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Monday, 25 February 2013

2012 - The Thin White Dude's Best and Worst of the Year



Alrighty folks, me, The Thin White Dude (duh, it's my blog!). I've decided to post this Best and Worst of 2012 after the Academy Awards, partly as an experiment to see whether more achtung is garnered immediately post-Oscars and partly because I have been very busy, with work on it this year being hard indeed. Fifty-nine films (or was it sixty?) I believe I got through last year, including seven of the Best Picture contenders. Like last year, I've scoured through both the multiplexes for major releases, screenings for unknowns (as the poster for Irish film Silence, the winner of the first Thin White Dude's Champion for Independant/Unique Contribution to Cinema in 2012 shows), the bottom of the barrel for straight-to-DVD releases and many more situations unique to the wonderful medium of cinema. For the sixth year in a row, my theory that there are at least four or five legitimate masterpieces of film every year has been proven right, though which film's are to be defined as such differs from one opinion to another. This blog a platform for my (oh, my!) opines and being an autocracy of one, you'll have to bite the bullet or be ready to bring a dog to this fight. In that regard, let's get right down to this.


Ground Rules

I don't have very many ground rules, but there are a few differences from last year. You'll see that for the likes of sound design, visual effects etc. I have credited the film rather than the artist involved. It's not that I don't love the little man (and woman) who contributes to the film, but this year I was genuinely too busy to get all those details in. 

1. A movie must have received a release in theatres or on DVD in 2012

2. The numbers of eligibility for all categories (excepts Worst Film/Best Film/Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse, and a few exceptions) have increased to a range of between five and ten

3. Like any good critic, I only mention films I have seen, so the likes of Silver Linings Playbook and Amour are not going to be featured. Imagine talking about films you haven't seen! Of all the things...

4. Most of these categories are arranged by alphabetical order in relation to the film nominated and not the individual nominee

5. Four new categories (The David Bowie Award for Best Theme/Song in a Film from 2012, The Emotional Heartstrings Orchestra (EMO) Award for Worst Film Score/Soundtrack of 2012, The Straight To Video Award for Best Home Media Film Release of 2012, The Thin White Dude's Championship for Independent/Unique Contribution to Cinema in 2012) and one returning after a four year absence (The 2nd Sergei Eisenstein Award for Best Propaganda Film of 2012)

6. I reiterate, these are the opinions of one, that one being me, so if I happen to agree, or indeed disagree with you, feel free to comment upon my postings

Enjoy!

The Thin White Dude


The 6th John Carpenter Award for Best Horror Film of 2012

The Cabin In The Woods (Mutant Enemy Productions) – Drew Goddard
ParaNorman (Laika) – Sam Fell/Chris Butler

And the winner is… The Cabin In The Woods (Mutant Enemy Productions) – Drew Goddard

This was looking to be a putrid year for horror movies until we got two inventive and unique entry’s to the genre. However, The Cabin In The Woods breaks on through as the winner; it is intelligent, funny, scary, treats horror fans with respect and really indulges the audience with the twists and turns it takes. Also, like any good horror movie, it has something to say, while giving us a rollicking, entertaining show. A real treat.

The 5th Kenneth Loach Award for Best Drama of 2012

A Dangerous Method (Recorded Picture Company/Telefilm Canada) – David Cronenberg
Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai (Recorded Picture Company/Sedic International/Amuse Soft International) – Takashi Miike
The Impossible (Apaches Entertainment/Telecinco Cinema) – J.A. Bayona
Les Miserables (Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Ltd./Relativity Media) – Tom Hooper
Lincoln (DreamWorks Studios/20th Century Fox/Reliance Entertainment/Participant Media/Amblin Entertainment/The Kennedy/Marshal Company) – Steven Spielberg
Magic Mike (Nick Weschler Productions/Iron Horse Entertainment/Extension 765) – Steven Soderbergh
Silence (South Wind Blows/Harvest Films) – Pat Collins
The Turin Horse (T.T. Filmmuhely) – Bela Tarr

And the winner is… The Turin Horse (T.T. Filmmuhely) – Bela Tarr

Like one of his influences, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Bela Tarr proves with The Turin Horse that all you need to make a great movie is a house, two actors, a number of props and, of course, a horse (my kingdom for a horse!). Tarr’s existential drama on “the heaviness of human existence” is never anything less than mesmerizing and a dramatically powerful piece of cinema.

The 5th Sylvester Stallone Award for Best Action/Adventure Film of 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary Pictures/Syncopy Films/DC Comics) – Christopher Nolan
Django Unchained (A Band Apart) – Quentin Tarantino
Life Of Pi (Rhythm & Hues/Fox 2000 Pictures) – Ang Lee
The Raid (PT. Merantau Films/XYZ Films) – Gareth Evans

And the winner is… The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary Pictures/Syncopy Films/DC Comics) – Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan set the bar high on account of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, but The Dark Knight Rises certainly didn’t disappoint. An extraordinary action spectacle, The Dark Knight Rises is an epic film with a massive scale that in terms of spectacle may never be replicated, but behind that spectacle is a story, the crux of which digs its roots deep.

The 6th ‘GWB’ Award for Most ‘Unintentionally’ Offensive Film of 2012

Chill (Rojak Films) – Serge Rodnunsky (pissed off VFX artists and audiences who can tell the difference between an explosion and badly layered Photoshop)
Django Unchained (A Band Apart) – Quentin Tarantino (pissed off Spike Lee and the ‘moral’ upholders of political correctness)
The Expendables 2 (Nu Image/Millennium Films) – Simon West (pissed off environmental protection agency(s), Bulgarian Bat Studies centre, Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Warters, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and that was before the movie came out!)
Jack And Jill (Happy Madison Productions/Broken Road Productions) – Dennis Dugan (pissed off Latin-Americans, and anyone who knows how good Adam Sandler movies can be)
Project X
(Silver Pictures/Green Hat Films) – Nima Nourizadeh (pissed off philogynists, the straight-edge society, and anyone who likes comedy films like Animal House or Superbad: it’s neither!)
Rock Of Ages (Material Pictures/Corner Stone Entertainment/Offspring Entertainment) – Adam Shankman (pissed off anyone who likes narrative cohesion and their rock-n-roll rated-R and not sung by the head boy of Wonderwall High)
Taken 2 (EuropaCorp/Grive Productions/Canal+/M6 Films/Cine+) – Olivier Megaton (pissed off Turks and those who want their exploitation movies to be exploitative)
That’s My Boy (Happy Madison Productions/Relativity Media) – Sean Anders (pissed off child protection groups and those who argue the film would never have been greenlit if the genders were reversed, which is a fair point)

And the winner is… Rock Of Ages (Material Pictures/Corner Stone Entertainment/Offspring Entertainment) – Adam Shankman (pissed off anyone who likes narrative cohesion and their rock-n-roll rated-R and not sung by the head boy of Wonderwall High)

I would have declared Project X the winner, but I think that would probably be an endorsement for such a despicable film. However, much as I wanted to like this going in, Rock Of Ages completely offended my sensibilities. I love musicals, I hated this jukebox incoherence, I love rock-n-roll, I hate this pop-rock nonsense being sung badly by someone who’d be better placed pissing people off playing an acoustic version of Wonderwall at house parties. Fuck you!

The 6th David Fincher Award for Best Thriller of 2012

Argo (GK Films/Smokehouse Pictures) – Ben Affleck
Jack Reacher (TC Productions/Skydance Productions) – Christopher McQuarrie
Skyfall (Eon Production/Danjaq LLC) – Sam Mendes
Transit (After Dark Films/Signature Entertainment) – Antonio Negret
Zero Dark Thirty (Annapurna Pictures) – Kathryn Bigelow

And the winner is… Argo (GK Films/Smokehouse Pictures) – Ben Affleck

Along with Gone Baby Gone and The Town, you’d be forgiven for calling Ben Affleck the new Clint Eastwood if he wasn’t the first Ben Affleck. Argo is a nerve-wracking jackknife thriller that is also very funny and has an emotional core that is subtle in the way it gets to you. I’ve been saying it for years, but this is a vindication of Ben Affleck as a terrific filmmaker. 

The 6th Philip K. Dick for Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy Film of 2012

Chronicle (Davis Entertainment) – Josh Trank
Dredd (DNA Films/IM Global/Reliance Entertainment) – Pete Travis
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New Line Cinema/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/WingNut Films) – Peter Jackson
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Temple Hill/Sunswept Entertainment)

And the winner is… Dredd (DNA Films/IM Global/Reliance Entertainment) – Pete Travis

There wasn’t a more audacious mainstream film last year than Dredd. A ninety-minute exploitation film classic, Dredd is a kinetic experience that throws you in the deep end and frankly depicts the savagery of Mega-City One. It’s also a subtly political movie that is reminiscent of RoboCop at its best moments. A cerebral sledgehammer.

The 6th Stan And Ollie Award for Best Comedic Film of 2012

The Angels’ Share (Sixteen Films/Why Not Productions/Wild Bunch) – Ken Loach
Cockneys Vs Zombies (Limelight/Molinare/Teas Shop & Film Company) – Matthias Hoene
The Dictator (Four by Two Films) – Larry Charles
Iron Sky (Energia Productions/New Holland Pictures) – Timo Vuorensola
Seven Psychopaths (Film4/British Film Institue/Blueprint Pictures) – Martin McDonagh
Ted (Media Rights Capital/Fuzzy Door/Bluegrass Films/Smart Entertainment) – Seth MacFarlane
This Must Be The Place (Lucky Red/Medusa Film/Indigo Film) – Paolo Sorrentino

And the winner is… The Angels’ Share (Sixteen Films/Why Not Productions/Wild Bunch) – Ken Loach

Now entertaining his fiftieth year as a filmmaker, the great Ken Loach has released another vibrant picture in The Angels’ Share. A wonderful comedy depicting a community payback group and its association(s) with whiskey after visiting a distillery. In a strong and varied year for comedy, The Angels’ Share wins out.

The 6th ‘I Am Legend’ Award for Biggest Disappointment of 2012

Deadheads (FroBro Films) – Brett Piece/Drew T. Pierce: has its heart in the right place, but falls hard on its face
Django Unchained (A Band Apart) – Quentin Tarantino: I wanted to be proved wrong, but I was so right
Men In Black 3 (Amblin Entertainment/P+M Image Nation/Hemisphere Media Capital) – Barry Sonnenfeld: decent, but ends up in the realm of superfluous
Prometheus (Scott Free Productions/Brandywine Productions/Dune Entertainment) – Ridley Scott: had the all the necessary tools to be a masterpiece
Rock Of Ages (Material Pictures/Corner Stone Entertainment/Offspring Entertainment) – Adam Shankman: Instead of an enjoyable camp and silly musical, I got a SOULDESTROYING campy and silly musical

And the winner is... Rock Of Ages (Material Pictures/Corner Stone Entertainment/Offspring Entertainment) – Adam Shankman: Instead of an enjoyable camp and silly musical, I got a SOULDESTROYING campy and silly musical

I went into to Rock Of Ages thinking that while it might not be great filmmaking, there could something to enjoy. Aside from Tom Cruise, there is virtually nothing to enjoy in versions of songs which for the most part weren’t great the first time being made even worse all over again. Utter rubbish.

The 4th Walt Disney for Best Animated Film of 2012

And the winner is… ParaNorman (Laika) – Sam Fell/Chris Butler

I didn’t see many animated films in 2012, but that doesn’t change the fact that ParaNorman is a highly credible film. A terrific children’s animated horror film that not only respects the audience, regardless of age, but also delivers a positive polemic against prejudge and hysteria by way of a contemporary updating of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. 

The 2nd Sergei Eisenstein Award for Best Propaganda Film of 2012

Chill – Serge Rodnunsky: the worst CGI imaginable can pass for a climax
Cleanskin – Hadi Hajaid: if in doubt, kill everything in sight and morality aside you may succeed
The Devil Inside – William Brent Bell: who needs an ending when you’ve got a website?
The Expendables 2 – Simon West: embracing the return of Sylvester Stallone’s ‘Noble Peasants’
Jack And Jill – Dennis Dugan: it’s okay to be loud, racist, fat and obnoxious
Project X – Nima Nourizadeh: the lad culture is something to be celebrated, not!
Rock Of Ages – Adam Shankman: bad music that makes bad movies is cool
Shadow Dancer – James Marsh: the I.R.A. are freedom fighters
Taken 2 – Olivier Megaton: casual paranoid xenophobia is a legitimate parental quality

And the winner is… Taken 2 – Olivier Megaton: casual paranoid xenophobia is a legitimate parental quality

If you thought that the first Taken was preposterous (enjoyable, nevertheless), then Taken 2 will take you (see what I did there?) to a whole new level. After the first had French baddies being spotting on account of baguettes sticking out of their bicycle baskets, their Turkish relatives are all out for revenge and anyone with a funny accent and/or brown skin is a potential suspect. Looking into it with too much of a socio-political pair of glasses would be too much to its credit, but it’s still ludicrous.

The 4th Walter Murch Award for Best Sound Design/Mixing in a Film in 2012

Argo (GK Films/Smokehouse Pictures) – Ben Affleck
Chronicle (Davis Entertainment) – Josh Trank
The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary Pictures/Syncopy Films/DC Comics) – Christopher Nolan
Dredd (DNA Films/IM Global/Reliance Entertainment) – Pete Travis
Les Miserables (Working Titles Films/Cameron Mackintosh Ltd./Relativity Media) Tom Hooper
Life Of Pi (Rhythm & Hues/Fox 2000 Pictures) – Ang Lee
Silence (South Wind Blows/Harvest Films) – Pat Collins
Ted (Media Rights Capital/Fuzzy Door/Bluegrass Films/Smart Entertainment) – Seth MacFarlane
The Turin Horse (T.T. Filműhely) – Bela Tarr
Zero Dark Thirty (Annapurna Pictures) – Kathryn Bigelow

And the winner is… Silence (South Wind Blows/Harvest Films) – Pat Collins

Silence is one of the most original films of 2012, and the sound design/mixing contributes much to this. Blurring the definition lines of genre, the sound does a number of different aesthetic tricks, and given that the movie’s protagonist is a sound designer, it gives it a level of reflexivity. Groundbreaking work the great Walter Murch would be proud of.

The 5th Paul Schrader Award for Best Film Screenplay of 2012

Paul Laverty (The Angels’ Share) – Ken Loach
Chris Terrio (Argo) – Ben Affleck
Lucy Alibar/Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) – Benh Zeitlin
Drew Goddard/Joss Whedon (The Cabin In The Woods) – Drew Goddard
Jonathan Nolan/Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan
Alex Garland (Dredd) – Pete Travis
Seth MacFarlane/Alec Sulkin/Wellesley Wild (Ted) – Seth MacFarlane
László Krasznahorkai/Bela Tarr (The Turin Horse) – Bela Tarr

And the winner is… Chris Terrio (Argo) – Ben Affleck

Argo is one of the best films of the year, and while Ben Affleck deserves much credit, so to does Chris Terrio for his screenplay. Detailed from an investigative standpoint but never stopping from forward momentum, this script wisely (and appropriately) gets the expository details dealt with on the go. A textbook example of how write a screenplay. Note the name, Cole Smithey, you troll, CHRIS TERRIO! Argo fuck yourself!

The 3rd Edith Head Award for Best Costume Designs in a Film in 2012

Comopolis – David Cronenberg
The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan
Dredd – Pete Travis
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson
Iron Sky – Timo Vuorensola
Les Miserables – Tom Hooper
Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
Magic Mike – Steven Soderbergh
Prometheus – Ridley Scott
Skyfall – Sam Mendes

And the winner is… The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson

Coming from the same crew behind The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, you’d expect nothing less than complete dedication from the costume department. Once again they have down a marvelous job in helping legitimize the characters to the audience. The onscreen Middle-Earth is made up of the hard work of so many departments, and the costume designers most certainly deserve this award.

The 6th ‘Real Steel’ Award for Most Surprisingly Entertaining Film of 2012

Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Journeyman Pictures/Cinereach/Court 13 Pictures) – Benh Zeitlin: saw it completely blank, came at me from a completely left-field approach
The Bourne Legacy (Relativity Media/The Kennedy/Marshall Company) – Tony Gilroy: expected it be rubbish, but a good solid actioner
Dredd (DNA Films/IM Global/Reliance Entertainment) – Peter Travis: my initial trepidations were unfounded: from start to finish, an exploitation masterpiece
ParaNorman (Laika) – Sam Fell/Chris Butler: instead of a basic kids movie, I got a Crucibauldian (yes, I made that up!) polemic on prejudice and hysteria
The Sweeney (Vertigo Films/Embargo Films) – Nick Love: ‘lad’ film director Nick Love puts out a pretty strong Brit actioner
That’s My Boy (Happy Madison Productions/Relativity Media) – Sean Anders: the recently terrible Adam Sandler makes an audacious and challenging comedy
Transit (After Dark Films/Signature Entertainment) – Antonio Negret: straight-to-DVD exploitation film one of the best thrillers of 2012
The Three Stooges (C3 Entertainent/Conundrum Entertainment) – Peter Farrelly/Bobby Farrelly: the Farrelly brothers manage to not Farrelly-up The Three Stooges, keeping it true to the originals
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Temple Hill/Sunswept Entertainment) – Bill Condon: my expectations were lower than low, but I found myself enjoying it a good bit

And the winner is… The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Temple Hill/Sunswept Entertainment) – Bill Condon: my expectations were lower than low, but I found myself enjoying it a good bit

Named after last year’s real hidden pleasure Real Steel, this award goes to the final part in The Twilight Saga. I have a mixed (to say it kindly) relationship with The Twilight Saga, but this is one of the stronger installments. The absurdities of the story are played up rather well, and the tone, more akin to something like Bride Of Frankenstein, is a welcome surprise, given how ‘oh so serious’ the rest were. A genuine surprise.

The 5th Christopher Doyle Award for Best Cinematography in a Film in 2012

Ben Richardson (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) – Benh Zeitlin
Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan
Anthony Dod Mantle (Dredd) – Pete Travis
Oscar Faura (The Impossible) – J.A. Bayona
Danny Cohen (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Claudio Miranda (Life Of Pi) – Ang Lee
Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln) – Steven Spielberg
Ron Fricke (Samsara) – Ron Fricke
Roger Deakins (Skyfall) – Sam Mendes
Luca Bigazzi (This Must Be The Place) – Paolo Sorrentino
Fred Kelemen (The Turin Horse) – Bela Tarr

And the winner is… Fred Kelemen (The Turin Horse) – Bela Tarr

A minimalist composition, The Turin Horse comprises of only thirty shots, but by God are they good. Meticulously choreographed and transcendental, Kelemen’s camera moves like a feather in the wind, passing over the events that are occurring. Beautifully shot in black and white, Kelemen’s cinematography contributes greatly to the film.

The 3rd Rick Baker Award for Best Make-Up/Hair in a Film in 2012

Cockneys Vs Zombies – Matthias Hoene
The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan
Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson
The Impossible – J.A. Bayona
Les Miserables – Tom Hooper
Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
Men In Black 3 – Barry Sonnenfeld
Prometheus – Ridley Scott
This Must Be The Place – Paolo Sorrentino

And the winner is… The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson

Chalk up another win for the design departments on The Hobbit. The Lord Of The Rings were a monumental achievement in design ten years ago, and regardless of what you think about forty-eight frames, The Hobbit’s design is of equal credence. Each of the characters has their own distinct visual look, but the hand-crafted make-up ensures that we can believe in a level of reality in this Middle Earth.

The 5th Lucio Fulci Award for Most Excessively Violent Film of 2012

Chill (Rojak Films) – Serge Rodnunsky: if you don’t have the make-up budget for exploding heads by way of shotgun, don’t try it by way of 1997 Carmageddon-esque visual effects
The Devil Inside (Insurge Pictures/Prototype) – William Brent Bell: stupid attempts to gross-out the audience
Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino: some of the violence does not contribute to the narrative
Project X – Nima Nourizadeh: not violent in the blood-and-guts sense, but just a savage and repugnant film
Samsara – Ron Fricke: documentary, I know, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt by the scenes of animal cruelty
Taken 2 – Olivier Megaton: “Human Casulties: 0.,” oh…

And the winner is… Chill (Rojak Films) – Serge Rodnunsky: if you don’t have the make-up budget for exploding heads by way of shotgun, don’t try it by way of 1997 Carmageddon-esque visual effects

It’s a cheap, low-rent movie that does look its budget, but I was rather enjoying Chill as an old-school and intelligently directed horror movie; until the last ten minutes. Then it decides to work around budgetary constraints by doing exploding heads, burning people and buildings collapsing (no spoilers, don’t worry) with the worst visual effects I have seen in perhaps the history of cinema. Who thought that this was acceptable?

The 5th Ennio Morricone Award for Best Original Score/Soundtrack in a Film from 2012

Alexandre Desplat (Argo) – Ben Affleck
Dan Romer/Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) – Benh Zeitlin
Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan
Paul Leonard-Morgan (Dredd) – Pete Travis
Howard Shore (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) – Peter Jackson
Claude-Michel Schönberg/Herbet Kretzmer (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Mychael Danna (Life Of Pi) – Ang Lee
Marc Streitenfeld (Prometheus) – Ridley Scott
Michael Stearns/Lisa Gerrard/Marcello de Francisci (Samsara) – Ron Fricke
Mihály Víg (The Turin Horse) – Bela Tarr

And the winner is… Mihály Víg (The Turin Horse) – Bela Tarr

There were some terrific scores this year, but the winner is a case of less is more. Mihály Vig’s score consists of one piece of music being repeated at various points throughout the movie. The way in which it is implemented is as such that you are unsure if you’re hearing it in the film or unconsciously in your head. Which is not a pleasant feeling, to tell you the truth, but an aesthetically appropriate move. The piece itself is like a perversion of circus music.

The Emotional Hearstrings Orchestra (EMO) Award for Worst Film Score/Soundtrack of 2012

Nigel Holton/Kurt Oldman/Jeffrey Walton (Chill) – Serge Rodnunsky
Fernando Velazquez (The Impossible) – J.A. Bayona
Joe Kraemer (Jack Reacher) – Christopher McQuarrie
Rupert Gregson-Williams/Waddy Wachtel (Jack And Jill) – Dennis Dugan
Michael Giacchino (John Carter) – Andrew Stanton
Haim Frank Ilfman (Mercenaries) – Paris Leonti
Assortment Of DJ Fuckheads (Project X) – Nima Nourizadeh
Another Assortment, Hair Bands This Time (Rock Of Ages) – Adam Shankman
Nathaniel Mechaly (Taken 2) – Olivier Megaton
Rupert Gregson-Williams (That’s My Boy) – Sean Anders

And the winner is… Rupert Gregson-Williams/Waddy Wachtel (Jack And Jill) – Dennis Dugan

Rupert Gregson-Williams has done a number of bad scores over the years, but this is a particularly bad one, with both That’s My Boy and the winner Jack And Jill featuring terrible scores. He’s also done Hotel Rwanda, which is what makes me so angry when I hear this drivel. More importantly, the character of Jill is built up to be so reprehensible that when the film has the gall to say (through the score) “Isn’t it sad that no one likes her?,” I’m brought back to an exchange in Passenger 57: “In my position what would you do? If you were me what would you do?” “Kill myself!”

The David Bowie Award for Best Theme/Song in a Film from 2012

The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” (The Angels’ Share) – Ken Loach
Dan Romer/Benh Zeitlin “Once There Was A Hushpuppy” (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) – Benh Zeitlin
Nine Inch Nails “Last” (The Cabin In The Woods) – Drew Goddard
Hans Zimmer “Gotham’s Reckoning” (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan
Paul-Leonard Morgan “End Credits Theme” (Dredd) – Pete Travis
J.R.R. Tolkien “Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold” (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) – Peter Jackson
Laibach “Under The Iron Sky” (Iron Sky) – Timo Vuorensola
Claude-Michel Schonberg/Herbert Kretzmer “Do You Hear The People Sing?” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Claude-Michel Schonberg/Herbert Kretzmer “I Dreamed A Dream” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Mychael Danna/Bombay Jayashri “Pi’s Lullaby” (Life Of Pi) – Ang Lee
Talking Heads “This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)” (This Must Be The Place) – Paolo Sorrentino
Mihaly Vig “The Turin Horse” (The Turin Horse) – Bela Tarr

And the winner is… Paul-Leonard Morgan “End Credits Theme” (Dredd) – Pete Travis, J.R.R. Tolkien “Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold” (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) – Peter Jackson and Claude-Michel Schonberg/Herbert Kretzmer “I Dreamed A Dream” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper

Having my first ever three-headed award is some precedent to be setting for the debuting David Bowie Award! Nevertheless, these three pieces are deserving of recognition. Paul-Leonard Morgan’s piece comes at the climax of Dredd, and is a summation of everything that came before. The dwarves’ performance of the Tolkien Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold is a transcendent piece that is arguably the standout moment of the first instalment of The Hobbit film trilogy. Finally, Anne Hathaway’s wonderfully emotive interpretation of I Dreamed A Dream will stand out as one 2012’s greatest cinematic moments. 

The 3rd Dante Ferretti Award for Best Production Design in a Film from 2012

Beasts Of The Southern Wild – Benh Zeitlin
The Cabin In The Woods – Drew Goddard
The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan
Dredd – Pete Travis
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson
Les Miserables – Tom Hooper
Life Of Pi – Ang Lee
Lincoln – Steven Spielberg
Prometheus – Ridley Scott
Skyfall – Sam Mendes

And the winner is… The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan

The first year this award has had an official name, after the great two-time winner Dante Ferretti. Capping off his Batman trilogy, Warner Bros. let Christopher Nolan and co. just go out there and make a great film. Grand and epic in the manner of Gone With The Wind, The Dark Knight Rises stands out from the pack in a particularly strong year for production design. The scale of this film is extraordinary.

The 4th Stan Winston Award for Best Special/Visual Effects in a Film from 2012

The Cabin In The Woods – Drew Goddard
The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan
Dredd – Pete Travis
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Peter Jackson
Iron Sky – Timo Vuorensola
Life Of Pi – Ang Lee
Men In Black 3 – Barry Sonnenfeld
Prometheus – Ridley Scott
Ted – Seth MacFarlane
Total Recall – Len Wiseman

And the winner is… Life Of Pi – Ang Lee

Last year, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes broke new ground in special/visual effects with the lead character of Caesar. This year, Life Of Pi heads into deeper water, with a completely non-anthropomorphized character in Richard Parker, a tiger that is quite clearly a tiger. This is one of those make or break situations, and we buy Life Of Pi because of the effects. Although the other nominees are meritable, the Life Of Pi team are clearly the unquestionable winners. 

The 4th Vic Armstrong Award for Best Stunts/Choreography in a Film from 2012

The Dark Knight Rises – Christopher Nolan
Dragon Eyes – John Hyams
The Impossible – J.A. Bayona
Jack Reacher – Christopher McQuarrie
Les Miserables – Tom Hooper
Life Of Pi – Ang Lee
Magic Mike – Steven Soderbergh
The Raid – Gareth Evans
Skyfall – Sam Mendes
Ted – Seth MacFarlane
Zero Dark Thirty – Kathryn Bigelow

And the winner is… The Raid – Gareth Evans

I don’t think it would be gross hyperbole to say that The Raid was the action movie that took everyone by surprise last year. Hard-hitting, fast-paced and superbly choreographed, the tradition Indonesian Pencak Silat on display makes for a unique action movie. The best stunts/choreography work in an action film since Ong-Bak.

The 5th Thelma Schoonmaker Award for Best Editorial Work in a Film from 2012

William Goldenberg (Argo) – Ben Affleck
Lisa Lassek (The Cabin In The Woods) – Drew Goddard
Elliot Greenberg (Chronicle) – Josh Trank
Lee Smith (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan
Mark Eckersley (Dredd) – Pete Travis
Melanie Ann Oliver/Chris Dickens (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Tim Squyres (Life Of Pi) – Ang Lee
Tadhg O’Sullivan (Silence) – Pat Collins
Jeff Freeman (Ted) – Seth MacFarlane
Dylan Tichenor/William Goldenberg (Zero Dark Thirty) – Kathryn Bigelow

And the winner is… Elliot Greenberg (Chronicle) – Josh Trank

Josh Trank’s low-budget sci-fi film takes the found footage subgenre and does new and interesting things with it. The editing contributes a large part to this, ensuring that Chronicle has a brilliantly seamless quality in the camera being used in it’s the diegesis. Greenberg’s work is inventive and proof of that innovation can conquer budgetary restraints. 

The 6th James Cameron Award for Best Sequel of 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary Pictures/Syncopy Films/DC Comics) – Christopher Nolan: an excellent climax to Nolan’s Batman trilogy
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New Line Cinema/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/WingNut Films) – Peter Jackson: a respectful and well-made adaptation of the Tolkien classic
Skyfall (Eon Productions) – Sam Mendes: when James Bond looks long into the abyss, the abyss stares back
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Temple Hill/Sunswept Entertainment) – Bill Condon: the Bride Of Frankenstein of the Twilight franchise

And the winner is… The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary Pictures/Syncopy Films/DC Comics) – Christopher Nolan: an excellent climax to Nolan’s Batman trilogy

After Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, the Nolan’s were faced with a conundrum: where do we go from here? Well, wisely they went in a different direction, giving Batman his most physically threatening challenge from the brainbox mercenary Bane, who’s bent on destroying Gotham City. I was by no means disappointed, and Christopher Nolan once again outdid himself. A spectacular climax to an excellent trilogy. 

The 5th Werner Herzog Award for Most Ingenious Film Concept of 2012

The Cabin In The Woods (Mutant Enemy Productions) – Drew Goddard: five people become victims of a stereotypical horror movie plot in a film with many layers and lots of self-reflexivity
Chronicle (Davis Entertainment) – Josh Trank: the redundant found footage subgenre is given new life in this sci-fi film reminiscent of a contemporary Akira
Into The Abyss (Investigation Discovery/Creative Differences/Werner Herzog Filmproduktion/Spring Films/More4/Revolver Entertainment) – Werner Herzog: what could have been a typical Death Row documentary because something else together with the mighty Werner Herzog
Iron Sky (Energia Productions/New Holland Pictures) – Timo Vuorensola: in 1945, Nazis went to the Moon, in 2018, they’re coming back
Les Miserables (Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Ltd./Relativity Media) – Tom Hooper: instead of a ‘film’ adaptation, Hooper and co. bring the theatrical traditions of the stage show to the big screen
Magic Mike (Nick Weschler Productions/Iron Horse Entertainment/Extension 765) – Steven Soderbergh: Channing Tatum’s experiences as a stripper translate into a great movie
ParaNorman (Laika) – Sam Fell/Chris Butler: ‘typical’ animation becomes a Crucibauldian polemic on prejudge and hysteria
Silence (South Wind Blows/Harvest Films) – Pat Collins: a sound recordist returns to Ireland in a film that transcends the boundaries of fiction and documentary film
Skyfall (Eon Productions) – Sam Mendes: Mendes and co. turn their James Bond film into a psychological thriller
Ted (Media Rights Capital/Fuzzy Door/Bluegrass Films/Smart Entertainment) – Seth MacFarlane: kid’s movie concept of teddy bear coming to life gets an R-rated overhaul

And the winner is… Iron Sky (Energia Productions/New Holland Pictures) – Timo Vuorensola: in 1945, Nazis went to the Moon, in 2018, they’re coming back

That Iron Sky even got made is in itself is a triumph. That it managed to be a pretty good comedy with serious political undertones is another thing altogether. The central concept is not overwrought and is intelligently implemented into the story. A wholly unique and entertaining film destined for cult status, a status that I can’t say it doesn’t deserve, because any film this good does.

The 3rd ‘Cemetery Junction’ Award for Most Overlooked Film of 2012

Dredd (DNA Films/IM Global/Reliance Entertainment) – Pete Travis: that this masterpiece had a poor marketing campaign and tanked at the box-office is an absolute travesty
Iron Sky (Energia Productions/New Holland Pictures) – Timo Vuorensola: Revolver made a dog’s dinner of the films UK theatrical release, and that’s an insult to dog food
ParaNorman (Laika) – Sam Fell/Chris Butler: a genuinely entertaining horror-comedy with a Crucibauldian crux. Not just a kid’s movie
Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (Mandate Pictures/Indian Paintbrush) – Lorene Scafaria: a genuinely bold black comedy that is not without it’s moments of tenderness
Silence (South Wind Blows/Harvest Films) – Pat Collins: not even sure it’s gotten a theatrical release outside of Ireland and one screening (which I attended) in Northern Ireland
That’s My Boy (Happy Madison Productions/Relativity Media) – Sean Anders: failed at both the box-office and critically
Transit (After Dark Films/Signature Entertainment) – Antonio Negret: straight-to-DVD fare, but a solid, entertaining exploitation thriller
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Temple Hill/Sunswept Entertainment) – Bill Condon: after the previous films, people (myself included) were automatically attuned to dismissing this

And the winner is… Dredd (DNA Films/IM Global/Reliance Entertainment) – Pete Travis: that this masterpiece had a poor marketing campaign and tanked at the box-office is an absolute travesty

To put it into context, I am a Judge Dredd fan, but I didn’t let that checker my opinions on the film. From start to finish I was gripped by the sheer ballsiness and bullheaded attitude it had. It tanked at the box-office and had a poor marketing campaign, a real disgrace given that it’s the most audacious mainstream film in years. However, the DVD sales have been strong, so there might still life left in this baby.

The 5th Katherine Hepburn Award for Best Supporting Role by a Female Actor from 2012

Samantha Barks: “Éponine” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Judi Dench: “M” (Skyfall) – Sam Mendes
Sally Field: “Mary Todd Lincoln” (Lincoln) – Steven Spielberg
Anne Hathaway: “Selina Kyle” (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan
Anne Hathaway: “Fantine” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Lene Headey: “Ma-Ma” (Dredd) – Pete Travis
Mila Kunis: “Lori Collins” (Ted) – Seth MacFarlane
Leighton Meester: “Jamie” (That’s My Boy) – Sean Anders

And the winner is… Judi Dench: “M” (Skyfall) – Sam Mendes

Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem may be the two sides of the same coin in Skyfall, but it is Judi Dench’s M and the weight of her performance around which a lot of this film is balanced. Dench is given a lot more to do in this film and does excellently, taking her M character to places it never has been before. The subtle complexity of her performance cannot be disregarded.

The 5th R. Lee Ermey Award for Best Supporting Role by a Male Actor from 2012

Javier Bardem: “Raoul Silva” (Skyfall) – Sam Mendes
Josh Brolin: “Young Agent K” (Men In Black 3) – Barry Sonnenfeld
Tom Cruise: “Stacee Jaxx” (Rock Of Ages) – Adam Shankman
Tom Hardy: “Bane” (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan
John Henshaw: “Harry” (The Angels’ Share) – Ken Loach
Tom Holland: “Lucas Bennett” (The Impossible) – J.A. Bayona
Samuel L. Jackson: “Stephen” (Django Unchained) – Quentin Tarantino
Tommy Lee Jones: “Thaddeus Stevens” (Lincoln) – Steven Spielberg
Viggo Mortensen: “Sigmund Freud” (A Dangeous Method) – David Cronenberg
Alex Pettyfer: “Adam/The Kid” (Magic Mike) – Steven Soderbergh

And the winner is… John Henshaw: “Harry” (The Angels’ Share) – Ken Loach

This was the toughest category to decide of all this year, because no one person immediately stood out, and each of them could have validity on being the winner. However, the more I thought about it, I settled on the wonderful John Henshaw for his work in The Angels’ Share. He was in a great bit part in Looking For Eric, and Loach gives him a more substantial role, and he takes the ball and runs with it. An immensely charismatic and sympathetic screen presence.

The 3rd ‘Extras’ Bit Part in a Film from 2012

Isabelle Allen: “Young Cosette” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
“The Director” (The Cabin In The Woods) – Drew Goddard
Megan Fox: “Megan Fox” (The Dictator) – Larry Charles
Sam Jones: “Sam Jones” (Ted) – Seth MacFarlane
Ian Holm/Elijah Wood: “Bilbo Baggins/Frodo Baggins” (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) – Peter Jackson
Desmond Lai Lan: “Homeless Man” (Dredd) – Pete Travis
“Multiple Parties” (Seven Psychopaths) – Martin McDonagh
Kevin Nash: “Tarzan” (Magic Mike) – Steven Soderbergh
Ricsi: “The Horse” (The Turin Horse) – Bela Tarr

And the winner is… “The Director” (The Cabin In The Woods) – Drew Goddard

The cameo of ‘The Director’ is of great importance to The Cabin In The Woods, of such importance that I refuse to unveil the name of he (or she) who plays the character. An actor of sublime power and legitimacy is required to perform this, and he (or she) plays it perfection in this unique but wholly brilliant cameo. One of the most enjoyable moments in a film 2012.

The 4th Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary Film of 2012

Into The Abyss (Investigation Discovery/Creative Differences/Werner Herzog Filmproduktion/Spring Films/More4/Revolver Entertainment) – Werner Herzog
Samsara (Magidson Films) – Ron Fricke

And the winner is… Into The Abyss (Investigation Discovery/Creative Differences/Werner Herzog Filmproduktion/Spring Films/More4/Revolver Entertainment) – Werner Herzog

Michael Moore may the namesake for this award, but a valid argument could be made that Werner Herzog is the greatest living documentarian. Once again, he brings that quality that can only be described as Herzogian to a project, and his death row doc is a great piece. By no means dodging the bullet but expressing great tact and giving dignity to his subject, Herzog has crafted a brutal but also very touching film.

The 4th Peter Sallis Award for Best Vocal Acting in a Film from 2012

Casey Affleck: “Mitch” (ParaNorman) – Sam Fell/Chris Butler
“The Cast” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Seth MacFarlane: “Ted” (Ted) – Seth MacFarlane
Andy Serkis: “Gollum” (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) – Peter Jackson
Suraj Sharma: “Pi Patel” (Life Of Pi) – Ang Lee
Quvenzhane Wallis: “Hushpuppy” (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) – Benh Zeitlin

And the winner is… “The Cast” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper

From a vocal standpoint (as well as film standpoint), Les Miserables is quite an achievement. Granted, Russell Crowe’s singing being unintentionally funny at times, The Cast of this wonderful picture are uniformly terrific, with Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway and Eddie Redmayne standing out. However, while they may be the best performances, Les Miserables is an ensemble piece to which all the cast members contribute.

The 6th Cate Blanchett Award for Best Lead Role by a Female Actor in 2012

Jessica Chastain: “Maya” (Zero Dark Thirty) – Kathryn Bigelow
Keira Knightley: “Sabina Spielrein” (A Dangerous Method) – David Cronenberg
Noomi Rapace: “Elizabeth Shaw” (Prometheus) – Ridley Scott
Andrea Riseborough: “Colette McVeigh” (Shadow Dancer) – James Marsh
Olivia Thirlby: “Rookie Cassandra Anderson” (Dredd) – Pete Travis
Quvenzhane Wallis: “Hushpuppy” (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) – Benh Zeitlin
Naomi Watts: “Maria Bennett” (The Impossible) – J.A Bayona

And the winner is… Quvenzhane Wallis: “Hushpuppy” (Beasts Of The Southern Wild) – Benh Zeitlin

In a year of performances involving strong women standing up against insurmountable odds, it is a little African-American girl who stands head and shoulders above the pack. Beasts Of The Southern Wild is a strange bildungsroman in that the main character goes from the ages of five to six, but Quvenzhane Wallis’ performance is of an immortal type of intelligence, based on pure acting instinct. As a result of her innate qualities, Hushpuppy becomes an iconic character, and I feel this is probably the best performance of 2012, full-stop.

The 6th Kevin Spacey Award for Best Male Actor in a Leading Role from 2012

Ben Affleck: “Tony Mendez” (Argo) – Ben Affleck
Daniel Craig: “James Bond” (Skyfall) – Sam Mendes
Daniel Day-Lewis: “Abraham Lincoln” (Lincoln) – Steven Spielberg
Woody Harrelson: “Officer Dave Brown” (Rampart) – Oren Moverman
Ebizo Ichikawa: “Hanshiro Tsugumo” (Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai) – Takashi Miike
Hugh Jackman: “Jean Valjean” (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Sean Penn: “Cheyenne” (This Must Be The Place) – Paolo Sorrentino
Channing Tatum: “Michael Lane/Magic Mike” (Magic Mike) – Steven Soderberg
Karl Urban: “Judge Dredd” (Dredd) – Pete Travis
Mark Wahlberg: “John Bennett” (Ted) – Seth MacFarlane
Christoph Waltz: “Dr. King Schultz” (Django Unchained) – Quentin Tarantino

And the winner is… Channing Tatum: “Michael Lane/Magic Mike” (Magic Mike) – Steven Soderberg

As the list of nominees reveal, there was quite a wide variety of performances up for the opportunity to nab this award. However, I’ve decided to go with Channing Tatum for a number of reasons: firstly, because his acting here had the iconic quality of a James Dean or a Marlon Brando, secondly because he’s an incredibly charismatic leading man, and thirdly because he gives his character a startling yet subtle degree of complexity. A terrific performance.

The Straight To Video Award for Best Home Media Film Release of 2012

Chill (Rojak Films) – Serge Rodnunsky
Dragon Eyes (After Dark Films/G2 Pictures) – John Hyams
Rogue River (Vision Entertainment Group/Kejo Productions/Rogue River Productions) – Jourdan McClure
Transit (After Dark Films/Signature Entertainment) – Antonio Negret

And the winner is… Transit (After Dark Films/Signature Entertainment) – Antonio Negret

Of all the home media straight-to-DVD releases this year, Transit was without question the best. Featuring Jim Cavaziel as a man trying to keep his family together while being tormented by a group of criminals, this is a raw, edgy exploitation road-thriller in the vein of Duel and The Hitcher. A real unsung gem that quite clearly deserved to see a theatrical release. Their loss is our…

The 5th Akira Kurosawa Award for Best Foreign Language Film of 2012

(Japan) Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai (Recorded Picture Company/Sedic International/Amuse Soft International) – Takashi Miike
(Indonesia) The Raid (PT. Merantau Films/XYZ Films) – Gareth Evans
(Ireland) Silence (South Wind Blows/Harvest Films) – Pat Collins
(Hungary) The Turin Horse (T. T. Filmműhely) – Bela Tarr

And the winner is… (Hungary) The Turin Horse (T. T. Filmműhely) – Bela Tarr

Arguably Hungary’s most audacious auteur, Bela Tarr’s The Turin Horse is a monumental achievement for Hungary’s national cinema. Even in the context of Hungarian film, Tarr’s film is something very different in it’s own right. As opposed to a lot of the social realist pictures the country is famous for, The Turin Horse is more of the vein of the emerging Hungarian experimental cinema, an existentialist challenging the boundaries of the medium.

The 4th Orson Welles for Most Promising Debut Filmmaker of 2012

Drew Goddard (The Cabin In The Woods): tight, efficient filmmaking off of his own great script
Matthias Hoene (Cockneys Vs Zombies): straight, confident direction of this strong zom-com
Seth MacFarlane (Ted): translates his comedic brilliance to the big screen
Josh Trank (Chronicle): in his debut inventively takes a stock subgenre to new places
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild): an artistically daring auteur in the making

And the winner is… Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild): an artistically daring auteur in the making

Beasts Of The Southern Wild is the little art-house movie that has taken the awards season by storm. I personally went into it cold, not knowing anything beforehand, but being struck by how much I enjoyed it. Director Benh Zeitlin deserves a lot of the credit for why the film work. It’s an aesthetically interesting and artistically daring film, and Benh Zeitlin is a great auteur in the making.

The 5th Steven Spielberg Award for Best Producer(s) on a Film from 2012

Ben Affleck/George Clooney/Grant Heslov (Argo) – Ben Affleck
Joss Whedon (The Cabin In The Woods) – Drew Goddard
Christopher Nolan/Charles Roven/Emma Thomas (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan
Alex Garland/Andrew MacDonald/Allon Reich (Dredd) – Pete Travis
Carolynne Cunningham/Peter Jackson/Fran Walsh/Zane Weiner (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) – Peter Jackson
Oliver Damian/Sam Horton/Tero Kaukomaa/Cathy Overeet/Mark Overett/Samuli Torssonen/James Wenban (Iron Sky) – Timo Vuorensola
Tim Bevan/Eric Fellner/Debra Hayward/Cameron Mackintosh (Les Miserables) – Tom Hooper
Ang Lee/Gil Netter/David Womark (Life Of Pi) – Ang Lee
Barbard Broccoli/Michael G. Wilson (Skyfall) – Sam Mendes
Kathryn Bigelow/Mark Boal/Megan Ellison (Zero Dark Thirty) – Kathryn Bigelow

And the winner is… Ben Affleck/George Clooney/Grant Heslov (Argo) – Ben Affleck and Christopher Nolan/Charles Roven/Emma Thomas (The Dark Knight Rises) – Christopher Nolan

I’m cheating (as I through most of this), I know, but I feel that two films deserve to be recognized for their excellent production. Argo was developed well from the start, building itself around a 2007 Joshuah Bearman article for Wired. On the other hand, The Dark Knight Rises was a huge production that equaled those of Gone With The Wind and Ben-Hur. Both films are triumphant masterpieces, and the producers deserve credit for their contributions to this. 

The 6th Stanley Kubrick for Best Director of a Film from 2012

Ben Affleck (Argo)
Pat Collins (Silence)
Werner Herzog (Into The Abyss)
Tom Hooper (Les Miserables)
Ang Lee (Life Of Pi)
Sam Mendes (Skyfall)
Takashi Miike (Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai)
Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises)
Bela Tarr (The Turin Horse)
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts Of The Southern Wild)

And the winner is… Bela Tarr (The Turin Horse)

“The final film by Bela Tarr” is also the one that is most experimental and full of authorial intent (granted, I haven’t seen Satantango). The Turin Horse is such a singularly made film without any compromises, and that is down to the decisions of Bela Tarr. He is the puppet-master holding all the pieces of this extraordinary jigsaw together. Quite simply, the most daringly directed film of the past few years.

The Thin White Dude’s Championship for Independent/Unique Contribution to Cinema in 2012

Silence (South Wind Blows/Harvest Films) – Pat Collins

I’m not even too sure if the film has received a release outside of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but Silence is a film that certainly deserves. I went into the film cold, and frankly that’s not a bad way to do it, because the film transcends the boundaries of documentary and fictional film. It features some real innovation with regards to the sound design, it’s well-shot, written, Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhride’s unusual casting works, and it raises the profile of Pat Collins, most notable for working on documentaries. Splendid film.

The 4th ‘Drag Me To Hell’ Awards for 2012’s Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

William Brent Bell/Matthew Peterman (The Devil Inside): the architects behind one of the worst horror film’s I have seen in a few years. As a fan of genre cinema, this was an absolute disgrace. A preposterously bad movie.
Diego Boneta (Rock Of Ages): a completely unwitting balloon who has no place being involved in anything to do with rock music, especially compromised pop-rock!
Dennis Dugan (Jack And Jill): I would have given this to Adam Sandler, but Dugan keeps coming back to him, making progressively worse movies. Jack And Jill was the bane of my movie-reviewing existence last year.
‘The Producers’ (John Carter): not as bad as it gets cracked up to be, and although Andrew Stanton seems to have lost sight of his senses, the producers and marketing heads deserve to be flagellated for the mess they made. Apocalypse Now it ain’t! There’s a great book on the production history somewhere.


The 4th Alfred Hitchcock Award for Most Significant Player (Member of the Film Community) in 2012

Ben Affleck (Actor/Producer/Director of ‘Argo’)
Mark Boal (Screenwriter/Producer of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’)
Michael Fassbender (Actor in ‘A Dangerous Method,’ ‘Haywire’ and ‘Prometheus’)
Anne Hathaway (Actor in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘Les Miserables’)
Werner Herzog (Director/Screenwriter/Narrator of ‘Into The Abyss’ and Actor in ‘Jack Reacher’)
Christopher Nolan (Director/Producer/Screenwriter of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’)
Bela Tarr (Screenwriter/Director of ‘The Turin Horse’)
Channing Tatum (Actor/Producer of ‘The Magic Mike’)
Jeremy Thomas (Producer of ‘A Dangerous Method’ and ‘Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai’)
Joss Whedon (Producer/Screenwriter/Second-Unit Director of ‘The Cabin In The Woods’ and Screenwriter/Director of ‘The Avengers’)
Benh Zeitlin (Director/Screenwriter/Composer of ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’)

And the winner is… Anne Hathaway (Actor in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘Les Miserables’)

Although not in a lead acting performance, Anne Hathaway’s supporting roles in The Dark Knight Rises and Les Miserables contributed much to their respective successes. Her Selina Kyle is one of the terrific ensemble of the former, and her Fantine is arguably the part upon which much of the latter leans upon. Her ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ long-take in Les Miserables is one of the best moments in film in 2012. A fine actress with a fine present and even finer future.

The 6th Ed Wood Award for Worst Film of 2012

DeadHeads (FroBro Films) – Brett Pierce/Drew T. Piece
The Devil Inside (Prototype) – William Brent Bell
Jack And Jill (Happy Madison Productions/Broken Road Productions) – Dennis Dugan
John Carter (Walt Disney Pictures) – Andrew Stanton
Mercenaries (Angry Badger Pictures/International Artists Management) – Paris Leonti
Project X (Silver Pictures/Green Hat Films) – Nima Nourizadeh
Rock Of Ages (Material Pictures/Corner Stone Entertainment/Offspring Entertainment) – Adam Shankman
Rogue River (Vision Entertainment Group/Kejo Productions/Rogue River Productions) – Jourdan McClure
Taken 2 (EuropaCorp/Grive Productions/Canal+/M6 Films/Cine+) – Olivier Megaton
Total Recall (Original Film) – Len Wiseman
Wrath Of The Titans (Legendary Pictures/Thunder Road Film/Cott Productions/Furia de Titanes II A.I.E.) – Jonathan Liebesman

And the winner is… Jack And Jill (Happy Madison Productions/Broken Road Productions) – Dennis Dugan

I saw Jack And Jill over twelve months ago now. It was the first movie I reviewed for the 2012 calendar year, and a whole ton of movies later it is still my worst film of the year. That’s quite an achievement! Frankly (Mr. Shankly), I was done twelve months ago with this movie, and as such I am taking a direct quote from my own reviews, the link for which I will post below: “"I'm kidding!" What the f**k is this s**t about, you bunch of r******d barking sea-lions, who've obviously been tossed into the f**king cesspool of humanity's s**t, p**s and j**m, and re-emerged as a perverse cocktail of comedy, and I use the word comedy in the broadest sense of the word: it's comedy by default, not comedy for laughs, you berks!” I rest my case…

The 6th Clockword Award for Best Film of 2012

Argo (GK Films/Smokehouse Pictures) – Ben Affleck
Beasts Of The Southern Wild (Journeyman Pictures/Cinereach/Court 13 Pictures) – Benh Zeitlin
The Cabin In The Woods (Mutant Enemy Productions) – Drew Goddard
The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary Pictures/Syncopy Films/DC Comics) – Christopher Nolan
Dredd (DNA Films/IM Global/Reliance Entertainment) – Pete Travis
Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai (Recorded Picture Company/Sedic International/Amuse Soft International) – Takashi Miike
Into The Abyss (Investigation Discovery/Creative Differences/Werner Herzog Filmproduktion/Spring Films/More4/Revolver Entertainment) – Werner Herzog
Les Miserables (Working Title Films/Cameron Mackintosh Ltd./Relativity Media) – Tom Hooper
Life Of Pi (Rhythm & Hues/Fox 2000 Pictures) – Ang Lee
Silence (South Wind Blows/Harvest Films) – Pat Collins
The Turin Horse (T.T. Filmmuhely) – Bela Tarr

And the winner is… The Turin Horse (T.T. Filmmuhely) – Bela Tarr

Each of the eleven nominees were great films, and for those harbingers/doom-sayers going on about the death of cinema, 2012 was another year proving my theory that for every single year of cinema, there are at least four or five masterpieces. Standing head and shoulders above the rest was “the final film by Bela Tarr,” The Turin Horse. An existential piece on “the heaviness of human existence,” Tarr makes no bones of the film’s explicit lack of commerciality. Even people like myself, who would argue in its favour, agree that the film may well be among the most challenging two-and-a-half hours of your film-going life. Indeed, I saw the film with a good friend, who did not like the film and even thought that it may be the worst film he saw all year. On the other hand, for me The Turin Horse was the most majestic, rich tapestry, meticulously textured in it’s minimalism and the most rewarding cinematic experience of the year. This is the polarized dichotomy of reactions that the film will receive, and I think that is a testament not only to Bela Tarr, but the film as a singular piece of provocative, uncompromised, bold, and, in it’s very essence, pure filmmaking. Thank you, Bela…


Multiple Award Winners

The Turin Horse: 6 awards - The 6th Clockwork Award for Best Film of 2012, The 6th Stanley Kubrick Award for Best Director of a Film from 2012, The 5th Akira Kurosawa Award for Best Foreign Language Film of 2012, The 5th Ennio Morricone Award for Best Original Score/Soundtrack in a Film from 2012, The 5th Christopher Doyle Award for Best Cinematography in a Film from 2012, The 5th Kenneth Loach Award for Best Drama of 2012

The Dark Knight Rises: 5 awards - The 4th Alfred Hitchcock Award for Most Significant Player (Member of the Film Community) in 2012 (Anne Hathaway, also for 'Les Miserables'), The 5th Steven Spielberg Award for Best Producers(s) of a Film from 2012, The 6th James Cameron Award for Best Sequel of 2012, The 3rd Dante Ferretti Award for Best Production Design in a Film from 2012, The 5th Sylvester Stallone Award for Best Action/Adventure Film of 2012.


Jack And Jill: 3 awards - The 6th Ed Wood Award for Worst Film of 2012, The 4th 'Drag Me To Hell' Awards for 2012's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Dennis Dugan), The Emotional Heartstrings Orchestra (EMO) Award for Worst Film Score/Soundtrack of 2012

Les Miserables: 3 awards - The 4th Alfred Hitchcock Award for Most Significant Player (Member of the Film Community) in 2012 (Anne Hathaway, also for 'The Dark Knight Rises'), The 4th Peter Sallis Award for Best Vocal Acting in a Film from 2012, The David Bowie Award for Best Theme/Song in a Film from 2012 (Anne Hathaway - I Dreamed A Dream).


Rock Of Ages: 3 awards - The 4th 'Drag Me To Hell Awards for 2012's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Diego Boneta), The 6th 'I Am Legend' Award for Biggest Disappointment of 2012, The 6th 'GWB' Award for Most Unintentionally Offensive Film of 2012.


Dredd: 3 awards - The 3rd 'Cemetery Junction' Award for Most Overlooked Film of 2012, The David Bowie Award for Best Theme/Song in a Film from 2012 (Paul Leonard-Morgan - End Credits Theme), The 6th Philip K. Dick Award for Best Science-Fiction/Fantasy Film of 2012.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 3 awards - The David Bowie Award for Best Theme/Song in a Film from 2012 (J.R.R. Tolkien - Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold), The 3rd Rick Baker Award for Best Make-Up/Hair in a Film from 2012, The 3rd Edith Head Award for Best Costume Designs i
n a Film from 2012.



Argo: 3 awards - The 5th Steven Spielberg Award for Best Producer(s) of a Film from 2012, The 5th Paul Schrader Award for Best Film Screenplay of 2012, The 6th David Fincher Award for Best Thriller of 2012.


Silence: 2 awards - The Thin White Dude's Championship for Independant/Unique Contribution to Cinema in 2012, The 4th Walter Murch Award for Best Sound Design/Mixing in a Film from 2012.


Beasts Of The Southern Wild: 2 awards - The 4th Orson Welles Award for Most Promising Debut Filmmaker of 2012, The 6th Cate Blanchett Award for Best Lead Role by a Female Actor in 2012.

The Cabin In The Woods: 2 awards - The 3rd 'Extras' Award for Best Bit Part in a Film from 2012, The 6th John Carpenter Award for Best Horror Film of 2012. 
The Angels' Share: 2 awards - The 5th R. Lee Ermey Award for Best Supporting Role by a Male Actor in 2012, The 6th Stan and Ollie Award for Best Comedic Film of 2012.

R.I.P. 2012/2013

A short list of people who I admired that passed away in the previous calendar year.

Ernest Borgnine (Actor): 1917-2012 - From Here To Eternity, Marty, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, The Poseidon Adventure, Escape From New York, Small Soldiers, Red

Michael Clarke Duncan (Actor): 1957-2012 - Bulworth, Armageddon, The Green Mile, Cats & Dogs, Planet Of The Apes, Daredevil, Sin City, Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, Kung Fu Panda, Green Lantern

Celeste Holm (Actor): 1917-2012 -  Gentleman's Agreement, The Snake Pit, All About Eve

Erland Josephson (Actor): 1923-2012 - The Magician, Hour Of The Wolf, The Passion Of Anna, Fanny And Alexander 

Herbert Lom (Actor): 1917-2012 - The Ladykillers, Spartacus, The Pink Panther series, The Dead Zone

Chris Marker (Director): 1921-2012 - Olympia 52, La Jetee, A.K.

Nagisa Oshima (Director): 1931-2013 - In The Realm Of The Senses, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Gohatto

Andrew Sarris (Critic): 1928-2012 - The American Cinema: Directors And Directions 1929-1968, You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet: The American Talking Film - History And Memory, 1927-1949

Tony Scott (Director): 1944-2012 - Top Gun, True Romance, Enemy Of The State, Deja Vu, The Taking Of The Pelham 123, Unstoppable

Ravi Shankar (Composer): 1920-2012 - Satyajit Ray's 'Apu' Trilogy, Rama, Woodstock: The Movie, Genesis

Mel Stuart (Director): 1928-2012 - Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory

Bruce Surtees (Cinematographer): 1937-2012 - Dirty Harry, Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Beverly Hills Cop, Pale Rider

Michael Winner (Director): 1935-2013 - Hannibal Brooks, Death Wish, The Sentinel

Richard D. Zanuck (Producer): Jaws, The Verdict, Road To Perdition, Big Fish, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street, Clash Of The Titans, Dark Shadows

Finalment

And that folks, as they say, is that!

Peace

The Thin White Dude

P.S. Blogger has worked for the first year in a row! Things are looking up in the world!

EL FIN...
















































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