2013 BAM Award Considerations – May

Last year I had one massive running list and it became very cumbersome to add to, and to read I’m sure. By creating a new post monthly, and creating massive combo files offline, it should make the process easier for me and more user-friendly for you, the esteemed reader. Enjoy.

Eligible Titles

Deep Dark Canyon
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
Iron Man 3
Mud
Jacob
In Their Skin
Star Trek Into Darkness
2 + 2
Yossi
The Great Gatsby
ABCs of Death
This Girl is Badass
After Earth
Dracula
Epic
Space Warriors

Best Picture

Iron Man 3
Mud
2 + 2

Best Foreign Film

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
2 + 2
Yossi

Best Documentary

Last year this was an omitted category, due mostly to the fact that too few total candidates existed to make the slate feel legitimate. I will hope to be able to rectify that this year.

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

Most Overlooked Film

As intimated in my Most Underrated announcement this year, I’ve decided to make a change here. Rather than get caught up in me vs. the world nonsense and what a film’s rating is on an aggregate site, the IMDb or anywhere else, I want to champion smaller, lesser-known films. In 2011 with the selection of Toast this move was really in the offing. The nominees from this past year echo that fact. So here, regardless of how well-received something is by those who’ve seen it, I’ll be championing indies and foreign films, and the occasional financial flop from a bigger entity.

Deep Dark Canyon
In Their Skin
2 + 2
Yossi

Best Director

Iron Man 3
Mud
2 + 2

Best Actress

Gwyneth Paltrow Iron Man 3
Selma Blair In Their Skin
Julieta Diaz 2 + 2
Carey Mulligan The Great Gatsby
Marta Gastini Dracula

Best Actor

Spencer Treat Clark Deep Dark Canyon
Nick Eversman Deep Dark Canyon
Robert Downey, Jr. Iron Man 3
Tye Sheridan Mud
Chris Pine Star Trek Into Darkness
Joshua Close In Their Skin
Leonardo DiCaprio The Great Gatsby
Adrian Saur 2 + 2
Ohad Knoller Yossi
Will Smith After Earth
Thomas Kretschmann Dracula

Best Supporting Actress

Rebecca Hall Iron Man 3
Reese Witherspoon Mud
Sarah Paulson Mud
Rachel Miner In Their Skin
Carla Peterson 2 + 2
Orly Silbersatz Yossi
Asia Argento Dracula

Best Supporting Actor

Ted Levine Deep Dark Canyon
Guy Pearce Iron Man 3
Ben Kingsley Iron Man 3
Matthew McConaughey Mud
Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek Into Darkness
James D’Arcy In Their Skin
Joel Edgerton The Great Gatsby
Tobey Maguire The Great Gatsby
Juan Minujin 2 + 2
Oz Zehavi Yossi
Jaden Smith After Earth
Rutger Hauer Dracula

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Grace Powell Jacob
Ryan Simpkins Space Warriors

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Tye Sheridan Mud
Jaden Smith After Earth
Thomas Horn Space Warriors

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Bonnie Sturdivant Mud
Savannah Jayde Space Warriors

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Ty Simpkins Iron Man 3
Jacob Lofland Mud
Travis Hester Jacob
Quinn Lord In Their Skin
Alex Ferris In Their Skin
Tomas Wicz 2 + 2
Callan McAuliffe The Great Gatsby
Tasman Palazzi The Great Gatsby
Greyson Russell Space Warriors

Best Cast

Deep Dark Canyon
Iron Man 3
Mud
Star Trek Into Darkness
In Their Skin
The Great Gatsby
2 + 2

Best Youth Ensemble

Iron Man 3
Mud
Jacob
In Their Skin
2 + 2
The Great Gatsby
Space Warriors

Best Original Screenplay

Deep Dark Canyon
Mud
2 + 2

Best Adapted Screenplay

Iron Man 3
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Great Gatsby

Best Score

Mud
Star Trek Into Darkness
In Their Skin
2 + 2
After Earth
Dracula

Best Editing

Iron Man 3
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
Mud
Star Trek Into Darkness
2 + 2
The Great Gatsby
After Earth

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

Deep Dark Canyon
Iron Man 3
Mud
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Great Gatsby
After Earth
Dracula

Best Cinematography

Deep Dark Canyon
Iron Man 3
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
Mud
Star Trek Into Darkness
In Their Skin
The Great Gatsby
Dracula

Best Art Direction

Iron Man 3
Mud
Star Trek Into Darkness
2 + 2
The Great Gatsby
After Earth
Dracula

Best Costume Design

Iron Man 3
The Great Gatsby
After Earth
Dracula

Best Makeup

Deep Dark Canyon
Iron Man 3
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Great Gatsby
After Earth
Dracula

Best Visual Effects

Iron Man 3
Star Trek Into Darkness
The Great Gatsby
After Earth

Best (Original) Song

Jacob Bercovici Deep Dark Canyon
Ben Nichols Mud
The Great Gatsby
Yossi
Epic

Advertisements

Django Unchained: The Politics of Language

Introduction

The first full-length post on Django Unchained, my choice as Best Picture of 2012 was my first guest post and first translated post. However, owing to the accolades I gave it, and the wait, it was time to post my own thoughts on the film. This is the second of four posts. The first can be found here.

The Politics of Language

This brings us to the racial component of the film. Here’s where the mistaken impression about genre can come in for many people. There is comedy in this film, but it’s not a comedy. This is no more a comedy than For a Fistful of Dollars is. Yes, it’s funny the way Django turns around his former owners line and says to him “I like the way you die, boy.” It’s also funny when Clint Eastwood in For a Fistful of Dollars changes his intial coffin order to four. It doesn’t make either film a comedy.

However, the facade of a western is where the similarity between the film ends. The moments of overt comedy are there for you to laugh at in Django Unchained. The Klan eyehole scene may have been the funniest scene in any film I saw last year simply because it was such an ingenious cutting down of a hateful organization that seeks to taunt, terrify and kill. Yes, even some of the laughs can be tinged with uneasiness, but that’s the goal.

The death of slave owners is designed to be laughed at, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some deadened reactions to that. Upon introducing another, even more risqué skit than he had done previously (this one about a white family with a coincidentally racist name) Dave Chappelle said something to the effect of “Apparently, people didn’t think killing a slave owner was funny. I could watch that all day.” Which brings us to another source of controversy in this film the usage of the N-word.

Django Unchained (2012, The Weinstein Company)

Is it difficult to listen to it that many times, and spouted so hatefully? Of course. Especially when either Django or Stephen uses it. That’s the point and intent for a modern audience. Then there’s also the fact that that’s not far off the frequency you would’ve heard back then.

Yes, some words invariably cause issues as I noted in The Gay Dilemma, but when a script is well-crafted you can go a step beyond what is a generally accepted politically-correct norm and make a point as in The Sitter. I’m not one for censorship, and am in favor of artistic license, and the word belongs in this film as much as it does in Huckleberry Finn. In others it may be gratuitous and unnecessary, but that’s why I tend to take things like this on a case-by-case basis.

Furthermore, one shouldn’t allow the presence of a word, even one as disparaging and denigrating as that one, obscure the totality of the film. While he does get assistance, Django gets necessary training to be able to be the hero of the story, which he is. Will Smith’s assessment about Django’s secondary nature is only accurate if you’re into counting words of dialogue. King’s departure from the narrative gives Django plenty of time when the tale is his alone. He’s the one who has flashbacks and whose goals drive the story. Most importantly, in terms of race, Django’s nobility and heroism is not shown solely through his fortitude, his ability to withstand punishment like Kunta Kinte; his strength is his ability to fight back. And as much training as he gets, his intelligence is something he’s born with not given.