20 February 2011
For the first annual My Cinema Awards our writers got together to honour the best of the best in the 2010 film landscape. Out of the 4 or 5 nominees in each of our 12 categories, these are the ones who stood out the most to us this year. Some are multi-award winners or Oscar shoe-ins, others are lesser known gems that we think made a huge contribution to cinema this year. So without further ado, here are the 2010 My Cinema Award Winners:
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale (The Fighter)
One of only a few categories this year where the decision was both unanimous and immediate, Bale was the only possible winner in this category. We all adore Tom Hardy and Jeremy Renner, think Kieran Culkin saved Scott Pilgrim and know The Social Network would be nowhere without the charming and talented Andrew Garfield, but this was Bale’s year to take home the prize. He consistently disappears into his roles, never more so than in The Fighter, the performance of the year in our opinion.
Best Supporting Actress
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Black Swan is a tricky movie for the My Cinema staff. Some of us loved it, others hated it. But the one thing we can agree on is that Mila Kunis stole it. The lovable comedienne stepped out way beyond where anyone thought she could go with this role and proved herself an exceptional actress in the process. As much as we love the other nominees in this category (Gwyneth Paltrow, Amy Adams, Eva Mendes and Marion Cotillard), Kunis is a full head above the rest.
Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
This was a tough category. It’s full of good performances from actors we love now (Russell Brand, Jake Gyllenhaal) and have for a very long time (Robert Downey Jr, Ben Stiller). But of all the nominees, it was Ruffalo who really showed us something new. As the sperm donor father of the teenagers in The Kids Are All Right, he gave the most layered performance of his career so far.
Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical
Emma Stone (Easy A)
In her review of Easy A, My Cinema writer Rachael called Emma Stone “a one-woman great cast”, which she is. Rivaled by such immense talents as Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Anne Hathaway and brilliant newcomer Joey King, Stone still soars to the top of the pack as the only one of the lot to fully anchor her own film. Easy A was not only a great film, it was Emma Stone’s film, a pressure she handled with nothing less than grace and hilarity.
Best Actor in a Drama
James Franco (127 Days)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Okay, we just couldn’t pick one. The best actor in a drama category this year is stacked. Colin Firth definitely deserves all the award love he’s been getting for one of the best performances of his career (though we consider last year’s Single Man the greater feat) and Mark Whalberg and Ryan Gosling gave strong performances deserving of far more praise than they’ve been getting as the truly overlooked stars in this category. But Franco and Eisenberg, in our opinion, were truly the defining leading men of the season, for completely different reasons. Franco is the one-man-band who played the entirety of the brilliant 127 Hours on his own. It’s a painfully gritty performance with desperate humour and a spiraling of hopelessness and defiance that’s unrivaled. But then there’s Eisenberg. He’s the man at the centre of one of the greatest films of the decade. His subtle, complex and lonely portrayal of a fictionalized Mark Zuckerberg gets at the very core of what a great actor can do. At the end of the day we simply couldn’t choose, so they both get to win. Because they both made this year in film what it was.
Best Actress in a Drama
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)
The women were much more of mixed bag this year. It wasn’t the strongest year for female drama performances (though they put up a brilliant showing in the comedy categories). But while every other organization is awarding Natalie Portman for her daring role in Black Swan, we thought we’d take the opportunity to point out the excellent work Gwyneth Paltrow did in Country Strong and how far Emma Watson has come in the Harry Potter franchise to play the emotional centre of The Deathly Hallows Part One and break our hearts with a simple “obliviate” spell. But it’s Michelle Williams in the heartbreaking romantic tragedy Blue Valentine who ultimately won our hearts (and our votes). She’s come a long way from Jen Lindley and Williams just keeps getting better.
Danny Boyle (127 Hours)
It was an amazing year for directors. Chris Nolan stepped out again with the mind-bending directorial symphony that was Inception, David Fincher directed an almost perfect film in The Social Network and Ben Affleck solidified his place as one of the great directors of his generation with The Town. But it was Danny Boyle’s visual masterclass of 127 Hours that really takes the cake. With one man, some rocks and a whole lot of daring, Boyle created one of the most incredibly directed films to hit theatres in a very long time.
Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
This was another one of the easiest decisions we made. The whole My Entertainment World team (from My Cinema to My TV to My Theatre) loves Sorkin, so awarding his best film script to date was a no brainer. That said, in any other year, this award could have gone to any of the other brilliant nominees. As great a year as it was for directors, it was an even better one for writers. Lisa Chodolenko and Stuart Blumberg redefined the family dramedy with The Kids Are All Right as Jacob Tierney and Bert V Royal did for teen movies with The Trotsky and Easy A respectively. Meanwhile, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and Michael Arndt performer the impossible by capping off the Toy Story trilogy with Pixar’s best script yet. As I said, any of them could have won any other year, but Sorkin has always been and will probably always be generally unrivaled in our eyes.
Best Animated Film
Toy Story 3
Speaking of Toy Story and easy decisions, there was no way anyone else could have won Best Animated Film in 2010. How to Train Your Dragon was a surprisingly wonderful film and Tangled and Despicable Me were both funny with big doses of heart. But Toy Story 3 was the most moving film we’ve seen in years, animated or not, and there was no way for it not to win. It re-introduced some of animated film’s greatest characters (Woody! Buzz!), brought to life some absolutely brilliant new ones (Lotso! Ken!) and engaged them in the most touching, funny and enthralling plot ever to be marketed at kids. It was truly a brilliant achievement in film.
Joan Rivers: a Piece of Work
Documentaries also had a brilliant 2010. From the pure delight of the interestingly unifying Babies to the provocative misery of I’m Still Here‘s social experiment to the grim realities laid out in Waiting for Superman and Inside Job, documentaries were all over the board this year, all of them informative, all of them affecting. But from a storytelling perspective, none were quite as compelling as the candid exploration of Joan Rivers and her tragicomedy of a life story. It made us laugh, it made us cry and it made us rethink how we life our own lives. It really was a piece of work.
Writer/Director Jacob Tierney’s Canadian teen movie about a reincarnated Russian revolutionary was a longshot choice but one we’re absolutely sure of. Sure The Kids Are All Right and Easy A were fantastic, The Other Guys amusing and Burlesque a nice surprise, but The Trotsky was innovative, touching and laugh-out-loud hilarious while never surrendering its brazenly dorky intellectualism. It wasn’t just the best Canadian film we’ve ever seen, it was one of the best films we’ve ever seen. Full Stop.
The Social Network
If you didn’t see this one coming you weren’t paying very much attention. My Cinema posted no fewer than 3 major features on the film the week it came out, saw it multiple times in the theatre and have already given it 2 major My Cinema Awards for the year (Best Actor and Best Screenplay). We love Sorkin, we love Fincher, we love Eisenberg and Garfield and Timberlake. We also love Zuckerberg and Saverin and even the Winklevi. And that’s without mentioning our intense love of Facebook itself (20,376 My Entertainment World fans and counting). The Social Network is technically brilliant (from script to visuals to sound to performances to marketing), timely, meaningful and smart. It amuses us, warns us, teaches us and tricks us all in one go. It’s the film of our generation, so it’s obviously the My Cinema film of 2010.
Stay tuned for the announcement of our Honorary Award for 2010: the “better than the best” award for standout achievement in any category.