Tuesday, January 8, 2013

That's A Wrap: The Best Everything In Movies From 2012 (pt. 2)

So, last week I made my list of what I thought were the ten best films of the 2012. Now, I will breakdown all of my faves in the specific categories - think of this like my own personal Oscar ballot. Off we go!

Best Actor
TIE - Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Separating these two performances is just impossible for me. Phoenix is ferocious, capturing the attention of the audience every second he's on the screen. Hoffman is conniving and jovial, with constant simmer of a breakdown coming. I really don't know if either of the two have ever been better on the silver screen.

Overall Ballot:
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour

Best Actress
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Close to all of the power of Amour comes from the powerhouse acting duo of Riva and Trintignant, and Riva, as the afflicted, withering party brings the house down. The performance is sad, lonely, surprisingly angry, yet still keeps room for warmth. After all, the film is named "love"

Overall ballot:
Rashida Jones, Celeste and Jesse Forever
Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Supporting Actor
Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Coming from a former cook and non actor, Henry's performance as Wink, the temperamental, spirited father of Huspuppy, is nothing short of brilliant. So deep within the skin of the afflicted father is Henry that it lends to the film's almost documentary-like feel. Him and Wallis really light it up in their debuts.

Overall ballot:
Leonado DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Jude Law, Anna Karenina
Chris Messina, Ruby Sparks

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Considering that she does not have a whole lot to do in this pretty long movie, it may seem like an odd choice, but Adams so fully embodies the two-faced, Lady MacBeth nature of this character that it stuck with me for days. Also, responsible for the most unsettling movie hand job I've ever seen. Ever.

Overall ballot:
Amy Adams, The Master
Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises and Les Miserables
Issabelle Huppert, Amour
Kerry Washington, Django Unchained
Emma Watson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best Ensemble Acting
Perhaps the best decision Affleck makes as Argo's director is to allow his protagonist, played by him, coast throughout the movie while its supporting characters provide the sparks. Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Scoot McNairy, Sheila Vand, Bryan Cranston, Clea DuVall, Kerry Bishe, Tate Donnovan and Victor Garber - as well as Affleck - are all great in a film where the sum really is the total of its parts.

Overall ballot:
The Avengers
Django Unchained
Silver Linings Playbook

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
No surprise here, considering how I nearly committed an entire month to him (until The Master came out earlier than expected and I got distracted), but I really feel this is a seminal achievement in Anderson's already magnificent canon. With stunningly beautiful shots and always an ear toward the strangely transfixing, we see that Anderson is still the genius we always knew he was.

Overall ballot:
Ben Affleck, Argo
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Haneke, Amour
Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Original Screenplay
Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks
This script can (and has) been translated in so many ways. Some declaring it a brilliant fantasy, others decrying it as a feminist anthem against the misogynist film industry. Can't it be both? Kazan's wonderfully imaginative work does write itself into some corners, but it responds by just busting right through them without second thought.

Overall ballot:
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Haneke, Amour
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks

Best Adapted Screenplay
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Perhaps I'm biased because I'm such a fan of the book, but doesn't that usually make you a more harsh critic of the adaptation? Chbosky knew exactly what parts of his novel translated to the screen and pieced them together in wonderfully pleasant movie that gets better and better with repeated viewings.

Overall ballot:
Lucy Alabair & Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Tony Kushner, Lincoln
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
Chris Terrio, Argo

Best Cinematography
Mihai Malamaire Jr., The Master
Malamaire Jr., the go-to cameraman for most of Francis Ford Coppola's latest projects, works perfectly with Paul Thomas Anderson to create the almost dreamlike nature that makes The Master so intoxicating. Just as good as any work that Anderson has done with his usual cinematographer Robert Elswit.

Overall ballot:
Roger Deakins, Skyfall
Greig Fraser, Zero Dark Thirty
Mihai Malamaire Jr., The Master
Ben Richardson, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Robert Richardson, Django Unchained

Here are the last category ballots with a "*" by the winner.

Best Editing
Jay Cassidy & Crispin Struthers, Silver Linings Playbook
William Goldenberg, Argo
*William Goldberg & Dylan Tichenor, Zero Dark Thirty
Michael Kahn, Lincoln
Mark Jo Markey, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Best Production Design
*Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
The Master
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Original Score
*Mychael Danna, Life of Pi
Alexander Desplat, Moonrise Kingdom
Johnny Greenwood, The Master
Henry Jackman, Wreck-It-Ralph
Dan Romer & Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

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