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Friday, February 7, 2014

North/South Film Awards Part III

Time to talk about all the best (and worst) from movies in 2013.
We've divided our awards into three parts and have over thirty categories to cover.
Click To Read Part One
Click To Read Part Two

Now onto PART III, with the biggest categories for the best of the best. 
Winners In Bold

Best Supporting Actress

Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) - Best thing I've seen her do in years. She's still got it.
Scarlett Johansson (Her) - Never appeared on-screen, but stunning and smart nonetheless.
Eva Mendes (The Place Beyond The Pines) - Don't sleep on her abilities. Really diverse talents.
Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) - Young, real and poised to breakout in a huge way.

Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave) - A beautiful, heartbreaking performance.
June Squibb (Nebraska) - Another hilarious, scene-stealing role.
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) - A long overlooked actress that goes toe-to-toe with Blanchett.
Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color) - So tender and great in a movie hardly anyone saw.

Best Supporting Actor

Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners) - Subtle, dark and scary. Maybe his best performance to date.
Bradley Cooper (The Place Beyond The Pines) - His best performance of the year, by far.
Daniel Brühl  (Rush) - Funny, tragic and heroic. Powerful role that stood out in the film.
Jonah Hill (The Wolf Of Wall Street) - "Smoke crack with me bro" is an absolute classic.

Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) - Best evil/sad role since R. Fiennes in Schindler's List
James Franco (Spring Breakers) - Most scene-stealing performance of the year. Hilarious too.
Ben Foster (Ain't Them Bodies Saints) - One of the best/most consistent young actors.
(TIE) Daniel Brühl (Rush) - A surefire soon to be star.  
(TIE) Jonah Hill (Wolf of Wall Street) - Who would have guessed this would ever happen? 

Best Actor

Joaquin Phoenix (Her) - You buy into the concept instantly due to his emotion.
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) - Newsflash: McConaughey is great in everything.
Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) - Flipping the switch from happy to disturbed is tough to do.
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) - He still has a fastball that few can catch up to.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) - Much raw emotion in a brave, commanding performance.
Oscar Davis (Inside Llewyn Davis) - Overlooked because he is an unlikable character. So what?
Bruce Dern (Nebraska) - A humorously sad performance. 
Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) - The last 5 minutes is some of the best acting I've ever seen.

Best Actress

Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) - Even for her, this was impressive. 
Sandra Bullock (Gravity) - Don't let her performance get lost in the spectacle, truly great.
Cate Blanchett  (Blue Jasmine) - Anywhere you go, I'll follow you down . . .
Amy Adams (American Hustle) - Respected it much more the second time. Best in show.

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) - Best actress in the biz in her best role yet.
Sandra Bullock (Gravity) - Almost went with her for the win, certainly better than The Blind Side.
Brie Larson (Short Term 12) - Another great performance from a movie hardly anyone saw.
Jule Deply (Before Midnight) - More strong work in her third go-round with the character.

Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) - A masterpiece. Filmmaking at the highest level, done perfectly.
Spike Jonze (Her) - Original, moving and all too realistic. Will watch at least a dozen more times.
Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) - Great use of film structure to aid the story. 
John Wells (August: Osage County) - Taking a play to film is never easy and this was masterful.

Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) - No director blends visual art and filmmaking like him.
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) - A fantastically imaginative filmmaker with bold, game-changing vision.
Spike Jonze (Her) - A much more mature work from one of my favorite directors.
Joel & Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis) - Why was this so overlooked by the Oscars? Crazy.

Best Film

North's Top 5:
Gravity - Watch or read anything you can find on the making of this film. A real achievement.
Prisoners - It makes your skin crawl, but sometimes you want that from a film.
Star Trek Into Darkness - Two more hours with this awesome Enterprise crew was a lot of fun.
Ender's Game - I think this will have a big life on DVD. It's a must watch for all ages.
August: Osage County - Absolutely captivating from the word go. Sad lives made for great art.

South's Top 5:
12 Years a Slave - Maybe the best film I have seen in quite a while, yet never want to see again. 
Inside Llewyn Davis - Yet another example of why the Coen Bros. are my favorite directors. 
Short Term 12 - A beautiful and touching film. What true indie cinema is strives to be. 
The Place Beyond the Pines - A forgotten, but great film with such a grand scope. 
Her - A movie I like even more the more I think about it.

Best Film Of 2014 You Haven't Seen Yet

X-Men: Days Of Future Past - I loved X-Men: First Class and think it is the best film in the franchise. By all accounts, D.O.F.P. is going to be even more epic: time jumps, historical tie-ins, multiple versions of characters, 25 foot tall Sentinels and much more. 

Inherent Vice - This upcoming movie has got it all: great book from a literary giant (Thomas Pynchon), one of the best directors working today (Paul Thomas Anderson), and a phenomenal cast (check it out here).

Worst Film Of 2014 You Haven't Seen Yet

Hercules- The Rock, I mean Dwayne Johnson is The Scorpion King, I mean Hercules. And he's strong and I bet he fights some guys. I laugh every time I think about how much money he makes a year. Has to be the 2nd greatest wrestling to movies crossover. The first being No Holds Barred.

A near impossible category to predict, but Hercules will likely be pretty terrible, mainly because it is directed by Brett Ratner. But 300: Rise of an Empire looks even worse and pointless (and I hated the first one, so...)

I am also going to go on record as saying Guardians of the Galaxy already looks like a disappointment. Certainly not the worst movie of the year, but still not very good - especially given Marvel's track record.
(Dan's Note: Blasphemy! Guardians is going to be so dope. Can't wait!)

Best Film Since 2012

Silver Linings Playbook - Jennifer Lawrence earned the Academy Award.  I thought this film was powerful, poignant and really just got better as it went along. Full thoughts from myself and our hero, Roger Ebert can be read here.

I thought this year was a fantastic year for film (the best since 2007). Last year, I loved Silver Linings Playbook as well, and also Beasts of Southern Wild. But there were a few films film this year that were even better, namely 12 Years a Slave and Inside Llewlyn Davis.

Thank You For Reading Part III
Click To Read Part One
Click To Read Part Two

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