milla Jovovich, this disco-lit sequence of chases, fights and angst won almost universal condemnation, though many of you report also finding it highly entertaining. No such saving grace was accorded to runners-up Saw 3, Lady In The Water and The Nativity Story.
Thanks to all of you who took the time to tell us what you thought of the year’s movies. We put all those who voted into a hat and have now made the draw. The winners are: Neil Rolland – who wins a DVD of Stay and Shooting Dogs - and Adrian Gras-Velazquez – who wins a copy of Song For A Raggy Boy and Shooting Dogs.