Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The 2nd Annual Awards Psychic Awards: Winners

I am proud to announce the winners of the 2nd Annual Awards Psychic Awards!

Best Picture - Drama
Winner - Drive
Runner Up - The Help
Commentary - The two films in the running for this prize are so different, it's hard to believe that they managed to be my top two dramas. But I like both of them for different reasons. The Help, while flawed, is buoyed by its stunning performances and blend of humor/emotion, and was the most entertaining of the bunch. But it loses out in a close race to the hyper-stilized, new film noir classic Drive. It was tense, stylish, and beautifully rendered, and simply, the best movie of the year.

Best Picture - Comedy/Musical
Winner - Bridesmaids
Runner Up - 50/50
Commentary - This was an even closer race than the Drama one, as both 50/50 and Bridesmaids were excellent comedy ventures. However, after rewatching Bridesmaids, I remembered just how funny it was, just how incredible its cast was, that even the brilliant blend of comedy and drama in 50/50 couldn't overcome it.

Best Picture - Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Winner - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Runner Up - X-Men: First Class
Commentary - Unlike the previous races, this one was not close at all. Part 2 of the Deathly Hallows was a stunning dramatic achievement: impeccably acted, thrilling, extremely well written and directed, and a fitting close to a wonderful film series.

Best Picture - Animated
Winner - Rango
Runner Up - Winnie the Pooh
Commentary - I was tempted to go with the nostalgic whimsical Winnie the Pooh, but Rango was too fun and too original, and was the best animated film of the year.

Best Director
Winner - David Yates "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
Runner Up - Nicholas Winding Refn "Drive"
Commentary - I know some of you may scoff at this, especially with Refn in second place. But it is hard to adapt a beloved book series. It is even harder to have it sustain so well over 8 films. Finally, it is even more difficult to take up the reigns after a variety of different directors have handled it, and make it something your own. That is why the underappreciated David Yates is winning my best director award. He ended the series right, and deserves recognition.

Best Actor - Drama
Winner - Brad Pitt "Moneyball"
Runner Up - Ryan Gosling "Drive"
Commentary - The stoic nature of Ryan Gosling in Drive was mesmerizing. But I have a soft spot for Brad Pitt's performance in Moneyball. It was a warm and infectious performance, full of emotion, humor, and spunk, and was a perfect fit for Pitt, and the best of his illustrious career.

Best Actress - Drama
Winner - Viola Davis "The Help"
Runner Up - Tilda Swinton "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
Commentary - It is hard to stand out in cast of the some of the finest actresses working today. But Viola Davis managed to do so. She was the glue that held the movie together, and by the end of the film, simply the expression on her face was enough to break your heart. Finally, this talented woman got the leading role she deserved, and it was well worth it.

Best Actor - Comedy
Winner - Joseph Gordon-Levitt "50/50"
Runner Up - Paul Giamatti "Win Win"
Commentary - I thought this whole year that this award would go to Paul Giamatti for his, no pun intended, winning performance in Win Win. But what Joseph Gordon Levitt did in 50/50 balancing humor and his character's battle with cancer was simply fantastic. One of these days the Academy will recognize his brilliance. I hope its sooner than later.

Best Actress - Comedy
Winner - Kristen Wiig "Bridesmaids"
Runner Up - Charlize Theron "Young Adult"
Commentary - I'm sure that Charlize is the better choice or the more challenging choice, but Kristen Wiig showed the humor and struggle of her character Annie. She was flawless, funny, and wonderful.

Best Supporting Actor
Winner - Albert Brooks "Drive"
Runner Up - (TIE) Christopher Plummer "Beginners" and Alan Rickman "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2"
Commentary - Christopher Plummer deserves recognition for his warm performance in Beginners and his incredible career, and Alan Rickman deserves recognition for his entire run as the mysterious Severus Snape. But no one made quite an impact like Albert Brooks. In just a few scenes, he was evil and electrifying, breaking from his comedic past, and showing us what he is truly capable of as an actor.

Best Supporting Actress
Winner - (TIE) Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain "The Help"
Runner Up - Melissa McCarthy "Bridesmaids"
Commentary - Melissa McCarthy may actually get an Oscar nomination, which is awesome, but I had to go a different way. I know I have complained about critics groups being cop outs, so I am currently a hypocrite. I couldn't pick just one of the pair, so I am honoring the incredible friendship shown on screen between Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain in The Help. They are both incredible on an individual level, but as a pair, their chemistry is timeless.

Best Ensemble
Winner - The Help
Runner Up - Bridesmaids
Commentary - A tough call, but the cast of The Help took what could have been simply a decent box office success into one of the best movies of the year, and a bona fide Oscar contender. A feat indeed, and a testament to the power of these stunning performances.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner - Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin "Moneyball"
Runner Up - Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash "The Descendants"
Commentary - I appreciate the effort by Alexander Payne and his team, but I will always have a place in my heart for Aaron Sorkin scripts with their humor, heart, and zippy speed. So this time the dynamic duo behind the Moneyball screenplay takes the prize.

Best Original Screenplay
Winner - Will Reiser "50/50"
Runner Up - Annie Mumulo and Kristen Wiig "Bridesmaids"
Commentary - While I liked the overall outcome of Bridesmaids slightly better, and found the script to be wonderful, I cannot deny the humorous, powerful, and super personal effort by Will Reiser, and hopefully the Academy will follow in suit.

Best Cinematography
Winner - War Horse
Runner Up - The Tree of Life
Commentary -  I personally was not the biggest fan of The Tree of Life, but I will admit that it was beautifully shot. But I stand by the fact that the beautiful shots in War Horse are half the reason to see the film, so it gets the prize.

Best Visual Effects
Winner - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Runner Up - Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Commentary - I know that Rise probably had the best special effects, but I'm biased, and I'm picking the better film, at least in my opinion, oh and the visual effects were stunning as well.

Worst Movie of the Year
Loser - Sucker Punch
2nd Biggest Loser - Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
Commentary - Twilight just continues to appaul me, but the terrible dreck that was Sucker Punch, a cluster of collaged, sexual images with a dead story and terrible characters was simply dreadful.

Top Ten Films of the Year
1. Drive
2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
3. The Help
4. Bridesmaids
5. Moneyball
6. 50/50
7. Take Shelter
8. The Descendants
9. Young Adult
10. Win Win

1 comment:

  1. My choices would've been. (I'm using short forms of the adjacent awards

    Drama: War Horse
    2nd: Moneyball

    Comedy: Larry Crowne
    2nd: The Artist

    Sci-Fi: Super 8
    2nd: X-Men: First Class

    Animation: Winnie the Pooh
    2nd: Kung Fu Panda 2

    Director: Steven Spielberg - War Horse
    2nd: Michel Havanicius - The Artist

    Actor - D: Mel Gibson - The Beaver
    2nd: Brad Pitt - Moneyball

    Actor - C: Tom Hanks - Larry Crowne
    2nd: Kermit the Frog - The Muppets

    Actress - D: Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
    2nd: Viola Davis - The Help

    Actress - C: Kristen Wiig - Bridesmaids
    2nd: Miss Piggy - The Muppets

    Sup. Actor: Brad Pitt - The Tree of Life
    2nd: George Takei - Larry Crowne

    Sup. Actress: Octavia Spencer - The Help
    2nd: Jessica Chastain - The Tree of Life

    Ensemble: Larry Crowne
    2nd: The Ides of March

    Original: Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen
    2nd: The Tree of Life - Terrence Malick

    Adapted: Moneyball - Aaron Sorkin & Steven Zaillian
    2nd: War Horse - Richard Curtis & Lee Hall

    Cinematography: The Tree of Life - Emmanuel Lubiezki
    2nd: War Horse - Janusz Kaminski

    Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
    2nd: Super 8

    Worst Film: Zookeeper
    2nd (TIE): Bucky Larson & Twilight