So, we have finally closed the book on 2010. Now, as we transition into the new year, this is when most people reflect back on the year before. In the movie world, this is also when critics and movie lovers take the time to review the past year. Not to mention, this is awards season. With the Critics’ Choice Awards in just a couple of weeks and the Oscars less than two months ago, suffice to say the red carpet is officially out.
Today, I’m going to throw myself into that very ring as we bring you Couch Potato Club’s 2010 Movie Awards. Up front, though, I would like to go ahead and say, I’m going to do this different than those big award shows. For one, you’ll see some of the typical categories, but likewise there will be some off-beat ones. Also, call me crazy, but I believe the biggest factor in judging a movie is its entertainment value. Granted all of the other little facets of making a movie help to make a movie better, however I believe entertainment succeeds a movie’s technical prowess in order to define whether it is good or not. So, you won’t be seeing me awarding these “artsy” movies just because of their “cinematic achievement” (whatever the hell that is). Instead, I’ll be judging on good ole entertainment value (with acting, story, etc. playing factors).
So, without further ado, here are the winners of the first annual Couch Potato Club Movie Awards.
Best Film: Inception
For me this came down to Inception and Black Swan. I’ve honestly spent days mulling it over in my head which would be my movie of the year. However, in the end, Inception wins out. Inceptionwas also perfect in a sense. With intelligent writing, good acting, fun action, great cinematography and so on and so on, the movie proved to be awesome style with great substance. Nolan proved once again here why he is one of (if not THE) most sought after filmmakers today. A narrative genius. After watching this movie, it made me realize what a god-send Nolan is to Hollywood really. Everybody in Hollywood should be taking notes. This is exactly how a blockbuster movie should be done. Let’s not kid ourselves, blockbuster action movies will continue to be the bread and butter of Hollywood for some time to come. While this is alright, the problem usually lies in that they’re so shallow and cliche and just “eh”. They usually just rely on cool action sequences and awesome looking special effects. Not Inception, though. This movie provides all that, but then actually brings substance to that style giving us an engaging and mind-bending/intelligent storyline to go with it. This perfect blend makes Inception my movie of the year.
Best Actor: James Franco – 127 Hours
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you want to test the merit of an actor? Throw him in a movie where he is pretty much the only one ever on-screen and he has to carry the entire movie himself. Where the whole weight of the entire movie rests most assuredly on his shoulders. Will he shine? Will he crumble? This is the test. Others have proven themselves in the same way (Will Smith, Tom Hanks). And truly I believe this (and the “retard role”) is one of the biggest ways to test an actor and see if he’s one of the greats. So, enter James Franco and 127 Hours. Playing a mountain climber that gets trapped under a boulder and is all alone, Franco is left to carry an entire film on his own. Does he succeed? Damn right he does. With flying colors at that. Keeping it interesting, conveying a range of emotions throughout the film and sucking you in all on his own, Franco clearly shows he had the mettle to tackle such a daunting task and come out on top. For that reason, he’s my actor of the year.
Best Actress: Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Natalie’s performance in the Aronofsky psychological thriller is absolutely brilliant. Her best work to-date in my opinion. Playing a role that requires her to eventually transition from sweet little naive princess girl to girl-gone-wild (in a dark side kinda way), she hits every beat without missing a step. I believe the biggest factor for a good actor/actress is range. Anybody can shine in a part that was just made for them (in line with their natural persona), but range and playing different personas/characters is where an actor/actress can show their true prowess. In Black Swanalone, Natalie Portman has shown, in just the 2 hours, that she has more range than most actresses around. She exhibited more range in one performance than most do in their entire career. For such a brilliant performance Natalie Portman gets my vote as actress of the year. I don’t think this is even up for debate.
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale – The Fighter
Here’s another that I feel is just a given and isn’t up for debate. Bale absolutely stole the show in every scene he appeared in The Fighter. The weight loss alone shows Bale’s dedication to his craft. Furthermore, the way he was able to lose himself in that crackhead persona and into the role of Dicky Eklund just further proved what an amazing actor Bale is. To really show you how brilliant his performance was, the video clip of real-life Dicky during the credits showed you just how well Bale nailed that performance. It had to almost be like looking in a mirror for Dicky.
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Yes, the supporting cast of The Fighter was just great. They’re the ones that kept this movie afloat. Leo’s turn as the “white trash” overbearing mother was great and was another (along with Bale’s performance) that really helped this movie shine. Without these two, The Fighter bombs.
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
Like I said, best film was down to Black Swan and Inception for me. Aronofsky’s work here was damn near perfect. This was a brilliantly directed movie. From the camera shots to the music to the story-telling to what he got out of his cast, Aronofsky did a great job in conveying this thriller story very aptly on all levels. As one of my favorite modern directors, it’s no surprise that Aronofsky continues to impress year after year.