The Academy Awards are always a hotly debated item.  Nominees are frequently the result of campaigning, elbow rubbing, and politicking.  That being said, I decided to go against the grain to nominate the films I think deserved everyone’s attention.  Also the ones I thought were awful.

I tried to delve into the movies that stuck with me all year.  You’ll notice some indie favorites as well as a few sections the Academy does not have.

Here are my awards (Asterisks for the winners):

1. Best Picture

a) Tree Of Life *****

— Terrence Mailk does not care what you believe, this is what he believes

b) Young Adult 

— Root for the enemy until you feel guilty, then root for no one.

c) Terri 

— This is high school, get over it.

d)  Drive 

— Eighties music and scorpion jackets and if you don’t like it I’ll step on your face


2. Best Director 

a) Steve McQueen

— “I’m essentially quite happy, but, for some reason, I have done a lot of stuff that is dark. I don’t know why that is and I don’t question it. I don’t really think you have a choice where you go as an artist.”

b) Terrence Malik *****

— “There are two ways in life: the way of nature, and the way of Grace. You must choose which one you will follow”.

c) Paul Feig

— “What’s great about the geek spirit is that life never seems to stop us, and they never seem to kill our enthusiasm, our optimism and our hunger to experience the world. We keep our sense of humor, we protect our dignity, we talk to our friends about the experience and then we start again fresh the very next day.”

d) Nicolas Refn

— “The auteur theory is such a strange theory, because you’re dealing with human beings. You only make good stuff if your collaborators are a part of your process and a part of your ideas, and there’s no point in fighting them or them fighting you. Even Ingmar Bergman had a lot of discussions with his actors about pros and cons. An auteur doesn’t have to write every single word, because the writer’s there to help the director do what the director wants to do, and that was certainly my case.”

3. Best Actor 

a) George Clooney *****

For his earnest smile (Descendants)

b) Ryan Gosling

For his creepy smile (Drive)

c) Michael Fassbender

For full frontal (Shame)

d) Leonardo DiCaprio

For all that make up (J. Edgar)


4. Best Actress 

a) Charlize Theron *****

For all that Diet Coke and Whiskey (Young Adult)

b) Rooney Mara (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo)

For all those piercings.

c) Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene)

For making a movie that lets us forget your sisters

d) Jessica Chastain (Tree Of Life, Take Shelter, The Help, The Debt)

For being awesome in every movie she was in


5. Supporting Gent

a) John Hawkes *****

He should stick to playing creepy rednecks because he is amazing at it

b) Michael Parks

Nice to see him have fun with a role that was haunting

c) Rupert Grint

The only reason the three leads had chemistry

d) Patton Oswalt

For that sex scene


6. Supporting Lady

a) Shailene Woodey

Sassy and confidant

b) Carey Mulligan

Solid needy sister

c) Melissa McCarthy *****

Hands down the funniest part of Bridesmaids

d) Amy Adams

Made the Muppets sing, literally


7. Best Adapted Script

a)  The Muppets ******

A wonderful revival

b)  Dragon Tattoo

A sizzling interpretation

c)   War Horse 

As sappy as Spielberg wanted

d)  The Descendants

Terrifying VO that ends just in time for the movie


8. Best Original Script

a) Young Adult ******

The definition of a character study

b) Midnight In Paris

Woody Allen having fun

c) Terri

The most realistic high school movie I’ve seen

d) Martha Marcy May Marlene

An interesting take on the cult film


9. Breakout Star  

a) John Boyega

Protected his block

b) Jacob Wysocki ******

So much heart as Terri

c) Maggie Elizabeth Jones

The only reason to see we bought a zoo

d) Hunter McCracken

Carried a film full of silence and opera with just his face and actions


10. Movie I Wish I Made

Attack The Block


11. Movie I Wish I Wrote

Young Adult


12. Movie Everyone Can Agree On

The Muppets


13. Worst Film  

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

I want to give the middle finger to everyone involved with this filth


14. Best Documentary

a) Project Nim

At minute 11 a woman breast feeds a chimpanzee.  It all goes insane from there.

b) If A Tree Falls: The Story Of The Earth Liberation Front

Regardless of whether or not you agree with the film’s message it is an important discourse on terrorism.

c) Loot

The emotionally gripping story of a treasure hunter’s bond with the elderly man who is helping lead him to the score of a lifetime.

d)  Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory ****

A strong case for reform of the justice system.  Compelling, unrelenting, emotionally scarring.