Well, The Wife has been in Jefferson City all week leaving me alone to tend to The Son, so I never made it out to any screenings this week. You’re on your own on whether to see yet another zombie movie or Sylvester Stallone put a bullet to someone’s head.
Since I need to do something movie-related this week, I figure now’s a good time to finally get around to writing about this year’s St. Louis Film Critics Awards. They were announced last month and I normally post them along with my votes when they come out, but this year was a bit different.
Due to scheduling conflicts and whatnot I did not see two of the major nominees (“Zero Dark Thirty” and “Django Unlimited”) in time to vote. Voting in the SLFC awards is much more serious than, say, voting for President of the United States. You have to actually be an informed voter to vote for movie awards. As a result I only voted in a handful of categories this year and decided to put running the results off until I had seen ZDT and DU so I could offer a more thoughtful commentary.
And now here we are. I could have done this a couple weeks ago but I’ve been busy — or lazy — take your pick. But hey, we’re still in the thick of awards season so what does it matter if I’m a month behind? Winners are in bold all-caps. If two runners up are listed, it means they tied.
Also, please use this as my commentary on who should win the Academy Awards, because one movie awards post per year is all I can muster up the strength for.
The 2012 St. Louis Film Critics Awards
Life of Pi – runner up
Lincoln – runner up
Zero Dark Thirty
My Choice: Tough call this year. These are all pretty good movies, even if none of them feature The Avengers. I know “Argo” is getting a lot of love, but I just can’t get past that Keystone Cops ending. Suspense is great and all, but having the Iranians chasing the plane down the tarmac was just going too far. Especially for a movie that’s based on real events.
I think I’m going to go with “Life of Pi,” because it was visually stunning, the story was compelling and it was the movie that left me the most impressed when it was over.
BEN AFFLECK (Argo)
Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained) runner up
Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) runner up
Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
My Choice: Ang Lee, because I think it’s the law that the winner of Best Picture is also supposed to win Best Director.
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS (Lincoln)
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
John Hawkes (The Sessions) (runner up)
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
Denzel Washington (Flight)
My Choice: Daniel Day-Lewis. They should just rename the Best Actor award the Daniel Day-Lewis Award.
JESSICA CHASTAIN (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) (runner up)
Helen Mirren (Hitchcock)
Aubrey Plaza (Safety Not Guaranteed)
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
My Choice: Jennifer Lawrence. I wasn’t feeling the love for “Silver Linings Playbook” until she showed up and turned it all around.
Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin (Argo)
John Goodman (Argo)
Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) (runner up)
William H. Macy (The Sessions)
CHRISTOPH WALTZ (Django Unchained)
Bruce Willis (Moonrise Kingdom)
My Choice: This is the toughest category for me, as these are all great performances. While I especially loved Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Tommy Lee Jones here, my vote once again goes to Christoph Waltz. He is soooo good in this movie.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams (The Master)
ANN DOWD (Compliance) (tie)
Sally Field (Lincoln)
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
HELEN HUNT (The Sessions) (tie)
Emma Watson (Perks of Being A Wallflower)
My Choice: Oscar favorite Anne Hathaway didn’t win over the St. Louis critic crowd. I thought she was better as Catwoman, myself. Ann Dowd was so good but I hated her character, and the movie, so much. They’re all very good performances but if I had to pick one I’d go with Emma Watson. She was very moving in a movie that I wasn’t expecting much out of.
Best Original Screenplay
The Cabin in the Woods (Josh Whedon and Drew Goddard)
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino) (runner up)
Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola)
Seven Psychopaths (Martin McDonagh)
ZERO DARK THIRTY (Mark Boal )
My Choice: ZDT was too disjointed for me, so I’ll go with Tarantino who always delivers a great and original screenplay.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo (Chris Terrio)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin)
Life of Pi (David Magee)
LINCOLN (Tony Kushner) (tie)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (David O. Russell) (tie)
My Choice: Since I’m not familiar with the original works I can’t really say which was best at adapting them to film, can I? I’ll give it to “Life of Pi” because I imagine if you read the book you wouldn’t think it could ever be made into a movie.
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Ben Richardson)
Cloud Atlas (Frank Griebe and John Toll)
Django Unchained (Robert Richardson)
Life of Pi (Claudio Miranda) (runner up)
The Master (Mihai Malaimare Jr.)
SKYFALL (Roger Deakins)
My Choice: “Life of Pi”
Best Visual Effects
The Avengers (runner up)
LIFE OF PI
Snow White and the Huntsman
My Choice: I have to vote for “The Avengers” here, don’t I?
Beasts of the Southern Wild
The Dark Knight Rises
DJANGO UNCHAINED (tie)
MOONRISE KINGDOM (tie)
Not Fade Away
My Choice: I can’t remember what much of the music in these films was like — it’s not an aspect of film I pay close attention to. I’ll give it to “Django.” I do recall it having that classic Western style soundtrack.
Best Foreign-Language Film
The Fairy (runner up)
Headhunters (runner up)
The Kid With A Bike
My Choice: I’ll go with The Intouchables because I have a copy somewhere that I need to watch some time.
Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry (runner up)
Bully (runner up)
How To Survive A Plague (runner up)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
My Choice: Bully. I haven’t got around to seeing the others yet.
Best Animated Film
ParaNorman (runner up)
Rise of the Guardians
My Choice: I’m going to break from the list and vote for the Oscar-nominated “The Pirates! Band of Misfits.” I love its goofy British humor.
The Cabin in the Woods
MOONRISE KINGDOM (tie)
My Choice: The Cabin in the Woods.
Best Art-House or Festival Film
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED (tie)
Sleepwalk with Me
Take This Waltz
My Choice: Safety Not Guaranteed. I really need to write about how much I hated Compliance. Not that it’s a bad movie, I just hated everyone in it for being so unbelievably stupid.
Beasts of the Southern Wild – The hurricane (and Wink shooting at it)
Django Unchained – The “bag head” bag/mask problems scene
Flight – The plane crash
Hitchcock – Anthony Hopkins in lobby conducting to music/audience’s reaction during “Psycho” shower scene
The Impossible – Opening tsunami scene
The Master – The first “processing” questioning scene between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix
My Choice: The best scene in a movie in 2013 was when HULK beat the crap out of Loki in “The Avengers.”