Saturday, May 04, 2013

my Alex IMovieland awards, 5th editionAdd to Technorati Favorites

        The 5th edition of my personal film awards is here. Funny, I know. :) Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see that many 2012 films, but I have enough here to fill each category with quality stuff. Unlike previous years I
am putting all 10 categories in one big-ass post. So get ready for this to feel never-ending. Here are some thoughts on this year in film:
  • No masterpiece of the size of The Tree of Life, but a couple of solid films. Overall it was an average year, but with specific highlights in specific categories.
  • It was the year of INCREDIBLE male performances & the year of category confusion. Going with only 15 leading male performances was so-so difficult. My Top 10 for this category might be the most solid I’ve ever had. And the Supporting actors are just as great, with a lot of delicious villains and scene stealing players.
  • So many performances were just in the middle of leading & supporting, and I’ve changed my mind in more than one case. I think Philip Seymour Hoffman is just as leading as Joaquin, I think Dame Judi is supporting in Marigold Hotel, just like Helen Hunt in The Sessions and Christoph Waltz in Django. I was most confused on what to do with Nicole Kidman in Paperboy. I initially said Leading, but in the end I went for Supporting… But not sure it feels right after all.

This is the list of eligible/seen films (to my shame only 54):
Amour, Anna Karenina, Arbitrage, Argo, The Avengers, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Bernie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Beyond the Hills, Brave, Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, Dark Shadows, The Deep Blue Sea, Django Unchained, Flight, Frankenweenie, The Grey, Hitchcock, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Holy Motors, Hope Springs, Hotel Transylvania, The Hunger Games, Hyde Park on Hudson, The Impossible, The Intouchables, John Carter, Killing Them Softly, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Looper, Magic Mike, The Master, Mirror Mirror, Moonrise Kingdom, No, On the Road, The Paperboy, ParaNorman, Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Pitch Perfect, Prometheus, Rust and Bone, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Snow White and the Huntsman, To Rome with Love, The Sessions, Ted, Wreck-It-Ralph, Zero Dark Thirty

And here we go:


Choosing this year’s number 1 was more difficult than usual because I also like number 2 quite a lot. Both of them are seriously in front of their competition. The one I went for is a film I’ve seen twice and, just like any of my winners, it’s one for the heart & soul. A moving, mature drama that says a lot with few words. A classic. Also good to note: 4 of my top 5 are in a language other than English.

1. Amour

2. Zero Dark Thirty

3. Beyond the Hills

4. Rust and Bone

5. No

And also:

6. Silver Linings Playbook
7. Django Unchained
8. Wreck-It-Ralph
9. The Impossible
10. Skyfall


11. The Grey
12. The Intouchables
13. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
14. The Dark Knight Rises
15. The Paperboy


 Probably the first time my Top 5 choices for Director match the same 5 I went with for Best Picture (though not in the same order).

1. Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty

2. Michael Haneke – Amour

3. Cristian Mungiu – Beyond the Hills

4. Jacques Audiard – Rust and Bone

5. Pablo Larrain – No


6. David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
7. Joe Carnahan – The Grey
8. Juan Antonio Bayona – The Impossible
9. Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
10. Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained

11. Sam Mendes – Skyfall
12. Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master
13. Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
14. Christopher Nolan – The Dark Knight Rises
15. Rian Johnson – Looper


1. Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Of the two I give a slight advantage to the more grounded one. The conviction of this performance is unmatchable: from the smooth talk to the angry delusion, it’s done with easiness, power and ultimately perfection.

2. Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
A performance of delicious madness, with a certain perversity that makes it hard to look away. He owns the camera like no other.

3. Liam Neeson – The Grey
It’s like I felt hurt while watching this performance. The acting put in the context of Neeson’s own personal drama makes for a heartbreaking result and a solid portrayal of a broken man.

4. Matthias Schoenaerts – Rust and Bone
I will say that not since Brando has a male performance been so sexually brilliant and haunting. Matthias is a beast in this role, but allows us to see beyond the carnality and into the heart of the character.

5. Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
He is the main reason the film works. No doubt. He carries it with a mixture of vulnerability, adorable-factor and charm. He’s in control throughout the screenplay, doesn’t miss a beat.

6. Francois Cluzet – The Intouchables
7. John Hawkes – The Sessions
8. Jean-Louis Trintignant – Amour
9. Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
10. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln

Almost there: Jack Black – Bernie, Richard Gere – Arbitrage, Channing Tatum – Magic Mike, Gael Garcia Bernal – No, Tom Holland – The Impossible


1. Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Pure European natural acting combined with a delicate character in the hands of top-class director. It’s fascinating as it’s pure, natural and unmistakably heartbreaking.

2. Naomi Watts – The Impossible
She gets the difficult task of making it all look believable, and it’s a complete success. The film drops in quality when she’s not on screen, and when she does show up – it’s a monumental performance, about pain, loss, fear and will to live.

3. Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone
This is a performance that you need to sleep on before fully appreciating it. Marion holds back in key moments, but her eyes tell the story. She takes an unlikeable character and makes her seem like the hero.

4. Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
She manoeuvres the wordy screenplay like a pro. She’s like the good pupil, so the intelligence and the determination of the character feel natural. The lack of hesitation makes it a success.

5. Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
While I am not in love with the performance, it has its own special merits: she too has tricky dialogue to work with, and manages it beautifully, helping to narrowly avoid some scenes from falling into abstract. She’s real.

6. Cosmina Stratan – Beyond the Hills
7. Rachel Weisz – The Deep Blue Sea
8. Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games
9. Noomi Rapace – Prometheus
10. Laura Linney – Hyde Park on Hudson

Almost there: - .


1. Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained
What might just be my favorite performance of his: a delicious villain role that suits him perfectly. He is the star of every scene, because he knows how to play to the camera. Brings fun where it wasn’t necessarily required.

2. Javier Bardem – Skyfall
Another iconic villain, but one with a more of a soft side. Beautifully balances the trauma of the character with the homoerotic flirting and the masterful mind of a true bad guy.

3. Tom Hardy – The Dark Knight Rises
In a year with breathtaking villains, here’s a performance I like more than other people: it has heart in its most unexpected moments. Hardy gets it right: both the physicality of the role and also the ability to grab attention. Extra cool.

4. Ewan McGregor – The Impossible
An underrated performance that could easily top this ranking. To his own fault: he makes it look so damn easy, doing something that most actors his age won’t achieve in their entire careers: creating heartbreaking scenes, believable, with such easiness for tears.

5. Dwight Henry – Beasts of the Southern Wild
A first time acting job? I would’ve never have guessed. While everyone was focused on the kid, I only saw his truly emotional performance as a dying father. I got it, because he made it coherent and believable.

6. Matthew McConaughey – Bernie
7. Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
8. Ben Whishaw – Cloud Atlas
9. Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
10. Scoot McNairy – Killing Them Softly

Almost there: James D’Arcy – Cloud Atlas, Hal Holbrook – Lincoln, Samuel L. Jackson – Django Unchained, Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook, James Gandolfini – Killing Them Softly


1. Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy
A sweaty, sexy, brave, unforgettable performance from one of the most versatile actresses of her generation. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with Charlotte?!

2. Judi Dench – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Yes, of course it’s Judi Dench doing a performance she could play in her sleep. But how comforting it feels to see her on screen, how beautifully she portrays this delicate, intelligent woman.

3. Emily Blunt – Looper
She took me by surprise in this role because I didn’t expect such a strong performance in this action flick. She’s the heart of the film, creating a strong female character the audience can relate to.

4. Doona Bae – Cloud Atlas
She’s head and shoulders above her female co-stars because she’s the only one really comfortable in each of the roles. While surprising in various scenes, she is clearly breathtaking in the futuristic segment, beautifully capturing vulnerability and pain.

5. Isabelle Huppert – Amour
Every times she enters the film, the fragile balance of it all is somehow shaken. Her character doesn’t belong there, she’s an outsider, but Isabelle plays her so convincingly, alternating from charmingly clumsy to a woman that’s in over her head.

6. Helen Hunt – The Sessions
7. Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
8. Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
9. Susan Sarandon – Arbitrage
10. Sally Field – Lincoln

Almost there: Brit Marling – Arbitrage, Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables, Anna Camp – Pitch Perfect, Macy Gray – The Paperboy, Amy Adams – The Master


Not the greatest year for original screenplays, so it was a bit difficult to put together the top 5, even more so the top 10. But the ones on the highest 3 positions are quite strong.

1. Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal)
2. Amour
3. Wreck-It-Ralph
4. The Intouchables
5. The Impossible

6. Django Unchained
7. Looper
8. Arbitrage
9. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
10. The Master


Just like the Original screenplay category, it lacks real stars, but I’m fairly happy with the top 5.

1. No (Pedro Peirano, based on a play by Antonio Skármeta)
2. Beyond the Hills
3. Rust and Bone
4. Silver Linings Playbook
5. Lincoln


6. The Sessions
7. Bernie
8. The Paperboy
9. Skyfall
10. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey


1. Lincoln (Janusz Kaminski)

2. Skyfall (Roger Deakins)

3. The Grey (Masanobu Takayanagi)

4. Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda)

5. The Master (Mihai Malaimare Jr)

6. Django Unchained
7. The Dark Knight Rises
8. Zero Dark Thirty
9. Killing Them Softly
10. Anna Karenina


1. The Dark Knight Rises (Hans Zimmer)

2. Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)

3. Cloud Atlas (Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek & Tom Tykwer)

4. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Dan Romeo & Benh Zeitlin)

5. Lincoln (John Williams)

6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
7. Anna Karenina
8. The Master
9. Skyfall
10. The Impossible

Final thoughts:

(tough to pick one, but it’s the one I’d most likely come back to)
Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained

Kathryn Bigelow as the Director of Zero Dark Thirty.

Recap of the winners of the Alex In Movieland Awards 2012:

Best Film: 
Best Director: 
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Best Actor: 
Philip Seymour Hoffman, for The Master
Best Actress: 
Emmanuelle Riva, for Amour
Best Supporting Actor: 
Leonardo DiCaprio, for Django Unchained
Best Supporting Actress: 
Nicole Kidman, for  The Paperboy
Best Original Screenplay: 
Zero Dark Thirty
Best Adapted Screenplay: 
Best Cinematography:  
Best Original Score: 
The Dark Knight Rises

To check out previous editions, click on a year.

Thanks for reading :)

1 comment:

dinasztie said...

Jean-Louis Tringtignant only 8th? I'm sad, he's my #1 and I'm not that fond of Hoffman.

But I'm so glad that Jennifer and Cooper made your Top 5.

Anyway, I agree with your Picture and Director choice. I would have picked The Master for cinematography.

You have a thing for Zimmer's music. :D