Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Welcome, to the 2nd Annual Emilio Awards (or Hollywood’s second biggest night as I like to call it), acknowledging the best in movies for 2012. As I’ve stated before, all of the voting was done by me, at my house. So, without further ado, and now that I’ve gotten a chance to see a lot of the films I missed, the following are the winners for the selected 22 categories. So let’s begin with the most controversial one:
Most Overrated Movie: By this point every one of my readers should know who the LAND SLIDE victor of this category is. But even if you are one of the few who know what I’m about to say, let the beating of this dead horse commence one last time. The winner of the first ever Emilio Award for Most Overrated Movie of 2012 is…”Beasts of the Southern Wild”!
*Beasts of the Southern Wild – Even though the runner up in this category, “Killer Joe”, was a vomit inducing mess of a film (that most critics seemed to enjoy) there was no other film in 2012 that was more of a visually overanalyzed, Arthouse catastrophe, while also as annoyingly adored than ”Beasts of the Southern Wild”. Go ahead and check rottentomatoes.com…I’ll wait. Telling the Katrina-esque story of a man and his daughter living in extreme poverty in a Delta-community nicknamed The Bathtub, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is clearly a film absolutely suffocated by its insane, and for the most part, nonsensical (even boring at times) visuals, which MOST critics claim to be art, and I, for the life of me, cannot understand why.
Best Actor: If you don’t know by now who is going to win in this category, then you must be a Southerner. The Emilio Award for Best Actor goes to…Daniel Day Lewis for “Lincoln”!
*Daniel Day Lewis – His portrayal of Lincoln will go down in cinema history as one of the single greatest performances of all time! Need I say more?
Best Supporting Actor: In a performance that for some un-Godly reason was lost in the shuffle during awards season, the winner of the Emilio Award for Best Supporting Actor goes to…Leonardo DiCaprio!
*Leonardo DiCaprio - Even though Christoph Waltz is the shoe-in to win the Oscar this Sunday for essentially playing a watered down version of his character in “Inglorious Basterds”, it has to be clear to anyone who has seen “Django Unchained” that DiCaprio playing the ruthless slave owner Calvin Candie, gives the performance of a lifetime. My only thinking behind this snub is that the faceless few who pick the nominees for the other “awards shows” thought DiCaprio’s performance too off-putting, or not the clean cut DiCaprio that audiences are used to seeing. Because his performance is so superb here, that in only about 45 minutes of screen time, DiCaprio has single handedly shown how the right actor can elevate a Quentin Tarantino movie onto a level which transcends pulpy exploitation. It is just too bad that during the moments when DiCaprio isn’t on screen, the entire film suffers immensely.
Best Actress: This year’s Emilio Award for Best Actress goes to…Emmanuel Riva for “Amour”!
*Emmanuelle Riva – On top of her giving a physically challenging and emotionally draining performance as a woman slowly wasting away before our eyes, Riva (age 85) unlike any other actress this year (supporting or otherwise) took her character and made her real, in a scary way. A scary way which masterfully rides the fine line of the phony world of film and the harsh world of reality. Sorry Jessica Chastain.
Best Supporting Actress: In yet another category which contained an obvious winner, the Emilio Award for Best Supporting Actress goes to Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook”!
*Jennifer Lawrence – Pretty much giving the single best performance of her career (by far) the only real question that plagues this category may have to do with some people thinking Jennifer Lawrence’s character in “Silver Linings Playbook” was more of a lead performance, and therefore Ann Hathaway should’ve walked away with the coveted Emilio for her show stealing performance in “Les Miserables”. But those people would be wrong.
Best Director: In undoubtedly the “toss up” category of the year, I have to play the selfish card and give the Emilio Award for Best Director to…Paul Thomas Anderson for “The Master”!
*Paul Thomas Anderson – Creating a world that is not only visually stunning, the “auditing scene” is one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever witnessed on film, but more so emotionally haunting, and deliciously controversial; I guess I could have given this award to Ben Affleck or Katherine Bigelow. But I didn’t. So, just deal with it!
Best Comedy: While “Pitch Perfect” was more consistently funny, the Emilio Award for Best Comedy of 2012 goes to…“21 Jump Street”!
*21 Jump Street – Containing such hilarious lines such as: “You know what they do to handsome guys like me in prison? It rhymes with grape…It rhymes with grape.”, and “Stop f**king with Korean Jesus! He ain’t got time for your problems! He’s busy with Korean sh*t”, the fact that you are undoubtedly laughing to yourself as you read this pretty much makes my point for me.
Best Ensemble Cast: Many are going say the extensive cast of “Les Miserables” deserves this particular award, and then again the over 60 crowd may make an argument for “Lincoln, but the winner of the Emilio Award for Best Ensemble cast is…”Silver Linings Playbook”!
*Silver Linings Playbook – All I really have to say is, for the second year in a row David O. Russell comes through with the best ensemble cast of the year. I am not a huge O. Russell fan, but damn! He must be doing something right.
Best Original Screenplay: And the Emilio Award for the Best Original Screenplay goes to...Envelope please…Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained”!
*Quentin Tarantino - This may be a bit of a misnomer, since I didn’t love the script for “Django Unchained”. As I’ve stated before, the beginning seemed a bit rehashed and the ending is way, way, way, too long. In saying that, there is about 45 minutes in the second act which is insanely brilliant, in my mind standing as the best piece of writing Tarantino has ever put to paper. So the fact is, that while the script as a whole is flawed, this mid-portion transcends every other original script put forth in 2012.
Best Adapted Screenplay: This is the part of my show where I give my love to “Lincoln”…on a technical level. If you haven’t guessed it, the Emilio Award for Best Original Screenplay goes to Tony Kushner for “Lincoln”!
*Tony Kushner – All I really have to say about Kushner’s work here is, never before have I seen a script, with a nearly undramatizable plot, that what riddled with such witty and poignant dialogue and characters so well defined that they jump off the page, to the point where scenes of men sitting around a table pontificating, were made to feel highly entertaining.
Best Documentary Feature: Up until last week “How to Survive a Plague” was my clear pick to win in this category…but now, the Emilio Award for Best Documentary Feature goes to…“The Imposter”.
*The Imposter – Does it contain innovative storytelling? No, not really. Does it have a strong political message? No, it doesn’t have that either. Does it contain a story about an American musician, who had a hit record in South Africa 40 years ago, that when listened to today, seems a little overrated? Nope, “The Imposter” doesn’t even have that! But what this film does have is frankly the most compelling storyline of any documentary I’ve seen in at least a couple of years. And this subject matter (which, the least you know about going in, the better) along with some excellent direction, is enough for me to proclaim “The Imposter” the best documentary of 2012.
Best Animated Feature: While the geniuses at Pixar are making some mind-blowing leaps forward in the field of animated hair, the Emilio Award for Best Animated Feature goes to…”ParaNorman”!
*ParaNorman: Not only containing some very interesting animation (especially near the end) the reason this movie rises above all the rest, is because of the combination of a superbly crafted coming of age story, better than any Disney movie of 2012, and a creepy, morbidly alluring atmosphere, which is better than anything Tim Burton has come out with in a decade.
Best Foreign Film: After wrestling with this category for a while now, I’ve come to the conclusion that the overall coolness of “Raid Redemption” has been overthrown! The winner of the Emilio Award for best Foreign Film is…”Amour”!
*Amour – It seems as if this is one of the only things the Academy and I agree upon.
Most Underappreciated Film: Since I have a category for “most overrated film of 2012”, I only felt it right that I let everyone know about a film I thought was harshly dismissed and vastly unseen. The Emilio Award for Most Underappreciated movie of 2012 goes to…”The Comedy”!
*The Comedy – I realize a movie concerning a group of hipsters exercising their own form of nihilistic irreverence may not be the most exciting thing to sit through for 90 minutes, but let me assure you, this complex story of a man (brilliantly played by Tim Heidecker) coming to terms with life, is yes weird, but also immensely interesting and quietly insightful. OK, so some critics may say that this is my pretentious “film critic” pick, or that this is an example of me (as a film critic) attempting to simply be contradictory and different. But again, the people who are saying this are undoubtedly the same critics who loved “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, but can’t really tell you why. Bazinga!
Best Picture: While “Zero Dark Thirty” is my Oscar pick, my personal pick and the outright winner of this year’s Emilio Award for Best Picture is…”The Master”!
*The Master – Alright, so these past few months I’ve defended this film until I was blue in the face, so I’ll keep this short. I am not a Paul Thomas Anderson fanboy. In fact, the only real film before this one that I actually enjoyed was “Boogie Nights”. Blasphemy, I know. And if you want to de-friend me on Facebook for that, I would understand. BUT, what Paul Tomas Anderson has done with “The Master” is nothing short of create an experience that transcends classic Hollywood narrative, and instead is pushed forward by raw emotion and intriguing ideas of mans’ motivations, self-awareness and need for direction. Furthermore, the psychoanalytical questions that director PT Anderson bathes this film in, with some well constructed dialogue, “The Master” contains a multitude of scenes that are so powerful, they will have you replaying sequences from this film in your head long after you’ve finished watching. Though I’m still not hacky enough of a writer to say “The Master” is a masterpiece, if you want to read my full on defense of this movie go to: http://movieswithmarkusonline.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-master.html
The other (lesser) Emilio Awards categories are as follows:
*Jonny Greenwood for “The Master” – With his score, Greenwood brings with him a dream-like, minimalist sound that is quite befitting of the mood, atmosphere and most importantly the tempo of the film itself. So, while John Williams does his ever perfect John Williams thing in “Lincoln”, Greenwood’s work in “The Master” is an example of bigger chances taken, yielding bigger rewards in the long run.
*Les Miserables – Have you seen the movie?!
*The Master – What I will say about PTA movies is that they all look amazing, and “The Master” is no exception.
*The Impossible – While the editing team must be given props for the masterfully shot Tsunami sequence, more importantly, the way one of the most predictable films of 2012 had mass audiences on the edge of their seats (and by the end, in tears) speaks volumes of the work done in post.
*Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin Candie – As I alluded to before, DiCaprio gives maybe the second best performance of the year, as the most ruthless slave owner ever put to film. And since Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t play a villain (well, for those of you who don’t hate black people that is) the winner of this category was an easy choice.
Best Original Song:
*Adele for “Skyfall” – Winning primarily because the damn song is still stuck in my head.
Best Visual Effects:
*The Life of Pi” – Aside from the fact that this is the only other film besides “Hugo” which uses 3D competently, Ang Lee and his team of visual effects guys must be commended for creating an entire narrative around a CGI tiger and a real actor trapped on a boat, in the middle of the CGI ocean, and (unlike the “Impossible”) makes it visually captivating throughout.
There you have it; all 22 of the lucky recipients that went home with an Emilio Award! While some may find fault with the Emilio Award winners for 2012, all of those people can suck rocks! What my awards work to prove is, that once again the Academy Awards are as narrow minded as ever when it comes to nominating the best in films. Thank you for reading…if you’ve gotten this far.
Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus