THE “Disney DISAPPOINTMENT Award”
WINNER: The Incredibles
The Incredibles is praised everywhere. Everybody seems to worship Brad Bird and anticipate a sequel. I’d never watched it, so I wanted to know what all the fuzz was about. I had very high anticipations, which is probably the only reason that this film fits this category. I’m not a huge superhero fan to begin with, and I don’t really see what makes this one so incredible. It’s decent, but it didn’t blow my off my socks. Sorry!
The Aristocats. This film benefited from years of nostalgia, so I was under the impression this was a really good movie. A rewatch, alongside my little brother, sort of proved me wrong. It’s not a stinker, but it wasn’t what I had built it up to be. And then there is Lion King 1 1/ 2. A true low point for Disney.
THE Ambiguity AWARD
Some directors aren’t wary of toying with an audience. Truth and cinema are just as much synonyms as they are antonyms. The films in this ‘category’ embrace that notion and play with it. Michael Haneke‘s Caché opens with a long take, that after a while is revealed to be what the main characters are watching on their television screen. The ending has fueled a lot of speculation on message boards. But possibly the biggest achievement of this slow paced drama, is that it’s truly a thriller. It’s able to build up suspense without extremely fast paced editing, or tense music.
Ingmar Bergman‘s Persona, of which you can read the full review here, Jafar Panahi‘s Taxi, which I reviewed here and the iconic Rashômon from Akira Kurosawa. Isn’t it such a pleasure when everything isn’t spelled out for you?
THE Nouvelle Vague AWARD
WINNER: Un Condamné à Mort s’est Échappé
As much as I’ve been enjoying the Antoine Doinel series, I have to give it to Robert Bresson‘s prison thriller. I say thriller, because much like Caché, this is the kind of film that has you on the edge of your seat the entire time, even though it doesn’t rely on smoke and mirrors. With a completely non-professional cast and a director who was imprisoned by the Germans himself, it feels incredibly real. Perhaps that sense of closeness is the reason you’re not even able to catch your breath watching this.
Les Quatre Cent Coups, Antoine et Colette and Baisers Volés. The three first ‘installments’ of the Antoine Doinel series by François Truffaut. Jean-Pierre Léaud has stolen my heart.
THE “Where are the women?” AWARD
WINNER: Kingsman: The Secret Service
Kingsman is a fun and entertaining movie. I get that it’s about a patriarchal spy organization, but if Kingsman is willing to hire a woman, then why can’t it let her be a part of the actual plot? While Eggsy and Merlin are fighting Valentine, Roxy is literally hanging from a balloon. Nice.
And then there’s Gazelle. Now, you might think it’s pretty awesome that a character like that is a woman, and yes, it is great in some respect. But if she were a man, there’s is no way there would be hints at a relationship with Valentine. But she’s a woman, so hey, let’s sexualize her.
Matthew Vaughn, if there’s a sequel, I’d really appreciate it if you’d put some more women in this film. Thanks!
So these really don’t belong in this category, but I had to mention them, so here it goes. The awesome Ex Machina, which really benefits from the fact that the humans are men, and the robots are women. And Shoeshine which follows two boys in prison, and couldn’t possibly feature women in a prominent role. Both of these are amazing films, and definitely worth seeing.
And that’s it. I’m off to watch the Tony Awards!