After 95 interviews in the Nominee Interview Series and the announcements of the Boston, New York and Toronto My Theatre Award Winners, and the My TV Award Winners, it’s time for the 2013 My Cinema Award Winners.
The Oscars snubbed a lot of our favourites again this year but we also somehow found ourselves rewarding a lot of the same people and films as most other major award shows (Her, Wolf of Wall Street, 12 Years a Slave). Last year we focused on the wonderful indies that went overlooked and made sure to include genre-specific categories where we got to pay tribute to high-achievers within a less conventional awards-winning framework. This year we shot straight- one category per, well, category (mostly because we generally found 2013 a little less cinematically inspiring than 2012 and had fewer nominees to honour). Sometimes we still went genre (just because the Oscars are too pretentious for comic books doesn’t mean we have to be) and sometimes we still went indie (just because you didn’t see it doesn’t mean we didn’t) but sometimes we went with The Wolf of Wall Street.
Read on for this year’s full list of winners.
Joaquin Phoenix (Her)
We love Joaquin. We’ve always loved Joaquin, or at least since we first encountered him in Gladiator (how amazing was he in Gladiator?!) but his performance in Her simply blew our minds. We consider him the best actor of his generation (yes, a generation that includes Christian Bale, so you know we mean business) so how does he get Oscar-snubbed? We don’t know, but we’re making up for it here.
Olivia Wilde (Drinking Buddies)
Olivia Wilde is so underrated. We don’t know if people are underestimating her because of her face or because she was on The OC or what but with her thoughtful, evocative, nuanced performance in Drinking Buddies (all improvised, by the way) she further solidified her place as one of our favourite actresses in Hollywood.
Best Supporting Actor
Tom Hiddleston (Thor: The Dark World)
More than Robert Downey Jr, more than Joss Whedon, more even than Kevin Feige, Tom Hiddleston is our Marvel Studios MVP. Okay, fine, that’s an overstatement (especially re: Feige) but Loki is the character we tune in for and Hiddleston is the reason why we do. The twinkle in his eye, the dry delivery, the superiority and inferiority complexes fighting it out just beneath his carefully constructed surface- he may be in superhero movies but he’s working just as hard as he did on Coriolanus (which was superb, in case you were wondering).
Best Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
What’s the use in bucking the trend on this one? Lupita is a shiny, wonderful beacon of strength and smarts- exactly the sort of next-gen leading lady Hollywood needs. Her powerful performance in the Best Picture Oscar Winner was undeniable.
Forest Whitaker! Oprah! David Oyelowo! Terrence Howard! Lenny Kravitz! Cuba Gooding Jr.! Robin Williams! Liev Schreiber! John Cusack! James Marsden! Minka Kelly! Jesse Williams! Elijah Kelley! Mariah Carey! Alex Pettyfer! Alan Rickman! Jane Fonda! Vanessa Redgrave! I mean, come on. Top marks to Oprah, Oyelowo, Howard and Marsden who were our favourites.
Baz Luhrmann (The Great Gatsby)
Baz took a leap with The Great Gatsby. Though big is kind of his thing, he went really big here. Glitzy, anachronistic, artificial- the effect was both stunning and distancing. The fact that that was the intended effect seemed to baffle critics and somehow this film got panned. But we think it was not only a strong directorial vision but an interesting and apt interpretation of Fitzgerald’s themes. No other director put as big of a stamp on their film this year and we think the risk paid off.
Spike Jonze (Her)
Her was simply an astounding feat of storytelling. Jonze’s futuristic world was thoughtfully detailed (his thoughts on the future of video game technology alone were impressive) and his characters crisp and deep but what got to us was the inventiveness of his storytelling, his emotional capacity, his ability to see beyond the typical limitations most filmmakers would have explored in the relationship between Theodore and Samantha. Her was a work of staggering imagination and insight, easily the best of the year.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Thinking about Best Picture, we try to make it about the whole movie. Something that got everything right from script to direction to acting to music. And this year we wanted to go with something ambitious after paying tribute to a lot of smaller films in 2012. When we thought about a top-to-bottom flawless execution, the film that came closest was The Wolf of Wall Street. Fantastic performances all around in one of our favourite scripts of the year with stylistic, focused direction and on-point details in costuming, set dressing, music and cinematography. When literally the only thing a film does wrong is editing (and even then, it’s just the length, not the pace), it’s got to be the best picture of the year.
Emerging Artist Award
Miles Teller is one of those young actors who radiates intelligence. Okay, maybe not in Footloose– but that was intentional. In most roles, he plays smarter-than-your-average-bear motormouths (our favourite kind of folk) and he does so with charm to spare. He first caught our eye in 2010’s screen adaptation of Rabbit Hole as the guilt-ridden Jason then flipped the switch to play the ebullient simpleton Willard in 2011’s Footloose (a ridiculous film that was enjoyable just for Teller’s delightful performance and the few scenes pulled straight from the 1984 original). In 2013 he had what is being thought of as his breakout role in The Spectacular Now opposite Shailene Woodley (he was sensational as charismatic but troubled Sutter) but he’s already working on topping it. With no fewer than 5 films on the docket for 2014 and another 4 already scheduled beyond that, Miles Teller is a name you will soon know, if you don’t already. So far in 2014 he’s stood out in Divergent as angry Dauntless trainee Peter and completely stolen the show in one of our favourite films so far this year- That Awkward Moment (don’t roll your eyes- the trailers were terrible but That Awkward Moment was really pretty great). He’s clever, he’s unique, he has a huge range- just you wait for Miles Teller.
Performer of the Year
blah blah blah, McConaissance. Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wall Street, Mud (which was dumb, but still counts), and now True Detective– it seems that there’s no stoping the new, serious McConaughey. We love a good remodelling; anytime the world is open to accepting something new from someone they’ve long-since pigeonholed, we want to give the world a standing ovation. We’re proud of Matt’s determination to be taken seriously and we’re thrilled to see him really shine when he picks the right roles. Is there a side of us that wishes he would make The Wedding Planner 2? Of course there is. But there’s still no arguing with his dominance over 2013 in films maybe just a little bit less enchanting than The Wedding Planner.
Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez w/ Christophe Beck (Frozen)
Some people weren’t as delighted by Frozen‘s script as we were. We personally loved Elsa’s journey and Anna’s struggles, the contrasting prince characters and amusing sidekicks, not to mention the beautiful, forward-thinking resolution. But the one thing we all agree on is the music. A much bigger hullaballoo should have surrounded the final letter of Robert Lopez’s newly minted EGOT. He and Kristen Anderson-Lopez’s songs captured that old Alan Menken Disney magic (the use of strings alone…) while Christophe Beck created some of the most beautiful score for film this year. It’s been almost two decades since a Disney soundtrack dominated our ipods; Robert, Kristen and Christophe brought that magical feeling back while breaking our hearts then making them soar. So there’s only one question left: Do you want to build a snowman?