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: Lilting

Lilting offers a sensitive look at two people coping with the loss of a loved one and trying to reach some common understanding and hold on to their dearest memories. There are quite a few barriers they must overcome to try and reach that, just one of which is language. The title may refer to the tonal quality of a song that is a cornerstone of one memory and a particular sentiment, but also can be indicative of the certain uplift that exists in this bittersweet tale.

The synopsis is as follows:

In contemporary London, a Cambodian Chinese mother mourns the untimely death of her son. Her world is further disrupted by the presence of a stranger. We observe their difficulties in trying to connect with one another without a common language, as through a translator they begin to piece together memories of a man they both loved.

This is a film that, as is intimated in the above synopsis, does feature quite a few flashback sequences. That’s not really divulging a secret as it starts in one and the break back into the present is quite elegant and effective. It’s a film that certainly adheres to the rule of thumb about breaking chronology if it makes the film better. Here where you are dealing with two people coping with a lost the past is a pivotal player and constantly intrudes on the present.

What’s interesting is here you have another multicultural film, a story in part of immigration abroad and of globalized cinema, wherein translation plays a role. Vann (Naomi Christie) is brought in to proceedings to translate conversations between Alan (Peter Bowles) and Junn (Cheng Pei-Pei, as she was credited in this film) who have caught each other’s fancy at the retirement home they’re in. Eventually Vann allows Richard (Ben Whishaw) and Junn to talk to one another and try to get a better feel for each other as well.

As this is a film that is clearly driven by its characters, their interactions and what they must overcome the cast becomes a key component of the success of the film. Ben Whishaw and Andrew Leung have real connection and chemistry and with less screentime and playing a ghost Leung has to supercede his allotted screentime and create a far bigger presence and does just that. Whishaw also has to play the torn character carrying the burden of a secret and a sort of noblesse oblige to Junn, who in turn is wonderfully rendered by Pei-pei Cheng who gives her character a sense of real dimension hitting all the notes asked of her. Naomi Christie and Peter Bowles as intermediary figures round out the ensemble and add different perspectives than those of the sometimes-combatant parties, and also add some humor and additional emotional investment.

This film is one that will be coming to home video in the US through Strand Releasing and is one with a bit of an Award pedigree with nominations at the BAFTAs, BIFAs and Sundance that is worth looking out for. While one aspect of the ending leaves you needing to engage some suspension of disbelief and let it go there is a bit of closure, although its not as powerful as some other moments in the story.

It is a tidily wrapped up simple, short story that moves quite well and is evocative without being cloying and is definitely recommended.

7/10