Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Double Featurette Awards 2009 (Edmund's picks)

Playing cool Penélope Cruz can't take her eyes off the coveted award

Best Feature Film:

Still Walking & Let the Right One In

Best Documentary:
The Beaches of Agnes & Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Best Director:
Claire Denis for 35 Shots of Rum & Lu Chuan for City of Life and Death

Best Performance by an Actress:
Penélope Cruz in Broken Embraces & Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist

Best Performance by an Actor:
Michael Stuhlbarg in A Serious Man & Nicolas Cage in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

...and now for the special awards that take some explaining:

Best Performance by an Animal:
The iguanas in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans & the pink flamingos in My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
They manage to leave an indelible mark on your memory without even acting; now that's what I call screen presence. (Side note: this category was set up because I can't tell the genders of iguanas. And flamingos.)

Biggest Unintended Joke in a Feature Film:
The Sigur Ros reference in Ondine & Aaron Kwok in Murderer
Ondine has something to do with gibberish and mermaid... while Cantopop singer-turned actor Aaron Kwok gives an over-acting masterclass.

Most Underrated Feature:
Broken Embraces & Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
It's not Almodovar's fault that his excellent film features the same plot elements as every other film on his CV (he's a fucking auteur!). Just as it's not Jan Kounen's fault that he's making an atmospheric mood piece instead of an old-school biopic with his two famed protagonists.

Most Overrated Feature:
Avatar & The White Ribbon
Not that I didn't consider these decent movies. But how innovative can you call a rehash of Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, and Princess Mononoke? And does hinting at your film's opening that you're adressing the roots of extremism necessarily mean that you're addressing the roots of extremism in your film?

Most Uncanny Combo:
Orphan & Murderer
Opening in Hong Kong within a four-week period, each of these two horror flicks features an utterly ridiculous and outrageously incredible plot twist. You want to know what's truly amazing? The two big twists are the same.

The Guiltiest Pleasure:
Slumdog Millionaire & Love Exposure
I thought it was bad enough to be thoroughly entertained by a poverty porn. And then I fell hopelessly in love with a four-hour epic teenage love story on transvestite, religious cult, incest, ultra-violence, and upskirt photography.

Most Pointless Feature:
Nine & Blood: The Last Vampire
Nine is a film adaptation of a Broadway musical adapted from an all-time classic movie - minus all the elements that made the latter great in the first place; while Blood is a live-action adaptation of an animated short film - whose newly added plotlines are so mind-numblingly nonsensical they actually contradicted the original premise. Quite a feat.

Biggest Disappointment:
Face & Trash Humpers
Does it not tell you something that I had as little fun watching Laetitia Casta dance around naked as I did seeing Harmony Korine hump trash in a creepy mask? Honourable mention goes to Lou Ye for the relentlessly dark Spring Fever. In fact, his film is so dark I couldn't even tell an actor's face from another's.

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