Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The MAFFE Awards - WINNERS!!!

They are completed. If you are wondering why there is a picture of a beautiful kitty there, it is because these awards are dedicated to my little Merlot who died suddenly and unexpectedly last night. Love you Merl.

Back to the awards.
The medals have been handed out in what I can only say was a night of shocks, laughter and Tilda Swinton acting up something terrible (who knew she could do that with a shot glass??)

Sure there are some surprises, and I expect to hear your thoughts in the comments.

These have been fun, but at the same time extremely stressful. This is the most obvious in the Best Actor category when the three medalists (and 1 non) swapped places at least 10 times before I just said "fuck it, let's draw names from a hat". Sometimes it just comes down to that. There were 4 award worthy performances there.

Also there is a sneaky 3rd place tie in Best Picture. Sometimes you have to do it because you simply cannot decide and it pains you too much to leave one off.

The links are on the right or here.


Best Poster
Best Trailer
The Technicals
The Music
The Artistic
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Voice Performance
Best Limited Performance Male
Best Limited Performance Female
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Ensemble
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Director
Best Picture

Tuesday, 30 March 2010



As you can guess it is 31 of my favourite actress (and 1 actor). Women who has moved me, even if by a single performance, to the point of near obsession.
In doing this I was so surprised that there were only 10 Oscar winners.

It also made me realize just how few good roles are written for women. Perhaps with more and more female screen writers and directors getting chances, we will see a lot more great roles for women of all races.

While you are here, take a chance and try and name all these "women" in the comments. I will be very impressed to whoever gets them all (or at least 90%)

'Animal Kingdom' trailer

Now it is not often that overseas (non American) films that generate a lot of buzz and great reviews from Sundance end up making it into the Oscar race.

In fact this hardly ever happens.

However this film has gotten some great notices, perhaps enough to raise its profile for some acting or screenplay attention (Actress Jackie Weaver is supposed to be all sorts of good as the matriarch and you know me, anytime a new, almost unheard of Actress gets any sort of rave, I am all there.) if it is handled correctly.

It is worth noting that the calibre in film that is coming out of Australia is all sorts of brilliant. Sooner or later something is going to cross over in a big way, aside from its actors.

What is it about that place? The Actresses are all sorts of brilliant, and the actors are all sorts of *swoon*.

Must be in the water.

(get me some damn Australian water!!!)

Monday, 29 March 2010


It seems the majority of movie news coming through is not very interesting. Sure some interesting casting choices are being made, and there are some minor 'hmmmmmm's' going around, but nothing that makes you go "OMG THAT IS AMAZING NEWS!!!!". Sure critics are getting laid off and 'The Hobbit' shooting schedule is delayed yet again, and Angelina Jolie is now up for the lead in Maleficent (so should have been Sigourney) but where is the news that makes you leap for joy?
All we are getting is that 'Alice In Wonderland' is cleaning up at the Box Office and more and more franchises are getting re-booted or started in Hollywoods scramble to 3D almost everything. I for one couldn't care less about 3D. It is distracting from the films quality.

What I want is Cannes.
I love Cannes.
The line up is the first clue, then one by one anticipated films are shown and reviewed and one by one film makers chances of glory are either squashed or raised. This year seems so dull. At least last year we had 'Precious', 'An Education', 'The Hurt Locker' and 'The Messenger' already screened to give us all some excitement about the year to come.
Or perhaps it is just me.
The scramble to see as many films as I could near the end of last year, and the beginning of this year, completely wiped me out.
I can barely sit through a full length film right now.

My recent viewing are as follows:
'The Simpsons' seasons 1 to 10
'Sex and the City' seasons 1 to 3 (still going)
'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs'
'Futurama' seasons 1 to 4
Do you notice a pattern? Focusing on some major light entertainment for a spell - debating stopping 'City' when it comes to cheating, cancer, childless couples because that is just far too heavy.
It is March I have not gone to see one single 2010 release. Not a one. Oscar season doesn't usually take it out of me so. Even 'How To Train Your Dragon' cannot tempt me (although it looks wondering - in 2D)

I will go and see 'Kick Ass' as it has gotten nothing but fantastic reviews over here and looks to be a hell of a lot of fun.

What this lag has done is allowed me to finished up my MAFFE Awards which were time consuming to do considering this was the year I wanted to do clips (doh!). What I found really interesting is after leaving the films for a while, deciding on categories then looking at all the films I had seen in 2009, certain films has dulled while others seemed so much better over a little time.

Sure 'Precious' featured heavily as expected but 'Avatar' didn't. I guess a little time gave me perspective over the biggest film of all time (i you do not adjust for inflation). When you have over $500,000,000.00 to play with and 12 years, one would hope all that money and time would create something fairly decent. I guess in these times of recession and redundancies I was more impressed with doing more for less. Sure 'Up' cost £175 million but it was sure worth it. I actually think the twelve films I consider the best, as a total, cost less than 'Avatar'.
Makes me feel kind of good.

Sorry for this rambling (filler) post. Let me leave you know with a question.

If the Academy sent out their nomination ballots in March, to give out their awards in May (pre Cannes) do you think the outcome would be considerably different?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Best Picture

I suggest everyone sign up for an account with so you can best experience the awards

The indelible films are:

'Los Abrazos Rotos'
Almodovar and Cruz again cause for delight in this ravishing and melodramatic tale of love and obsession. It is as if Douglas Sirk and Alfred Hitchcock helped co-direct it. Rapturous entertainment at the highest order.

'District 9'
In this crazily original, bravely political film, you forget you are watching sci-fi and get sucked into the humanity of the film. Sometimes difficult stories need some separation in order to reach more people. Bonus points for not being like other sci-fi films - predictable.

'The Hurt Locker'
Forget the conventional narrative hook and just watch the tensions between these people and the situations they are in. An exhilarating action war film by a film maker who understands what a war film needs to work.

'Inglourious Basterds'
As with most Tarantino films, this has a cocky swagger. This could be the World War II film to end them all. A crazy and grand film that will linger long after the final gruesome chuckle.

'Mary & Max'
This is like no other animated film I have seen. Sure the production is not amazing, but this film soars above the rest because if tells a story that that little lonely person in us all can relate to.

'La Nana'
One of those darkly comic films about the humanity in us all that leave you a little off kilter - bordering on psychotic. The voice of a striking new talent in cinema and an actress we will all be on the look out for.

We get so deeply immersed in the depth of human suffering and mental illness that when we come out we feel exhausted. This is dark social commentary at its best. No wonder so many people cannot take it.

'The September Issue'
Sure there were more 'important' documentaries out this year, but none that had so much humor, charm, vivacity and delight as this. You went in excited for Wintour and came out shouting "Coddington"!

'A Single Man'
It may not seem original, but every time you see something that burrows so deeply into the emotional truths of love, grief, loss and desire that they touch something in all of us that seems so shiny and new.

Pixar have the best batting average as a studio. Here they are winsome, touching and so so funny. A totally captivating odd-couple adventure. Bonus points for those incredibly moving first 10 minutes.

'Das Weisse Band'
Intensely detailed yet oh so askew, slow but riveting. This film is so seductive, that even after the ending, with its lack of closure, you still experience something deeply disturbing. I am still experiencing it months later.

'Whip it!'
This film is like its director. Sweet but not sickly, funny, but not stupid. Sometimes when you go to the cinema, all you really want to do is have a good ole time. This film reintroduces that notion whilst also being so real.


Best Director

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The Maestros are:

Drew Barrymoore - 'Whip It!'
Drew is one of the most likable people in Hollywood. The fact that managed to get across her sense of fun and energy is no small feat. If only ever film bubbled with such joyous feeling. Behind the scenes clip

Katherine Bigelow - 'The Hurt Locker'
It has been a great year for female directors. Katherine showed that she can make a better war film than most boys, not that it is a genre competition or anything.Behind the scenes clip

Neill Blomlamp - 'District 9'
What a shocker. This film was not supposed to do much (made in a small amount of time for not a lot of money), but because of his vision you get one of the most emotional/action filled/political films of the year. Unlike anything else. Behind the scenes clip

Lee Daniels - 'Precious'
You can see his love sweat and tears in every frame. A deeply personal project, You also see his mastery with actors continue here as he evokes 100% truthful performances from even the tiniest player.Behind the scenes clip

Michael Haneke ' The White Ribbon'
He slowly crafted a slow burner of a paranoia film. The mood, the focus, the performances all had to be just right to pull this off, and he was the master in control. Clip

Quentin Tarantino - 'Inglourious Basterds'
He is a master of directing. His love for movies is unlike any other director out there. A true fan that poured his love into one of the most entertaining fantasy films of the year. Behind the scenes clip


Best Actress

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The ladies who lead are:

Nisreen Faour - 'Amreeka'
I do not think there was a warmer performance to be found this year. She keeps the joy despite so many set backs. So many complex emotions are played across her beautiful face it is thrilling to watch. Clip

Carey Mulligan - 'An Education'
A star making turn all right, but people tend to forget that it was the performance that lingered. Playing wise and naive at the same time looked so easy. Clip

Maya Rudolph - 'Away We Go'
One of those performances the ends up staying with you long after you have seen it. she can, in one look show love, hurt, fear, sorrow and mischief. Clip

Catalina Saveedra - 'La Nana'
Shifty, angry, in pain and oh so loyal. Raquel is complex and bewildering. Saveedra makes her so human it hurts to watch. Clip

Gabourey Sidibe - 'Precious'
Never once does she make a choice as an actress that is not completely in serving to the character and story. More highly nuanced and intelligent than most actresses with bigger careers. Clip

Tilda Swinton - 'Julia'
She goes to places for this character that few actresses would dare to tread. Her Julia is a wretch, and she is not scared to get dirty. Clip


Best Actor

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The bold men in lead are:

Sharlto Copley - 'District 9'
One of the most captivating and complex character arcs of the year. His slow realization of his own humanity is a revelation.

Colin Firth - 'A Single Man'
Complex and insular. You feel his despair and watching him go through his day is a painful experience. He never lets you forget that he has lost his one love, even when flirting with desire. Clip

Tahar Rahim - 'Un Prophete'
A scorching debut. He owns the screen and runs through every possible emotion like a pro. How ever can he follow this up? Clip

Sam Rockwell - 'Moon'
It is just him in this movie, and he brings a feeling of such humanity even when realizing he isn't supposed to have any. Clip

Michael Stuhlbarg - 'A Serious Man'
His growing panic is a joy to watch. He is like a crab in a bucket trying to stay ahead of a life spiraling out of control. Clip

Ben Whishaw - 'Bright Star'
He is the poet. His love, although so passionate, is based in reality that he cannot control. Clip