I DON'T WANT TO BE A PRODUCT OF MY ENVIRONMENT. I WANT MY ENVIRONMENT TO BE A PRODUCT OF ME: I think it's useful, after a night like that, to remember that the Academy Awards reflects just one particular way of honoring a year in film. Plenty of memorable films and performances were not even nominated for last night's Oscars, and we should take a moment here to jot down their names before it's all forgotten.
To me, remembering 2006 in film also means remembering Spike Lee's return to form in Inside Man, an entertaining genre film like The Departed filled with solid star performances and twists aplenty. (Indeed, 2006 was the year that Clive Owen became a star, between that and Children of Men.) While I only saw one dueling magician film last year, The Prestige has stayed with me for a while, and it's only a matter of time before Christian Bale starts compiling his own deserved set of nominations.
And on the lighter side, Will Ferrell may have made a lot of crappy decisions over the past few years, but Talladega Nights isn't one of them. We know that Snakes on a Plane wasn't perfect, but it still had a lot of snakes on a MF plane, and the months of hype beforehand were their own form of bliss. And finally, the 2006 hit that wasn't released in a single theater, but which our kids will pinpoint to this year just as we do 1977 for Star Wars -- High School Musical -- a sappy, formulaic, and utterly wonderful little happiness factory. Just because it's pitched to tweens doesn't mean it's not a lot of fun for us as well.
And for you?