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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Film Bitch Awards (70)


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....


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...

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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?


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]

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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?




"More please!"

...That's my chief criteria for nominating actors for Breakthrough prizes at this site's own annual gongs, the Film Bitch Awards. (For new readers the name is a long story. We're not so bitchy about the movies unless by bitchy you mean so in love with them that we hold them to high standards). We're hoping that Pariah is only the first great performance from Adepero Oduye (pictured left).

Rather than hand Her Lady of Sudden Ubiquity (Jessica Chastain) the gold silver and bronze this year, we're giving her a special "body of work" medal.

It's not our usual practice to nominate someone whose been working as long as Olivia Colman alongside debut artists like Martha herselves Elizabeth Olsen, but Colman was completely unknown to us here in the US.

You can see the Breakthrough nominations under the Film Bitch pulldown menu up top. We've also started handing out medals in the Oscar adjacent categories. Check them out!

P.S. Here's a cute video of the remaining nominees Tom Cullen & Chris New from "Attitude"'s photoshoot if you haven't seen it.


FB Awards Flashback 2002 ~ Viola Davis Wins "Breakthrough"

I was looking up old Film Bitch Awards the other day, to verify that I had awarded Viola Davis a prize once before, because when she took home the SAG prize I felt like shouting "I SAW HER FIRST!". Turns out I gave her two gold medals the first year I "met" her. For kicks, and because I haven't finished the First Ten Years book for purchase, here is a little flashback for you exactly as they appeared (typos and all)! Viola won the following two prizes "Best Actress in a Cameo or Limited Role" and "Breakthrough"... I had totally forgotten most of these details.


Viola only had one scene in Antwone Fisher so I guess I never found a photo of her. LOL. I remember a teensy bit of Viola and Mary Lynn Rajskub's performances. Toni Collette's cameo on the other hand is super vivid  as most things The Hours are, nine years on.  Tilda Swinton and Geraldine Chaplin's roles are much fuzzier memories. In fact, I didn't remember until looking at this that Tilda was even in Adaptation (the bulk of my memories from that one are Streep's -- particularly the famous dial tone sequence -- with a little side dish of Chris Cooper). 

[Note: The year before I had given the medals to Naomi Watts, Gael García Bernal and Kerry Washington]

Remember when Maggie Gyllenhaal was Jessica Chastain?

I'm lol'ing at my "Give her a lead role instantly" command about Viola Davis. Meryl Streep would issue the same command at the SAG Awards several years later. It only took Hollywood nine years to get back to me on that with The Help. The other thing that's amusing to me about this flashback is Jesse Eisenberg as a semi-finalist. I didn't seem to have much faith that micro-budgeted indie Roger Dodger would lead anywhere for him but I thought he was great in it. 

Does this bring back any memories of 2002 movies for you?

I know I've been slow going on finishing the Film Bitch Awards this year, and even slower to bring you all the promised book of "The First Ten Years". When I finally finish it I hope you'll all purchase to support the site's continued life. [In the meantime a "subscription" on the right hand sidebar -- That's like 8 cents a day -- is a great way to make sure we keep typing at you for yet another year].

Who will win breakthrough and cameo prizes this year? And will we laugh about who was highlighted and who wasn't nine years later? The answer to the first question is coming soon but obviously there's a long wait before we can answer the second.



The Art Direction I Live In

I always try to finish the "Oscar Categories" of my own Film Bitch Awards before the Oscar nominations. I was racing to the deadline, panting heavily, sweating profusely and then I collapsed. I am now crawling towards the finish line. If anything can revive me it's eye candy! So here are my nominees for Art Direction and Cinematography. I would post Costumes too but I'm still arguing with myself over 8 films. (So many worthy efforts!) 

But while I have your eyeballs, I want to talk about one film in particular. Film is a visual medium so you'd think it would be a given that filmmakers would convey their themes and moods and characters visually. But many of them don't, relying on dialogue as exposition or voiceover profundities or leaning heavily on the gifts of their actors to get themes and nuances across. In other words, we have too few Pedro Almodóvars behind the camera.

In the two stills above from The Skin I Live In (which went without any Oscar nominations and was not submitted by Spain for Best Foreign Film) you can see how visually rich and how carefully planned every beat in an Almodóvar film is [MORE AFTER THE JUMP]

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