Sunday, July 22, 2012

The 4th Annual Halfway Awards: Winners

Best Picture
Winner - (Tie) Moonrise Kingdom and 21 Jump Street
Runner Up - The Avengers
Commentary - No you are not reading that incorrectly. Moonrise Kingdom is the film from the first half that has Oscar potential, and is probably the best film so far. But 21 Jump Street desreves recognition as well. It tooks something old, acknowledged that they were not reinventing the wheel, and transformed it into the funniest and most entertaining that I have seen in a long time. Laugh if you will, but I dare you to watch it and not to enjoy it.

Best Director
Winner - Wes Anderson "Moonrise Kingdom"
Runner Up - Steven Soderbergh "Magic Mike"
Commentary - Wes Anderson has been criticized for being so unique and quirky that he loses humanity. But this time around, he combined his one of a kind vision with the tale of a sweet young romance beautifully and made what has been one of his best movies.

Best Actor
Winner - Channing Tatum "21 Jump Street" and "Magic Mike"
Runner Up - Bruce Willis "Moonrise Kingdom"
Commentary - I never thought in my lifetime that I would give any positive award to Channing Tatum for acting, but by God, I think he has proven all of us wrong this year, and is on his way to becoming a really big star that also creates memorable and well-created characters. His dead-pan humor in 21 Jump Street, and his pure charisma in Magic Mike show us a growing talent. I look forward to see what he does next.

Best Actress
Winner - Rachel Weisz "The Deep Blue Sea"
Runner Up - Michelle Williams "Take With Waltz"
Commentary - Williams is always incredible, although her role in Take This Waltz was not as bold as some of her more recent characters. Instead, I am going with Rachel Weisz's stunning performance in The Deep Blue Sea. It's been a while since she has really popped on the screen, and although so few people have seen this movie, I encourage you to do so if for nothing else than for Weisz. I do hope that as the year goes on that her performance is not forgotten.

Best Supporting Actor
Winner - Edward Norton "Moonrise Kingdom"
Runner Up - Matthew McConaughey "Magic Mike"
Commentary - For some reason, Edward Norton's performance in Moonrise Kingdom really stuck out to me. Maybe its because I am so used to him playing dark characters, it was so nice to see him play a character with such vulnerability. It was a nice surprise, and it made him a stand out among a talented cast.

Best Supporting Actress
Winner - Charlize Theron "Prometheus/Snow White and the Huntsman"
Runner Up - Maggie Smith "The Best Exotic Marigold"
Commentary - This one was tough because I think Maggie Smith hung the moon, and like her fellow castmates seemed to have so much fun making The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. But instead, I have been incredibly impressed by Charlize Theron in two roles this year. Her Prometheus role was less involved, but she was probably the best thing about Snow White, and helped shield us from Kristen Stewart. She proved that big blockbusters can still have well thought out performances, and her Evil Queen was masterfully scary and powerful, and reminded us why she is one of the best actresses working today.

Best Screenplay
Winner - Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola “Moonrise Kingdom”
Runner Up - Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Michael Bacall “21 Jump Street”
Commentary - Really a landslide, Moonrise Kingdom's script was delightfully constructed, and could be the film's biggest Oscar chance.

Best Ensemble
Winner - The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Runner Up - Moonrise Kingdom
Commentary - While this may surprise some people, I like to reward ensemble based on their role in the success of the film. Moonrise Kingdom was beautifully constructed and its acting only enhanced it. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel would have been mediocre at best if it weren't for the lively performances of some of Britain's best.

Best Animated Feature
Winner - Brave
Runner Up - Madgascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Commentary - Brave may not be up to par with some of Pixar's best, but it was still visually appealing, filled with great voiceover performances, and still better than most of the live action films released so far. Still a winner for the studio in my book.

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