Our first award is for outstanding achievement in comedy, not British: Runner-up: Hamlet 2 A sequel to Hamlet that actually works on literal and symbolic levels with an excellent score and a fearless cast willing to commit to absurdity? Almost enough to win in my book. Winner: Forgetting Sarah Marshall I never really liked the Apatow comedies, to be honest. And this, to me, was far better. The screenplay was predictable, but strong anyway, and the cast sold it like nothing else. I haven't laughed this hard at a film since South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut Our second award is outstanding achievement in a comedy film, British: Runner Up: Rock'N'Rolla Dark comedies are still comedies, people. This Guy Ritchie film proves that he actually is a talented director when in his comfort zone: British gangster films. The fast paced dialogue, physical comedy, and Thandie Newton sex-kittenness make this a must see. Winner: Happy-Go-Lucky I'm an unapologetic Mike Leigh fan. Happy Go Lucky may be annoying to people who have never experienced an eternal optimist like Polly, but those that know a Polly will probably love this film. It's just a lot of fun. It's dry and over the top, built on wordplay and physicality, and really put a smile on my face. It's enjoyable. What more can you ask for in a smart person British comedy? Our Third Award goes to the best performance by a female actor in any role: Runner Up: Betty Buckley in The Happening The Happening may be a total disaster of a film, but Betty Buckley makes the most of the juiciest role in the entire film. Portraying the religious zealot who is the only woman seemingly oblivious to the killer plantlife, her wickedly judgmental eye never quite balances with her polite and proper manners. Which is the point. The film is worth watching just to see Betty Buckley destroy every other actor on screen with real acting. Runner Up: Mila Kunis in Forgetting Sarah Marshall What can I say? Should Mila Kunis be the new go to girl for romantic comedies? A pretty, talented actor who seems attainable because she can be sexy, violent, joyous, or just one of the guys? I sure as hell hope not, as she's much better than that. Here's hoping that Forgetting Sarah Marshall is just the tip of the iceberg in potentially mainstream roles. She deserves it. Runner Up: Liv Tyler in The Strangers A realistically frightened, disenchanted, heartbroken, subtle, nuanced performance in a modern American horror film? It's not a joke. She's damn near flawless in a taut, dry home invasion film. Heartbreaking performance, really. She sells the openning broken romance scenes so well that you actually care about what happens to her. Liv Tyler's another actress that I hope gets even better material to work with soon. Winner: Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky What's that? An excellent lead performance in a Mike Leigh film from an actress normally seen in supporting roles? Poppy is excellent. This is such a hard role to play because optimism is hard to fake. If it's too happy, it looks fake. If it's not happy enough, the action seems unjustified. If the eyes are too wide, it looks like a mentally handicapped person who doesn't understand life. If they eyes don't sparkle, it's like a death march. Sally Hawkins is Poppy, in the same way Helen Mirren was Queen Elizabeth II or Hilary Swank was Brandon Teena. Our Fourth Award goes to the best performance by a male actor in any role: Runner Up: Justin Long in Zack and Miri Make a Porno It's hard to play a campy gay man and not seem ridiculous. It's even harder to play the same role when it's intended to be completely absurd and not make it offensive. Congratulations, Macbook, you hit it just right as a gay porn star in one scene of Zack and Miri Make a Porno Runner Up: Gerard Butler in Rock'N'Rolla Holy crap! I didn't know 300 could act. Or dance. Or be that damn charming. It's simple material that he elevates greater than anyone else in the film. Plus he's hillarious. Runner Up: Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess Imagine, if you will, Ralph Fiennes being darker, drier, and more upsetting than he was as Voldemort. Now place that in a period epic where he actually rapes his wife to get a male heir. Now imagine you can't take your eyes off of the screen whenever he appears. I can only hope the random Golden Globe nomination he received holds through for the Oscar, cause I don't see any living competition that could keep him from the stage on the big night. Winner: Clint Eastwood in Grand Torino I like old timey films. I like broad theatrical-styled acting. And I like a man who knows how to write just the right character for his abilities and play it well. Say whatever you want, of the films I've seen this year, Clint Eastwood easily gives the best performance. Yes, better than Heath Ledger or Sean Penn. Much better. Our final award in visual goes to the best television show not continue production past 2008: Runner Up: Pushing Daisies Winner: Moral Oral Tune in Saturday for the grabbag, or Miscellaneous, awards.
Labels: film rec, sketchies