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My Six-Month Film Awards: 2014

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Did my prediction pan out? Read on.

Did my prediction pan out? Read on.

Let’s go to it, shall we?

Picture:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • The Congress
  • The Dance of Reality
  • Enemy
  • Ida
  • The Lego Movie
  • Locke
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Snowpiercer
  • 22 Jump Street

Winner: The Dance of Reality

Such an incredible, beautiful film. It’ll almost certainly be on my year-end Top 10. A lot of these won’t (although there are seven **** films on here, whereas at this time last year I only had three, one of which was still ***½ at the time), but this is a very strong list for this early in the year.

Director:

  • Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer)
  • Ari Folman (The Congress)
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality)
  • Lars von Trier (Nymphomaniac)
  • Denis Villeneuve (Enemy)

Winner: Alejandro Jodorowsky

Sorry, Bong Joon-ho. You did a fantastic job. But Jodorowsky made a truly magical film.

Runners-up: Doug Liman, Edge of Tomorrow; Pawel Pawlikowski, Ida; Kelly Reichardt, Night Moves; Robert Stromberg, Maleficent; Steven Knight, Locke

Actor:

  • Jake Gyllenhaal (Enemy)
  • Tom Hardy (Locke)
  • Brontis Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality)
  • Jude Law (Dom Hemingway)
  • Stellan Skarsgård (Nymphomaniac)

Winner: Brontis Jodorowsky

I would never have seen it coming. But God, the journey that character goes on is just incredible. Sure to be one of the most underrated performances of the year.

Runners-up: Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars; Jesse Eisenberg, Night Moves; Chris Evans, Snowpiercer; Channing Tatum, 22 Jump Street; Jon Favreau, Chef

Actress:

  • Charlotte Gainsbourg (Nymphomaniac)
  • Agata Kulesza (Ida)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle)
  • Agata Trzebuchowska (Ida)
  • Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars)

Winner: Charlotte Gainsbourg

She and von Trier are a pretty unbeatable team. That said, all five of these performances are excellent. This would be a strong end-of-the-year lineup, let alone one halfway through.

Runners-up: Robin Wright, The Congress; Angelina Jolie, Maleficent; Emily Blunt, Edge of Tomorrow; Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin; Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant

Supporting Actor:

  • Jamie Bell (Nymphomaniac)
  • Rohan Chand (Bad Words)
  • Bryan Cranston (Godzilla)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (The Immigrant)
  • Christian Slater (Nymphomaniac)

Winner: Joaquin Phoenix

The film itself wasn’t that great, but Phoenix is one of the finest actors currently working. And he knocks it out of the park here. Aside from him, it’s actually kind of a weak lineup (Slater is good and all, but he wouldn’t even come close at the end of the year).

Runners-up: Shia LaBeouf, Nymphomaniac; Song Kang-ho, Snowpiercer; Ed Harris, Snowpiercer; EmJay Anthony, Chef; Tom Wilkinson, Belle

Supporting Actress:

  • Pamela Flores (The Dance of Reality)
  • Sarah Gadon (Belle)
  • Stacy Martin (Nymphomaniac)
  • Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer)
  • Uma Thurman (Nymphomaniac)

Winner: Uma Thurman

She’s in maybe 8 minutes of a four-hour film. That should tell you just how big of an impression she makes. Pamela Flores is a close second. Also, honorable mention to Laura Dern in The Fault in Our Stars. A very good low-key performance from an actress who doesn’t always get the credit she deserves. If Tilda Swinton weren’t so wonderfully horrible, she’d sneak on.

Runners-up: Sarah Gadon, Enemy; Laura Dern, The Fault in Our Stars; Go Ah-sung, Snowpiercer; Dakota Fanning, Maleficent; Jillian Bell, 22 Jump Street

Original Screenplay:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Ida
  • The Lego Movie
  • Locke
  • Nymphomaniac

Winner: Nymphomaniac

I’m sure that’s the shock of the year for most of you.

Runners-up: Bad Words, Night Moves, Belle, Chef, Neighbors

Adapted Screenplay:

  • The Congress
  • The Dance of Reality
  • Enemy
  • Snowpiercer
  • 22 Jump Street

Winner: The Dance of Reality

The first three are all excellent scripts. Snowpiercer and 22 are just very good.

Runners-up: Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Maleficent

Cinematography:

  • Ida
  • The Immigrant
  • Night Moves
  • Snowpiercer
  • Under the Skin

Winner: Under the Skin

Snowpiercer is a very, very close second. Maybe would take the win if I compared them directly. But goddamn, Under the Skin looked good.

Runners-up: Nymphomaniac, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Dance of Reality, Maleficent, Enemy

Editing:

  • Enemy
  • Locke
  • Night Moves
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Snowpiercer

Winner: Nymphomaniac

It’s cleverly edited. That said, there’s not really a standout editing job so far this year. Any of these five would be a reasonable pick.

Runners-up: Under the Skin, Edge of Tomorrow, 22 Jump Street, Maleficent, The Dance of Reality

Production Design:

  • The Dance of Reality
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Immigrant
  • Noah
  • Snowpiercer

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Good God, what a lineup. I was thinking Snowpiercer might pull this off, but good as it is, GBH is just jaw-droppingly good.

Runners-up: Maleficent, The Congress, Nymphomaniac, Belle, Jersey Boys

Costume Design:

  • Belle
  • The Dance of Reality
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Immigrant
  • Snowpiercer

Winner: The Immigrant

Another great selection. It’s the vaudeville costumes that put this one over the top. But again, any of these would be a worthy pick.

Runners-up: Noah, Jersey Boys, Maleficent, Nymphomaniac, A Million Ways to Die in the West

Makeup:

  • The Dance of Reality
  • Maleficent
  • Noah
  • The Raid 2
  • Snowpiercer

Winner: The Raid 2

I’m a sucker for good gore effects.

Runners-up: The Grand Budapest Hotel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Nymphomaniac, Edge of Tomorrow

Score:

  • Enemy
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Monuments Men
  • Night Moves
  • Under the Skin

Winner: Under the Skin

I wasn’t a huge fan of the film, but what it did well, it did damn well.

The only runner-up is Snowpiercer. So far this has been a weak year for scores.

Sound Mixing:

  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Jersey Boys
  • Night Moves
  • The Raid 2
  • Snowpiercer

Winner: Jersey Boys

Not a very good film at all, but it sounded good. (Musicals traditionally clean up in this category.)

I’m not going to do runners-up for these last three categories because I didn’t start ranking films here until just recently, so right now it’s mostly guesswork.

Visual Effects:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Godzilla
  • Under the Skin
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past

Winner: Godzilla

What can I say? Gojira looked good.

Sound Effects:

  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Godzilla
  • The Lego Movie
  • The Raid 2
  • Snowpiercer

Winner: The Raid 2

All those punches and kicks have to sound just right. And they did.

Top 20 of the year to date:

  1. The Dance of Reality
  2. The Congress
  3. Ida
  4. Nymphomaniac (Theatrical version)
  5. Snowpiercer
  6. Enemy
  7. Locke
  8. 22 Jump Street
  9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  10. The Lego Movie
  11. Edge of Tomorrow
  12. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  13. Bad Words
  14. Maleficent
  15. Night Moves
  16. Belle
  17. Muppets Most Wanted
  18. Chef
  19. Under the Skin
  20. Neighbors
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9 thoughts on “My Six-Month Film Awards: 2014

  1. Hi, thanks for your great reviews and analysis !
    Glad you loved The Congress, Snowpiercer and The Dance of Reality. All were released last year in France; the first was included in our 2013 awards: http://www.movieparliament.com/awards-2013

    On the other hand, some of your picks are not yet released in France: Enemy, Chef, Neighbors, Belle, Muppets Most Wanted, Locke, Bad Words, The Fault in our Stars, The Raid 2.

    Anyway, here are my half-year nominations (no winners yet).

    Film:
    – Black Coal, Thin Ice
    – The Dance of Reality
    – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – The Lego Movie
    – Life of Riley
    – Ocho apellidos vascos
    – Under the Skin
    Runner-up: Maps to the Stars

    Director:
    – Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – Yi’nan Diao – Black Coal, Thin Ice
    – Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin
    – Tsai Ming-Liang – Stray Dogs
    – Alain Resnais – Life of Riley
    Runners-up: Alejandro Jodorowsky – The Dance of Reality, David Cronenberg – Maps to the Stars, Jean-Luc Godard – Goodbye to Language

    Actress:
    – Marion Cotillard – The Immigrant
    – Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
    – Charlotte Gainsbourg – Nymphomaniac
    – Luminata Gheorghiu – Child’s Pose
    – Scarlett Johansson – Under the Skin
    Runners-up: Emmanuelle Seigner – Venus in Fur, Mia Wasikoswka – Maps to the Stars

    Actor
    – Gérard Depardieu – Welcome to New York
    – Jesse Eisenberg – Night Moves
    – Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – Brontis Jodorowsky – The Dance of Reality
    – Fan Liao – Black Coal, Thin Ice
    Runners-up: Mathieu Amalric – Venus in Fur, Michel Vuillermoz – Life of Riley, Jude Law – Don Hemingway, Tom Hardy – Locke, Xavier Dolan – Tom at the farm

    Supporting Actress
    – Pamela Flores – The Dance of Reality
    – Lun Mei Gwei – Black Coal, Thin Ice
    – Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars
    – Lise Roy – Tom at the farm
    – Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer
    Runners-up: Jacqueline Bisset – Welcome to New York, Carmen Machi – Ocho apellidos vascos, Olivia Williams – Maps to the Stars

    Supporting Actor:
    – John Cusack – Maps to the Stars
    – Karra Elejalde – Ocho apellidos vascos
    – Michael Fassbender – X-Men: Days of Future Past
    – Guillaume Gallienne – Yves Saint-Laurent
    – Ben Mendelsohn – Starred Up

    Breakthrough Actress:
    – Alice Isaaz – La Crème de la Crème
    – Clara Lago – Ocho apellidos vascos
    – Stacy Martin – Nymphomaniac
    – Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle
    – Tillotama Shome – Sold

    Breakthrough Actor:
    – Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood
    – Jeremias Herskovitz – The Dance of Reality
    – Marwan Kenzari – Wolf
    – Jack O’Connell – Starred Up
    – Dani Rovira – Ocho apellidos vascos
    Runners-up: Pierre-Yves Cardinal – Tom at the Farm, Pier-Gabriel Lajoie – Gerontophilia, Pierre Niney – Yves Saint-Laurent, Tony Revolori – The Grand Budapest Hotel

    Original Screenplay:
    – Black Coal, Thin Ice
    – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – Hermosa Juventud
    – Maps to the Stars
    – Ocho apellidos vascos
    Runners-up: Two Days, One Night, Xenia

    Adapted Screenplay:
    – The Dance of Reality
    – Life of Riley
    – Snowpiercer
    – Under the Skin
    – Venus in Fur
    Runner-up: Tom at the Farm

    Editing:
    – Edge of Tomorrow
    – Goodbye to Language
    – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – Maps to the Stars
    – Under the Skin
    Runners-up: Life of Riley, Tom at the Farm

    Cinematography:
    – Black Coal, Thin Ice
    – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – Ida
    – The Immigrant
    – Under the Skin
    Runners-up: Godzilla, Sacrifice, Tom at the Farm, Wrong Cops

    Production Design:
    – La Belle et la Bête
    – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – Godzilla
    – The Immigrant
    – Snowpiercer
    Runners-up: Life of Riley, We are the best!

    Costume Design:
    – Belle
    – La Belle et la Bête
    – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – The Immigrant
    – Yves Saint-Laurent

    Hair & Make-Up:
    – La Belle et la Bête
    – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – Snowpiercer
    – Witching and Bitching
    – X-Men: Days of Future Past

    Sound Design:
    – Bird People
    – Black Coal, Thin Ice
    – Edge of Tomorrow
    – Godzilla
    – Under the Skin
    Runners-up: Jersey Boys, The Lego Movie, Snowpiercer, X-Men: Days of Future Past

    Score:
    – The Grand Budapest Hotel
    – The Lego Movie
    – Only Lovers Left Alive
    – Transformers: Age of Extinction
    – Under the Skin
    Runners-up: Godzilla, How to train your dragon 2, Maleficent, Tom at the Farm, Venus in Fur

    Song:
    – “Jack et la mécanique du coeur” – The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
    – “Everything is AWESOME!!!” – The Lego Movie
    – “Untitled Self Portrait” – The Lego Movie
    – “The Good, the Bad and the Crazy” – Sous les jupes des filles
    – “No te marches jamás” – Ocho apellidos vascos
    Runners-up: “Lost Stars” – Begin Again, “Once Upon a Dream” – Maleficent, “What is Love” – Rio 2, “Together Again” – Muppets Most Wanted

    Visual Effects:
    – 300: Rise of an Empire
    – Godzilla
    – Noah
    – Under the Skin
    – X-Men: Days of Future Past
    Runners-up: The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Edge of Tomorrow, RoboCop, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Maleficent

    Animated Film:
    – Cheatin’
    – How to train your dragon 2
    – The Lego Movie
    – Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants
    – The Tale of Princess Kaguya
    Runners-up: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, Rio 2

    Directorial Debut Film:
    – Coherence
    – The Cosmonaut
    – The Dreamlife of David L
    – Third Contact
    – Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf?
    Runners-up: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, Coldwater, Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants, Palo Alto, Party Girl, Swim Little Fish Swim, The Tribe

    Documentary Film:
    – 112 Weddings
    – At Berkeley
    – La Cour de Babel
    – Jodorowsky’s Dune
    – Sacro GRA
    Runners-up: Ceuta, Prison by the Sea, Finding Vivian Maier, I Am Divine, Land of the Bears

    • Thank you for your nominations. I’ll definitely need to check some of these out.

      Life of Riley, Black Coal Thin Ice, and The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart will all be added to my upcoming “Most Anticipated Films” list (especially the first two), while I’m already looking forward to Boyhood, We Are the Best!, and of course, Maps to the Stars.

  2. You’re welcome. I’m curious to read your thoughts on those films, especially “Life of Riley”.

  3. Godzilla looked fantastic. As far as giant monster movies go, I still prefer Pacific Rim, though. More shiny colors, less grimdark battles. Also, story-wise, I just really have a problem with the way the protagonist in Godzilla kept just running into the monsters. If he’d been actively pursuing them, it would have been different, but…

    My movie tastes aren’t the most highbrow, I know. 🙂

  4. Jacqueline Bisset Best Supporting Actress for her brilliant performance in new york Welcome to the best actress of the year

  5. Pingback: My Six-Month Film Awards: 2015 | If you want the gravy...

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