The Oscars 2017 may be just around the corner, but here’s the thing about the Academy: their voters generally have their noses buried deep within their own orifices so they always nominate and give the awards to the wrong films. Therefore it is our responsibility to direct your attention to films that do deserve the highest cinematic honors this year.
Welcome to the annual Firstpost Movie Awards — the only film felicitation segment where there is zero bias or lobbying — but only pure, deep, obsessive love for cinema.
BEST ACTOR: Adam Driver for Paterson
Let’s look at the nominations this year. Andrew Garfield for walking in an arena, looking horrified watching people’s faces blow away. Ryan Gosling for being his usual charming self. Denzel Washington for turning up the emotional and vocal loudness to 3000. Casey Affleck for mumbling throughout the film again. And Viggo Mortensen for… okay, he was pretty good in Captain Fantastic.
But here’s the thing about Adam Driver in Paterson. He plays a bus driver and his sheer persona says a lot without really mouthing much dialogue. If there’s someone delivering such a strong performance as this one you don’t even need any verbal exposition when half a dozen different emotions directly transfer from the screen onto you. It’s the kind of performance that revels in poetic minimalism, unlike the loud Oscar baitey droning from the other nominees.
BEST ACTRESS: Lily Gladstone for Certain Women
Barring Isabelle Huppert in Elle, none of the other nominees really left a lasting impression. I think we’ll all agree that Meryl Streep should no longer be nominated for Oscars, so equally deserving newcomers get a chance.
The newcomer in question here is Lily Gladstone who was absolutely phenomenal in Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, towering even above the rest of her more famous cast members such as Kristen Stewart and Michelle Williams. Gladtone’s performance was memorable because she brought out the apparent normalcy in conquering the small challenges of imperturbability and necessity. There’s an impossibly fine balance she strikes between incorruptibility and personal awakening her character undergoes. It’s the kind of breakout performance that rivals Adele in Blue in the Warmest Color even though it wasn’t that huge a role.
BEST DIRECTOR: Park Chan Wook for The Handmaiden
If you have watched The Handmaiden and weren’t blown away by the sets, the camerawork, the performances and the insane plot twists you’d have to be completely blind. With this film, Wook just effortlessly demonstrates why he’s the best working director out there. Yet again he shows us how he’s the only filmmaker who makes putrid and nasty stuff seem delectable and desirable, and also makes you question what level of depravity you could resort to as a dirty human being cloaked in a faux armor of evolution. What’s more, he also delivers a solid feminist punch into his narrative as icing on the cake. The only perceivable reason Wook didn’t get nominated is that the Oscars are not worthy of him.
BEST SCREENPLAY: Hong Jin Na for The Wailing
Look, we appreciate all the beautiful little moments underlined in the screenplay of Moonlight.
But there was a movie this year that contained Jacob’s Ladder style psychological breakdown, ghosts, zombies, exorcism and vampires all rolled into one epic package — and also made the effort to explain how those elements came to be. That was a movie where you just couldn’t figure out what the hell was happening until the very end scene, and the reveal gave you a permanent shit eating grin. Hong Jin Na’s The Wailing is not just a classic horror thriller but incredibly sophisticated written material that transcends its cheesy genre elements into rendering subtle social commentary.
BEST MUSIC: The Lure and Sing Street
I don’t want to be the one boarding the unnecessary hate train of La La Land but the music in that movie is like MSG’s ‘Love Charger’ in comparison to the songs in John Carney’s Sing Street and Agnieszka Smoczynska’s Polish film The Lure.
Both of these films boast far stronger stories than La La Land, and multi layered compositions that constantly surprise and delight you. Those who’ve seen Once and Begin Again may expect high quality compositions in Sing Street, but nothing will prepare you for the acid trip of The Lure composed by Barbara and Zuzanna Wrońska who cover everything from synth to jazz to rock and roll to feverish electronic. If the music in Sing Street signifies love then the stuff in The Lure is an LSD fueled romp in Ibiza.
Published Date: Feb 25, 2017 01:50 pm | Updated Date: Feb 27, 2017 05:55 am