So 2013 was an absolutely incredible year in film. We saw one of the best groups of Best Picture nominees ever assembled, and even some films that were left out but well deserved such as Prisoners or Inside Llewyn Davis. The 2014 Academy Awards are almost upon us, and prior to next weeks proceedings, Movie Melt would like to present you with the winners of it’s own awards show. Some of these awards will sound familiar, while some are unique to us. Let us know what you think:
Best Movie: 12 Years A Slave/Gravity
I know it’s a cop out but I’m sorry, there is no separating these two. In terms of the best film of the year, if these two weren’t against each other they’d be sure fire winners. 12 Years A Slave for it’s bold, brave subject matter and more than incredible acting and Gravity for it’s innovative, mind blowing technique and unique storytelling methods. Visually it was like nothing I’ve ever seen. If I had to guess which would win the Oscar I’d probably put my money on 12 Years A Slave but I wouldn’t call it a shoe in.
Other Nominees: Dallas Buyers Club, Inside Llewyn Davis
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey
This guy has been on fire. 2013 started his success off with the release of the incredible ‘Mud’ and then he followed that up with a performance in Dallas Buyers Club that must win him Best Actor. Add a fantastic cameo in The Wolf Of Wall Street and that is a year like no other. Plus he’s springboarded into 2014 with HBO’s chilling True Detective and a role in Christopher Nolan’s new sci-fi ‘Interstellar’. The sky is the limit.
Other Nominees: None.
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Ms. Lawrence has been on fire for a while, and already brought home the Oscar for Best Actress last year with Silver Linings Playbook. Thought she was done. I think not. She came out in 2013 with a fantastic turn in American Hustle, which was a David O’Russel reunion and then of course hit the Box Office hard with the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire. Things are only looking up for Jennifer as well.
Other Nominees: Cate Blanchett
Breakout Actor: Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch has been a fantastic British actor for quite some time now, but really became a star after his fantastic role as the super villain Kahn in Star Trek: Into Darkness. He was incredibly bad in that film and his menacing voice has become a hot commodity itself, landing him a voice part as Smaug in The Hobbit series. Combine this with his BBC Mini-Series ‘Sherlock’ that is becoming very popular here in the US, and he is destined for great things. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that he was in possibly the years best film, 12 Years A Slave.
Other Nominees: Barkhad Abdi
Breakout Actress: Lupita Nyong’o
She really hasn’t been in much at all, but her role in 12 Years A Slave is enough to almost guarantee that she will be in much more going forward. The role landed her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress and will likely springboard her into future roles. It will be interesting to see where her career goes after such a powerful performance though. It is one which may prove difficult to follow.
Other Nominees: Shailene Woodley
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Although we gave a tie for Best Movie, I think it’s safe to give Best Director outright to Alfonso Cuaron for his groundbreaking and visionary work on Gravity. Having seen the film in IMAX, I can safely say that it was a movie going experience like none I’d had before, and my sense of awe during it was even more powerful than the one I had when I first saw Avatar. Everything about the film was technically flawless and just such a joy to watch and to have the vision to put not just a movie together, but an EXPERIENCE, is truly amazing.
Other Nominees: Steve McQueen
Almost Sh*t My Pants Award (Scariest Movie): The Conjuring
This is a category where many years these days, I’d just as soon say ‘none’ because the amount of movies which are actually terrifying are so rare. But this year ‘The Conjuring’ by horror director James Wan proved me wrong. I was terrified the whole time, and even though it was really hyped up it still delivered. The acting was really good, the scares were great and came in a variety of ways. It made you jump and it had real mood. A huge winner for James Wan.
Other Nominees: Evil Dead
Worst 2 Hours of My Life (Worst Movie): Movie 43
This movie was just flat out terrible, and quite frankly the biggest mystery to me is how the film makers managed to get so many big names to take part. It was down right horrific and I just wish that I hadn’t seen it. Wow. Just wow.
Something In My Eye Award (Saddest Movie): About Time
There were a fair few tear jerkers out there this year, and this one was a tough award to dish out. The winner ended up being an underrated little movie from romantic comedy director Richard Curtis called About Time. The romance is charming and the story is pretty original, but where the emotional stuff kicks in is between the protagonist (Domnhall Gleeson) and his father played by Bill Nighy. Few films have hit that father-son note just right like this one. Grab the tissues.
Other Nominees: Her, 12 Years A Slave
Love To Hate Em (Best Bad Guy): Kahn
This was a pretty tough one, because there were some incredible bad guys this year. There were super villains, criminals, anti-heroes and just flat out nasty people. But in the end we opted for the classic, evil villain, re-imagined by Benedict Cumberbatch. Kahn was a great villain in the old series, but Cumberbatch made this version absolutely fantastic with his menacing demeanor, voice and overall swagger. This one could have gone to any one of the nominees though.
Other Nominees: Jordan Belfort, Edwin Epps, Satan
Under The Radar Award: Disconnect
This was another tough one, but we opted for a lesser known little film that gave comedic actor Jason Bateman another opportunity to flex his drama acting skills a little, like we’ve seen him do a few times before. He does it really well, and the rest of the cast chip in, in what proves to be an effective and thought provoking film. It can be a little heavy handed, like it’s clear inspiration, ‘Crash’, but it’s take on digital culture and it’s connection to other issues like bullying and security is painfully relevant.
Other Nominees: The East
Give Me The Facts (Best Documentary): Stories We Tell
Sarah Polley has been an actress and writer/director for a while and has had great success, but in her first feature documentary she brought a small scale film that proved to be an incredible experience. Taking the history of her family, something that you might think sounds uninteresting, and turning it into a compelling and heartwarming film about family and memory, is quite an achievement. It is an achievement that Polley has managed and in my opinion she was snubbed of an Oscar nomination.
Other Nominees: The Act of Killing
Cartoons in the Morning (Best Animated): Frozen
Easy choice here, and one which will likely be matched by the Academy. The film was hilarious and charming as most of Disney’s films prove to be, but was actually a bit of a surprise to many in terms of just how good it was. Kudos to Disney for having such success with a new franchise to go with it’s constant success with sequels.
Other Nominees: None