We have had The Globes and the awards for every guild you have heard of (and a few you haven’t), The BAFTA’s will be given out later today with the Oscars to follow soon. Before the lavish ceremonies take over I give you The Fifth Annual Groovers Awards. All awards are chosen by me and the criteria for eligibility is decided by me. The catagies for the awards given aren’t always the same year on year. The award, is called the “Dom”, if you understand the relevance you need to watch Fandango.
Best Movie: Sicario – My favourite two films of the year are interchangeable. Sicario edges it as the best film of the year.
Best Director: George Miller – Just missing out on Best movie, but just edging Denis Villeneuve for best director. Mad Max: Fury Road has been a labour of love for George Miller, given all that happened in the production it is a miracle that he delivered a film let alone one that is so good.
Best Actor: Oscar Isaac – There hasn’t been one truly outstanding performance head and shoulders above all others from an actor in 2015, not even Leonardo DiCaprio who is likely to win for The Revenant (a 2016 film in the UK). That is why I am going for Oscar Isaac, an actor who gave three fantastic performances in three very different films: Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Nathan in Ex Machina, Abel Morales in A Most Violent Year.
Best Actress: Charlize Theron & Cate Blanchett – For the first time I have shared an acting award. How can you compare Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road and Cate Blanchett’s Carol Aird from Carol. Very different performances in totally different films, both mesmerising.
Best Screenplay: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt – It would have been so easy to give this award to Bridge of Spies or Ex Machina, both of which were brilliantly written, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens stands out as having a perfectly constructed adventure story that not only has dialogue of a standard we aren’t used to in a Star Wars movie, but a level of comedy that we could never have expected.
Best Looking Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road – A combination of photography, production design and all the other things that go into putting the directors vision on screen. Making the most of the barren landscapes of Namibia’s Namib Desert is only the start of things. The special effects are practical and in camera giving and weighty look to the movie, but just about every scene is enhanced with CGI. The beauty of the CGI is that you don’t see it. Then we get onto the editing. With a cut every 2.6 seconds on average, it never looks frantic or hard to follow, this is helped by a combination perfect timing and sublime framing. Fury Road is an exercise in how to make a movie!
Breakout star of the year: Alicia Vikander – Best known for A Royal Affair (2012) until 2015 where she had seven films: Testament of Youth, Son of a Gun, Seventh Son, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Danish Girl, Burnt (not all released in the one year in all territories). She was the best thing in most of the films she features and truly stood out in Ex Machina and The Danish Girl.
Fandango Award: Alex Garland – Fandango was writer/director Kevin Reynolds debut (and best) feature, and the first notable movie for star Kevin Costner. It gives its name to this award for the best breakout film-makers of the year: First author, then screenwriter, now director; Alex Garland has emerged as both writer and director of one of my favourite films of the year, Ex Machina.