Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Film Bitch Awards - Early FYC Ads

Michael C here.

Now that the first Oscar ads of the season are upon us we dedicated Film Experience fans know what that means. Time to start getting excited about The Film Bitch Awards.

I'm guessing I speak for a lot of you when I say I've found myself anticipating them as an essential part of the awards season because A) Nathaniel has taken the time to see the films in question unlike some voting bodies I could name and B) he actually approaches the bestowing of honors with some thoughtfulness and imagination, honoring worthy elements from otherwise average movies and not paying any mind to group think momentum. Also, Oscar doesn't have a category for best sex scene. Just sayin'.

So I thought it would be a bit of fun on a Sunday evening to give a shout out to our own 2010 favorites before the year end films completely dominate the conversation. I'll get the ball rolling...

FYC - The Runaways for Best Poster

I've read a lot of praise for the striking design on posters for The Social Network and For Colored Girls but the stark simplicity of this design for The Runaways is still tops of 2010 for me. In the wake of the play-it-safe banality of The King's Speech's justly derided one sheet it's worth holding this up as an example of what one can accomplish with some daring and confidence. The actual movie didn't hold much interest for me but this image has had my thoughts returning to the film all year.

FYC - Ben Kingsley in Shutter Island for Best Line Reading

"You blew up my car. I loved that car."

The last thing I was expecting when Leo reached the top of that lighthouse was this laugh line from Kingsley. For all the mad scheming of the his character that was one bit of collateral damage he just did not see coming. Kingsley, of course, nails the deadpan delivery and also makes it seem like a bit of sly commentary on the convoluted plot. The story is about to spiral through a half dozen more heated twists, but first things first.

FYC - Hereafter for Best Action Sequence

I was clearly on the side of the underwhelmed when it came to Eastwood's shadowy psychic drama, but there is no denying the impact of the opening Tsunami scene. Who would have guessed that after Emmerich and Bay spent the better part of their careers destroying the planet dozens of times over, Clint would come out of nowhere and show them how it's done. More than any disaster sequence I've scene this communications that queasy pit-of-the-stomach panic accompanying the realization that escape isn't an option.

FYC - Douglas Urbanski in The Social Network for Best Limited Role 

Every cast member gets there share of killer lines in Sorkin's script, but nobody knocked them out of the park with more consistency than Urbanski as Harvard President and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. The confrontation with the "Winklevii" is a sustained comedic high point. His Summers may miss the scope of the issue at hand but he is right on target when it comes to sizing up the two young men across the desk from him and how they managed to claim three minutes of his time. Urbanski nails that mixture of obliviousness and perceptiveness.

FYC - The Ghost Writer for Best Ending

Here's a rare occurrence in modern films - the twist ending that feels completely earned and holds up to the scrutiny of repeated viewings. Over the past decade it felt like story redefining twists were the fashionable thing to tack on to screenplays whether they were supported by the material or not. The ending here not only shifts our perspective on everything that just occurred but brings the whole movie in for a flawless landing with the perfect few grace notes and a final image that sticks in the memory.

FYC - Winter's Bone for Best Individual Scene

A lot of Winter's Bone succeeds as a mood piece. Images and textures stand out as much as sequences - the dismembered squirrel, the sound of Ree screaming to be heard in the slaughterhouse, the trampoline. Yet director Debra Granik does stage a beautifully tense standoff between John Hawkes and the state trooper that deserves mention as a stand alone set piece. All through the film we are trying to get a handle on Teardrop's menacing character. All we know for certain is that he is dangerous and if he is making a threat it would be foolish to assume he's bluffing. Granik squeezes every last drop of suspense out the scene. It's a pleasure to see a potentially violent encounter play out without the characters on action movie autopilot.

I'll turn it over to you guys. What movie moments would you like to see remembered after the end-of-the-year deluge of prestige pictures? Here's a refresher on the categories if you need one.


Morgan Leigh Davies said...

Imelda Staunton for Best Limited Role in Another Year. She may have been my favorite part of the whole film.

Andrew R. said...

FYC: Scott Pilgrim vs the World for Best Visual Effects.

Dogtooth for Best Foreign Language Film.

Inception for Best Cinematography.

DuMont said...

I just came across your marvelous website, and wasn't sure where to post this. I saw some great films at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, some of which are still looking for buyers.

In fiction films, my favourite films were RABBIT HOLE (be sure to keep room for a nom of Mr. John Cameron Mitchell as Director and Mr. Aaron Eckhardt as Supporting), BRIGHTON ROCK (Great Britain's very own LA CONFIDENTIAL), and NEVER LET ME GO (sure to cop Best Adapted).

I see a lot of non-fictioners and really loved INSIDE JOB, THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU and TABLOID, but I think only INSIDE JOB will be eligible. Didn't like WAITING FOR "SUPERMAN", but I think it will get nods from AMPAS.

In the foreign category, I'm not sure if they've popped up on the official country nominations, but France's BLACK OCEAN and Russia's THE EDGE were both exemplary and thought provoking undertakings, and I'd love to see them both get the recognition they deserve.

Thank you for your dedication to ensuring that AMPAS members are kept abreast of what they should be considering (or should have considered in years past).


Dominique said...

100% behind you for Best Limited Role and particularly Best Ending.

The Ghost Writer was uneven (and perhaps a tad dull) for me, but boy that ending. The twist I think was pretty obvious, although it was indeed earned, brilliantly acted by the always welcome Olivia Williams and the always delish Ewan MacGregor. But what really seals the deal is that last image. I saw that movie on a plane months ago and it still haunts me.

No matter how divisive Polanski can be when it comes to his personal troubles, there is no denying the man knows his craft.

RahulB said...

I'm going to go for Rooney Mara in Best Limited Role. Does she count? Or are two scenes one too many?

Man, The Social Network was just such a great movie.

Sebastian Gutierrez said...

Sorry, but I'd go with INCEPTION for Best Action Scene. That hamster wheel hallway was something truly spectacular.

For Best Musical Moment, if you'd be interested in including it, would, for me, go to THE RUNAWAYS for that awesomely visceral performance of "Cherry Bomb", although I'd be fine with any of Sex Bob-om's songs from SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD.


John said...

Imelda Staunton for Best Limited Role in Another Year.

Scott said...

That's the perfect call for Best Ending. My pick for action scene would be the hallway scene in Inception, but then I haven't seen Hereafter, and I've heard nothing but raves about that scene. And as to line delivery, I might be more likely to select something from Scott Pilgrim, but I love your pick - Kingsley knocks that one out of the park.

Ryan said...

My favorite posters of the year are Black Swan's, hands down.

Kurtis O said...


Best Poster: Anything for "I Am Love"

Best Actor: Zohar Strauss, "Eyes Wide Open"

Best Supporting Actress: Dale Dickey, "Winter's Bone"

Best Supporting Actor: Niels Arestrup, "A Prophet"

Best Trailer (does he do that?): "Black Swan"

Best Ensemble: "For Colored Girls"

Michael said...


I would definitely say Rooney Mara has too much screen time to qualify as a cameo. If I were going for small female roles in the film I would pick out the actress who played Amy, the one who woke up with Sean Parker in her bed.

Anonymous said...

@Michael C.

Um, Hello?

Jake D said...

I doubt anyone will be agreeing with me on this but: Ari Graynor (Mandy) in Conviction for Best Cameo.

Stoic, disconnected, and undergoes a subtle but well-earned transformation when she finds out the truth about her dad. Slight role (and even seems shoehorned into the movie a bit), but she kicks ass.

Ryan T. said...

Off the top of my head, for your consideration:

Breakthough Award - Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone (if they aren't nominated in the acting categories obviously)

Body of Work - James Franco (Howl, 127 Hours, Eat Pray Love)

Visual Effects/Sound - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Hero of the Year - Woody (Toy Story 3), Hypatia (Agora)

Villain of the Year - Seven Evil Exes (Scott Pilgrim)

Diva of the Year - Mark Zuckerberg (Social Network), The Red Queen (Alice in Wonderland), Victoria (Red), Tess (Burlesque)

Sex Pot of the Year - Tom Hardy (Inception), Julianne Moore (Chloe/Kids), Amanda Seyfried (Chloe), Marion Cotillard (Inception), Jake Gyllenhaal (Persia/Love & Drugs), Edoardo Gabbriellini (I Am Love)

Best Poster - Blue Valentine (teaser/pink version), Black Swan (teaser posters), Rabbit Hole, Scott Pilgrim (http://www.impawards.com/2010/scott_pilgrim_vs_the_world_ver10.html)

Best Musical Sequence from a Non-Musical Film - Any Sex B-Bombs song, Easy A's impromptu number, Dakota Fanning performing "Cherry Bomb"

Best Sex/Love Scene - Julianne Moore/Mark Ruffalo (Kids Are All Right), Julianna Moore/Amanda Seyfried (Chloe)

Best Credit Sequence/Title Design - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Easy A

Best Ending - Inception, The Ghost Writer, Shutter Island, Never Let Me Go, I Am Love

Top Dozen Scenes of the Year - THAT SCENE (127 Hours), Hallway fight and/or everyone kicking (Inception), "You better lawyer up" scene (Social Network), Ordering in the diner (Never Let Me Go)

Dean said...

I second Niels Arestrup for Best Supporting Actor in A PROPHET. Don't Academy rules specify if the film was nominated for Best Foreign Film, then all eligibility in the next year is cancelled? If so, that's really a shame because that performance was even better than Brando in The Godfather.

joy said...

I care about The Film Bitch Awards way more than that Oscar:

Best Actress: Rachel Weisz, "Agora"

Best Supporting Actress: Ellen Wong, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”

Best Ensemble: "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World"

Best Actress in a Limited Role: Nathalie Richard, "Never Let Me Go"

Best Actor in a Limited Role: Brian Dennehy, "The Next Three Days"

Best Original Screenplay: “The Illusionist”

Best Adopted Screenplay: “How to Train Your Dragon”

Breakthrough Award: Armie Hammer, “The Social Network”

Best Credit Sequence (end): "I Am Love"

Hero of the Year: Hypatia "Agora"

Villain of the Year: Ruth Lang "The Ghost Writer"

Diva of the Year: Wallace Wells “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”

Best Ending: “The Illusionist”

Anonymous said...


Best Supporting Actor --- Jeremy Renner in The Town. POWERHOUSE!

Best Breakthrough Performance --- Aaron Johnson in Kick-Ass

Best Line Reading --- "Beat it, esse." Emma Stone in Easy A. She's got a bunch to choose from.

Best Ending --- The Kids Are All Right

OtherRobert said...

Best Costumes - Red: You cannot deny the impact of every article of clothing they put on Helen Mirren in that film (or the rest of the cast). Really well done.

Best Visual Effects - Splice: I have a few choice words for this film thanks to the abrupt turn into wtfville in the last ten minutes (in tone, style, and narrative), but the evolution (growth?) of Dren is so realistic. A worthy combination of practical and digital effects to recognize.

Best Musical Moment - Scott Pilgrim... (any of the fight scenes): I never got around to writing my article exploring Scott Pilgrim...as a post-modern silver screen musical, but every single action sequence would not work without the closely linked in content and style rock music from Sex Bob-omb. I'm particularly fond of the twin battle for pulling everything together so perfectly.

Anonymous said...

kieran culkin deserves something!

Bill_the_Bear said...

I thoroughly agree with your choice of "The Ghost Writer" for Best Ending.

For Best Limited Role (Actress), I think it has to be Maria Paiato as Ida, the housekeeper in "I Am Love." Her scene where she breaks down as Emma is leaving still haunts me.

cal roth said...

Best villain: Sean Parker
Diva of the year: Sean Parker
Best action sequence: facebook gets a million users
Best ending: F5

Unknown said...

Best Limited Role - Jenifer Lewis in Hereafter, a film that I otherwise loathed

Arkaan said...

Best line reading: "Lawyer up, asshole."

Best Actress: Hye-Ja Kim, Mother (holy shit)

Best Picture: Everyone Else (also, holy shit)

Gerry said...

Douglas Urbanski's mention should have gone to Rooney Mara. I didn't like that scene at all when the Winklevii went to visit the Harvard president, though through no fault of Armie Hammer. Like some of those other mentions.

Volvagia said...

Second on Scott Pilgrim's VFX. Also: Wallach in The Ghost Writer for either supporting or limited. And: (sigh) I work on a "First Release Anywhere is Year of Release" system. The Lady for Shanghai: '47 film. A Prophet: '09 film. The Hurt Locker: '08 film. And that's how an honest set of "film judges" would operate. Not "You have to be released in the country we inhabit." That's just vain.

stjeans said...

DALE DICKEY "Winter's Bone" fro Best Supp. Actress

Ryan T. said...

Diva of the Year: Wallace Wells “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”

The fact that I didn't include this in my long list of FYC upsets me terribly.

Kurtis O said...

I just got back from "I Love You Phillip Morris" and I want to FYC Ewan McGregor for Best Supporting Actor. One of the more adorable and believable gay archetypes I've seen in some time. As far as I'm concerned, he steals the film from Carrey.

Movies with Abe said...

Lots of great recommendations here, like Staunton for Best Limited Role. I would add Gemma Arterton for Sexpot of the Year for "Tamara Drewe" as well as Eddie Marsan in lead or supporting for "The Disappearance of Alice Creed."

Iggy said...

I always vote for this award but I can't help it, it's my favourite.

Diva of the year:

Mark Zuckerberg. A movie about yourself when still in your twenties? By David Fincher? Having the opportunity to be everywhere promoting new gadgety things? Bring the 23 white Indian made towels, made exactly the day I was born, please. And make it quickly.

Mel Gibson. "I deserve to be blown". Doesn't need any further evidence. I can picture Gloria Swanson reading a similar line.

Frontrunner: Helena Bonham Carter and her I do/wear what I want attitude. So refreshing.

Volvagia said...

Interesting about Phillip Morris. It's been very well received and, even if it's a makeup nom for both of them, they are both A DECADE OVERDUE. Stats on Carrey: Two Occasions to give Honest Nominations, Three more Occasions to give Makeup Noms (Simon Birch, Man On the Moon, The Majestic). Stats on McGregor: Two Occasions to give Honest Nominations, One Occasion to give a Makeup Nom (Ms. Potter.)

Iggy said...

I forgot to include Cher in Burlesque as diva of the year, the only one of those I mentioned who's a diva playing a diva (I guess). It was so obvious I just forgot it.

And I'd include McGregor, not for Philip Morris (though I think he's the only good thing about that movie), but in the body of work category for The Men who Stare at Goats, The Ghost Writer and Philip Morris and being able to survive the three of them even when he doesn't have the best role to play. And it doesn't hurt that he was naked at some point in the three. Thus, the body of work.

Silencio said...

Best opening scene: Social Network

Best Ending: The Kids Are All Right

Best Cameo: Elias Koteas as the cop in "Let Me In"

Ivan said...

Best Couple: Ryan Gosling & Michelle Williams
Best Team: DiCaprio, Gordon Levitt, Page, Hardy, Watanabe, Murphy.
Best Duo: Stephen Dorff & Elle Fanning
Best Bizarre Love Triangle:Mulligan, Garfield & Knightley
Best Frenemies: Portman & Kunis / Eisenberg & Garfield
Best Family:Bening, Moore, Wasikowska, Ruffalo & Animal Kingdom

Best Object of Desire:Ben Affleck
Best Vigilante: Noomi Rapace

Bryan said...

Best Actress: Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

Best Actor: James Franco, 127 HOURS

Best Supporting Actress: Rebecca Hall, THE TOWN

Best Female Cameo: Nathalie Richard and Andrea Riseborough, NEVER LET ME GO

Best Surprise: Blake Lively, THE TOWN

Best Breakthrough: Andrew Garfield

Sexpot of the Year: Ewan McGregor, I LOVE YOU PHILLIP MORRIS; Cillian Murphy, INCEPTION; Amanda Seyfreid, CHLOE

Best Scene: Amputation, 127 HOURS; No Deferrals, NEVER LET ME GO; Final Dinner Scene, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

Weirdest Hair/Makeup: NEVER LET ME GO

Also, I think you need a Best Monologue category, if only so that you can include this:

Jesse Eisenberg saying something along the lines of "my attention is on the headquarters of Facebook, where my workers are doing things that your clients are neither creatively nor intellectually capable of doing. Do you have my full attention? You have the minimal amount." THE SOCIAL NETWORK

Jin said...

Toy Story 3 for best ending.

Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo singing Joni Mitchell, for best musical sequence from a non-musical film.