2010 AcadeMolly Awards

What a year for film! There were some really great movies in 2009.
So, without further ado, here are this year's AcadeMolly Awards. (Please keep in mind these are not Oscar predictions. Think of them instead as the awards I would bestow if a red carpet were laid out on my street and all of Hollywood's film making elite came over for dinner and drinks at my place.)

Best Cinematography
The Hurt Locker
A Single Man
Sherlock Holmes
Young Victoria
I have to be honest when I say that I have a hard time differentiating between what is good Cinematography and what is good Art Direction. I'm doing my best here... But each of these films really were beautifully shot. The desolation of the Hurt Locker, the artistry of A Single Man, the grit of Sherlock Holmes, the fantasy of Avatar and the lush opulence of Young Victoria. It's truly amazing what different feelings can be captured with a lens. In the end, I have to say that Avatar was probably the most fantastic. Visually that film was stunning. So, I'm throwing it an obligatory AcadeMolly for recognition of it's groundbreaking achievement this year. (Though it is probably better suited for technical awards since most of it was CGI, right?)

moving on

Best Achievement in Art Direction
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Where the Wild Things Are
Sherlock Holmes
For me, so much of the fun of film is being transported to another world. Each of these films was a passport to another visual reality. If you missed any one of these, you're in for a treat. As a sentimental favorite I have to present Where the Wild Things Are with the AcadeMolly award in Art Direction. Visually true to the land that first appeared in Maurice Sendak's book, Sonny Gerasimowicz (a street artist!!!!) managed to combine whimsy and foreboding in this fantastic and occasionally frightening piece of art.

Best Screenplay
The Hurt Locker - Mark Boal (original)
An Education - Nick Hornby (adapted)
Precious - Geoffrey Fletcher (adapted)
Up In the Air - Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner (adapted)
Crazy Heart - Scott Cooper (adapted)
Fantastic Mr. Fox - Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach (adapted)
A Single Man - Tom Ford & David Scearle (adapted)

Turns out that most of the stories that I REALLY loved this year were "adapted" screenplays. So, if you're feeling the need to differentiate. I guess The Hurt Locker wins for "original" screenplay. Which truly, it should. The fact that an Iraq war movie managed to steer pretty clear of the politics and just focus on amazing story telling is a real achievement. Way to go, Mark Boal. Now, if I'm just giving the AcadeMolly out for a screenplay, I gotta give it to An Education. Nick Hornby's story captured me from the first scene. I was inextricably invested in the characters and swept up in the excitement of young love and the devastation of poor choices.

Best Supporting Actress
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Crazy Heart
Mo'Nique - Precious
Julianne Moore - A Single Man
Marion Cotillard - Nine

Could be it's just my love of Marion Cotillard that got her into this category. Seriously, I've said it before and I'll say it again, she's the most stunning actress working today. But the AcadeMolly HAS to go to Mo'Nique for her portrayal of Mary the abusive (probably not strong enough of a word) mother in Precious. Her performance shut it down. Not since Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men have I been so terrified of a character. And yet Mo'Nique managed to give Mary a depth that eventually evoked pity from this audience member. Nuanced and layered, Mary was more than just a villain and Mo'Nique deserves every bit of the praise the film industry has bestowed upon her.

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Waltz - Inglorious Basterds
Colin Farrell - Crazy Heart
Peter Sarsgaard - An Education
Rupert Friend - Young Victoria

Obviously, Waltz was fantastic. Sometimes the AcadeMolly is totally predictable. Christopher Waltz's performance was "a Bingo".

Best Actor
Quinton Aaron - The Blind Side
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker

He's won just about every best actor award out there this year. Jeff Bridges played Bad Black with heartbreaking truth. I adored his performance and I adore Jeff Bridges. But the AcadeMolly is going to Colin Firth for his turn as George in A Single Man. He showed such restraint and strength and created a character that this viewer mourned with and rooted for throughout the picture. George was a fascinating man to get the chance to meet.

Best Actress
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Emily Blunt - Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side

Now, I loved The Blind Side. And Sandra Bullock was a trip to watch. But, I think she said it best in her Globe speech when she credited hair and makeup with the transformation. Honestly, I think her performance was more of an impersonation. All the hype belongs to Leigh Anne Tuohy and her family's amazing act of redemptive love. So, the AcadeMolly award goes to Gabourey Sidibe as Precious. Sidebe's performance took my breath away. You only have to watch the trailer (which makes me cry EVERY TIME) to know how powerfully Sidibe tells this story. Watching the full film is enough to induce a panic attack and utter despair. However, Sidibe doesn't allow the viewer to remain there. A seed of hope, the promise of survival and an unquenchable beauty shines through despite the character's dire situation. It was (what I kind of hope WON'T be) the performance of a lifetime. I look forward to more from Sidibe.

Best Director & Best Picture
So, this year I started thinking... if a movie is good enough to be called "Best Picture" surely the person in "charge" should be nominated as "Best Director". I'm sure there are lots of reasons why this doesn't happen. Some practical, some artistic and some political. But these are MY awards so I get to make the rules.

The Hurt Locker - Kathryn Begelow
An Education - Lone Scherfig
Fantastic Mr. Fox - Wes Anderson
Precious - Lee Daniels
A Single Man - Tom Ford
Crazy Heart - Scott Cooper

*gasp* "Where's Avatar????" It's up in the art direction and cinematography categories where it belongs. My "Best Picture"s have to have an engaging story. They have to evoke emotion. And they have to be more than just CGI. Plus, James Cameron bugs me. THERE, I said it. Moving on.

Like I said earlier, what a great year for film. After each of these movies, I left the theatre thinking, "That could be the best film I've seen all year." Which is my way of picking for this category - not too scientific, huh? Choosing my favorite this is kind of like saying, "Would you rather have sushi or a steak"? Ummmm, unfair. Both are delicious. It all depends on the mood I'm in, and actually, could I just have both???? But, since I started this whole AcadeMolly thing, I guess I've put myself in the place where I HAVE to pick a favorite. So, the winner for Best Picture & Best Director is An Education and it's director Lone Scherfig. There wasn't anything that I didn't like about the film. It was shot beautifully, acted superbly, the story telling was compelling. When I look at that list of nominees it would be the one I would see again, first. Honestly, not all that scientific of a selection process. Totally subjective.

Most ALMOST award worthy Movie
Away We Go
(500) Days of Summer
The Informant!
Star Trek
Paper Heart

These were some of the MOST fun movies I saw this year. If you missed them (because a few hardly got ANY press at all - I mean did anybody even hear about Star Trek?) I highly recommend them! Probably (500) Days of Summer was the closest to finding itself as a part of the AcadeMollys this year. I'd suggest starting there.

Well, that wraps up the 2010 edition of the AcadeMolly awards.
Now on to tomorrow's red carpet.

Until then though, if you had to pick what was the best film you saw this year? Or who gave the best performance?

1 comment:

Clarabela said...

I love your Acadamolly awards. I am glad to find another movie lover.