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Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Review of the Year: As Human As The Rest Of Us First Birthday Awards


The As Human As The Rest Of Us film blog is a year old today, so I thought it only fitting that I dish out some "awards" reflecting my favourite - and least favourite - movie moments from the past 12 months...

BEST LINE #1: "Are those my fucking cats!?" - Brooke (Greta Gerwig) confronts her nemesis Mamie-Claire (Heather Lind) in the sublime Mistress America.
BEST LINE #2: "What a strange girl you are. Flung out of space!" - Cate Blanchett's chat-up lines need some work in Carol.   
BEST LINE #3: "Dear white people, the minimum requirement of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, but your weed man, Tyrone, does not count." - Sam White (Tessa Thompson) lays down the law in Dear White People.
BEST LINE #4: "Shave off that pathetic goatee. Get some surgery. Sixty's the new thirty, motherfucker!" - Superhero Birdman offers alter-ego Riggan (Michael Keaton) some advice in Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance).
BEST LINE #5: "What I want is a fucking shoot-out, a shootout is a shoot-out... like a Western!" - a bit of East End fisticuffs simply won't do for Ronnie Kray (Tom Hardy, below)



BEST SCENE #1: Marieme (Karidja Touré) and her girl gang pals mime and dance along to Rihanna's 'Diamonds' in fantastic French film Girlhood.
BEST SCENE #2: Teeny-tiny Ant-Man battles the evil Yellowjacket in a child's bedroom with a little help from a giant ant and Thomas The Tank Engine.
BEST SCENE #3: The final shoot-out in Slow West which, amidst the blood and guts, contains one of the year's best visual gags.
BEST SCENE #4: The short, sharp and utterly deranged revenge tale - called Pasternak - that plays out pre-titles in Argentine portmanteau film Wild Tales. To say any more would spoil it.
BEST SCENE #5: Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) drums up a storm in the finale of Whiplash (below).


BEST STRAIGHT-TO-DVD FILM: Black-hearted Hollywood satire Starry Eyes.
BEST STRAIGHT-TO-VOD FILM: Steve Oram's splendidly transgressive Aaaaaaaah!
BIGGEST 'WHAT THE FUCK!?' MOMENT: The 'golden shower' scene from Alejandro Jodorowsky's bonkers The Dance Of Reality.
BEST ACTING PERFORMANCE (MALE): Colin Farrell (The Lobster)
BEST ACTING PERFORMANCE (FEMALE): Cate Blanchett (Carol)
BEST DIRECTOR: George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jauja (cinematographer: Timo Salminen).
BEST ON-SCREEN COUPLE: Romain Duris and Anaïs Demoustier in The New Girlfriend (below). He's a transvestite, she's in love with his dead wife. 


BEST ACTOR WHO WON'T GET AN OSCAR NOMINATION BUT SHOULD: Tom Hardy's tour-de-force performance as both Kray Twins is the only reason to watch the otherwise mediocre Legend
BEST ACTRESS WHO WON'T GET AN OSCAR NOMINATION BUT SHOULD: Bel Powley is a perfect storm of hormones, confusion and libido in The Diary Of A Teenage Girl
BEST SOUNDTRACK: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night - Federale's eerie soundscapes channel Ennio Morricone, elsewhere there's dazzling pop, Iranian rock and folk, and lush ambient dance. 
WORST FILM: Get Hard - Because the fear of being raped in prison is simply hilarious. 
WORST ENDING: The Gift - Joel Edgerton's mostly terrific thriller was undone by a very dodgy - not to mention controversial - denouement.
WORST SCENE: Ludlow (Josh Gad) addresses the troops in Pixels (below). Buttock-clenchingly awful. Who pays to watch this drivel? Um, unfortunately I did.



WORST ACCENT: Whatever it is Peter Dinklage thinks he's doing in Pixels. Jamaican? Martian? I really haven't the foggiest...
MOST PUNCHABLE CHARACTER #1: Greg (Thomas Mann) in Me And Earl And The Dying Girl. A month spent with the dolts in Entourage would be preferable to five minutes in the company of that irritating little cockwomble.
MOST PUNCHABLE CHARACTER #2: Josh Gad, whoever he's playing.
MOST IRRITATING FANBOYS: The Christopher Nolan lot. He isn't a genius, Interstellar isn't a masterpiece. He is to Stanley Kubrick what Poundland is to Harrods, so STFU.
MADDEST FILM I SAW ALL YEAR THAT I'M STILL NOT SURE I LIKED: Hard To Be A God - the late Russian director Aleksey German's magnum opus set on an alien planet stuck in the Dark Ages (trailer below). Cue three hours of sex, mud, brutality, spit, mud, blood, shit. mud and piss. It's an extraordinary film in many ways but incredibly wearing too. Did I mention the mud?



MOST GRATUITOUS FEMALE NUDITY: Ariane Labed (Fidelio: Alice's Journey) and Pamela Flores (The Dance Of Reality).
FILM I LIKED BUT EVERYONE ELSE HATED #1: The Wachowskis' ridiculous and bonkers space opera, Jupiter Ascending. Forget Eddie Redmayne in The Theory Of Everything and The Danish Girl, I prefer him as an alien despot in this, chewing the scenery for all he's worth and suddenly SHOUTING for no apparent reason.
FILM I LIKED BUT EVERYONE ELSE HATED #2: Child 44 - sprawling adaptation of Tom Rob Smith's novel about the hunt for a serial killer in Stalinist Russian (trailer below). Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman starred but seemed to upset critics with their thick Muscovite accents. 


FILM I LIKED BUT EVERYONE ELSE HATED #3: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. - Guy Ritchie's stylish update of the hokey old TV spy show was fast and fun, boasting a couple of cracking action set-pieces and a cast (Armie Hammer, Henry Cavill and Alicia Vikander) with genuine chemistry. It fell on its arse, obviously.
FILM I LIKED BUT EVERYONE ELSE HATED #4: Chappie - Neil Blomkamp's barking mad sci-fi about a fully-sentient AI was dismissed as "Short Circuit meets Robocop" in certain quarters but it was great fun. I even enjoyed Hugh Jackman's mullet.
BEST FILM MAGAZINE: Sight & Sound - authoritative, exhaustive and beautifully written. Worthy runners up: Little White Lies and Film Comment.
BEST FILM CRITIC: Danny Leigh - so good he even makes Film 2015 worth watching. Worthy runners up: Robbie Collin, Peter Bradshaw, and Nick Pinkerton.
BEST FILM PODCAST: Kermode And Mayo's Film Review - the best of a mediocre bunch. Recommendations, anyone?
BEST YOUTUBERS: Screen Junkies' Honest Trailers, like the one for Fantastic Four below, kept me laughing all year.



MY HOLLYWOOD COMEDY PITCH: Sausage Fest - hilarity ensues when aliens, who look a lot like penises, invade Earth. Seth Rogen smokes a lot of marajuana, Josh Gad gets off with Kate Upton, and the script contains 321 separate references to being raped in prison. James Franco is probably in it somewhere. I'm hoping Adam Sandler's going to come on board as executive producer.

**Next up: That top 10 favourite documentaries list I promised the other day**

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