Sunday, August 12, 2012

my Alex IMovieland awards, 4th edition: Episode 4/4: Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress

It was the year of the Supporting Actress, which for me I think was the strongest acting category of the 4. The leading men also made a comeback in quality, after last year.

List of eligible/seen films (62):

50/50, The Adventures of Tintin, Albert Nobbs, Anonymous, The Artist, Beginners, A Better Life, Bridesmaids, Carnage, A Cat in Paris, Certified Copy, Chico & Rita, Contagion, Coriolanus, A Dangerous Method, The Descendants, Drive, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Hanna, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The Help, Hugo, The Ides of March, The Iron Lady, J. Edgar, Jane Eyre, Like Crazy, Margaret, Margin Call, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Meek’s Cutoff, Melancholia, Midnight in Paris, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Moneyball, The Muppets, My Week with Marilyn, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Potiche, Puss in Boots, Rampart, Rango, Real Steel, Rio, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Scream 4, A Separation, Shame, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, The Skin I Live In, Super 8, Take Shelter, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Tree of Life, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, W.E., War Horse, Warrior, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Weekend, Young Adult

And my choices:


1. Jean Dujardin – The Artist
He carries the film with an unmatchable charm and literally almost no words. Perfect fit for the role and makes it all feel memorable.

2. Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
He is a master doing some of his finest work. As always, he creates a character that is fascinating, intimidating, and delivers a breathtaking monologue.

3. Michael Fassbender – Shame
It feels like he understands the drama of the character and he plays perfectly the emotional struggle of this troubled man. Both desirable and to be pitied.

4. Tom Hardy – Warrior
You can always count on Tom Hardy to be better than the material given. He creates a touching performance, and the fighting scenes are breathtakingly acted from his side.

5. Joel Edgerton – Warrior
He gives the most rational performance of the film and he’s a great match for Hardy: he rises to the challenge and nails both the emotions and the physical aspects of the performance.

6. Hunter McCracken – The Tree of Life
7. Brad Pitt – Moneyball
8. Michael Shannon – Take Shelter
9. Woody Harelson – Rampart
10. Thomas Horn – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

almost there: Ewan McGregor - Beginners, George Clooney - The Descendants, Tom Cullen - Weekend, Ralph Fiennes - Coriolanus, Joseph Gordon-Levitt - 50/50.


1. Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
From a technical perspective, this is perfection, making for some of the best aging acting seen on screen. Her performance is hypnotizing; I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

2. Viola Davis – The Help
Undoubtedly, she is the heart of the film and creates a very likeable character. The strength of the performance stands in some key heartbreaking scenes, acted to perfection.

3. Charlize Theron – Young Adult
She was the dark horse on my list: a performance like I’ve never seen before from her – she’s sexy, bitchy, natural and most of all: surprising. Her final scenes are a delight.

4. Charlotte Gainsbourg – Melancholia
While most seem impressed by Kirsten, I was all about Charlotte and the fascinating arc of her character. She brings just enough emotion, just enough hysteria to make it all work.

5. Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin
The writing is not in her favor, but you can always count on Tilda. She controls the film mostly in the quiet moments, and you can feel the fear and the frustration of her character.

6. Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
7. Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
8. Juliette Binoche – Certified Copy
9. Saoirse Ronan – Hanna
10. Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia 

almost there: Mia Wasikowska - Jane Eyre, Michelle Williams - Meek's Cutoff, Felicity Jones - Like Crazy, Elizabeth Olsen - Martha Marcy May Marlene, Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn


1. Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life
A career-best performance from Brad, who shows maturity and a strong understanding of such a difficult, nuanced character. He made me feel, which is in tone with the movie’s theme.

2. Christopher Plummer – Beginners
A classically-written dramatic role of a dying person, done very well. He gets a couple of key emotional scenes done wonderfully, as you’d except given the experience.

3. Albert Brooks – Drive
A very clever performance, that fits well inside the movie. It’s a sly role, a nuanced villain, and it takes a smart actor to play it. Brooks does well.

4. Ralph Fiennes – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
To me it’s the essential villain of the past decade, even though I’m not a fan of series. With the help of fantastic make-up, Fiennes creates a fascinating, terrifying villain, like no other.

5. Colin Firth – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
One of the few performances inside the film to show more emotion: when the storyline reaches his character in the end, he really delivers.

6. Kenneth Branagh – My Week with Marilyn
7. Kevin Spacey – Margin Call
8. Ben Foster – Rampart
9. Nick Nolte – Warrior
10. Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

almost there: Michael Fassbender - Jane Eyre, Patton Oswalt - Young Adult, Jeremy Irons - Margin Call, Matt Damon - Contagion, Ezra Miller - We Need to Talk About Kevin


1. Jessica Chastain – The Tree of Life
Just like her co-stars, she is breathtaking without much use for words. She is the undeniable soul of the film, and such a necessary presence.

2. Jessica Chastain – The Help
It’s a performance that might seem a cliché on paper, but quickly turns human, surprising and complex when Jessica’s assigned the part. She’s superb.

3. Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Undoubtedly, she’s the MVP of her movie, and every time she’s on screen it’s smile-inducing: she handles the dialogue, creates comedy like a pro.

4. Sareh Bayat – A Separation
She creates the most emotional scenes inside the film, with apparent easiness and an undeniably realistic acting style. Her last scenes are heartbreaking.

5. Carey Mulligan – Shame
She holds her own when sharing the screen with Fassbender. Carey creates this fragile, unstable character that becomes memorable with its predictable tragedy.

6. Jessica Chastain – Take Shelter
7. Allison Janney – The Help
8. Octavia Spencer – The Help
9. Kate Winslet – Contagion
10. Anjelica Houston – 50/50

almost there: Cate Blanchett - Hanna, Judy Greer - The Descendants, Sandra Bullock - Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Charlotte Rampling - Melancholia, Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs.

Final thoughts:

(tough to pick one) Brad Pitt – The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick as the Director of The Tree of Life.

Recap of the winners of the Alex In Movieland Awards 2011:

Best Film: The Tree of Life
Best Director: Terrence Malick, for The Tree of Life
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, for The Artist
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, for The Iron Lady
Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, for The Tree of Life
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain, for 
The Tree of Life 
Best Original Screenplay: Bridesmaids
Best Adapted Screenplay: Moneyball
Best Cinematography: 
The Tree of Life 
Best Original Score: The Artist

To check out previous editions, click somewhere on the right.

Thanks for reading :)


dinasztie said...

Actually, I agree with ALL of your winners in the end (which is funny considering how often we disagree), save for maybe Bridesmaids. I figured I'm a bit too snobbish to give that my win, but it's actually my favorite. :DDD I don't know.

I should probably give Jessica another shot (The Help) but now I'm not a fan because her performance is a little bit too "out there" for me. My favorite supporting actress in the movie is probably Allison Janney who was wonderful and should have received way more attention. Out of the nominated ladies, I'd probably pick Janet McTeer. Her performance really grew on me and she's essential to Great Glenn's wonderful performance (oh, I'm so glad she's mentioned here, even if not in the top 5, that work is so criminally underrated).

JC said...

I'm very happy with the wins.

Best Actress category is breathtaking. Double Chastain FTW + McCarthy = grand line up!


Alex in Movieland said...

Thanks to both of u for the feedback.

I find it interesting how for oscar's Supp Actress you went from Melissa to Berenice to Janet McTeer now. :D you just can't make up your mind.

yes, I almost had triple Chastain there. she's great also in Take Shelter.

Sebbers said...

I disagree with McCarthy being there, especially since you don't have Wiig in your top 5 Best Actress choices. McCarthy isn't as bad as a lot of people say she is, but Wiig was the standout comedy wise, and acting wise in Bridesmaids. Best Supporting Actress was my favorite category last year, and both Chastain for The Tree of Life, and Sareh Bayat are in my top 5 (as #5 and #2).

Runs Like A Gay said...

Some excellent choices, really well reasoned here.

I especially glad to see Charlotte Gainsbourg on your list, her and Dunst are playing two sides of the same coin so both performances need to be considered together, although having since seen Young Adult it's all about Charlize for me.

Anonymous said...

Was Bejo's performance lead or supporting in your eyes? I noticed her absence (despite your love for Dujardin), so I was just wondering/curious. :)

dinasztie said...

I really cannot, you see it just right. :D I don't know. I wrote it down and lost my confidence in it. :D I'd give it to all three of them. There are things to love about all three. Melissa kills me with her comedy, Janet captures my imagination because of the layers of the character, Bérénice steals my heart. Haha, if Viola had gone supporting or Jessica had been nominated for TTOL it would be much easier for me. :D

Alex in Movieland said...

I don't know anyone who believes Melissa is "bad" in Bridesmaids. All my friends think she's hilarious (and I much agree). What I did hear people say is that this type of comedy performance shouldn't be in an Oscar race - with which i also disagree.

I prefer Charlotte to Kirsten, because oddly enough I think Charlotte has the showier role (which, it seems I tend to appreciate). To me, the 2nd half of Melancholia is much more powerful.
And YES about Charlize, she was almost my number 1. what a refreshing performance.

I struggle with that. I guess to me she's a co-lead to him. I think she gives a fine performance, but nothing more than 3 stars, and mostly because of the writing. I don't think she's as essential to the film as Dujardin.


If Viola would've went supporting (first of all, she would've won the Oscar in a heartbeat), Chastain (for The Help) would've still been my number 1 choice for that Oscar category, i think. but by a very very very small margin. I dunno. It would've been a very difficult choice for me.