I didn’t get a whole lot of help last year, but I did find I liked having a bunch of nominees. So here they are again. I realize there is a month of movies left in 2012 and that I will (and have) more than likely see(n) more than you have, so you feel as if there’s nothing you can add. But that is definitely not true. So if you find any glaring omissions, please let me know.
(Winners are in bold. Not every category is represented here, for that, go here.)
The Freddie Prinze, Jr. Award (For the best acting in the worst movie of the year – male):
- Guy Pearce (Seeking Justice)
- Stephen Dorff (Brake)
- Russell Crowe (The Man With The Iron Fists)
- Matt Bush (Piranha DD)
Brake and Seeking Justice really aren’t quite bad enough, so this was a two man race. And I think Matt Bush was seriously great in those phone commercials, but come on. Plus, everyone else in The Man With The Iron Fists is so much worse than pretty much anyone in Piranha DD. Which is… well, you get it.
The Dina Meyer Award (For the best acting in the worst movie of the year – female):
- Spencer Locke (Detention)
- Jenna Boyd (Last Ounce Of Courage)
- Malin Ackerman (Rock Of Ages)
- Roselyn Sanchez (Act Of Valor)
- Dakota Fanning (Breaking Dawn Part 2)
If you read The Ten Worst Movies post, you’d assume this was going to Jenna Boyd. But she is more like ordering cereal at a gross restaurant, the safe choice on the menu. Malin Ackerman is the weird dish on that same menu that has a cult following and is keeping that gross restaurant in business. The way she is going, she’s going to get this award named after her in a few years.
The Anna Paquin Best Child Actor Award:
- Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts Of The Southern Wild)
- Michael Hall D’Addario (People Like Us)
- Kodi Smit-McPhee (ParaNorman)
- Pierce Gagnon (Looper)
- Thomas Doret (The Kid With A Bike)
Well, yeah. Kid gets nominated for an Oscar, she might have this sewn up. But this was another amazing year for this category. There’s like five more not even nominated. I can’t say it was close, but second place, if you’re wondering, is Thomas Doret. If there are Belgian Oscars, he’s going to win one.
The Nicolas Cage Uneven Performance Award (For the biggest gap in quality between two different performances in the same year):
- Tommy Lee Jones (Hope Springs & Men In Black 3)
- Lynn Collins (Unconditional & John Carter)
- Michael Bacall [writer] (21 Jump Street & Project X)
- Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle & Red Tails)
- Cody Horn (End Of Watch & Magic Mike)
I never considered giving this to a non-performer before. And I almost did. But too much can happen between script and screen. Taking the writer out of it though, makes it kind of a dead heat. I am choosing Michael B. Jordan not only because of how terrible he is in Red Tails (everyone is) but because he manages to just disappear in it after making a relatively memorable entrance.
(Oh yeah, for clarity’s sake, the good performance is always listed first.)
The Peter Sellers Multiple Role Award:
- Ben Whishaw (Cloud Atlas)
- Michelle Rodriguez (Resident Evil: Retribution)
- Catherine O’Hara (Frankenweenie)
- Martin Short (Frankenweenie)
- Denis Lavant (Holy Motors)
I reluctantly award this to Denis Lavant. I don’t think every one of his ten or maybe eleven characters were all that alarmingly different or remarkable, but enough of them were, most especially the father driving his daughter home.
The Sean Connery Best Cameo Award:
- Harry Dean Stanton (The Avengers)
- Johnny Depp and Peter DeLouise (21 Jump Street)
- S. Epatha Merkerson (Lincoln)
- Michael Stuhlbarg and Michael Pitt (Seven Psychopaths)
- James Badge Dale (Flight)
- Ralph Macchio (Hitchcock)
Tough one coming down to Harry Dean Stanton and winner James Badge Dale. But while Harry Dean Stanton is funny and great, James Badge Dale steals the stairwell away from Denzel Washington. A feat difficult enough when he isn’t in the middle of an Oscar caliber performance.
The Casey Affleck Worst Cameo Award:
- Eli Roth (Rock Of Ages)
- Chris Pine (Celeste And Jesse Forever)
- Tom Skerritt (Ted)
- Michael Massee (The Amazing Spider-Man)
- Deborah Ann Woll (Ruby Sparks)
- Isiah Whitlock, Jr. (Red Hook Summer)
These came from all directions this year. The weird useless shadowy figure at the end of Spider-Man, the ex-girlfriend who shows up to overtly explain the main character’s problem in Ruby Sparks, a director’s friend showing up on set and getting tossed in (Rock Of Ages), an embarrassing non-joke in Ted, and a weird call back to previous characters played by Isaiah Whitlock, Jr. But Chris Pine is the pure version of what this category wants to root out: the bizarre, pointless and otherwise distracting-because-of-who-it-is-and-nothing-else cameo. Thank you Celeste And Jesse Forever.
The Alfred Hitchcock In Front of the Camera Award (For the least intrusive appearance by a movie’s own director(s)):
- Mike Birbiglia (Sleepwalk With Me)
- Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph)
- David Wain (Wanderlust)
I try to stay away from giving this to the director/star of a movie. So often that is someone who is an actor first, director second. Which is barely the case here, but it’s still an odd case, because who else was going to play Matt Pandamiglio? Rich Moore is Sour Bill though and if you have any idea what I’m talking about, you probably are surprised that wasn’t an actor whose name you recognize, never mind the director of Wreck-It Ralph.
The Quentin Tarantino In Front of the Camera Award [For most intrusive – not to mention annoying – appearance by a movie’s own director(s)]:
- Jason Trost (The FP)
- RZA (The Man With The Iron Fists)
- Barry Sonnenfeld (Men In Black 3)
- Spike “HNIC” Lee (Red Hook Summer)
Now here, I wouldn’t have any problem naming the director/star as the winner. Especially when said director/star shouldn’t be either of those. Which happened twice in 2012. And yet, Spike Lee, who could easily own the naming rights to this category, decided to slam dunk this one by reprising his role of Mookie from Do The Right Thing as a weird joke in a movie that is not funny and is rarely meant to be. Mookie is still delivering pizzas too, which is sad and impractical. And then there’s the nickname. I don’t know what to make of that, but that is exactly how his name appears in the acting credits.
The Drew Barrymore All Grown Up Award:
- Connor Cruise (Red Dawn)
- Chlöe Grace Moretz (Dark Shadows)
- Kristy Wu (End Of Watch)
While Chlöe Grace Moretz looks like an entirely different person now, she’s still playing a teenager in Dark Shadows and was arguably more grown up as Hit Girl. While she looks almost exactly the same, Flight 29 Down’s Kristy Wu is definitely playing older in End Of Watch than she ever did on that kids’ version of L O S T that wound up being better than L O S T.
The Martin Scorsese Best Use of a Song Award:
- Brent McCorkle for “???” by ??? (Unconditional)
- Sarah Polley for “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles (Take This Waltz)
- Zal Batmanglij for “Dreams” by Brit Marling (Sound Of My Voice)
- Ben Affleck for “Dance The Night Away” by Van Halen (Argo)
- Frédéric Jardin for “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen (Nuit Blanche)
- Leos Carax for “Let My Baby Ride” by Doctor L (Holy Motors)
- Daniel Nettheim for “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen (The Hunter)
It wouldn’t have won anyway, but I’m sorry I never found out the name of the song from Unconditional. It was a very good use of it, whatever it was. But “Dreams” (originally by The Cranberries) means so many things to Sound Of My Voice.
The Andy Garcia Impossible Shot Award:
- Jennifer Lawrence – Apple(s) (The Hunger Games)
- Pierre Gruno – Through the door/through the neck (The Raid ~ Redemption)
- Richard Cabral, Diamonique, Maurice Compte and/or Yahira Garcia – Brian Taylor’s walkie-talkie and camera and nothing else (End Of Watch)
- Adam DeVine – burrito throw (Pitch Perfect)
Things like the burrito throw get overlooked because they are a joke. But please take a moment to think about hitting a person at a gas pump from a moving bus on the road with something as non-ballistic and aerodynamic as flour wrapped rice and beans. Still, The Raid. That shot (both kinds) are stuck in your mind forever.
The John Woo Best Shootout Award:
- Gareth Evans (The Raid ~ Redemption)
- Baltasar Kormákur (Contraband)
- Boaz Yakin (Safe)
- Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
- Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher)
- Rian Johnson (Looper)
- David Ayer (End Of Watch)
So many great options. Frentic (End Of Watch, Contraband), exacting (Jack Reacher) ludicrous (Django Unchained), innovative (Safe) and almost entirely imagined (Looper) are all great, but ultimately can’t compete with the simple addition of a guy getting shot, stumbling backward and then returning to the fray.
The William Friedkin Best Car Chase Award:
- Daniel Espinosa (Safe House)
- Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher)
- Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy)
- Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon (Madagascar 3)
- Sam Mendes (Skyfall)
It is a struggle not to give this to yet another animated feature. It seems as if they are cheating. But even though Madagascar 3’s chase is the thing that cements the weird feeling you get that it might actually be great, Jack Reacher wins handily with its deliberate, tiered chase of three factions that all know exactly what they’re doing, scored exclusively by the sound of an engine.
The They Live Best Non-Martial Arts Fight Award:
- Doug Glatt vs. Ross Rhea (Goon)
- Eagles vs. Indians (Silver Linings Playbook)
- Joe vs. the yard (Unconditional)
- Zavala vs. Mr. Tre (End Of Watch)
When a whole movie leads up to one confrontation, it really has to deliver. And it does.
The Cast of Nazis from Raiders Of The Lost Ark Award (For worst performance of (an) actor(s) in scenes with special effects):
- Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil: Retribution)
- Nathan Lane (Mirror, Mirror)
- Kristen Stewart (Breaking Dawn Part 2)
I only saw a little bit of it, but I think the cast of Underworld: Awakening might actually deserve this award. But for now, Kristen Stewart’s reaction to her unbelievably stupid fast sitting could win this by itself. And it doesn’t have to, because she also chases a deer.
The Talking Pig Award (For the two movies most alike released in the same year):
- The Master and Sound Of My Voice
- The Lucky One and People Like Us
- The Raid ~ Redemption and Dredd
- The Raven and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter
- Mirror, Mirror and Snow White & The Huntsman
I try to fill this category with red herrings, but it’s always so obvious. How does something like this even happen?
The Mulholland Falls Award (For movie that failed most miserably at being as shocking as it hoped to be):
- Life Of Pi
- Tim And Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
For more specifics, see this year’s Most Disappointing Movies list.
The Mulholland Falls Syndrome Award (For the biggest disappointment from the most promising ensemble cast):
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Friends With Kids
Even though it isn’t supposed to be included in the decision-making, I would like to throw the director onto the pile as well.
The 1st Annual This Is 40 Award (for supporting cast member(s) most deserving of a sort-of sequel):
- Orozco and Davis (End Of Watch)
- Yettis (Rise Of The Guardians)
- Lucy (Nuit Blanche)
- Lone Wolf (Expendables 2)
- Ricardo “Ranger” Mañoso (One For The Money)
- Joey and Angie (Man On A Ledge)
I came up with this category after End Of Watch. So you’d think the all-girl squad car team would take this easily. But I knew it was a good category when I remembered the real winner deserve their own show on USA. An aspiring thief takes his annoying girlfriend on jobs with him. It’s an amazing premise and if the annoying girlfriend if Genesis Rodriguez, it will be one of the funniest new shows on television. That said, Lone Wolf already had his shot and Ranger basically does have his own USA show premiering this week.
The Cecil B. DeMille Award (For best portrayal of oneself):
- Kay Epperson (Bernie)
- Megan Fox (The Dictator)
- Norah Jones (Ted)
It was a struggle finding anyone else to nominate this year. Kay Epperson is a really good fake interview, but that prison visit scene is amazing.
The Kevin Costner Worst Accent Award:
- Gavin Mitchell (Tonight You’re Mine)
- Elizabeth Banks and Sam Worthington (Man On A Ledge)
- Noel Fisher (Breaking Dawn Part 2)
- Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises)
- Lynn Collins (John Carter)
- Isabel Lucas (Red Dawn)
In a year saturated with terrible accents, I have to go with quantity over quality. Sam Worthington can’t do American to save his life, but has done at least passable British before so I don’t know why this movie couldn’t allow him and actually British Jamie Bell to find some common ground in order to play brothers. But that’s nothing compared to what Elizabeth Banks is doing. Distracting, disgusting and totally unnecessary.
The Meryl Streep Award for Best Accent (Female):
- Emily Blunt (Looper)
- Michelle Williams (Take This Waltz)
- Juno Temple (Killer Joe)
- Megalyn Echikonwoke (Damsels In Distress)
- Kylie Min0gue (Holy Motors)
Everyone is really good, but only Megalyn Echikonwoke’s is both a character-making affect and a joke at the same time.
The Jon Voight Award for Best Accent (Male):
- Jason Clarke (Lawless)
- Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
- Liev Schreiber (Goon)
- Michael Wincott (Hitchcock)
- Alex Russell (Chronicle)
It’s much more than an accent, of course, but I can only give what I have.
The Jon Voight Best Impression Award:
- Alan Tudyk of Ed Wynn as The Mad Hatter (Wreck-It Ralph)
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt of Bruce Willis (Looper)
- Josh Brolin of Tommy Lee Jones as Agent K (Men In Black 3)
- Jacki Weaver of Sally Struthers (Silver Linings Playbook)
Josh Brolin had this won from the poster alone. The rest is icing or gravy or some other topping of choice. (And Jacki Weaver’s inclusion was a joke because what in the world was she doing? And now she’s up for an Oscar for it? Unbelievable.)
The Worst Impression Award:
- Tim Heidecker of Nick Nolte (The Comedy)
- Sam Rockwell of Colin Farrel (Seven Psychopaths)
- Anthony Hopkins of Alfred Hitchcock (Hitchcock)
- Michael Fassbender of Peter O’Toole as T.E. Lawrence (Prometheus)
- Michael Peña and Jake Gyllenhaal of each other as women maybe (End Of Watch)
Out of context, it isn’t the worst of these, but it’s the most integral to the movie. Obviously.
The Gary Oldman Chameleon Award (for the most unrecognizable performance by an otherwise recognizable personality):
- Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
- James Badge Dale (Flight)
- Aaron Johnson (Savages)
- Lee Horsley (Django Unchained)
- Michael Wincott (Hitchcock)
Daniel Day-Lewis in unfairly dismissable because while yes, he is gone and there is Abraham Lincoln, it is impossible to not have an awareness that someone is doing that. Your awe gives him away. When you finally see who Ed Gein is, however, and realize you’ve seen (never mind heard) him a bunch already, it’s hard to consider anyone else.
The Hamlet Best Production Within A Production Award:
- “Dirty Pink vs. Tainted Love” (Tonight You’re Mine)
- Fix-It Felix Jr. (Wreck-It Ralph)
- stand up (Sleepwalk With Me)
- The Jed MacAldonich episode of Flame Outs (California Solo)
- “Doctor Doctor Give Me Gas (In My Ass)” (Sound Of Noise)
- “Money 4 U Honey” (Sound Of Noise)
- “Cups (You’re Gonna Miss Me)” (Pitch Perfect)
Wow. A little music heavy for my liking, but this category did very well for itself this year. It’s as impossible to not give this to Sound Of Noise as it is to choose between performances. And so it goes to the production that needs to equally serve its masters of story, aesthetic and comedy. And doesn’t waver on any of them.
The Die Hard 2 Icicle Award (for the best use of an otherwise benevolent object as a weapon):
- pumpkin pie filling (Killer Joe)
- plate (Safe)
- urine (Life Of Pi)
I think we should all applaud Libby’s for allowing its product to used like that.
The “I’m Not The Bad Guy” Award (for the line so bad, it just had to be repeated):
- “The true true” (Cloud Atlas)
- “We fight for freedom!” (Last Ounce Of Courage)
- “Argo fuck yourself” (Argo)
It bears repeating: Last Ounce Of Courage is about Christmas.
The Rosemary’s Baby Creepiest Moment Award:
- pile of limbs (Lincoln)
- “I found the kids” (End Of Watch)
- watching a seizure (The Comedy)
- finding Van Hauser (End Of Watch)
- Baby Renesme (Breaking Dawn Part 2)
- ¡Ja, Ja, Ja! (End Of Watch)
- take the cravat (Seven Psychopaths)
- Song Of Solomon 2:14 (Red Hook Summer)
- “Should I call you dad?” (Breaking Dawn Part 2)
So many serious, creepy things out there but the one you can never shake is the bizarrely computerized baby face in Breaking Dawn Part 2.
The Citizen Kane Award (for the least foreseeable ending):
- Breaking Dawn Part 2
- End Of Watch
- Life Of Pi
The Breaking Dawn Part 2 twist is doubly as effective since it had four and four-fifths movies to set up the fact that nothing interesting would ever happen in this series.
The Passenger 57 Award (for the plot most thoroughly ruined by its trailer):
- The Lucky One
- End Of Watch
The Chronicle trailer not only gives away every one of its beats, it finds a way to spoil its beginning while still being a really good and obviously effective trailer.