It’s about that time! 2012 is over and with it the results are in! I’ve been working on this as the year progressed. This was my most difficult yearly round-up in a long time. I was so emotionally torn by my decisions *haha* but alas, here it they are!
*Disclaimer: Let it be known that my system for awarding and choosing favorites is based on my own personal taste, mood, appeal, and knowledge of film. Although I do judge films based on the standard criticisms, I do not cater to Hollywood’s opinion or anyone else’s. To argue or dispute my statements would be futile, as I am not forcing anyone to accept my choices but me. I choose people based on the proficiency and uniqueness of their work and productions for the same reasons.
Oh wow, this is the first time in a while that I’ve been truly torn about this. It was down to two for me and I think they deserve it for different reasons. The one thing they did have in common was that both films had unbelievable performances by their actors and truly remarkable characters…
LES MISERABLES – Morally and thematically I preferred this film most, but it did have some technical deficiencies that I will go into in my next blog after I see the film again. I think those deficiencies were the only reason it didn’t get the raving reviews it was hoping for. But beyond that, this movie was acted to perfection and so emotionally draining, but in the best sense. I also am surprised that the moral and overarching themes and lessons were even accepted by Hollywood’s elite, but then again it was directed by British filmmaker Tom Hooper who captured our hearts in 2010 with the lovely The King’s Speech. Les Miserables is impressive for so many reasons, the live recording of vocals, the stirring performances, and the shining light of God’s love and grace throughout.
DJANGO UNCHAINED – Oh Quentin, here you go again changing history! Haha but this time he did it with a dash of legendary fairy-tale and love story thrown in, which for him is a new territory. I applaud him for trying something different and succeeding with flying colors. I already posted a blog about why this film was amazing, so I won’t rant again, but per usual it dazzled with another knock-out script from its creator.
BEST DIRECTOR: I judge a director not only by being able to tell an amazing story, but especially by how he shapes his characters through the counseling and nurturing of his actors and actresses. So for the same reasons I chose the best pictures, I give it to both Tarantino and Hooper for excellence in getting the most out of their cast and crew.
BEST SCREENPLAY: This was the hardest category for me personally because I was impressed by several, but I think it has to go once again to Tarantino. He's just too good!
BEST ANIMATED FILM: Wreck-It Ralph, there were some cute films this year but Ralph was king by far. This had a better script than a lot of the live-action films. The characters were well established and lovable, the art direction was superb. It was a unique idea that remains memorable.
BEST ACTRESS: Naomi Watts, The Impossible. This role will surely get overlooked, but after watching this film I’m still stumped by just how real everything was and how they were able to pull off recreating a tsunami. She had to do incredibly difficult physical stunt work as an actress and be tremendously uncomfortable while still giving a great performance. Based on that alone, I think she deserves it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Leonardo Dicaprio, Django Unchained. I am so angry he didn’t get this nomination. While everyone in that movie should have gotten nominations, Leo had a stirring performance. He was silly, even stupid at points, but underneath a creepy, crafty, and temperamental serpent. He was unpredictable in every scene, and that takes a lot of talent and effort from an actor. So Leo, in my book, it’s yours!
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Hands down, this one’s going to Anne Hathaway for her performance in Les Miserables. I don’t really think an explanation is necessary.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by Howard Shore. As far as I’m concerned he’s the only choice this year. He’s in the top five of greatest film composers of all time.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: 3-way tie on this one: “Song of the Lonely Mountain” from The Hobbit, “Skyfall” from Skyfall of course, and “Safe and Sound” from The Hunger Games.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins, Skyfall, absolutely stunning.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: The team of Prometheus. Not the best film, but a complete wonder in the realm of visual effects.
BEST EDITING: William Goldenberg, Argo. Raw, gripping, on-the-edge-of-your-seat brilliance.
BEST MAKEUP: The team of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Nobody can touch Weta Workshop!
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Joanna Johnston, Lincoln. This lady definitely studied her wardrobe, it was history come to life!
BEST ART DIRECTION: Ian Gooding, Wreck-It Ralph. All you have to do is watch any scene that takes place in Sugar Rush and you’ll understand why. The attention to detail and cleverness are astonishing. The entire design of every video game world was breathtaking.
MY PERSONAL FAVORITES
1. LES MISERABLES
2. DJANGO UNCHAINED
3. THE HOBBIT
4. THE AVENGERS
5. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
6. WRECK-IT RALPH
10. ANNA KARENINA
11. SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
12. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
15. BOURNE LEGACY
17. THE HUNGER GAMES
18. END OF WATCH
19. THE IMPOSSIBLE
20. ZERO DARK THIRTY
21. MIRROR, MIRROR
22. MEN IN BLACK III
23. RISE OF THE GUARDIANS
MOVIES I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT WERE KIND OF A LET DOWN:
1. FLIGHT – Beyond Denzel and Kelly Reilly’s excellent performances it was just sort of meh, and the first five minutes were ridiculously uncalled for. You would think as a Christian I would like the themes but I found them to be really typical and over-the-top.
2. PROMETHEUS – Absolutely stunning in the visual department, and the first half was very engaging, but the second half got sloppy and disjointed. I definitely expected more from a favorite director of mine.
MOVIES I UNFORTUNATELY MISSED AND STILL WANT TO SEE:
1. INTOUCHABLES – I’ve heard from about a billion people this movie was amazing. I can’t believe I missed it!
2. WUTHERING HEIGHTS – A gritty retelling that looked amazing.
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