These are the 1996 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best in that year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Endy Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .

Best Picture:

1. Big Night
2. Comrades, Almost a Love Story
3. Goodbye South, Goodbye
4. Irma Vep
5. Mahjong

Best Director:

1. Peter Chan, Comrades, Almost a Love Story
2. Anthony Minghella, The English Patient
3. Edward Yang, Mahjong
4. Olivier Assayas, Irma Vep
5. Danny Boyle, Trainspotting

Like with Boogie Nights in 1997 and Pulp Fiction in 1994, the exuberance of Trainspotting defines for me a stage of cinephilia, when I first began to really believe in the joy of making cinema. The Assayas film is a more refined expressions of that same drive, while the Chan and Minghella are sublime examples of more traditional romantic forms. But the Endy this year goes to Edward Yang, for what I consider to be his finest film.

Best Actor:

1. Stanley Tucci, Big Night
2. Anthony Wong, Ebola Syndrome
3. Ralph Fiennes, The English Patient
4. Philip Baker Hall, Hard Eight
5. Christopher Guest, Waiting for Guffman

Fiennes will eventually win in 2014 for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Anthony Wong gets nominated for the two sleaziest performances of the year, edging out Hall for the lead acting Endy.

Best Actress:

1. Maggie Cheung, Comrades, Almost a Love Story
2. Frances McDormand, Fargo
3. Lili Taylor, I Shot Andy Warhol
4. Maggie Cheung, Irma Vep
5. Josephine Siao, Stage Door

Disaster as Maggie Cheung becomes the first actor to be nominated twice in the same category in one year, only to split the vote and allow Frances McDormand to sneak away with the Endy. One of the biggest upsets in Endy history. Nicole Kidman, Gina Gershon and Michelle Yeoh just miss out on nominations for Portrait of a Lady, Bound and The Stunt Woman, respectively.

Supporting Actor:

1. Tony Shaloub, Big Night
2. Owen Wilson, Bottle Rocket
3. Vince Vaughn, Swingers
4. Francis Ng, Young & Dangerous
5. Anthony Wong, Young & Dangerous 2

Supporting Actress:

1. Jennifer Tilly, Bound
2. Juliette Binoche, The English Patient
3. Virginie Ledoyen, Mahjong
4. Sylvia Sidney, Mars Attacks!
5. Shu Qi, Viva Erotica

Binoche will win Best Actress in 2007 (Flight of the Red Balloon) and 2010 (Certified Copy).

Original Screenplay:

1. Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson, Bottle Rocket
2. Ivy Ho, Comrades, Almost a Love Story
3. Olivier Assayas, Irma Vep
4. Edward Yang, Mahjong
5. Derek Yee, Law Chi-leung & Bosco Lam, Viva Erotica

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Anthony Minghella, The English Patient
2. Jonathan Gems, Mars Attacks!
3. David Koepp & Robert Towne, Mission: Impossible
4. Laura Jones, Portrait of a Lady
5. John Hodge, Trainspotting

Non-English Language Film:

1. Comrades, Almost a Love Story (Peter Chan)
2. Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
3. Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)
4. Mahjong (Edward Yang)
5. Viva Erotica (Derek Yee)

Documentary Film:

1. La Comédie-Française (Frederick Wiseman)
2. Get on the Bus (Spike Lee)
3. Hype! (Doug Pray)
4. The Typewriter, the Rifle & the Movie Camera (Adam Simon)
5. When We Were Kings (Leon Gast)

The is the second year to feature a film about Samuel Fuller in the Best Documentary category, after 2013’s A Fuller Life.

Animated Film:

1. Beavis & Butthead Do America (Mike Judge)
2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise)

Unseen Film:

1. A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
2. The Pillow Book (Peter Greenaway)
3. La Promesse (The Dardennes)
4. A Summer’s Tale (Eric Rohmer)

Also receiving votes: Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier), Crash (David Cronenberg), Evita (Alan Parker), Forbidden City Cop (Stephen Chow), Kansas City (Robert Altman), Escape from LA (John Carpenter), and Gabbeh (Mohsen Makhmalbaf).

Film Editing:

1. Comrades, Almost a Love Story
2. The English Patient
3. Irma Vep
4. Romeo + Juliet
5. Trainspotting

Cinematography:

1. Bound
2. Goodbye South, Goodbye
3. Irma Vep
4. Mahjong
5. Romeo + Juliet

Art Direction:

1. The English Patient
2. Portrait of a Lady
3. Romeo + Juliet
4. Shanghai Grand
5. Trainspotting

Costume Design:

1. Irma Vep
2. Kingpin
3. Mars Attacks!
4. Romeo + Juliet
5. Trainspotting

Claire Danes with wings.

Make-up:

1. The English Patient
2. From Dusk til Dawn
3. Kingpin
4. Mars Attacks!
5. Romeo + Juliet

Farrelly grotesquerie at its best.

Original Score:

1. Comrades, Almost a Love Story
2. The English Patient
3. Goodbye South, Goodbye
4. Irma Vep
5. That Thing You Do!

Adapted Score:

1. Basquiat
2. Comrades, Almost a Love Story
3. Romeo + Juliet
4. Swingers
5. Trainspotting

Very tough category this year. Swingers rode a wave of swing dance/Rat Pack revivalism, so that’s obviously out. Tough to pass over the New Wave/Punk hits and The Cardigans, but I have to go with the Teresa Teng tribute that is Comrades.

Sound:

1. Big Night
2. Comrades, Almost a Love Story
3. The English Patient
4. Irma Vep
5. Trainspotting

The sound of scrambling eggs.

Sound Editing:

1. The Frighteners
2. Independence Day
3. Mission: Impossible
4. The Rock
5. Twister

Visual Effects:

1. The Frighteners
2. From Dusk til Dawn
3. Independence Day
4. Trainspotting
5. Twister

mj-1996-poster-1

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