during awards season what does everyone look forward to between the golden globes and the oscars? the FBNF Awards of course. and here they are for the 2009 year in movies....
BEST FILM: Inglourious Bastards
WELCOME BACK: robin williams
- last year this award went to woody allen who after an up and down decade brought us the excellent and back-to-form Vicky Christina Barcelona. this year we have robin williams whose last 4 comedies were: Night At The Museum I & II, Licence To Wed and Old Dogs. then this year he stars in a little seen, dark comedy World's Greatest Dad, that shows us he can still step away from the middle of the road and take a chance - which he really has only done in non-comedic roles, if at all, lately.
BEST REBOOT: Star Trek
- ahhh the reboot. the newest hollywood craze of taking film series' and just starting them again with no reference or need to honour the story lines from the previous films. they did it with james bond in Casino Royal, with batman in Batman Begins, with superman in Superman Returns and they are already doing it with the next spiderman film. 2009 didn't see a lot of rebooting, but we saw it done really well with Star Trek which was not just a good summer film, but one of the better films released all year.
BEST OPENING CREDITS: Watchmen
- the opening credits for Watchmen were some of the best i have seen in a long, long time. they were so engaging and visually pleasing and had me so psyched for the film - which, given that it made the 10 worst list, was pretty much all downhill from there.
BEST MALE PERFORMANCE: tom hardy (Bronson)
- you probably didn't see Bronson (#10 on my best of the year list), but you should, if for nothing else, for hardy's great performance.
BEST MONTAGE: Up
- the montage near the beginning of the film, that takes us through an entire relationship from the meeting as kids through their falling in love and marriage and life's happy moments and its trials and tribulations through the passing of ones soul mate and true love, is absolutely beautiful and funny and sad and touching and is pretty much worth the price of admission right there.
BEST #9 FILM: District 9
- in case you forgot about the other nominees in this category, also released in 2009 (there's another nine) were tim burton's 9 and Nine from director rob marshall.
BEST BIG HOLLYWOOD COMEDY: I Love You Man
- looking at the comedies that made my "best of the year" list, there are 3 small/independent films (500 Days Of Summer, Humpday and World's Greatest Dad) and one foreign one (In The Loop). but, just out of top 10 range you will find I Love You Man, which didn't get the kind of attention that The Hangover did, but to my mind was an overall better and more consistently funny film.
CRITICS LIKED IT WAY TOO MUCH: An Education
- this film made many a top ten list this year and got some very high ratings on rotten tomatoes and metacritic, but it shouldn't have. while carey mulligan is rightfully getting praised and nominated, the film itself is an okay movie that seems to be good for a while but then ends up letting you down with a standard, uninteresting, cliche ending.
THE AUDIENCE LIKED IT WAY TOO MUCH: Avatar
- i get it. the 3D is great and visually it is well worth seeing on the big, or better yet, biggest (imax) screen. but, for the film to make as much money as it has means that people are going back to see it again and again and again and again. and that is where i don't get it. the story is generic, the writing is mediocre and, besides the great visuals and a nice message about mankind and his need to be more connected and understanding of his planet and of nature in general, the film...........
THE MICHAEL CERA AWARD: michael cera
- it is only fitting that the first ever michael cera award goes to... michael cera. the award goes to the actor (male or female) who is type cast/plays very much the same character in all their film roles for that year. and mister cera wins that one hands down this year and the last few years even. but, in 2009 we saw him in Year One playing a caveman version of the shy/sweet/nervous/bumbling character he always plays. and in a small, and enjoyable, faux-documentary called Paper Heart he plays himself and is, well... himself.
VERY PLEASANT OSCAR SURPRISE: tie: District 9 & A Serious Man
- even with 10 nominations to hand out for best picture this year it was still a surprise to see District 9 and A Serious Man get nods. but, it was a very pleasant surprise i might add... District 9 was a hit, but not the kind of film that generally gets a nomination. A Serious Man was definitely not a hit (grossing just over $9 million) nor did it have a huge critics push/campaign behind it that i was aware of (although it did receive lots of critical praise). but, oscar did the right thing this year and gave both films place among their top 10. both films also got screenplay nominations that they deserve.
BEST WRITER: dave eggers
- there were some great screenplays produced in 2009 and if the award was going to just one screenplay then the winner would be different. but, in this case, dave eggers was involved in writing the scripts for two films that came out last year and both of them were really good: Away We Go and Where The Wild Things Are. so, for being two-for-two in 2009 the award is his.
BEST IMPROVISATIONAL PERFORMANCE: tie: mark duplass & joshua leonard
- you might be asking yourself, how much improvisation was there in films last year anyway? well there was a bit. you had soderbergh The Girlfriend Experience which was at least semi-improvisational. there was the great hungarian film that ended up at number 7 on my "best of the year" list, I'm Not Your Friend. and then there was Humpday, which was number 3 on my list and had two great performances from mark duplass and joshua leonard who basically improved the entire film and did so brilliantly.
BEST FILM IN WHICH MIKE TYSON APPEARS: Tyson
- while The Hangover was funny as was tyson's bit in it, the documentary Tyson was the better film and one of the better films i saw all year (it made "honorable mention" on the best of list)
GLAD THE GENERAL PUBLIC KNOWS HIS NAME NOW: zack galifianakis
- you may not be able to pronounce it or spell it, but thanks to the huge success of The Hangover, zack galifianakis is kind of a household name now (or at least "that fat guy with the beard from The Hangover" is). i am a huge fan of stand-up comedy and have been a fan of zacks for a while (if you have a chance to catch his special that plays on the comedy network sometimes you should check it out. it is very funny stuff) and its nice to see him getting some attention.