First of all I would like to say that I hope all of you have a wonderful Fourth of July. I would also like to take this moment to honor all of the men and women of our armed forces who are fighting overseas. Thank you for your dedication and service. And now, for a holiday special, here are the winners for the Halway Through the Year Awards. Tomorrow, I will start posting my Emmy Nomination Predictions, category by category. Enjoy!
Winner - Midnight in Paris
Runner Up - Beginners and Win Win
Commentary- This was a tough one, but in the end, I think I made the right decision. I haven't had been able to put up my review of Woody Allen's latest, as I seem to be having trouble putting together exactly what I want to say. But for now I will say that it is truly a funny and wonderful film, and a return to form for Allen after last year's bomb You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. So honor of its wonderful summer at the box office, and its whimsical journey, I give it the top prize.
Winner - Terrence Malick "The Tree of Life"
Runner Up - Woody Allen "Midnight in Paris"
Commentary - While I'm still baffled by The Tree of Life, another film I am having a hard time writing a review for, I think that Malick's project was a lot more difficult than Allen's. His vision, while not as coherent or entertaining as Allen's, in the end, was still spectacular, and deserves recognition.
Winner - Paul Giamatti "Win Win"
Runner Up - Ewan McGregor "Beginners"
Commentary - Paul Giamatti delivers great performance after great performance, and if there is any mercy within the Academy, he will get a long deserved Best Actor nomination for this touching and funny performance in Win Win.
Winner - Kristen Wiig "Bridesmaids"
Runner Up - Michelle Williams "Meeks Cutoff'
Commentary - I know that Michelle Williams and Juliette Binoche are the "cool" choices, but Kristen Wiig not only established herself as a legitimate movie star, and Golden Globe (maybe Oscar?) contender, but proved that when the chips are down, she is downright one of the best actresses, and funniest for sure, working in Hollywood today.
Best Supporting Actor
Winner - Christopher Plummer "Beginners"
Runner Up - Bobby Cannavale "Win Win"
Commentary - There was really no other choice for me (and I hope that the Academy agrees), as the great Christopher Plummer was simply fantastic in Beginners, proved that age has only made him better, and finally has a legitimate shot at winning an Academy Award, or at least getting his second nomination.
Best Supporting Actress
Winner - Melissa McCarthy "Bridesmaids"
Runner Up - Marion Cotillard "Midnight in Paris"
Commentary - Marion Cotillard was ethereal and sexy, but Melissa McCarthy's scene stealing performance in Bridesmaids still makes me laugh. She was outright hilarious, and could be a dark horse contender for Best Supporting Actress, in the spirit of Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder. Either way, she gets this prize.
Best Animated Feature
Winner - Rango
Runner Up - Kung Fu Panda 2
Commentary - In a weak year for Animation, I preferred Johnny Depp's Rango, to the rehashed Kung Fu Panda 2.
Best Original Screenplay
Winner - Woody Allen "Midnight in Paris"
Runner Up - Mike Mills "Beginners"
Commentary - Just see the Best Picture slot to see why Allen wins this award.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner - Ashley Miller, Zach Stentz, Jane Goldman, & Matthew Vaughn “X-Men: First Class”
Runner Up - Moira Buffini “Jane Eyre”
Commentary - This was surprisingly weak for the first half, and while Jane Eyre was dark and well done, I went instead with a personal favorite in the new X-Men film. It managed to carefully mold a bunch of new and old characters, and helped to reboot what had, at one point, been a promising franchise. The script was sharp, and witty, and well-done to say the least. I hope that they continue with a sequel despite it not being the biggest box-office smash, as I think we all deserve to see how the rest of this plays out.