Thursday, October 07, 2010

Jeremy's Film Fest Awards 2010

Over the course of twenty days I saw thirty-seven films at four international film festivals (Toronto, Sudbury, Edmonton, and Calgary) Obviously I have omitted my own film (which in addition to the thirty-seven films I saw four times as well) from below. Hopefully this helps you seek out the best of the best from my own festival experience.

Best Picture

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Rabbit Hole
Made in Dagenham
Jack Goes Boating
At World's End

And the award goes to… Rabbit Hole
This film was a surprise to me. I knew little about it outside of the premise and it just took me by storm. I consider myself a pretty movie savvy person so it takes a lot to get me to forget I'm watching a film and really get emotionally involved - it takes a hell of a lot more to make me sob like a little baby in a movie theatre. And this film does it without being manipulative. It's just a solid awesome film.

Best Canadian Film

Barney's Version
Good Neighbours
Le Divan du Monde (Everybody's Couch)
Fathers & Sons

And the award goes to… Fathers & Sons
Another film that took me by surprise. I haven't seen this film's predecessor Mothers & Daughters (but I will now). You'd have no way of knowing that this film was improvised and, more or less, unscripted. It's funny and heartwarming and I think the themes in it are about as universal as you can get. I pray that this film gets the attention that it deserves. I loved it.

Best Actor

Aaron Eckhardt - Rabbit Hole
Will Ferrel - Everything Must Go
Michael Angarano - Ceremony
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Jack Goes Boating
James Franco - Howl

And the award goes to… Aaron Eckhardt
I've loved Eckhardt for a long time but this is him at his best. If he's not nominated for an Oscar this year it will be a crime. The rest of the people in this category were really good, but Eckhardt was great.

Best Actress

Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Kat Dennings - Daydream Nation
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Tracy Wright - Trigger
Sally Hawkins - Made in Dagenham

And the award goes to… Sally Hawkins
This is a role and a film that is designed for you to love, but Sally's performance goes above that. You root for her, of course you do, but it's so much more than that. It goes without saying that usually once someone has played a role it's hard to see another actor playing it - I dare say it's impossible here. She's perfect.

Best Supporting Actor

Vincent Cassel - Black Swan
Lee Pace - Ceremony
Bob Hoskins - Made in Dagenham
Jay Brazeau - Fathers & Sons
Michael C. Hall - Peep World

And the award goes to… Jay Brazeau
I got lucky enough to get to know Jay a bit at the Edmonton Film Festival, but I promise you that that's not why he wins this. He wins this because he took a role that could have been such a cliche, or gone for just pure absurd laughs, and he made it human. I laughed at this fool, and I wanted to hug him at the same time.

Best Supporting Actress

Mila Kunis - Back Swan
Rebecca Hall - Everything Must Go
Molly Parker - Trigger
Sarah Silverman - Peep World
Amy Ryan - Jack Goes Boating

And the award goes to… Amy Ryan
This is a fine category full of fine women in fine performances, but Amy takes it. Not only is she a phenomenally versatile actress, but when she's playing an underdog outcast, you can't help but love her more. Love her.

Best Director

Ben Affleck - The Town
Carl Bessai - Fathers & Sons
John Cameron Mitchell - Rabbit Hole
Woody Allen - You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Phillip Seymour Hoffman - Jack Goes Boating

And the award goes to… Carl Bessai
This is not just because Carl is the only non-actor in the category - although it's funny how that happened. Because of how this film was made, and because of how tight it feels I can only imagine that this was a film that he lived and breathed tirelessly and all from the heart and the gut. I'm not saying that anyone else in this category put any less of themselves into their project - but this one feels special to me and so therefore I think it deserves to be awarded for that and for Carl in particular.

Best Screenplay

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
Everything Must Go
Rabbit Hole
Jack Goes Boating
At World's End

And the award goes to… Rabbit Hole
This is a story that could easily be a movie-of-the-week but it's not, and that boils down to the strength of the script and the care put into it. If this film doesn't just explode on it's own then I'll be pushing people into the theatre. It's fantastic.

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