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2nd Annual Filmiest Awards – Winners (Part 1)

Awards season is upon us, and the Filmiest Awards are just one of many to award the best in film. 2013 was one of the best film years in recent history, and many are set to become some of my favorites of all time. This is the second year for the Filmiest Awards, my own personal celebration of movie excellence. I will now present my awards in 16 categories over a two-day process.

Let’s get things started.

The award for Best Original Song celebrates the best use of a song written exclusively for a movie. Such a song must contribute to the overall benefit of the movie it’s intended for while also standing on its own as a genuinely outstanding song. Last year’s award for Best Original Song went to “Big Machine” from Safety Not Guaranteed. Let’s see which song is about to join this exclusive group.

The nominees for Best Original Song are:
 
“Becomes the Color” from Stoker
Music and lyrics by Emily Wells
 



“The Moon Song” from Her
Music and lyrics by Karen O and Spike Jonze
 
 
 
 
“Please Mr. Kennedy” from Inside Llewyn Davis
Music and lyrics by Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

 

 
 
 
“Together” from The Great Gatsby
Music and lyrics by The xx
 
 
 
 
“Young and Beautiful” from The Great Gatsby
Music and lyrics by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels
 
 
 
 
And the Filmiest Award goes to:
 
 
“Young and Beautiful” from The Great Gatsby
 
No other song from a movie haunted me more than “Young and Beautiful,” a somber ballad sung by Lana Del Rey. The song perfectly captures the feeling of falling in love but not being sure if your lover will still feel that passion when your youthful looks have faded. Encapsulating the passionate yet fleeting romance of Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Daisy (Carey Mulligan), “Young and Beautiful” is a heartbreaking ode to the pros and cons of romance.
 
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Next we come to the award for Best Supporting Actor. The following five actors left their indelible mark on movies that weren’t even about them. These five scene-stealing performances sometimes overshadowed the main characters and created some of the most fascinating characters of the year. Last year’s award went to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance in The Master.
 
The nominees for Best Supporting Actor are:
 
 
Bradley Cooper as Richie DiMaso in American Hustle
 
 
 
Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings
 
 
 
Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave
 
 
 
James Franco as Alien in Spring Breakers
 
 
 
Jared Leto as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club
 
 
 
And the Filmiest Award goes to:
 
 
James Franco in Spring Breakers
 
I was not ready for this performance. Completely transforming himself with dreads, a grill and a sleazy attitude, Franco has created the most memorable character of the year in Alien. Spring Breakers was a divisive film but most agree that Franco’s performance as a man obsessed with all the ugly excess of the American Dream is truly one for the ages. There is a scene near the end of the film with him seated at his oceanside piano singing one of Britney Spears’ signature songs that will remain in my memory forever. A true masterclass performance.
 
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Next up we have the award for Best Original Score. A film’s score is often one of the most under-appreciated element of filmmaking but it can often bring everything together in a way that no other cinematic technique can. The award went to Cloud Atlas last year.
 
The nominees for Best Original Score are:
 
 
Captain Phillips
Composed by Henry Jackman
 
 
 
Gravity
Composed by Steven Price
 
 
 
The Great Gatsby
Composed by Craig Armstrong
 
 
 
The Place Beyond the Pines
Composed by Mike Patton
 
 
 
Stoker
Composed by Clint Mansell
 
 
 
 
And the Filmiest Award goes to:
 
 
Stoker
 
Piano-driven scores are exhaustingly overdone, but Mansell’s score of Stoker is a chilling, gothic body of work that adds to the film immensely. If anything, the score manages to actively improve certain scenes, making them much creepier than if the music was not there. One can just listen to “A Whistling Tune from a Lonely Man” or any of the various discordant notes placed throughout to get a good sense of Mansell’s masterwork.
 
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Now we’ve come to the award for Best Supporting Actress. This award went to Anne Hathaway’s powerful performance in Les Misérables last year. Much like the Supporting Actor category, these five women made big impressions on their respective films, improving great characters with unforgettable performances. 
 
The nominees for Best Supporting Actress are:
 
 
Sally Hawkins as Ginger in Blue Jasmine
 
 
 
Scarlett Johansson as Samantha in Her
 
 
 
Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave
 
 
 
Octavia Spencer as Wanda Johnson in Fruitvale Station
 
 
 
Emma Watson as Nicki Moore in The Bling Ring
 
 
 
And the Filmiest Award goes to:
 
 
Scarlett Johansson in Her
 
I never would’ve imagined that a voiceover-only performance would touch me in such a deep manner, but Johansson’s emotional voice work in Her cannot be denied. Playing an OS with feelings, Johansson gives such life to Samantha, making it easy to understand why Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore would fall in love with her. She voices vulnerability, sex appeal, humor and intelligence, creating a complex three-dimensional character without physically embodying anyone at all. A remarkable achievement. 
 
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We will now move on to the tech categories. First up is Best Makeup and Hairstyling. As so few films have showy work when it comes to makeup and hairstyling, only three films have been nominated. Both elements can add to the visual aesthetic of the film in memorable and interesting ways, telling you everything about a character on first glance. Last year’s award went to Cloud Atlas.
 
The nominees for Best Makeup and Hairstyling are:
 
American Hustle
Makeup and hairstyling by Michelle Johnson & Evelyne Noraz
 
 
 
The Great Gatsby
Makeup and hairstyling by Maurizio Silvi and Kerry Warn
 
 
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Makeup and hairstyling by Linda D. Flowers and Ve Neill
 
 
 
And the Filmiest Award goes to:
 
 
American Hustle
 
They don’t call it “Explosion at the Wig Factory” for nothing. The ’70s are in full swing in American Hustle, and the wigs on the main characters tell you everything about them just from first glance. Though the makeup is less extravagant than the wigs, the overall appearance of every character’s face and hair is meticulously designed.
 
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On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have the award for Best Sound Design. Like Original Score, it’s easy to take sound design for granted in a visual medium, but some movies are wholly dependent on it. Whether it be through music, sound effects or the mixing of multiple sounds, these five films demonstrated how important it really is. Last year, the award went to Zero Dark Thirty.
 
The nominees for Best Sound Design are:
 
 
12 Years a Slave
Sound design by Leslie Shatz
 
 
 
 
Captain Phillips
Sound design by Oliver Tarney
 
 
 
 
Gravity
Sound design by Niv Adiri, Ben Barker and Glenn Freemantle
 
 
 
 
Her
Sound design by Ren Klyce
 
 
 
 
Inside Llewyn Davis
Sound design by Skip Lievsay
 
 
 
 
And the Filmiest Award goes to:
 
 
Gravity
 
The sheer level of craft that has gone into Gravity‘s sound design is just absurd. Though there is dialogue in the movie, much of it is carried by the sounds of the various spacecraft while also capturing the silent emptiness of space. Without meticulous sound design, the film would have been a disaster, so there should be equal appreciation for the sound as there already is for the visuals.
 
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Next up is the award for Best Visual Effects. As I don’t usually go to blockbuster movies, it’s difficult to fill up a group of five nominees worthy of this award, so this year I have only four. Visual effects can enhance a film beyond the regular capabilities of our physical world, truly creating an escape for the audience, much like last year’s winner, Life of Pi.
 
The nominees for Best Visual Effects are:
 
 
Gravity
Effects by Timothy Webber, Tony Clark, Matt Kasmir, Richard McBride
 
 
 
 
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Effects by Matt Dessero, Janek Sirrs Stephane Naze and Marc Varisco
 
 
 
 
Iron Man 3
Effects by Christopher Townsend
 
 
 
 
Man of Steel
Effects by D.J. Des Jardin
 
 
 
 
And the Filmiest Award goes to:
 
 
Gravity
 
Again, the level of craftsmanship here is on another level. To get the film to a place where you feel like you’re not only witnessing what outer space is really like but feeling that you’re actually there is extraordinary. The visual effects of Gravity completely push the film to become one of the most amazing technical achievements in movie history, proving to my snobby self that effects can drive a story in a unique and interesting way.
 
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The last award I will present in Part 1 of the 2nd Annual Filmiest Awards is the award for Best Editing. Editors put all the pieces of a movie into one cohesive whole, which proves much more difficult than you would think. The award, which went to Zero Dark Thirty last year, often goes hand in hand with the quality of the film’s story, providing the necessary final step in producing the film.
 
The nominees for Best Editing are:
 
12 Years a Slave
Editing by Joe Walker
 
 
 
 
American Hustle
Editing by Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
 
 
 
 
Gravity
Editing by Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
 
 
 
 
Her
Editing by Eric Zumbrunnen and Jeff Buchanan
 
 
 
 
Spring Breakers
Editing by Douglas Crise and Adam Robinson
 
 
 
 
And the Filmiest Award goes to:
 
 
12 Years a Slave
 
The editing of 12 Years a Slave is absolutely essential for its storytelling purposes. There is a focus on long takes with no cutaways, allowing the audience to fully soak in the atrocities being committed. Additionally, the film is episodic in terms of Solomon Northup’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) journey, but the editing makes each segment feel different and gradually increasing in impact. 
 
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That concludes the first part of my 2nd Annual Filmiest Awards! Hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for the second and final part very soon.
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