So, we have finally closed the book on 2010. Now, even as conversion into the new year, this is when most people reflect back on the year before. In the movie world, this is also when critics and movie lovers take the time to review the past year. Not to mention, this is awards season. With the Critics’ Choice Awards in one or two hours weeks and the Oscars less than two months ago, suffice to say the red carpet is theoretically out.
Today, I’ll throw myself into that very ring even as bring you Passive Club’s 2010 Movie Awards. Up front, though, I would like to just say, I’ll do this unique of those big award shows. For one, you’ll see some of the typical categories, but likewise there will be some off-beat ones. Also, call me crazy, but I believe the biggest aspect in judging a movie is its entertainment value. Granted all of the other little issues with making a movie help to make a movie better, however I believe entertainment succeeds a movie’s technical ability in order to define whether it is good or not. So, you won’t be seeing me awarding these “artsy” movies just because of the “cinematic achievement” (whatever the terrible that is). Instead, I will be judging on good ole entertainment value (with acting, story, etc. playing factors).
So, without further ado, here are the winners of the first soap 2 day annual Passive Club Movie Awards.
Best Film: Beginnings
For me this came down to Beginnings and Black Swan. I’ve honestly spent days mulling it over in my head which will be my movie of the year. However, in the end, Beginnings wins out. Inceptionwas also perfect in a way. With intelligent writing, good acting, fun action, great cinematography and so on and so on, the movie became awesome style with great substance. Nolan proved once again here why he is one of (if not THE) most sought after filmmakers today. A plot genius. After watching this movie, it made me realize what a god-send Nolan is to Showmanship really. Everybody in Showmanship should be taking notes. This is often how a blockbuster movie should be done. Let’s not kid ourselves, blockbuster action movies will continue to be the bread and butter of Showmanship for a while to come. While this is acceptable, the problem usually lies in that they’re so short and cliche and just “eh”. They normally just rely on cool action sequences and awesome looking special effects. Not Beginnings, though. This movie provides all that, but then actually brings substance to that particular style giving us an engaging and mind-bending/intelligent storyline to go with it. This perfect blend makes Beginnings my movie of the year.
Best Professional: James Franco : 127 Hours
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you want to test the merit of an professional? Throw him in a movie where he is pretty much the only person ever on-screen and bigger to carry the entire movie himself. Where the whole weight of the entire movie sets most assuredly on his neck. Will he shine? Will he crumble? This is the test. Others have proven themselves like that too (Will Smith, Mary Hanks). And truly I believe this (and the “retard role”) is one of the biggest ways to test an professional and see if he’s one of the greats. So, enter James Franco and 127 Hours. Playing a mountain climber that gets trapped under a boulder and is on it’s own, Franco is left to carry an entire film on his own. Does he succeed? Really right he does. With flying colors at that. Keeping it interesting, offerring a range of emotions throughout the film and rubbing you in all on his own, Franco clearly shows he previously the mettle to tackle such a daunting task and come out on top. For that reason, he’s my professional of the year.
Best Occasional actress: Natalie Portman : Black Swan
Natalie’s performance in the Aronofsky psychological thriller is totally brilliant. Her best work to-date in my opinion. Playing a task worth considering her to eventually conversion from sweet little unsuspecting princess girl to girl-gone-wild (in a dark side somewhat way), she hits every beat without missing a step. I believe the biggest factor for a good actor/actress is range. Anybody can shine in a part that was just designed for them (in line with their natural persona), but range and playing different personas/characters is where an actor/actress can show their true ability. In Black Swanalone, Natalie Portman has shown, in just the 2 hours, that this lady has more range than most performers around. She shown more range in one performance than most do in their entire career. For such a brilliant performance Natalie Portman gets my political election as occasional actress of the year. I do not think this is even up for debate.
Best Supporting Professional: Christian Bale : The Martial artist
Here’s another that we feel is just certain and isn’t up for debate. Bale absolutely borrowed the show in every scene he appeared in the Martial artist. The weight loss alone shows Bale’s dedication to his craft. Furthermore, the way he surely could lose himself in that crackhead personality and into the role of Dicky Eklund just further proved what an amazing professional Bale is. To essentially show you how brilliant his performance was, the video playback of real-life Dicky during the credits showed you just how well Bale nailed that performance. It had to almost resemble looking in a mirror for Dicky.
Best Supporting Occasional actress: Melissa Leo : The Martial artist
Yes, the supporting cast of the Martial artist was just great. They’re the ones that kept this movie afloat. Leo’s turn as the “white trash” overbearing mother was great and was another (along with Bale’s performance) that really helped this movie shine. Without these two, The Martial artist bombs.