Last year, to coincide with the awards season, I presented my own awards for the best offering of 2011. Well a year has gone by very quickly and that time has come again, with the BAFTAs tonight and the Oscars on 24th February, to give the awards to the films and actors I thought of were deserving of accolades. There were so many great films throughout the year and The Oscars don’t really give the awards to films not released in a certain time with the backing of a big money marketing campaign. So, my awards are highlighting films that were intriguing, entertaining and just good fun. So here are Luke’s Film Blog’s awards for 2012:
Best Film: Fast, frantic, intense, exciting and gripping. Gareth Evan’s Indonesian kung fu thriller The Raid pretty much came out of nowhere to garner critical acclaim whilst showing Hollywood how to do an action film. It was a fresh take on the genre as a group of Special Forces police officers storm a tower block to capture a Crime Lord. The fight choreography was some of the best in recent times, making it all seem so real in a cinema of CGI effects. It was captivating throughout and didn’t leave a minute to catch breathe. A stunning film and deserved winner.
Best Director: For delivering his best film since The Royal Tenenbaums, the best director award goes to Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom. It’s funny and heart-warming, with excellent performances from the two leading kids Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, who run away together in 1960s New England. Yet again, Wes Anderson puts his stamp on the film with its kookyness, witty dialogue and warm humour as he establishes himself as one of the most accomplished auteurs in the world. He continues to make the films he wants to make, adding his own personal influences, and that alone entitles him to this award.
Best Actor: Often overlooked in favour of the more eccentric or dominating villains, such as Heath Ledger’s Joker, within the franchise, Christian Bale has been the glue that’s held the cast together throughout Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy and for that I award him the best actor gong for The Dark Knight Rises. He has delivered three consistent performances that audiences can often take for granted, whether as Batman or Bruce Wayne. He is, for me, the best Batman of all time, better than Keaton, Kilmer and Clooney and seeing him in DKR as Bruce Wayne, reclusive and later beaten by Bane showed an added humanity to the character that Bale performed flawlessly.
Best Actress: Although she was overlooked for the Oscar Nominations, Skyfall was really boosted by the strong performance of Dame Judi Dench as M. Even into her late seventies, Dench was still totally believable in that role, whether it was snapping at 007, making her plea during the court case or in action during the film’s finale. She, as ever, delivered her dialogue strongly and given more plot than merely dispensing exposition she thrived as her murky past with Silva (Javier Bardem) was unearthed. She was a terrific M and will be dearly missed from the franchise.
Best Ensemble: For the year 2012 there is only one film that could scoop this award. The Best Ensemble goes to the cast of The Avengers. Many people thought it couldn’t be done, with too many characters, however, a solid script and direction from Joss Whedon was spurred on by an exceptional cast. They all knew their character, all made the roles their own and worked together to create a billion dollar movie. The Avengers themselves were all tremendous with Downey Jr and Mark Ruffalo taking most of the plaudits, especially since The Hulk had finally, in so many people’s eyes been done right at the third recent attempt. Samuel L. Jackson and the Shield Agents were solid as well as Tom Hiddleston as Loki, especially when uttering the immortal line “You mewling quim”. A majestic film, outstanding cast and I can’t wait until 2015 to see them all again.
Best original Screenplay: Well, it’s that man again Joss Whedon, who along with director Drew Goddard penned The Cabin in the Woods. It’s a funny and intelligent look at the horror genre. Subverting the usual conventions, the script keeps the audience guessing while retaining some of the traditional aspects of the genre. The dialogue is sharp and witty and wonderfully deleivered while the narrative remains interesting and keeps you hooked throughout. A terrific film and a very strong script.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Written by Jonathan and Christopher Nolan, with David Goyer contributing with the story, The Dark Knight Rises wins the best adapted screenplay. As with the first two films the story is complex, involving and exciting. The characters, old and new, are well developed and it’s just superbly written, particularly the second act, as society in Gotham crumbles at the hands of Bane. A great end to the franchise and a here’s a final award from me to the brothers that saved the Batman franchise.
So there we have it, my awards for this year. Please, join me next year for Luke’s awards 2014 and enjoy the BAFTAs tonight.