2015 BAM Award Considerations – February

I know that awards season on this blog just ended, and it still continues in the outside world; however, assembling those nominees is a year-long process. So the cycle begins anew with posts at the end of the month and master lists offline in preparation for the big dates of the award’s calendar year. All titles viewed, new and old,  can be seen my Letterboxd.

Eligible Titles

Futuro Beach
All the Wilderness
Still Alice
The Alps From Above
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Lilting
Splitting Adam
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Life According to Nino
Young Ones
The Boy Next Door
Jupiter Ascending

Best Picture

Futuro Beach
Kingsman: The Secret Service

Best Foreign Film

Futuro Beach
The Alps From Above
Lilting
Life According to Nino

Best Documentary

The Alps From Above

Most Overlooked Picture

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.

Futuro Beach
All the Wilderness
Lilting
Life According to Nino

Best Director

Futuro Beach
All the Wilderness
Kingsman: The Secret Service

Best Actress

Julianne Moore Still Alice
Pei-pei Cheng Lilting

Best Actor

Wagner Moura Futuro Beach
Ben Whishaw Lilting
Taron Egerton Kingsman: The Secret Service
Vegar Hoel Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead

Best Supporting Actress

Virginia Madsen All the Wilderness
Kristen Stewart Still Alice
Amrita Acharia Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Naomi Christie Lilting
Rifka Lodeizen Life According to Nino

Best Supporting Actor

Clemens Schick Futuro Beach
Jesuíta Barbosa Futuro Beach
Danny DeVitoAll the Wilderness
Stig Frode Henriksen Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Peter Bowles Lilting
Samuel L. Jackson Kingsman: The Secret Service
Colin Firth Kingsman: The Secret Service
Koen De Graeve Life According to Nino
Nicholas Hoult Young Ones

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Elle Fanning Young Ones

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Kodi Smit-McPhee All the Wilderness
Jace Norman Splitting Adam
Rohan Timmermans Life According to Nino
Kodi Smit-McPhee Young Ones

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Isabelle Fuhrman All the Wilderness

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Sávio Ygor Ramos Futuro Beach
Carl-Magnus Adner Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Seth Isaac Johnson Splitting Adam
Alex Nikolov Kingsman: The Secret Service
Aren Bouwmeester Life According to Nino

Best Cast

Futuro Beach
All the Wilderness
Still Alice
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Lilting
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Life According to Nino

Best Youth Ensemble

Splitting Adam
Life According to Nino
Young Ones

Best Original Screenplay

Futuro Beach
All the Wilderness
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Lilting
Life According to Nino
Young Ones

Best Adapted Screenplay

Still Alice
Kingsman: The Secret Service

Best Score

Futuro Beach
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Lilting
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Life According to Nino

Jupiter Ascending

Best Editing

Futuro Beach
All the Wilderness
Kingsman: The Secret Service

Young Ones

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

All the Wilderness
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Young Ones
Jupiter Ascending

Best Cinematography

Futuro Beach
All the Wilderness
Life According to Nino
Young Ones

Best Art Direction

All the Wilderness
Lilting
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Life According to Nino
Young Ones
Jupiter Ascending

Best Costume Design

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Jupiter Ascending

Best Makeup

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Jupiter Ascending

Best Visual Effects

Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Jupiter Ascending

Best (Original) Song

Futuro Beach

I commented last year that there was a film that had me reconsidering the soundtrack as a potential category. It’s happened again so I will be tracking it and seeing if it’s worth re-including this year.

Best Soundtrack

Futuro Beach
All the Wilderness

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Review – Life According to Nino

The synopsis provided for Life According to Nino is as follows:

Life is good for Nino van Doorn (8). He has a terrific brother Lucas (14), wise father Bruno and an angel of a mother, Marla. When Marla dies, Bruno can’t cope with her death. Also the values like order, responsibility, love and care they represented. The two brothers create their own world. But soon the anarchistic world is threatened by the outside world. The two brothers are prepared to fool the system but what happens is that they really become a family again.

Life According to Nino takes a potentially dour story and infuses it with some humor, vitality and quite a bit of heart to make it a fully satisfying and not at all run-of-the-mill family story.

Recently Paddington got some much deserved praise for many things but especially for underplaying the talking bear angle. In this film Nino, after a year has passed since his mother’s death, starts to hear what animals are sating, especially his rabbit Bobby. Hearing animals is not the largest focal point of this film, indicative of handling of family films overseas, especially in Benelux. What this allows is the film to keep its focus where it most needs to be (reunification of the family) and allows that aspect of the film play out naturally; for a child’s imagination is fertile and talking to friends real or imagined will happen.

This aspect of the film is buoyed by the fact that the dialogue and and voice talent assembled to voice the animals is great. It keeps that aspect of the film as light as it should be and allows it to balance the more serious moments the film has to offer.

Another interesting aspect of the film is that in social services getting involved at the insistence of some helicopter parent neighbors the trio start become very self-conscious as part of their examination involves the installation of surveillance cameras in their house. They act the part of a proper family and feel extraordinarily awkward. Hilarity ensues but then they eventually do figure out how to function again and it is useful in two ways.

Koen De Graeve is an actor who I’ve recently become quite familiar with after not having consciously seen him prior. With a breakout Best Actor nomination for Time of My Life in 2013, then that was followed up with a film in a similar vain in In the Heart. Here he completes a kind of “Death Trilogy” with his oddest character yet. It’s a very funny portrayal yet accurately depressed an disengaged yet also believable when he switches back on.

Most of the film does rest with a young actor virtually debuting, Rohan Timmermans. The only credit to his name prior to this is as a stand-in, but you’d never know it. He very naturally carries himself, and takes on scenes where he’s talking to animals and not getting anything back, and also readily delivers realistic dialogue.

Arend Bouwmeester not only conveys well a lost youth prone to bouts of hooliganism but also manages to flip the switch and be a caring, sensitive brother. He also partakes in an interesting rather visual subplot that does factor in well.

Life According to Nino is a brisk, enjoyable funny film that manages to smoothly balance elements and tones that would seem too disparate when enumerated in a list, but blend well together. It’s enjoyable and funny and refuses to be overly conformist. Two production companies that have made very enjoyable family fare (Family Affair and Waterland) produced the film and Attraction Distribution handles it in North America, if you get a chance to see it you definitely should.

7/10