Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The 2017 Paultacular Bruene Awards

Aloha everyone to the seventh (!) annual Paultacular Bruene Awards, formerly known as the I’m Right Awards. I think the ironic bluster that characterized the previous title (and sometimes content) has run its course as a joke, so I’m doing a minor rebranding. Focus group testing has been very positive.

Here’s the format, pretty much unchanged: I’m going to run through and give my own five contenders (renamed from “nominees” because I wasn’t really nominating anything) and winners for all of the traditional Oscar film categories, with a few tweaks. I’ve removed categories about which I lack an opinion*, due to either a) not having seen (m)any, like the three shorts categories, or b) I don’t care about, like Best Makeup.

But, due to a tax loophole I’m exploiting, for every category I take away I add one back. Bolded words in italics are winning movies, bolded words or phrases not in italics are hyperlinks.

And, without much further ado…the Pauls!

*Dangling prepositions are part of the old brand. That’s something I feel very strongly about. Wait, shi-

Best Visual Effects

The Contenders:

Doctor Strange
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One
Star Trek Beyond

I’m not entirely sure why Kubo can make this category as a stop-motion animated movie, while other forms of animation don’t. I mean, most of the effects in major movies are made in a computer, so what’s the difference between the effects in, say, Rogue One and Moana? I don’t know and don’t feel like grappling with it right now, so I’m just going with the “The Oscars say I can put Kubo here, and I want to give Kubo as much love as I can, so whatever” rationale.

But I can’t quite bring myself to actually give it the award (though the visual effects in Kubo are awesome. Also, you should see Kubo), so I’m going with Doctor Strange, easily the best-looking Marvel movie thus far and so visually stunning I think it might’ve actually hypnotized me. So many mirrors…

Best Performance by an Animal, Idea, or Inanimate Object

The first original category, this one’s been around for a few years but a quick primer if you’re new (or forgot. Or don’t care): This is the category for something non-human that leaves a particularly strong impression. Past winners include Joey the horse from War Horse, Debauchery from The Wolf of Wall Street, and Room from, well, Room

The Contenders:

The Ships—Arrival
Youth—The Neon Demon
Red Hair—Nocturnal Animals
The Death Star—Rogue One

As always, this category included some hard cuts, including Jorma Taccone’s crazy Daft Punk helmet from Popstar and Tupac the dog from Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Cut for lack of screentime include the corkscrew from The Girl on the Train and that goddamn octopus from The Handmaiden.

It’s a tough choice, but I’m going with The Ships from Arrival, which manage the difficult task of bringing a truly unique look and feel to the alien spaceship. Plus, even Neil Degrasse Tyson approved! I think!

Don’t tell my dog Zoe that I picked a cat over a dog for this category

Best Film Editing

The Contenders:

Hail, Caesar
The Handmaiden
La La Land

Editing is all about making sure that a movie flows correctly, so it’s rather appropriate that the best edited movie of 2016 was Arrival, a movie that’s much more about the passage of time than it seems at first.

And that’s Arrival on a two award win streak! Will it go to three?! Spoilers: nope.

Best Costume Design

The Contenders:

Captain America: Civil War
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
The Neon Demon
Rogue One

I’m tempted to go with Civil War as a sort of accumulation of all of Marvel’s costume work; they’ve really nailed it with pretty much every character to appear in the MCU, including new additions Black Panther and Spider-Man in Civil War. But the best costume work this year was in La La Land—hell, that scene where Sebastian is at his band’s photo shoot is awardworthy by itself. La La Land also gets extra points for having such distinctive costuming in a movie set in the present day and lacking the fantastical elements (like superheroes) that make interesting costumes much easier.

Though I suppose dozens of people breaking into song and dance on the I-110/I-105 interchange is really not much less fantastical than a bunch of muscular dudes in tights beating each other up.

Best Cinematography

The Contenders

Knight of Cups
La La Land
The Neon Demon

This is one category that might’ve had a different winner had I seen the movies in a different order. Something about the winner, The Neon Demon, has really stuck with me. A big part of that is the striking visuals, which have grown on me significantly over time. Had I seen it more recently, and hadn’t really had it sink into my brain as much as it has, I might’ve gone a different way. But those triangles, man…

Best Scene

The second original category, this one should, I hope, be pretty self-explanatory.  As usual, I’ve kept the scene naming vague to avoid spoilers. Hopefully, if you’ve seen the movie you’ll know what I’m referring to. I’m reinstituting the “one scene per movie” rule after a one year hiatus, because if I didn’t, like, six of these would be from two movies. As always, this category gets ten contenders because narrowing it down more than that is too hard.

The Contenders:

The First Meeting with the Heptapods—Arrival
The Airport Fight—Captain America: Civil War
A Storm on the Lake—Kubo and the Two Strings
What Could Have Been—La La Land
“Could We Ever Have Lunch?”—Manchester By the Sea
The Diner—Moonlight
Incredible Thoughts—Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Vader in the Hallway—Rogue One
Sabotage—Star Trek Into Darkness
The Los Angeles Screening—Tickled

I’m cheating with the scene from Tickled, because it wasn’t in the documentary itself and is from a half-hour addendum HBO did. But it’s amazing, and I make the rules here, so whatever, it’s in. Also, you should see Tickled. Just trust me on this one.

What defines a “scene” is tricky and sometimes leads to incongruity like we have here, where the scene from Rogue One is about a tenth of the length of the one from Moonlight, and maybe even less than that. But regardless, I thought there was one obvious winner for scene of the year, the incredible and excruciating “Could We Ever Have Lunch?” from Manchester by the Sea. It’s hard to believe a scene where so little happens could be so devastating.

Best Production Design

The Contenders:

Hail, Caesar!
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One
Star Trek Into Darkness

Kubo get in under the same somewhat dubious rationale as in Best Visual Effects (and this time I don’t even have the Oscars to cite as precedent), and this time I’m going to give in to temptation and give the award to it. Kubo and the Two Strings had amazing set and production design, so what if it was at like 1/8 scale?

Best Sound Editing

My traditional preface, because the distinction always confuses me: Sound Editing is the actual creation of sound effects, while Mixing is the process of placing them (together with score and dialogue n’ stuff) into the actual film. Or whatever.

The Contenders:

Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Kubo and the Two Strings

I don’t have any strong feelings about this one, so I guess I’ll go with Kubo and the Two Strings which generally just had great production values. And, well, that’s about it for this one.

Best Sound Mixing

The Contenders:

Kubo and the Two Strings
La La Land
The Neon Demon
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

This category favors both animated movies (I’m more impressed by sound design in animation, where there is both more freedom and less guidance for the sound people) and musicals (just more types of sound to mix), so maybe it has a little bit of an unfair edge, but still, Moana is a deserving winner here.

Best Use of Music

I’m bringing this category back from last year, it replaces both Best Original Song (a category I’m not fond of) and Best Original Score (I have trouble remembering scores from movies I’ve only seen once).

The Contenders:

Kubo and the Two Strings
La La Land
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Star Trek Beyond

Really, really strong year for this category. Three of my top ten for the year were musicals, and a bunch of other 2016 movies had great use of music. But this is also maybe the easiest choice of the whole thing for me—I bought the first soundtrack for a movie since Return of the King this year, and it was the soundtrack of La La Land.

There’s a similar runaway victory for Worst Use of Music, which goes to the absolutely schizophrenic Suicide Squad. Though I did like that Twenty One Pilots song from it.

Most Enjoyable

This award is for the movie that was the purest fun I had while watching a 2016 movie. Maybe it’s a great comedy (spoiler alert: it is), maybe a particularly thrilling action movie, whatever. At some level, movies are supposed to be, you know, entertaining, and this category is my nod to that. Also note that this isn’t the Best Movie That’s Also Fun; a movie that’s pretty fun and very good (something like Die Hard ) wouldn’t necessarily win even if it’s one of the best movies of the year.

The Contenders:

Kubo and the Two Strings
La La Land
Mr. Right
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

For the second year in a row I’m giving this one to the best comedy of the year, with an ungainly title. Last year it was What We Do In The Shadows, and this year I’m going with the even better—and criminally underseen—Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. How a movie that good, and on paper with decently wide appeal, I would think, made less than $10 million at the box office I will never understand. This is why we can’t have nice things. Also, you should see Popstar.

Best Screenplay

So this one I’m shaking up significantly, and combining the two categories. I’m tired of trying to make heads or tails of the “original” vs “adapted” distinction, and I don’t really see why it should matter, so screw it I’m throwing them all into one pot. As a consolation (and so I don’t lose five contenders) I’m keeping it at ten slots. But the WGA better watch themselves or I’m cutting it down next year.

The Contenders:

The Edge of Seventeen
Hail, Caesar!
The Handmaiden
Kubo and the Two Strings
The Nice Guys
La La Land
Manchester By The Sea
Nocturnal Animals

Hmm, that is a little ungainly, maybe it needs some pruning…well, I’ll leave that to next year. Anyways, the best screenplay of the year is Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester By The Sea, which really wins just for the Best Scene winner above. I’m always a fan of scripts that successfully balance both comedy and tragedy (The Wire is both one of the saddest and one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen), and Manchester does it pretty masterfully.

Best Animated Feature

Every year I vacillate on whether to include this category, largely based on how many quality animated movies I saw. I figure if it's five or less I skip it, because why bother including a category from which I had to do zero cuts. This year I missed two of the Oscar nominees (The Red Turtle, which I tried pretty hard to find but wasn't able to, and My Life as a Zucchini) and still I saw at least seven or eight animated movies I'd say are at least "good," so I'm throwing it back in after cutting it last year.

The Contenders:

April and the Extraordinary World
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings

But even though this was an extremely strong year for animated movies, it's also the single easiest category to pick. It's Kubo and the Two Strings, duh. Also, you should see Kubo.

Best Vocal Performance

Looks like we’ve moved into the acting segment of this thing—I have even more permutations of acting awards than the real awards ceremonies. And, returning for the fourth year, one of my favorites!

The Contenders:

Mark Rylance—The BFG
Ellen DeGeneres—Finding Dory
Charlize Theron—Kubo and the Two Strings
Rooney Mara—Kubo and the Two Strings
Ginnifer Goodwin—Zootopia

No performances from foreign animated films this year. Unfortunately I saw April and the Extraordinary World, The Boy and the Beast, and The Little Prince all dubbed, and not especially well. It’s not entirely fair for me to throw in a mo-cap performance, but it isn’t the first time. I had Cumberbatch for Smaug a few years ago, for which he did motion capture (hilariouslyand these days most voice acting involves more than just reading the lines in a booth anyways.

Speaking of not being able to think of a segue, I absolutely loved Charlize Theron’s performance in Kubo and the Two String. She manages the always impressive feat of voicing multiple characters, and this one is even more impressive for reasons that I won’t go into for spoiler reasons. Also, you should see Kubo.

Scene Stealer of the Year

I want to have a category for small performances in movies that don’t really quite rise to “supporting” status but are still fun and memorable.

The Contenders:

Channing Tatum—Hail, Caesar!
Rhys Darby—Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Anna Faris—Keanu
J.K. Simmons—La La Land
Justin Timberlake—Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Two of these were close calls within one movie—Tatum is a close call over both Jonah Hill and Scarlett Johansson from Caesar, and I Bill Hader was a tough cut from Popstar. But the winner was pretty obvious, Rhys Darby’s deranged Kiwi hermit-hobo from Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Darby is great in everything he’s in, and key to my million dollar movie pitch: A Little Bit of Rhys, and Little Bit of That, starring Rhys Darby, John Rhys-Davies, and Jonathan Rhys Myers.

Best Ensemble

Another returning original category, this one celebrates the overall casting and depth of performance in a movie.

The Contenders:

Captain America: Civil War
Hail, Caesar!
Manchester By The Sea
Nocturnal Animals

Moonlight makes this list even though there’s a fairly major performance in it that I genuinely disliked (Naomie Harris, who goes way overboard in an otherwise extremely subtle film. I don’t get the love she got for that performance), which is usually disqualifying. But everyone else is so great, and I wanted to find a way to honor the three actors who play Little/Chiron/Black, none of whom can quite crack Best Supporting individually.

But Harris does prevent Moonlight from actually winning this one, and as tempted as I am to throw a curveball and give it to Civil War (the MCU is cast so damn well, and they’re pretty much all there in that movie doing their respective things), I’m going with the deep cast of Manchester By The Sea, which you’ll see a lot more of in the upcoming individual acting categories.  Also, you should see Manchester By The Sea.

Best Supporting Actress

The Contenders:

Tilda Swinton—Doctor Strange
Rooney Mara—Lion
Michelle Williams—Manchester By The Sea
Jena Malone—The Neon Demon
Angourie Rice —The Nice Guys

Yeah that’s right, an acting nod for an MCU movie! Problematic casting aside (not the last time I’ll be using that phrase, unfortunately. Fair warning) she’s absolutely fantastic in that movie. But not as fantastic as Michelle Williams is in Manchester By The Sea. She’s the best part of a very good film, which is especially impressive considering she only plays a big role in three scenes. But her advanced efficiency stats, especially her PER and VORP, are incredible, as they always are.

Best Supporting Actor

The Contenders:

Alan Rickman—Eye In The Sky
George Clooney—Hail, Caesar!
Lucas Hedges—Mancheser By The Sea
Mahershala Ali—Moonlight
Michael Shannon—Nocturnal Animals

This is a category that I absolute, emphatically agree with the overwhelming consensus this year. Mahershala Ali is breathtakingly good in Moonlight, and like Williams he does it in limited screentime—Ali’s character only appears in one segment of Moonlight’s temporal triptych but he absolutely dominates in the limited time he gets. Also, you should see Moonlight.

Best Actress

The Contenders:

Marion Cotillard—Allied
Amy Adams—Arrival
Emily Blunt—The Girl on the Train
Kim Min-Hee—The Handmaiden
Emma Stone—La La Land

I was very, very close to giving Amy two slots for both Arrival and Nocturnal Animals, but Blunt just baaaarely edges her out of that. But the top four here are all pretty damn close, and a little extra bump from Nocturnal Animals, plus some residual guilt for snubbing her, like, four times in the last five years is enough to push Amy Adams over the edge for Arrival. It doesn’t hurt that she’s great in that movie, and also in every movie.

Amy my love will you forgive me now?

Best Actor

The Contenders:

Viggo Mortensen—Captain Fantastic
Ryan Gosling—La La Land
Oliver Masucci—Look Who’s Back
Casey Affleck—Manchester By The Sea
Ryan Gosling—The Nice Guys

This was an extraordinarily weak year for male lead performances (at least that I saw, of course, though I got to most of the big ones. For this category I do regret missing Fences though), easily the weakest of the seven years I’ve been doing this. I don’t really have any theories as to why that is, and probably nothing more than a random down year. But only one of the performances listed above did I think was truly extraordinary, and it’s the only one that would’ve made the cut last year.

Unfortunately that performance is (problematic casting aside. Damn, there it is again) from Casey Affleck from Manchester By The Sea, which, I mean…look, he was the best by a large margin, and I’m a nobody and this thing doesn’t matter anyways, and, uh…you know what, let’s move on.

Best Director

For the third year in a row, I’m splitting my Best Picture and Best Director winners, which is probably bullshit but I’m doing anyways. It’s a close call this year, and I’m going with a sort of “tie goes to splitting the ticket” rule because it’s more fun that way.

The Contenders:

Denis Villeneuve—Arrival
Travis Knight—Kubo and the Two Strings
Damien Chazelle—La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan—Manchester By The Sea
Barry Jenkins—Moonlight

I have a couple problems with Moonlight (mostly Harris’ performance and an unnecessary second act plot contrivance), but Barry Jenkins’ work is not among them. Moonlight is a superlatively directed movie, and I hope we get a lot more from Jenkins in the years to come. And not just Black Panther 2 or whatever superhero movie studios will try to get him to do.

Even beyond Jenkins, I’m happy with all of these choices, which is good because there’s a pretty big drop to the next one (probably the Coens for Hail, Caesar!). Beyond the five movies above, the rest of my top ten for the year are a little wonky for Best Director slots—a comedy (Popstar), a major studio animated film (Moana), a superhero movie (Doctor Strange) and two documentaries (Tickled and Weiner, which looks weird when I write them out next to each other).

Best Picture

The Contenders:

Kubo and the Two Strings
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea

No changes from the Best Director contenders here, which makes sense considering I had a pretty solid top five this year, give or take an odd Popstar (also, you should see Popstar). This is a strong group, and Kubo in particular was my movie of the year from August through December (also, you should see Kubo). But that’s when I saw a little movie you may have heard of, the beautiful and compelling Moonlight, the Best Picture of 2016. Thanks for announcing that, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, you’re real gems.

So to wrap things up, this year was…what’s that? The stage manager is coming onstage and…we’ve had a mixup with the envelopes? Apparently La La Land has won Best Picture! This is not a joke folks. La La Land is our winner.

Sorry, I couldn’t help it. Anyways, I loved La La Land. Honestly I could’ve spent a lot more time in this piece fawning over it, but that’s no fun so I kinda broke ties (or close to ties) in a number of categories away from La La Land. But it’s a great film, entertaining as hell and compelling as both a character piece and a film about the entertainment industry. It sticks the ending marvelously, and the main end fantasy sequence (which I read as a reflection of the audience’s fantasy more than the characters) is my number two scene of the year after the standout from Manchester.

I’m confident that people will remember what they loved about La La Land in the first place once the fever of awards season dies down (and I think losing the Best Picture Oscar is the best thing that could’ve happened for the movie’s legacy long-term), and even if they don’t, well, I don’t mind loving uncool movies. The list of my favorite movies reads like a parody of unenlightened middlebrow cineaste taste. But hey, I like what I like, and this year it was La La Land.

That’ll wrap up the main event, stay tuned for the end credits. And who knows, maybe there’ll be a post-credit stinger with Thanos.

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

The final tally:

Allied: One Contender and Zero Pauls

April and the Extraordinary World: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Arrival: Eleven Contenders and Three Pauls (Best Performance By Animal, Idea, or Inanimate Object for the Ships, Best Film Editing, Best Actress for Amy Adams)

The BFG: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Captain America: Civil War: Four Contenders and Zero Pauls

Captain Fantastic: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Doctor Strange: Three Contenders and One Paul (Best Visual Effects)

The Edge of Seventeen: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Eye in the Sky: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Finding Dory: Two Contenders and Zero Pauls

The Gorilla On the Train: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Hail, Caesar!: Seven Contenders and Zero Pauls

The Handmaiden: Three Contenders and Zero Pauls

Hunt for the Wilderpeople: One Contender and One Paul (Scene Stealer of the Year for Rhys Darby)

Keanu: Two Contenders and Zero Pauls

Knight of Cups: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Kubo and the Two Strings: Thirteen Contenders and Four Pauls (Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Animated Feature, Best Vocal Performance for Charlize Theron)

La La Land: Thirteen Contenders and Three Pauls (Best Costume Design, Best Use of Music, Best Picture)

Lion: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Look Who’s Back: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Manchester By The Sea: Eight Contenders and Five Pauls (Best Scene for “Could We Ever Have Lunch”, Best Screenplay, Best Ensemble, Best Supporting Actress for Michelle Williams, Best Actor for Casey Affleck)

Moana: Five Contenders and One Paul (Best Sound Mixing)

Moonlight: Seven Contenders and Two Pauls (Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali, Best Director for Barry Jenkins)

Mr. Right: One Contender and Zero Pauls

The Nice Guys: Three Contenders and Zero Pauls

The Neon Demon: Five Contenders and One Paul (Best Cinematography)

Nocturnal Animals: Four Contenders and Zero Pauls

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping: Five Contenders and One Paul (Most Enjoyable Picture)

Rogue One: Five Contenders and Zero Pauls

Star Trek Beyond: Four Contenders and Zero Pauls

Tickled: One Contender and Zero Pauls

Zootopia: Two Contenders and Zero Pauls

That’s thirty-two movies with contenders and ten with at least one win out of the sixty-six I saw as of this writing (for a complete list of what I’ve seen from 2016, in totally fluid and arbitrary order of overall preference, click here. Note: that list will be updated as I see more movies, so if there’s more than sixty-six there, I’ve seen stuff since writing this).

Now, just for fun:

Most Overnominated: Probably Hail, Caesar!. I really liked that movie, but seven contenders is a little high for a movie that I only really liked.

Most Undernominated: Absolutely Pete’s Dragon, which is in my top fifteen movies of the year but I couldn’t find a spot for once, unfortunately. Weiner is even higher on my list without a contender, but it’s a documentary and I really don’t accommodate those here. I had to cheat just to get Tickled—currently my number eight movie of 2016—in here even once

Winner of the Inside Llewyn Davis Award for most nominations without winning: Hail, Caesar! again. But as noted above, I’m not guilty about this one, unlike other winners of this award in years past.

Best Movie You’d Never Know I’d Seen By Reading This: Pete’s Dragon. It’s not spectacular, but it’s an extremely well-made family film

Movie I Promise I Saw But Just Couldn’t Find Anywhere On Here For: I promise I saw Hidden Figures, but, well…

Movie I Fell Asleep During and I Feel Bad About That: If this happens to another prestige movie next year I might title this the Hidden Figures award.

Worst Movie Represented: I wasn’t all that wild about any of Knight of Cups, Captain Fantastic, or The BFG. The former got in here by looking super pretty, the latter two with one standout performance.

Worst Piece of Crap I Saw from 2016: Here’s to you, Suicide Squad. What a turd.

Movie I Should Be Most Ashamed of Not Seeing Before Writing This: There’s a few on my list I just didn’t get to, but I feel especially bad about two: Fences (it’s an Oscar Best Picture nominee and I needed more potential Best Actor contenders anyways) and especially Silence. The former I may or may not ever see, but it’s inconceivable that I could let a new Scorsese film go unseen for too long.

Most Nauseatingly Cute Character: Baby Dory, obviously. Good god.

Movie That I Insist Is Actually Kinda Good But No One Agrees With Me: I won’t claim it’s an amazing work of art, but I had a ton of fun with Mr. Right. It’s a derivative-as-hell “quirky hitman” movie and is honestly kinda stupid, but Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick are fantastic as the leads and, I don’t know, maybe I was in a weird mood when I saw it.

Movie That I Insist Is Awful But No One Agrees With Me: I suppose I understand why people went wild for The Lobster—it has a clever-on-paper social commentary metaphor and is from elitist cinephile favorite Yorgos Lanthimos—but man, it lost me early and often.
Most Surprising Amount of Screentime for a Computer Program: Google Earth gets a lot of run in Lion.

Most Pleasantly Surprising: Hey, I can mention Pete’s Dragon again. I kinda despise Disney’s current cashcow trend of remaking their animated classics in live action, but this one got surprisingly good reviews so I checked it out. It’s really well done, and maybe the fact that calling the original Pete’s Dragon a “classic” is generous helped—there was genuine room for improvement, and the filmmakers exploited that well.
Most Disappointing: As always there were some big blockbusters that didn’t live up to expectations (in particular, X-Men: Apocalypse really should have been such a slog. Bryan Singer is better than that) but I’m going to give this one to The Little Prince. I love the original story and had been looking forward to the movie ever since it was announced. The trailers highlighted the stop-motion animation, which is indeed quite lovely in the movie itself but is a small minority of the runtime. Most of the movie is a poorly-conceived expansion of the book, done in ugly CGI. Bummer.

The Award for Most Irritating Backlash: La La Land. I really hate Hollywood awards season, during which any movie unfortunate enough to be considered a “favorite” is ruthlessly dissected in a way no film in history could survive. That, plus the rival studio smear campaigns and run-of-the-mill Internet hottake contrarianism, leads to a pretty toxic atmosphere.

The “Really Not Worth All the Fuss” Award: Ghostbusters. It was a kinda half-assed reboot of an old franchise, which there have been a million of before and will be a million more. Hell, the fact that the cast was all women was probably the most interesting part of the movie. Just not worth the fuss.

The “It’s a Mads Mads World” Award for Best Use of Mads Mikkelson: I only wish he had gotten a little more screentime in Rogue One.

The The Artist Award for Main Promotional Image That Comes from Latest in the Film:  It isn’t as egregious as a few past winners, but the main poster for Manchester By The Sea features an image from a key late scene. Really the key late scene

Award for Most Disturbing Split-Second Shot of an Octopus: The Handmaiden. *Shiver*.

Translation Error of the Year: As noted above, April and the Extraordinary World really should’ve been titled April and the Twisted World. It’s both a more accurate translation of the French title (Avril et le Monde Truqué) as well as way more accurate to the movie’s bleak alternate history.

And that's it. Aloha all and, if by some miracle (or desperate boredom, or maybe you're, like, in prison and this is all you have access to) you're still here than thanks for reading.  We’ll see if this yearly exercise surivives my first year as a lawyer—at the very least, I suspect I’ll be drawing from a smaller pool of watched movies next year. Oh well, I’ll worry about that later.

So long!

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