Saturday, December 25, 2010

The best year end list

Now that my life has settled (for the moment - thank you vacation!), I've been hyperactively scanning the year-end nominations and awards. I'm not going to bother to post and comment on most individual kudos here (it's mostly been a clean sweep for the Social Network, with one or two bones thrown to Black Swan and Winter's Bone). However, each year there is one list I eagerly anticipate; the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, because they have the best categories - even if they don't necessarily help predict the eventual nominees or winners.

Before I repost the nominations, it did also make me think of one other thing. Let's say the best picture nominees for this year shake out in some combination of these 15 films: Social Network, Black Swan, Winter's Bone, Kids are All Right, King's Speech, Blue Valentine, 127 Hours, Fighter, Another Year, Inception, Toy Story 3, True Grit, the Town, Rabbit Hole, Ghost Writer. (Quick digression; whatever happened to The Way Back?).

Of those 15 films, 6 are led by actress performances (Black Swan, Winter's Bone, Kids are All Right, Rabbit Hole, Another Year, Blue Valentine). And True Grit and the Fighter are both there in large part due to supporting actress performances.

Compare that to last year. Three films with a lead actress (An Education, the Blind Side and Push) and one with supporting actresses (Up in the Air). (I'm not including Avatar in that second category, because Zoe Saldana was not what got it a best picture nomination).

Go back further: 2009 - 1 lead, 2007 - 2 leads, 2006 - 1 lead, maybe 2 supporting, 2005 - 0 leads, 1 supporting, 2004 - 2 leads, 1 supporting, 2003 - 1 lead, 2002 - 2 leads, 2001 - 1 lead, 3 supporting, 2000 - 3 leads.

What I'm saying is; this has been a surprisingly good year for actresses.

Onto the AWFJ list. I'm including a few of their bigger nominations, and all the fun ones:

Listed by category and in alphabetical order, the nominees are:

Best Film:
•Black Swan
•The King’s Speech
•The Social Network
•Winter’s Bone

Best Actress:
•Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
•Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
•Jennifer Lawrence - Winter’s Bone
•Lesley Manville - Another Year
•Natalie Portman - Black Swan
•Michelle Williams - Blue Valentine

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
•Amy Adams - The Fighter
•Helena Bonham-Carter - The King’s Speech
•Melissa Leo - The Fighter
•Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
•Jacki Weaver - Animal Kingdom

Best Ensemble Cast:
•The Fighter
•The Kids Are All Right
•The King’s Speech
•The Social Network
•Winter’s Bone

[Ed. note - The Fighter, Social Network and Winter's Bone are all great ensembles. I keep going back and forth with each one. The Fighter is most likely to see all the supporting cast eventually recognized, Winter's Bone boils down to three unforgettable performances (hopefully 2 will be recognized), with several excellent smaller parts, and Social Network has 3 great supporting parts, only 1 or 2 of which will be recognized. I think with that shake out, I go for Winter's Bone. Then again, I just saw the ensemble list for King's Speech (which I haven't seen yet), and it has some of my all time FAVORITE British (and Aussie) actors in it. Derek Jacobi! Guy Pearce! Timothy Spalls! ANTHONY ANDREWS - WHEN DID YOU COME OUT OF RETIREMENT?!? So I guess what I'm saying is, my opinion could change. Again. Some more. ]

Most Beautiful Film:
•Black Swan
•I Am Love
•Never Let Me Go
•True Grit

[Ed. note - I love this category. We should so, so include this at the Oscars. I also love the inclusion of Never Let Me Go here.]

Best Cinematography:
•Black Swan - Matthew Libatique
•Inception - Wally Pfister
•The Social Network - Jeff Cronenweth
•True Grit - Roger Deakins
•Winter’s Bone - Michael McDonough

[Ed note - of course Roger Deakins did True Grit. One more reason to go see it. I think this is a great group. I'd like to see Wally Pfister win something - he's been so good for so long. And every year, cinematography awards make me sad that there are practically no women in the field.]

Best Film Music Or Score:
•127 Hours - A.R. Rahman
•Black Swan - Clint Mansell
•Inception - Hans Zimmer
•The Social Network - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
•True Grit - Carter Burwell

[Ed. note - awww.... where's Daft Punk? I'll pick Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross in the meantime.]

Best Non-English-Language Film:
•Applause - Martin Zandvliet, Denmark
•Biutiful - Alejandro González Iñárritu, Mexico/Spain
•Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - Niels Arden Oplev, Denmark
•I Am Love - Luca Guadagnino, Italy
•Mother - Joon-ho Bong, South Korea
•Un Prophet - Jacques Audiard, France/Italy

[Ed. note - no Uncle Boonmee? Also - I really fell down on my foreign film watching this year. I need to get on some of these. Also also - I'm glad lots of people are including A Prophet in their lists, but it screws with predictions, since it was nominated for the Oscar last year.]

Best Woman Director:
•Andrea Arnold - Fish Tank
•Lisa Cholodenko - The Kids Are All Right
•Sofia Coppola - Somewhere
•Debra Granik - Winter’s Bone
•Nicole Holofcener - Please Give

[Ed. note - Fish Tank!!! Or Winter's Bone.]

Best Woman Screenwriter:
•Andrea Arnold - Fish Tank
•Lisa Cholodenko - The Kids Are All Right
•Sofia Coppola - Somewhere
•Debra Granik - Winter’s Bone
•Nicole Holofcener - Please Give
•Laeta Kalogridis - Shutter Island

Best Female Action Star:
•Angelina Jolie - Salt
•Helen Mirren - Red
•Chloe Moretz - Kick-Ass
•Noomi Rapace - Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
•Hailee Steinfeld - Ture Grit

[Ed. note - Love the category. Noomi Rapace ftw.]

Best Animated Female:
•Astrid - How To Train Your Dragon
•Barbie - Toy Story 3
•Jessie - Toy Story 3
•Margo, Edith and Agnes - Despicable Me
•Mother Gothel - Tangled
•Rapunzel - Tangled

Best Breakthrough Performance:
•Lena Dunham - Tiny Furniture
•Jennifer Lawrence - Winter’s Bone
•Chloe Moretz - Kick-Ass
•Noomi Rapace - Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
•Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit

[Ed. note - WOW. What a tough category! Lena broke into Hollywood, which is a big deal. But Noomi and Jennifer came closest to breaking into mainstream American success. Since Jennifer is up for best actress, I'll pick Noomi here.]

Women’s Image Award
•Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
•Sally Hawkins - Made In Dagenham
•Helen Mirren - Red
•Noomi Rapace - Girl With The Dragon Tatoo
•Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit

Perseverance Award:
•Lisa Cholodenko
•Melissa Leo
•Joan Rivers
•Winona Ryder

[Ed. note - CHER. Cher cher cher cher cher. Obviously. And it makes me a little sad to see Winona on this list.]

Actress Defying Age and Ageism:
•Annette Bening
•Patricia Clarkson
•Melissa Leo
•Helen Mirren
•Julianne Moore

Sexist Pig Award:
•Michael Bay
•Mel Gibson
•Michael Patrick King
•Michael Winterbottom
•Mark Zuckerberg (the character in The Social Network)

[Ed. note - Snort.]

This Year’s Outstanding Achievement By A Woman In The Film Industry:
•Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right
•Lena Dunham for Tiny Furniture
•Debra Granik for Winter’s Bone
•Tanya Hamilton for Night Catches Us
•Helen Mirren for opening five movies in the US

[Ed. note - I hope I have that much energy at 74.]

Lifetime Achievement Award:
•Annette Bening
•Ruby Dee
•Claire Denis
•Helen Mirren
•Julie Taymor

AWFJ Award For Humanitarian Activism:
•Sandra Bullock
•Angelina Jolie
•Sean Penn
•Oprah Winfrey

AWFJ Hall Of Shame Award:
•Jackass 3D
•Jonah Hex
•Mel Gibson
•Sex and The City 2, Michael Patrick King, Sarah Jessica Parker, cast and crew
•Valentine’s Day and Garry Marshall

[Ed. note - Sex and the City! No, Valentine's Day!]

Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent:
•Jennifer Aniston
•Halle Berry
•Katherine Heigl
•Sarah Jessica Parker
•Reese Witherspoon

[Ed. note - is Jennifer Aniston ever not included in this category? Also, allow Katherine Heigl to strangle herself on her own bad decisions, realize Sarah Jessica Parker has pretty much nothing left, and give this one to Reese Witherspoon - the one with the greatest potential of a continuing career.]

Movie You Wanted To Love But Just Couldn‘t:
•Black Swan
•For Colored Girls
•The Social Network
•Waiting For Superman

[Ed. note - wait, how can you include Black Swan, Inception, and Social Network when they are up for Best Picture? Doesn't that mean you love them? I could see For Colored Girls easily in this category, but obviously for me, it's Conviction, hands down. *sigh*]

Unforgettable Moment Award: [ED. NOTE: SPOILERS!!!!!]
•127 Hours - Aron Ralston (James Franco) cuts off his arm.
•Black Swan - Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) sprouts black wings and final dance performance.
•Inception - Paris folds in on itself
•The Kids Are All Right - Nic (Annette Bening) finds out that Jules (Julianne Moore) is cheating.
•Winter’s Bone - Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) cuts off her dead father’s hands with a chain saw.

[Ed. note - I'm going to go with Black Swan on this one. That performance was indelible.]

Best Depiction Of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction:
•Black Swan
•Blue Valentine
•I Am Love
•The Kids Are All Right

[Ed. note - not having seen it yet, I'm going to guess Blue Valentine wins this one.]

Sequel That Shouldn’t Have Been Made Award:
•Iron Man 2
•Little Fockers
•Sex and The City 2
•TRON: Legacy
•Wall Street 2

[Ed. note - Well, Iron Man 2 wins the "Sequel That Should Have Been Better" award and TRON wins "Sequel That Shouldn't Have Been A Sequel". I'd say Sex and the City wins, with Little Fockers in hot pursuit.]

The Remake That Shouldn’t Have Been Made Award:
•Clash of the Titans
•Death At a Funeral
•Let Me In
•Robin Hood

ROBIN HOOD! ROBIN HOOD! ROBIN HOOD! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! (scroll down for Cleolinda's rant.)

Cultural Crossover Award:
•Four Lions
•Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
•The Kids Are All Right
•Waste Land

Bravest Performance Award:
•Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right
•James Franco in 127 Hours
•Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass
•Natalie Portman in Black Swan
•Paprika Steen in Applause

Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Leading Man and The Love Interest Award:
•Barney’s Version - Paul Giamatti and Rosamund Pike (12 years)
•Company Men - Tommy Lee Jones and Maria Bello (21 years)
•Machete - Danny Trejo and Jessica Alba (37 years)
•Solitary Man - Michael Douglas and Imogen Poots (45 years)
•You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger - Anthony Hopkins and Lucy Punch (40 years)

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