This is the first time I bothered with nominations. Usually, you just get the winners and that’s it. I am taking that a step further now by sort of explaining the choices. You might not want to read this. It could ruin everything. Winners are in bold.
The Freddie Prinze, Jr. Award (For the best acting in the worst movie of the year – male):
– Rutger Hauer (Hobo With A Shotgun)
– Al Pacino (Jack & Jill)
– Stephen Dorff (Immortals)
– Peter Sarsgaard (Green Lantern)
This was very easy. Al Pacino was funny as himself, and stands out as the best thing in an awful movie, but Rutger Hauer’s performance could have stood out in something much better. In fact, it’s a testament to how bad Hobo With A Shotgun is that it wasn’t elevated out of the discussion for worst movie of he year simply by how good Rutger Hauer is in it.
The Dina Meyer Award (For the best acting in the worst movie of the year – female):
– Carrie Brownstein (Some Days Are Better Than Others)
– Anna Kendrick (Breaking Dawn Part 1)
– Amber Heard (Drive Angry)
– Bailee Madison (Just Go With It)
– Winona Ryder (The Dilemma)
Anna Kendrick probably should win this. But she has maybe thirty seconds of screen time. Amber Heard is a lead in something horrible (two things if you count John Carpenter’s The Ward – which I don’t since it came out onDemand before theaters) and somehow leaves you with a better impression of her than you might have had before. The performances of the remaining three nominees are truly worth seeing despite the movies they are in. They are probably all marginally better than Amber Heard in Drive Angry. But the movies just aren’t quite bad enough to consider them worthy of this award.
The Anna Paquin Best Child Actor Award:
– Jessica Tyler Brown (Paranormal Activity 3)
– Devon Brochu (Hesher)
– Mélusine Mayance (Sarah’s Key)
– Asa Butterfield (Hugo)
This is one of the toughest categories this year. There are plenty of child actors that didn’t even make this list that would have been given serious consideration in other years. All of them did things outside the norm for what typically appears here. Most of them even have to carry their respective movies. Ultimately, the little single minded French girl who can charm French Nazis into freedom will probably win every time.
The Nicolas Cage Uneven Performance Award (For the biggest gap in quality between two different performances in the same year):
– Nick Nolte (Arthur & Warrior)
– Gary Oldman (Red Riding Hood & Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
– Anne Hathaway (One Day & Rio)
– Oscar Isaac (Sucker Punch and Drive)
– Alan Tudyk (Transformers: Dark Of The Moon and Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil)
For the longest time Nick Nolte was running away with this one. I had to struggle to find other nominees to put in here. But then in comes Gary Oldman, who gets nominated for his first Oscar and gives the first terrible performance of his life in the same year. (Anne Hathaway is really good in Rio though. You were maybe wondering which of those was the bad one and it isn’t that.)
The Peter Sellers Multiple Role Award:
– Mel Gibson (The Beaver)
– Miranda July (The Future)
– Adam Sandler (Jack & Jill)
– Helena Bonham-Carter (Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2)
Mel Gibson is awesome and shut up.
The Sean Connery Best Cameo Award:
– Terry Gross (The Beaver)
– Adrian Brody (Midnight In Paris)
– Eva Mendes (Fast Five)
– James Franco (The Green Hornet)
– Rebecca Romijn (X-Men First Class)
This is a really great field of cameos and yet it’s still so so obvious who has to win. Dali!
The Casey Affleck Worst Cameo Award:
– Andy Roddick (Just Go With It)
– John McEnroe (Jack & Jill)
– Russell Brand (Hop)
– Bill O’Reilly (Transformers: Dark Of The Moon)
– Joe Satriani (Moneyball)
– Ving Rhames (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol)
Most of these are just stupid ideas. Cameos from people who aren’t actors, playing themselves. These can be pretty terrible, but they sort of cancel each other out. One is not discernably worse than another. Joe Satriani’s is just weird. Russel Brand’s is a good idea poorly executed. Ving Rhames’ though is confounding and distracting, which is exactly what I am looking for in this category.
The Alfred Hitchcock In Front of the Camera Award (For the least intrusive appearance by a movie’s own director(s)):
– Gavin O’Connor (Warrior)
– Paul Feig (Bridesmaids)
– Martin Scorsese (Hugo)
The other two are barely cameos. Which is fine. But Gavin O’Connor as the Dana White of Warrior holds his own against all the other amazing actors he put in his movie. He won the inaugural edition of this award (for 1999’s Tumbleweeds) and should really act a lot more than he does.
The Quentin Tarantino In Front of the Camera Award [For most intrusive – not to mention annoying – appearance by a movie’s own director(s)]:
– Ivan Reitman (No Strings Attached)
– James Gunn (Super)
– Cameron Crowe (Pearl Jam Twenty)
– Kenneth Lonergan (Margaret)
– David Palmer (Brother’s Justice)
These are all pretty bad, but like the best category, they are very tiny parts. Kenneth Lonergan saw fit to put himself into his own overlong movie for way too long. Worse than that, he only ever appears on the phone in his house on the beach which no one else from the movie ever visits. Also, he’s not a good actor.
The Martin Scorsese Best Use of a Song Award:
– Cameron Crowe [“Alive” by Pearl Jam (Pearl Jam Twenty)]
– Bennett Miller [“The Show” by Kerris Dorsey (Moneyball)]
– Miranda July [“Where Or When” by Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman (The Future)]
– Jason Reitman [“The Concept” by Teenage Fanclub (Young Adult)]
– Kevin MacDonald [“Angolan Women” by Three Angolan Women (Life In A Day)] (that can’t really be the name of the song, but that is what the soundtrack says)
Another tough one. “Alive” seems obvious. But “The Concept” is the only one tied inextricably to the plot.
The John Woo Best Shootout Award:
– James Gunn (Super)
– David Yates (Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2)
– John Michael McDonagh (The Guard)
– Justin Lin (Fast Five)
Super is the only other one with a chance and only because of the results of the gun fight, rather than the action itself. To be clear too, it’s the one amongst the Brazilian shanties that I am speaking of here – with the dearth of great shootouts this year, Justin Lin really could have been nominated twice.
The French Connection Best Car Chase Award:
– Fast Five
– Puss In Boots
– Green Hornet
The opening “chase” (it’s technically more of an elusion – which technically isn’t a word) of Drive is the apex of this overrated production. It’s on par with the slow chase of The Way Of The Gun and rain soaked incredibleness of We Own The Night.
The They Live Best Non-Martial Arts Fight Award:
– Vin Diesel vs. The Rock (Fast Five)
– John Carroll Lynch vs. Steve Carrell vs. Ryan Gosling vs. Kevin Bacon (Crazy, Stupid, Love)
– Michael Shannon vs. Shea Whigham (Take Shelter)
– Helen Mirren vs. Jesper Christensen (The Debt)
– Vince Vaughn vs. Channing Tatum (The Dilemma)
This is maybe the first time a fight has lived up to the title of this award. I would like to see the time comparison because this one seems like it could be as long as the one in They Live. But that might not be possible. The only other fight with a hint of a chance was The Debt. Old Woman vs. Even Older Nazi sounds pretty stupid, but they are evenly matched and are really out to kill each other.
The Cast of Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark Award (For worst performance of (an) actor(s) in scenes with special effects):
– Til Schweiger (The Three Musketeers)
– Milla Jovovich (The Three Musketeers)
– Sienna Guilroy (The Big Bang)
– Emily Browning (Sucker Punch)
– Evangeline Lily (Real Steel)
– Jason Lee (Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked)
If you are ever lucky enough to see Til Schweiger react to the floor exploding below him you will never question me about anything again.
The Talking Pig Award (For the two movies most alike released in the same year):
– No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits
– Attack The Block and Super 8
– Another Earth and Melancholia
– Season Of The Witch and The Black Death
– The Muppets and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
The Muppets thing is a joke. But both movies do star ex cast members of Freaks & Geeks who take a non-human family member to meet others like him only to lose them to said others like him. The winner is pretty obvious because people will confuse those two movies for the next few years until they are completely forgotten. But it’s still pretty incredible and worth reminding you that there were two movies this year that posited that there is a secret planet hiding behind the sun (Another Earth and Melancholia.)
The Mulholland Falls Award (For movie that failed most miserably at being as shocking as it hoped to be):
– Martha Marcy Mae Marlene
– Margin Call
Rampart‘s advertising really didn’t give Rampart a chance.
The Mulholland Falls Syndrome Award (For the biggest disappointment from the most promising ensemble cast):
– Killer Elite
– Cowboys & Aliens
– Tower Heist
This is fairly obvious too. Right? I mean look at this.
The Cecil B. DeMille Award (For best portrayal of oneself):
– Sam Sheridan & Bryan Callen (Warrior)
– Jack Black (The Muppets)
– Al Pacino (Jack & Jill)
– Rob Brydon (The Trip)
– Steve Coogan (The Trip)
– Dion Dimucci (A Little Help)
– David Hasselhoff (Hop)
Again, Al Pacino is funny, but Steve Coogan is the star of his movie as himself. He has to play it closer to real and still do realistic emotional stuff. It’s extremely vain of him, but he’s still undeniably great.
The Godfather Best Sequel Award:
– Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2
– The Muppets
– Kung Fu Panda 2
– Puss In Boots
– Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows
The last two Shrek movies were so much worse than any of the predecessors of any of the other nominees. And that’s what my greatest concern is. That doesn’t exactly line up with the name of this award since The Godfather Part II was not obviously better than The Godfather. Luckily, Puss In Boots would still qualify for the win even if I was sticking to that.
The Jaws Worst Sequel Award:
– Spy Kids: All The Time In The World
– The Hangover Part II
– Final Destination 5
– Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
– Breaking Dawn Part 1
Spy Kids 4 and Breaking Dawn are worse movies, but The Hangover fell the furthest.
The The Man Who Knew Too Much Best Remake Award:
– The Debt
– Straw Dogs
Straw Dogs is really good, but too close to the original. The original of The Debt is painfully boring and doesn’t conceal its twist nearly as well as the remake.
The Breathless Worst Remake Award:
– Conan The Barbarian
– Just Go With It
– Fright Night
– The Mechanic
You really have to take the quality of the original into account with this category. The original Fright Night is pretty terrible and Conan doesn’t seem so impressive now either. This new Mechanic was really just boring, not bad. Just Go With It is the one that spits most forcefully in the face of its origin, 1969’s Cactus Flower.
The Kevin Costner Worst Accent Award:
– Joel Edgerton (Warrior)
– Anne Hathaway (One Day)
– Paul Bettany (Priest)
– Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method)
– Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar)
– Carla Gugino (Sucker Punch)
Joel Edgerton and Anne Hathaway just cannot do the accents they are trying to do (American and British, respectively.) Keira Knightley’s performance is all around weird, with crazy jaw thrusts and face contortions, so it’s difficult to single out the accent as the problem. DiCaprio’s lukewarm accent work is almost unnoticeable at this point. Carla Gugino didn’t want anyone to miss what she was doing. And they didn’t.
The Meryl Streep Award for Best Accent (Female):
– Jessica Chastain (The Help)
– Isla Fisher (Rango)
– Alison Pill (Midnight In Paris)
– Juno Temple (Dirty Girl)
It’s odd that these all happen to be Southern accents being put on. It probably seems even odder then to have chosen the animated role over the non-animated ones, but if you watch this voice come out of Isla Fisher in one of the behind-the-scenes things, you will see why it can’t be any other way.
The Jon Voight Award for Best Accent (Male):
– James MacAvoy (The Conspirator)
– Alan Tudyk (Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil)
– John C. Reilly (Cedar Rapids)
It would be impossible, of course, but John C. Reilly should get nominated for this performance, accent or no. But oh, was there an accent.
The Jon Voight Best Impression Award:
– Steve Coogan of Michael Caine (The Trip)
– Rob Brydon of Michael Caine (The Trip)
– Steve Coogan of Stephen Hawking (The Trip)
– Meryl Streep of Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady)
I haven’t actually seen The Iron Lady. And that seems like a pretty amazing impression from the woman for whom this award could just as easily be named. But even if Steve Coogan’s Stephen Hawking isn’t quite as perfect as Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher (and I’m not even saying it isn’t, but if it isn’t) it’s probably a lot funnier.
The Worst Impression Award:
– Jefferey Donovan of Robert Kennedy (J. Edgar)
– Abby Elliott of Drew Barrymore (No Strings Attached)
– Rob Brydon of Al Pacino (The Trip)
– Ryan Reynolds of Jason Bateman (The Change-Up)
It’s not just that the impression is bad here, it’s that they made such a big deal out of it being amazing in the movie. Abby Elliot is a current cast member on Saturday Night Live and recently, a sketch called for a Drew Barrymore impression. They called on Kristen Wiig instead.
The Lon Chaney Chameleon Award (for the most unrecognizable performance by an otherwise recognizable personality):
– Kelly McGillis (Stake Land)
– Brie Larson (Rampart)
– Glen Close (Albert Nobbs)
I went the entire trailer for Albert Nobbs without recognizing Glen Close. But I went all of Stake Land without recognizing Kelly McGillis. I’m still not sure I do.
The Hamlet Best Production Within A Production Award:
– Controversy (Margaret)
– “The Case” (Super 8)
– “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (The Muppets)
– A German Affair (The Artist)
– Jungle Monster 4 (Alvin And The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked)
– The final Waverly Prep novel (Young Adult)
– JetBlue ad (Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold)
JetBlue should be using this as their regular commercial.
The Rosemary’s Baby Creepiest Moment Award:
– Katie runs into Toby (Paranormal Activity 3)
– Hitching a ride (I Saw The Devil)
– Chad in the garage (Terri)
– The host of sexual innuendo directed toward Smurfette (The Smurfs)
– “Release Me” (Straw Dogs)
– Brandon & Sissy (Shame)
– meeting Charlie (Trust_)
There was a lot of rape in the movies in 2011 (Straw Dogs, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, 13 Assassins, The Skin I Live In, Trust_, Tyrannosaur, Oranges And Sunshine, Martha Marcy Mae Marlene, The Whistleblower, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo again…) So much that unspoken and ambiguous incest stands out as the more unsettling idea. Plus, Shame doesn’t just have a creepy moment. It’s a movie full of them.
The Passenger 57 Award (for the plot most thoroughly ruined by its trailer):
– Dream House
– The Lincoln Lawyer
They’re all pretty guilty. The Lincoln Lawyer may even be more subltle about its spoilers than the others. But that last sequence is just a stupid thing to show.