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Entries in Film Bitch Awards (54)

Friday
Jan182013

Best Director. My Choices and Theirs.

This is one of those awards seasons in which I curse my time management skills. I prefer to post my annual Film Bitch Awards in the traditional Oscar categories before the nominations to avoid undue influence from the west coast, however subtle that influence may be. I didn't manage in time this year, partially due to Oscar's rushed schedule. Imagine my joy when both Benh Zeitlin and Michael Haneke were nominated for an astonishing debut and a culmination of gifts respectively for Oscar's Best Director list. Then imagine my frustration when I realized that nominating them both a week later -- though they'd been irreplaceable factors in every lineup I considered naming -- would seem like sloppy seconds. I had predicted that Haneke's decade long ascendance as a World Great would be enough for Oscar's Director's Branch to recognize him this year but I was genuinely surprised to see Zeitlin's work on Beasts of the Southern Wild recognized instead of big Hollywood names. I personally don't care who they had to shove aside to make room for him because he absolutely deserved the kudos. If it looks like I am only copying AMPAS's two most brilliantly fringe nominations this year, so be it. They're the only Oscar choices that show up on in my nominated director's field.

No really. To me Soderbergh is an OBVIOUS choice for any lineup this year

I imagine that my most controversial choice will be Steven Soderbergh but that strikes me as madness and typical of the dearth of imagination that most awards bodies (and, yes, to their shame critics groups) suffer once you've dropped them anywhere outside a 5 mile radius of "prestige". Consider how wrong Magic Mike could have gone in any number of ways but instead it's this beautifully subtle and earnest slice-of-life drama and character/ milieu study despite the pelvic thrusts and plentiful ass cheeks. (But points to Soderbergh for not skimping on those either for the sake of "reputable" filmmaking.)

MY NOMINEES FOR BEST DIRECTOR

Have you voted on the Oscar poll yet in this category?

Monday
Jan072013

Screenplays of '12. Pg 12. "Lincoln" 

I didn't forget about my page 12 sharing in honor of 2012 but the year slipped away from me. Let's resume, at least in brief, for a moment from LINCOLN as scripted by Tony Kushner based in part on two chapters from "A Team of Rivals" (a book I'm continually hearing great things about).

Tony Kushner speaking about Lincoln at Harvard

Two soldiers fasten a flag to the halyards. Lincoln moves into places; as the crowd applauds, he takes a sheet of paper from inside his hat and glances at it. Then he looks up.

        LINCOLN
The part assigned to me is to raise
the flag, which, if there be no
fault in the machinery, I will do,
and when up, it will be for the
people to keep it up.

He puts the paper away. The audience waits, expecting more.

        LINCOLN (CONT'D)
That's my speech.

He smiles at them. They applaud, some laughing.  As Lincoln turns the crank, hoisting the flag, a solo trumpet plays "We Are Coming Father Abra'am" and the audience joins in.

That's a really short scene in Lincoln but a telling one since it gives Daniel Day-Lewis one of many opportunities to demonstrate the President's refreshing sense of humor. A good sense of humor goes a long way in sweeping out the cobwebs from the Great Man Hagiography that so many biographical films become.

three more celebrated screenplays I'm also celebrating today

I too love this screenplay and it's one of my own nominees for BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY just posted! My ballot for BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY is also up for this year's Film Bitch Awards kick off. Click over and see what's nominated from soulful indie dramas like Aya DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere and curios like Sean Baker's Starlet through to big budget superhero epics like The Avengers (no really) and certain Oscar players like that controversial Zero Dark screenplay we already talked about

Monday
Dec312012

Reader Rank: 2012's 007 Mania featuring the Bond Girls

Though we've really just begun our Year in Review of 2012 no such survey would be feel complete without at least a perfunctory visit to the shadowy world of super spy Bond, James Bond. Skyfall, the 23rd official James Bond feature released to coincide with the franchise's 50th anniversary is already the top grossing Bond of all time with $1 billion at the global box office. That's enough cash to get any Bond Villain (or Bond Villain parody) rubbing his fingers together with greed "one beeeeeeeiiiillion dollars"

Bérénice Marlowe as "Severine" in SKYFALL

Just before Skyfall came out I asked readers to submit their own rankings of the Bond films. It's such a big tallying project that I think I'll have to save the main results for the Skyfall DVD release (so if you still want to submit your ballot email it to me with "Bond Rank" in the title line and make sure to rank every Bond film you've seen in the email). I have finished the less strenuous task of tabulating the numbers for your favorite Bond Girls. How does the newbie Bérénice Marlohe as Severine stack up for all of you? I personally thought she was sensational with a lethal mix of smooth outer beauty and deep inner terror that had me imagining the feeling of skating on dangerously thin ice that's cracking loudly underneath your feet. I've included her in my "sexpot of the year" nominees. Pity that she has to share that new Film Bitch Awards page with her captor/lover Silva (Javier Bardem) who is nominated in the "villain of the year" category. 

cue theme music....

READER'S RANK: THE BEST BOND GIRLS

Maud Adams has the Trivia Bonus distinction of having played two different Bond Girls in her career. "Andrea" in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) and the title character in Octopussy (1983)

Honorable Mentions (aka 007 More Women Who Scored Well With Readers): Natalya (GoldenEye), Tatiana (From Russia With Love), Elektra King (The World is Not Enough), Malina Havelock (For Your Eyes Only), Fiona Volpe (Thunderball) and Maud Adams as Octopussy. I love this comment about the latter from Andrew:

The character is not that much fun in the movie itself, but just the fact that she's basically a brothel madam named "Octopussy" is pretty great."

The 007 Top Girls with a few key reader quotes after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec262012

FYC Film Bitch Awards

It's that time of year. I've starting to draw up my lists of the Best This and Best That in every category... so many categories! The Nomination Party begins on December 28th and runs through January 23rd. As per usual, I'd love to hear your input on categories that are harder to winnow down and easier to mess up on by forgetting something totally brilliant. Last year I had some issues completing things but I am happy to report that I'm not quite as terribly behind schedule this year. So hit your FYCs in the comments for the following categories:

Best Line Delivery | Action Sequence | Sex Scene |  Musical Moment | Best Kiss |  Credit Sequence | Opening Scene | Best Actor or Actress in a Limited or Cameo Role | Best Scene in General

Best Actress Film Bitch Long List: Knightley, Hunt, Wallis, Chastain, Riva, Cotillard, Weisz, Corinealdi, Fanning, Dowd, Seydoux, Lynskey, Winstead, Streep. or Williams?

You do that whilst I continue to debate the acting categories with myself... It's so crazy hard to narrow down Best Actress every year! Can I have 15 nominees just so all of these bright actresses get their due?

Saturday
Dec222012

Awards and Advocacy. How Should We Choose "The Best"?

As the critics awards and precursors have piled up this past month, I've begun to realize that I'm having one of my off-consensus years. Some of the frontrunners I'm very fond of (Tommy Lee Jones & Daniel Day-Lewis are both brilliant in Lincoln; I'm not going to pretend otherwise for the sake of shaking up the status quo) but I doubt my final five-wide shortlists in my own Film Bitch Awards will line up with Oscar ...or the general consensus.

The closest my own tastes will align with the masses will surely be within Best Actor. It's one of those years, like 2003, in which nearly all the men with any kind of Oscar buzz deserve to have it. That's such a rarity! Otherwise consensus just isn't happening. I can't see much likelihood of even 60% agreement in any other category. Some of that is due to my stubborn views on Category Fraud but a lot of it is just a matter of taste and refusing to be hemmed in by what is acceptably prestigious; Magic Mike is a way better movie than Argo !

A week ago when I charted the latest development in the critics prizes, I heard the usual round of complaints about my complaint which is, simply put, this: critics groups are just rubber stamping Oscar frontrunners rather than advocating for the unbuzzy but brilliant.

Shouldn't they vote on what they think is best even if that's already obviously what's going to win the gold?

...goes the question from readers. It's a valid one.

[More including my Supporting Actress Longlist after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar272012

Divas, Heroes, Sexpots, Villains

I've been neglecting the Film Bitch Awards for far too long so here is another page to enjoy ~ the character prizes in our four fun character categories: Diva, Hero, Sexpot and Villain of the Year. I should note that many of 2011's most memorable protagonists didn't fit neatly into these slots: a lot of 'heroes' were actually anti-heroes like "Date Rape Brown" in Rampart, the driver in Drive or "Mavis Gary" in Young Adult; there were potential divas who missed the point and didn't even want to be worshipped or even looked at like "Lisbeth Salander"... but she sure is a memorable character anyway. 

It's amazing how many movies can't hit the mark on delivering memorable heroes or villains. You don't even need to be especially complex in those categories but you have to be memorable... and what's memorable about the characters in that movie about the ringed intergalactic police corp or the one about the boy and his dog searching for a pirate ship and even the one about the ragtag group getting back together to defeat a maniacally laughing tycoon which hands so much of its screen time to a self-doubting newbie.

In short there wasn't a lot to applaud or boo-hiss at. So a big big thank you to our nominees who livened up this past film year with highly watchable fabulousity, heroics, eroticism and evildoing.

Who will thrill us this much in the new film year? There's a lot to live up to collected right here from films like Melancholia, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Crazy Stupid Love, Captain America, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Bridesmaids and more. Who gets your vote?

 

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