2012 has been a very solid year for film. We’ve had Bond’s 50th anniversary in all its glory, we’ve had the unwanted news of the new Star Wars films by Disney being planned, and we’ve had a swarm of re-releases adding 3D into the mix. No films this year have made it into my top 10 of all time, which is surprising and also a shame, but that’s not to say it didn’t have its moments. So here we are, end of year awards time: here is my personal awards ceremony for the best, and worst, of 2012 in film-making.
Best Film of the year: Looper
Looper was a gem. An absolute rollercoaster of a movie, and enjoyably brilliant and original sci-fi, Looper was set in a world where the future has no way to kill people without getting caught, so they send them back to the past to be assassinated. But when the assassin’s time is up they send the assassin’s future self back to ‘close the loop’, and when Joseph Gordon Levitt’s future self, Bruce Willis, avoids the close, a dark and haunting adventure begins, and so does one of the finest and most original pieces of sci-fi in decades. Nothing short of a masterpiece.
The Dark Knight Rises
Worst film of the year: Taken 2
This film was just a complete disaster. Set not long after the original film, it failed to come up with any sort of original ideas, with a half-arsed plot about Uncles or Fathers looking for revenge, or some bollocks. The direction was woeful, the brutality was cut out and any sort of enjoyment was destroyed with the fact they actually tied Liam Neeson up in a dirty room for most of the film. Not that he was any good. In fact, no one was good. It was like watching a parody effort, that was designed to make you laugh. Which I did. A lot.
The Phantom Menace 3D (It shouldn’t count, but it’s so bad it has to really)
Director of the Year: Christopher Nolan
Probably my favourite director who is still alive, his work this year was minimal but pure genius. To end such a loved series with The Dark Knight Rises was wonderful to see, the supposedly impossible to match The Dark Knight nearly getting trumped, and the most perfect of endings being given to us. From the man who brought me my favourite ever film in Memento, redefined the Superhero genre in his rebooted Batman, and gave us the movie of 2010 in Inception, I expect nothing less.
Sam Mendes (Skyfall)
Peter Jackson (The Hobbit- An Unexpected Journey)
Best Actor: Javier Bardem
A surprising choice I’m sure, but the right one. Simply put, Javier Bardem made himself the best Bond villain ever. Brilliantly playing off Daniel Craig, he delivered a charm-filled and sinister element to the film, making him guiltily likeable. He was everything a Bond villain should be, and was the main reason why Skyfall stands tall with the best Bond films. Skyfall, and 2012, wouldn’t have been the same without him.
Andy Serkis (Gollum- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Michael Fassbender (David- Prometheus)
Best Actress: Anne Hathaway
Most people will hate me for this one. It’s not because she’s hot. She is hot. Especially in the suit. But for a woman who I really just knew as that goofy assistant from The Devil Wears Prada I was surprised at her casting as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. She defied all my expectations, pulling off a masterclass alongside Christopher Bale and Tom Hardy, almost pulling the rug from Hardy’s bulky feet and completely stealing the show. I really enjoyed this performance, and while it won’t be winning any awards soon, it certainly gets them with me.
Judi Dench (M- Skyfall)
Kara Hayward (Suzy Bishop – Moonrise Kingdom)
Worst Actor: Taylor Lautner
This guy will win this award for years to come if he doesn’t pack it in and become a model. He’s got the body for it, and ideally, he doesn’t need to talk in that line of work. Coincidentally, the Twilight films became steadily worse as they went on, the quality dipping dramatically in the second instalment New Moon. Why? Taylor Lautner. The guy can’t act. I’m not even sure he can feel emotions. Not to mention when the hideously creepy part I had been waiting for came around this year, where his character falls in love with a two-minute old child. In the book this is at least done with some assurance he isn’t a paedophile; in the film he just grins madly at a kid, and states he loves her. Creepy.
Adam Sandler (Donny Berger- That’s My Boy)
Liam Neeson (Bryan Mills- Taken 2)
Worst Actress: Kristen Stewart
I’m not even sure Kristen Stewart is a human. Everything about her performances are awful. I don’t even know why she was ever chosen for the part of Bella in Twilight. I actually liked the books until she came along. She also added insult to injury by taking part in Snow White And The Huntsman, an appallingly boring film re-imagining the classic fairy tale of Snow White. She isn’t an actress, she should never have been an actress, it’s hard to say anything good about her work. She beat Rihanna to this award! Rihanna, who is a singer, had a part in the blockbuster film Battleship, and was better than Kristen Stewart! A singer was better then Kristen Stewart! What more proof can there be?
Believe it or not, this is her ‘Surprised’ face.
Rihanna (Cora Raikes-Battleship)
Natalie Portman (Queen Amadala-The Phantom Menace) (She deserves it again)
Biggest Disappointment: The Bourne Legacy
No getting away from this one. The Bourne series is one of my favourite trilogies, brutal and a welcome diversion from the lack of any James Bond. Hopes were high for this sequel, despite the lack of Matt Damon in the lead role, but I told myself that if there was ever the perfect man to replace him, it was Jeremy Renner. It wasn’t enough though. Despite some good action sequences and some welcome old faces returning, the film wasn’t anywhere near the lofty standards of the previous trilogy. It wasn’t bad by any means, it was just really, really disappointing. A missed opportunity.
Life of Pi
Biggest Surprise: The Amazing Spider Man
What a treat this was! Completely blowing Sam Raini’s original Spider Man trilogy out of the water, this was one of the greatest reboots of modern times, delivering style, witty dialogue and a superb performance from Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. The direction was absolutely brilliant, one scene with Spider Man creator Stan Lee in the school library a particular highlight. I was hoping for good, I didn’t expect great. The definition of a successful reboot, and with Jamie Foxx cast as Electro in the next film, and another one to follow after that, it looks like the character of Spider Man is finally being done justice.
Star Wars being sold to Disney for $3 billion
The Hobbit being turned into a Trilogy
Visual Effects of the Year: Life of Pi
The power of CGI is finally being realised. While I thought this film fell down on some of the basics, its use of special effects was mind-blowing in execution, and this is easily the most beautiful film ever made. Never mind the film’s shortcomings; it deserves some recognition for being so staggeringly beautiful. Ang Lee was the right man for the job, and his brilliant appreciation of the natural world saves this film. Not much more than a visual treat overall, but a wonderful experience none the less.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Worst Title for a Motion Picture: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
I’m not even sure the pun is intended. Enough said.
2013 Most Anticipated: Django Unchained
Looks like another Quentin Tarantino masterpiece is on the horizon. I realise this is already out in the US, but here in the UK I am still waiting with bated breath. Rave reviews and what looks like a fantastic cast promise a wealth of entertainment, and hopefully this is a return to form for the great director.
And there we have it, my personal awards ceremony is over. A lot more tongue in cheek then what I normally do, but it’s the end of the year, and some fun is needed. If you disagree, or even agree, please comment below! And even if you hate it, press the share button! Onto 2013!