Monday, February 4, 2013

The 2013 Dundees: Our Alternative Oscars

Below are our winners for our alternative Oscars, the Dundees, where I pick out my favorite performances in film and TV of the last year.  Since Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender were pretty much absent this year in film, I don't have a whole lot of complaints about this year's Oscar snubs.  That being said, I was disappointed to see that the Academy somehow had more love for Les Misérables than P.T. Anderson's fabulous The Master.   Personally,  I'd rather watch grass grow than Les Miz, at least that wouldn't involve Russell Crowe trying to sing!

This has been a big year for comebacks, with everyone from Matthew McConaughey to Bradley Cooper turning in refreshingly good performances.  In this vein, I was thrilled to see Joaquin Phoenix nominated for his fantastic performance in The Master.  Sure, he'll probably lose out to Daniel Day-Lewis, but it's nice to see him back!

Without further ado, here are the winners:

Best ComedyMoonrise Kingdom.
This movie has a tinge of bittersweet, as all Wes Anderson movies do, but it is also one of the funniest movies of the year.  For a more in-depth look at the movie, check out this great post by fellow Media Corner blogger Danielle. 

Runner Up:  Damsels in Distress. It took me about a half hour or so to adjust to the offbeat-ness of this movie, but its over the top strangeness eventually won me over.  It's sort of like an upside down 80s college comedy.

Best (Anti-) Romantic ComedyCeleste and Jesse Forever.  This movie doesn't really count as a rom-com in the traditional sense, since it's about two people getting divorced. It does manage to be the right mix of funny and moody, and has an incredible cast including Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg and Chris Messina.  It's a great sleeper movie.

Most Enviable Wardrobe, Female Performance:  Megan Draper (Jessica Paré) on Mad Men.  I was so disappointed when she quit her job at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, because we'd no longer get to see her incredible 60s office chic outfits!

Most/ Least Enviable Wardrobe, Male Performance:  Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) in Magic Mike.   One of my favorite things about this movie was strip club owner Dallas's bizarro wardrobe choices.  I particularly loved his Rudolph Nureyev-inspired workout getup with a cropped yellow t-shirts, short shorts, ballet flats, and a biking hat. 

Worst Bartender:  Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) in the Master.   Moonshine maker Freddie Quell makes some interesting cocktails, including paint thinner and peaches.  Don't try any of his drinks at home!

Hardest Working Men in Show-business:  (tie) Mark Duplass and Chris Messina.  Duplass managed to appear on two TV shows (The Mindy Project and The League), four movies (Zero Dark Thirty, People Like Us, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Your Sister's Sister) and directed one (Jeff, Who Lives at Home).  His Mindy Project co-star, Chris Messina appeared on  three TV shows (The Mindy Project, Damages, and The Newsroom) and in four movies (Argo, Ruby Sparks, The Giant Mechanical Man, and Celeste and Jesse Forever).  I'm glad both their careers are going so well!

Hardest Working Women in Show-business: Emily Blunt, who appeared in the Five-Year Engagement, Your Sister's Sister, Looper, and Salmon Fishing in Yemen.  She's awesome, so I'm happy she's so ominpresent!

Dreamiest Performance as a Historical Figure:  Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Robert Lincoln in Lincoln.  JGL plays Abe Licoln's son who really, really wants to fight in the Civil War. Sadly, the role required no dancing.

Breakout Star (of my dreams)Tom Hiddleston.   Hiddleston is super cute; it's no wonder the guy has a million Tumblr pages devoted to him. However, it's a terrible shame that he is constantly fighting the hot by playing unlikeable characters like the evil, goth Scandinavian grasshopper impersonator Loki.  He need to be in an Austen remake or something.  And no, being in Miss Austen Regrets does not count! 

Honorable Mention:  I'm so happy Chris Pratt is getting such great roles lately!  He was fantastic in the Five-Year Engagement and Zero Dark Thirty. 

Dreamiest Performance on Television:  The men of Happy Endings.  Max (Adam Pally) is a cute in a slacker-ish way and he's definitely the most manly of the guys.  Dave (Zachary Kingston) might be a little bit boring, but he can cook.  Brad (Damon Wayans Jr.) is probably the most together guy of the group and is a big fan of strong women like his wife Jane (Eliza Coupe).

Most Famous People in One MovieLincoln.  This movie is one big game of "Name that Character Actor." Famous people include, but are not limited to: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Jackie Early Haley and so on.  It seems like a shoe-in for the Best Picture, since at least a quarter of the Academy was cast in it!

Most Improved Performance:  Channing Tatum. Before this year I mostly associated Tatum with movies I wasn't interested in watching like Dear John or The Eagle. I thought he was on his way to being the next Josh Duhamel*.  However, in 2012, Tatum's movie choices got a lot more interesting .  I enjoyed his comedic turn in 21 Jump Street.  He proved himself capable of carrying a drama and made an even bigger name for himself in Steven Soderberg's Magic Mike.  But my favorite performance by him this year was in another Soderberg film, Haywire

Runner Up:  Bradley Cooper.  I've always found Cooper to be a little bit bland, but I was totally blown a way by his performance in the Silver Linings Playbook.  Next year he's appearing in A Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling, which looks like an edgier and darker role for him.  Well done, B.Coop!

Funniest Scene in a Movie:  The Sesame Street scene in the Five-Year Engagement where sisters Violet (Emily Blunt) and Suzie (Alison Brie) discuss their relationship problems in the voices of Cookie Monster and Elmo.

Weirdest Scene in a Movie:  The naked ladies scene in The Master.  While Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is performing a song at a party, all of the women in attendance are suddenly shown naked.

Most Suspenseful Scene:  The Navy SEAL raid on the Osama bin Laden compound in Zero Dark Thirty.

Best SoundtrackCeleste and Jessie Forever.  I know that I'm the only person who saw this movie, but I can't help wishing the soundtrack had been released to CD.  It has a ton of great stuff on it, including Shabazz Palaces, ESG, and Lily Allen.  Check out the list on iTunes

Best MovieThe Master.  This isn't really a total surprise.  There have been few if any P.T. Anderson movies that I haven't totally loved.  The Master is a weird and haunting movie that stayed with me more than any other movie last year. 

*No offense to Mr. Duhamel.  He was actually pretty good in Life as We Know It.  Not that I'm admitting to having watched that.