FILM The Mayo News Alternative Movie Awards 2009

Going Out
“What’s Dar-five?” and other stories

Daniel Carey

IT’S been a mixed 12 months in Movieland, but we have decided to accentuate the positive this week. It’s time to honour those who made us laugh in the Mayo News Alternative Movie Awards 2009.
The Best Retort appears in JJ Abrams’ impressive ‘Star Trek’, and involves a teenage James T Kirk (Chris Pine), a ‘genius repeat offender’.“There are four of us and one of you,” an aggressive trainee who’s spoiling for a fight tells him. “Well, then get some more guys and maybe it’ll be an even fight,” replies Kirk – who is then beaten to a pulp.
The runner-up in this category comes towards the end of Ron Howard’s splendid ‘Frost/Nixon’, a great two-hander between Michael Sheen and Frank Langella. Thrown off by an unexpected line of questioning, Richard Nixon points out that unlike David Frost, he has participated in the lengthy interviews without a single note in front of him. “Well, it is your life, Mr President,” the British TV presenter shoots back.
The Best Put-Down features in ‘Night At The Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian’. Kahmunrah (Hank Azaria), a pharaoh intent on wreaking havoc who’s ‘half God, once removed on my mother’s side’, recruits Napoleon, Ivan The Terrible and Al Capone, but Darth Vader’s attempt to join the revolution is denied. “Too much going on here,” the Egyptian tells the ‘Star Wars’ villain. “You’re evil, you’re asthmatic, you’re a robot. And what’s with the cape?”
The Most Successful Chat-Up Line comes, unsurprisingly, from Johnny Depp, who plays legendary gangster John Dillinger in the entertaining ‘Public Enemies’. He tells Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard): “I like baseball, movies, good clothes, fast cars, whiskey … and you. What else you need to know?” It’s one of the best lines in a fine script co-written by Irishman Ronan Bennett.
The Best Question is asked in the animated feature ‘Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs’. Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), who invents a machine that turns water into food, is obsessed with science but doesn’t know how to behave in certain situations. Hence he says: “I’ve never been in a snowball fight … are there rules or is it to the death?”
The Best Word Play comes from the title character in ‘Brüno’. Sacha Baron Cohen’s gay Austrian fashionista notes that the troubled African region of Darfur is currently the focus of much charity work, and wants to know where the next big fund-raising drive among celebrities will be. “What’s Dar-five?” he asks. Brüno also takes the runner-up prize in this category for confusing a Palestinian organisation with hummus when in conversation with an Israeli. “Why are you so against Hamas?” he wonders aloud. “Isn’t pitta bread the real enemy?”
The Best Home Truth is told by John (played by the Oscar-nominated Michael Shannon) in ‘Revolutionary Road’. He wants to get a lawyer while on day release from a psychiatric ward but admits: “I don’t have to be told that a man who goes after his mother with a coffee table is putting himself in a weak position.”
The gold and silver medal winners in the Most Outrageous Excuse stakes both feature in ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’, as Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) comes to terms with her addiction. ‘Underwear is a basic human right’ is the early front-runner, but is later trumped when one of the pretexts she uses to avoid her debt-collector is ‘Called back for a second tour of duty in Basra’. Will that get you off the hook if the repo men come calling?