2015 BAM Award Considerations – June

It seems that awards season on this blog just ended, 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. A collection of most, if not all titles viewed, can be seen on my Letterboxd.

Eligible Titles

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Garage Sale Mystery: The Deadly Room
Max
Gerontophilia
A Deadly Adoption
Lava
Inside Out
One Crazy Cruise
Still
Slow West
Spud 3: Learning to Fly
Maggie
Jurassic World
Kung Fury
Insidious: Chapter 3
Aloha
William’s Lullaby
Grace of Monaco

Spy

Best Picture
Inside Out
Still
Slow West
Jurassic World

Spy

Best Foreign Film

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury

Best Documentary

 

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.

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Gerontophilia
A Deadly Adoption
Still
William’s Lullaby

Best Director
Inside Out
Still
Slow West
Jurassic World

Best Actress


Kristen Wiig A Deadly Adoption
Abigail Breslin Maggie
Stefanie Scott Insidious: Chapter 3
Nicole Kidman Grace of Monaco

Melissa McCarthy Spy

Best Actor

Will Ferrell A Deadly Adoption
Aiden Gillen Still
Michael Fassbender Slow West
Arnold Schwarzenegger Maggie
Chris Pratt Jurassic World
David Sandberg Kung Fury
Richard Roy Sutton William’s Lullaby

Best Supporting Actress

Brooke Lyons A Deadly Adoption

Best Supporting Actor

Richard Kind Inside Out
Sonny Young Still
Kodi Smit-McPhee Slow West
Ethan Drumm William’s Lullaby

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Amalie Kruse Jensen Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Oscar Dietz Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Josh Wiggins Max
Kodi Smit-McPhee Slow West

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Astris Juncher-Benzon Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Mia Xitali Max
Alyvia Alyn Lind A Deadly Adoption


Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Samuel Ting Graf Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Dejon LaQuake Max
Ty Simpkins Jurassic World
Tate Berney Insidious: Chapter 3
Jaeden Liberher Aloha
Toby Bisson William’s Lullaby

Best Cast

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
A Deadly Adoption
Inside Out
Still

Best Youth Ensemble

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Max

Best Original Screenplay


Gerontophilia
A Deadly Adoption
Inside Out
Still
Slow West
Kung Fury
Insidious: Chapter 3
William’s Lullaby

Best Adapted Screenplay

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury

Best Score

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
A Deadly Adoption
Inside Out
Still
Slow West
Jurassic World
Kung Fury
William’s Lullaby

Best Editing


Inside Out
Still
Slow West
Jurassic World
William’s Lullaby

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Slow West
Jurassic World
Kung Fury
Insidious: Chapter 3


Best Cinematography


Slow West
Jurassic World
Kung Fury
William’s Lullaby

Best Art Direction

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Still
Slow West
Jurassic World
Kung Fury


Best Costume Design

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Slow West
Jurassic World

Best Makeup


Still
Slow West
Grace of Monaco

Best Visual Effects

Antboy 2: Revenge of the Red Fury
Jurassic World
Kung Fury

Best (Original) Song

Spud 3

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


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Review: William’s Lullaby

William’s Lullaby is a film about how the inability to integrate events of the past consciously into one’s being can lead to the dissolution of the present, and even the future. This is not just sophistry but I believe the most succinct way to encapsulate the response to the dramatic question this film poses, or for lack of a better word the moral. It’s the best way to discuss a film wherein the less one knows the better it will likely end up being.

The subject matter can get a bit heavy, and it was actually a film that haunted me for a bit, and made it a little difficult to write about, but if you’re open to cinematic experiences across the emotional spectrum it’s well worth looking into and investing your time in.

Here is the synopsis, and it’s really as much as you want going in:

A single father struggles to raise his five-year-old son while coming to terms with a trauma from his childhood.

William's Lullaby (2014, Nicholas Arnold Productions)

One of the most interesting things about the film is some of the chances it takes. It’s labeled on the IMDb as a drama/mystery, which are accurate. However, in trying to deal with a mostly repressed pass it certain possesses a good deal of a the character of a psychological thriller. Yet, the endgame isn’t as obvious or trite and the concept not high, but still very intriguing. There are moments in Thomas’ (Richard Roy Sutton) mind that we are privy to us that are rendered as skillfully frightening as in a full-on horror film. In fact, it gave me one of the better jolts in a non-horror film I’ve experienced in recent memory. Even with all this blended in the film does have a fairly even handle on its tone and tenor.

The build and progression is a bit unorthodox, and some of the balance among hiding information, revealing it, then accepting and moving forward is slightly askew, but it ultimately creates a cinematic language that becomes easy to follow, and the film hits a great stride in the second half such that I was prepared for it to go on a bit more after it ended. That’s saying quite a bit with a film that burns slowly to start and runs nearly two hours.

The film as a whole does grow as it moves on, which is saying quite a bit, as it usually works in the inverse. The edit, score, as a whole, and moments in the cinematography help buoy it a great deal. By the time the facts come to the fore and his whole arc is displayed Richard Roy Sutton is quite impressive in the role of the distraught now-single father; Robert Lawton possesses a screen presence and sagacity that belies his inexperience on film at his advanced age in his role; conversely, Toby Bisson deals with material far more difficult than most young actors his age are asked to deal with and does so with near-prodigious ability.

William's Lullaby (2014, Nicholas Arnold Productions)

As this film deals literally with the workings of the mind, the subconscious, and the havoc that can wreak on one’s life and stability, particularly following newfound trauma; it’s understandable that the structure is a bit out of the ordinary. It deals with memories, dreams and visions, and such brings to mind Fellini’s quote about the natural kinship the language of film and dreams share.

The courage of this film, the emotions it stirs, the questions it raises, how it goes about revealing its truths, and guarding its mysteries generates enough power to overcome the sparse shortcomings it has and is a worthy investment.

8/10

William’s Lullaby is now available on DVD and digital platforms. Further information about the cast and crew can be found on the film’s official website.