Birthday Movies 2013

This is a new edition of this post, it’s a follow-up to one wherein I chronicled the films I could recall having viewed on my birthday. Some have been good to great, some have been awful. I usually try to make the selection something befitting a mood I wouldn’t mind being in on that day (hence I saved Amour for today) and something I think I would remember. I think both the titles from yesterday. For a guide to what these ratings mean, please go here.

Twixt

Twixt (2011, American Zoetrope)

This is a film that I wanted to see first because it’s Coppola returning to horror, but then also because of some of the people involved. I cannot argue by any means that it’s perfect. However, if there’s one thing that gets under my skin is when people argue “It’s just a horror movie” implying: there’s a ceiling to how good it can be, or it’s OK if it’s stupid, or worse, it’s allowed to be unambitious. I don’t think this film falls into any of those tappings. It’s hard to say if going beyond a standard horror film’s running time would’ve benefitted or hurt it, but I think it may have hurt. I recall that why I liked My Soul to Take so much was underscored by what was left on the cutting room floor. The exposition that was deleted spoon-fed things I and my friends pieced together after it was over, and that made it more powerful. There are deeper mysteries and enigmas here and multiple plots all horrific and well-wrought, though they don’t always seem so. After seeing him in a few that were not-so-great, it’s good to see Val Kilmer in a fascinating horror film.

8/10

Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine (2013, Sony Pictures Classics)

The allusion I made above to occasional greatness definitely applies here. For a filmmaker such as Woody Allen who on many occasions has been accused of using his films as therapy and being un-cinematic this film is a rebuttal. For myself, as a long-time devotee, it’s wondrous not only to see him work a story that again employs a wonderful editorial language that is quickly-learned and never off; but also such a non-judgmental character study. It’s a film of revelation rather than reparation. It has its humor, too, but is perhaps the most searing, honest drama he’s committed to the screen since Husbands and Wives. The casting, as well as the cast, is flawless; but it’s really Cate Blanchett who makes this film work. She’s as powerful, if not more so, in her character’s detached, pained moments as she is in the “big” ones, which is what makes her turn so immaculate. It’s a performance that towers not only due to the sparsity of great roles afforded women in the American cinema lately, but because of how titanic an effort it is on its own.

Engaging and enthralling from the first frame this film of a life shattered, whether by design or not, may be his most Bergmanesque, and is truly one of the year’s best.

10/10

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2013 BAM Award Considerations – August

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

Under the Bed
Funeral Kings
Swoopes
Pat XO
Cherry Tree Lane
The Diplomat
Elysium
We’re The Millers
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Shadow People
Kick-Ass 2
Twixt
Blue Jasmine
Amour
Runner
The 99ers
Kiss of the Damned
Branded
Museum Hours
A Haunting at Silver Falls
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Picture

Elysium
Blue Jasmine

Best Foreign Film

Amour
Museum Hours
*

*How much of a foreign film it ends up being ends up being a little debatable, its split between English and German. I don’t have an Academy-like percentage.

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.

Swoopes
Pat XO
The Diplomat
Branded
The 99ers
Runner

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.

Funeral Kings
Shadow People
Twixt
Museum Hours

Best Director

Funeral Kings
Elysium
Blue Jasmine
Amour

Best Actress

Alice Braga Elysium
Jennifer Aniston We’re the Millers
Chloe Grace Moretz Kick-Ass 2
Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine
Emmanuelle Riva Amour
Mary Margaret O’Hara Museum Hours
Oprah Winfrey Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Actor

Jonny Weston Under the Bed
Matt Damon Elysium
Jason Sudeikis We’re the Millers
Logan Lerman Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Dallas Roberts Shadow People
Aaron Taylor-Johnson Kick-Ass 2
Val Kilmer Twixt
Alec Baldwin Blue Jasmine
Jean-Louis Trintignant Amour
Bobby Sommer Museum Hours
Forest Whitaker Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Supporting Actress

Jodie Foster Elysium
Kathryn Hahn We’re the Millers
Sally Hawkins Blue Jasmine
Isabelle Huppert Amour
Ela Piplits Museum Hours
Adriane Lenox Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Supporting Actor

Sharlto Copley Elysium
Wagner Moura Elysium
Will Poulter We’re the Millers
Stanley Tucci Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Douglas Smith Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Jim Carrey Kick-Ass 2
John Leguizamo Kick-Ass 2
Bruce Dern Twixt
Ben Chaplin Twixt
Bobby Cannavale Blue Jasmine
David Oyelowo Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Chloe Grace Moretz Kick-Ass2

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Alex Maizus Funeral Kings

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Emma Tremblay Elysium
Valentina Giron Elysium
Katelyn Mager Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Elle Fanning Twixt
Chloe Barach Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Gattlin Griffith Under the Bed
Dylan Hartigan Funeral Kings
Jordan Puzzo Funeral Kings
Maxwell Perry Cotton Elysium
Mattie Liptak Shadow People
Samuel Braun Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Bjorn Yearwood Percy Jackson:Sea of Monsters
Daniel Jenks Blue Jasmine
Max Rutherford Blue Jasmine
Michael Rainey Jr. Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Isaac White Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Cast

Funeral Kings
Elysium
We’re the Millers
Kick-Ass 2
Twixt
Amour
Museum Hours
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Youth Ensemble

Funeral Kings
Elysium
Shadow People
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Twixt
Blue Jasmine
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Original Screenplay

Elysium
Shadow People
Twixt
Blue Jasmine
Amour
Museum Hours

Best Adapted Screenplay

Funeral Kings
Kick-Ass 2
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Score

Under the Bed
Elysium
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Best Editing

Funeral Kings
Elysium
Shadow People
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Kick-Ass 2
Twixt
Blue Jasmine
Museum Hours
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

Elysium
Kick-Ass 2

Best Cinematography

Elysium
Twixt
Blue Jasmine
Amour
Kiss of the Damned
Museum Hours
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Art Direction

Shadow People
Kick-Ass 2
Twixt
Amour
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Costume Design

Elysium
Kick-Ass 2
Twixt
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Makeup

Under the Bed
Elysium
Twixt
Kiss of the Damned
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

Best Visual Effects

Under the Bed
Elysium
Twixt

Best (Original) Song

Funeral Kings
We’re the Millers
Twixt