Sunday, May 24, 2015

The 2010 Fisti Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged by Clicking on Them]

2010.  The year that Oscar done fucked up.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, The King's Speech is all nice and inspiring and makes you smile and...forgettable as fuck.  Like, who still talks about that movie?  Nobody.  You know who still talks about The Social Network?  Everybody.  Even people who don't love it still talk about it.  It's regarded as the first masterpiece of the new decade, it received the HANDS DOWN best reviews of any film to come out in 2010 and it swept pretty much every critics prize and precursor up to the dreadful Guilds when Harvey Weinstein manipulated voters into rewarding the film about a speech impediment over one of the most engrossing and game changing films of our generation.  Worse yet, that troll Tom Hooper stole David Fincher's Oscar.  Like, what the actual FUCK!  Even when Crash beat out Brokeback Mountain, the Academy had the decency to reward Ang Lee.  

Yes, I'm still bitter.

But, The Social Network, while the best film of the year, is not the only film to talk about.  2010 may not be as rich as the other film years of this current decade, but it holds some very strong and lasting films in it's hands.  Female directors were all over the place this year, producing some very rich and diverse films.  From Maren Ade's relationship drama, Everyone Else to Andrea Arnold's coming of age Fish Tank to Claire Denis's sensational White Material to Debra Granik's Oscar nominated Winter's Bone, women of film really made their mark this year.  This was also the year that brought back the Animated Film with a vengeance, with Toy Story 3, Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me and The Illusionist all being very commendable and memorable animated films.

I just hate how this is a year that saw such artistic and un-Oscary films like The Social Network, Inception and Black Swan getting embraced by the Academy and yet something as safe and forgettable as The King's Speech wins the big prize.

I'll never let that go.

And with all that out of the way; I present to you the Fisti Awards for 2010!

Award's Tally

[5 Wins]

The Social Network

[3 Wins]


[2 Wins]

Black Swan

[1 Win]

All Good Things
Blue Valentine
Country Strong
The Kids are All Right
Secret Sunshine
Shutter Island
Toy Story 3


  1. Very nice! Love that The Social Network has a strong showing, as well as Animal Kingdom and Fish Tank. It is also wonderful to see Emma Stone on your Best Actress list. The King's Speech not having much of a showing is an added bonus.

    1. Emma Stone was just brilliant in Easy A. Such a star making turn. I was so happy to be able to mention her here!

  2. I was so looking forward to your 2010 awards. I hate that a film about the speech of a spoiled rich king won over the best film about Facebook. 2010 was such an amazing year and your award really highlight it. I'm in love with Toy Story 1 and 2 but the third was kind of meh. It was popular just because the first two films were so great. I love The Social Network. I think in the near future (read: November, maybe) I'll try to post awards for the best films of every year of 2010s (Mommy will get a LOT of awards).

    1. I'm working my way towards publishing my 2014 Fisti Awards (where Mommy sweeps) and then I'll be publishing my 'Best of the First Half of the Decade' awards...where Mommy will sweep :-P

  3. The best film of 2010 for me is.... Somewhere with Never Let Me Go in 2nd. Here's my list so far...

    1. I really liked both of those films, but didn't love either. Somewhere was close to making my top 12 in a few spots, but outside of the glorious Fanning, I wasn't completely sold. It's my least favorite Coppola.

  4. I expected our line-ups to be somewhat different since I know you LOVE The Social Network and I am not nearly as enamored. I liked it but I wasn’t blown away. I didn’t think we’d be totally dissimilar though! I haven’t seen Everyone Else yet, and having not cared for the first Toy Story I doubt I’ll ever see the third but Blue Valentine and Animal Kingdom are fine films, I had five others I preferred however.

    I’m with you though on that King’s Speech win, I think I enjoyed the picture more then you but a Best Picture Oscar is too much. Likewise I am a huge fan of both Helena Bonham Carter and Colin Firth, who I’m glad has an Oscar-even if it’s a makeup one for the previous year when he lost so Jeff Bridges could get HIS makeup Oscar!!, but both have had more deserving performances up for the prize.

    The Ghost Writer
    Made in Dagenham
    Shutter Island-Winner
    Winter's Bone
    A varied group this year though fractured time plays a part in two of my picks. The spare Winter's Bone is depressing as hell but well-made and Dagenham a high quality rendering of a turning point in history. It's the other three films, all mysteries to varying degrees, that I found the most engaging. The coolly intriguing Ghost Writer sneaks up on the viewer involving them slyly in its story and the world within world within world of Inception, though divisive, is a visual delight, I’m glad to see it turn up so frequently in your techs. My choice is the edgy, discordant Shutter Island, I found it both an unsettling view and the most powerful.

    I was sorry not to see Shutter Island among your sound nominees, I thought the sound added enormously to the eeriness of the film and especially loved the use of Dinah Washington's recording of This Bitter Earth over the closing credits. It's a perfect choice to begin with but the broken, inconsistent version that is used is an ideal capstone to the picture.

    Darren Aronofsky-Black Swan
    Debra Granik-Made in Dagenham
    Christopher Nolan-Inception-Winner
    Roman Polanski-The Ghost Writer
    Martin Scorsese-Shutter Island
    Ghost Writer is probably Polanski's strongest film since the Pianist and Scorsese’s ability to keep the jangly, scattered Shutter Island on track is a refreshing change of pace from his usual fare but Nolan's guiding of the trippy Inception and its many layers within layers is the most impressive to me.

    Leonardo DiCaprio-Shutter Island-Winner
    Paul Giamatti-Barney's Version
    Ryan Gosling-Blue Valentine
    Ewan McGregor-The Ghost Writer
    Edgar Ramirez-Carlos
    Well at least we match once! I found Carlos something of a trial to sit through but Ramirez is dazzling in the lead. Giamatti, Gosling and McGregor were all terrific but DiCaprio's somewhat jittery performance fit into the fractured mosaic of his film becoming another component of it rather than a standalone element. I haven’t seen Bardem’s performance yet.

    Jennifer Lawrence-Winter's Bone-Winner
    Natalie Portman-Black Swan
    Hailee Steinfeld-True Grit
    Emma Stone-Easy A
    Rachel Weisz-The Whistleblower
    I haven’t seen three of your choices including your winner, or even heard of her film, and Michelle Williams was good in Valentine though I’ve liked her elsewhere more but I LOVE Stone's comic gem of a performance as the engaging Olive in Easy A.

    I thought Steinfeld's quiet, meditative Mattie Ross in True Grit was wonderful and was happy to see her acknowledged but talk about category fraud! It’s almost as ridiculous as Tatum O’Neal’s placement in support for Paper Moon. Portman's Nina is a very complex piece of work but she's my third choice behind the consistently strong Rachel Weisz in the brutal Whistleblower and my winner Lawrence as the incredibly resilient Ree in the bleak Winter's Bone.

    1. So much to say!

      First, if you hated Toy Story, you'll never appreciate Toy Story 3. For me, that movie is so moving because it beautifully closes a chapter of childhood nostalgia that I just adore. That, and the fact that I remember seeing the first in the theater as a kid and then being able to take my eldest daughter to the theater to see the third and watch her have the same awe-like connection that I had was just so special.

      The King's Speech, for me, is well made mediocrity. Like, it's nice...but that's it.

      I love your lineup. I don't think Shutter Island is a great film all the way around, which is mostly because I read the novel and found it to be pretty obvious storytelling, but I appreciate what Marty (and obviously DiCaprio) did with the material. For me, this is Leo's crowning achievement as an actor.

      I also found Carlos a struggle, but Ramirez is just TOO GOOD. He anchors the messy editing with a very powerful and commanding performance.

      I haven't seen The Whistleblower, but I like Weisz most of the time.

      Here is where we differ a lot though. I really am indifferent to Lawrence's performance in Winter's Bone. I found it so dry, so stilted, so green. You could see that she was unsure of herself as an actress and didn't understand how to live this character. It felt very uneven in her hands. I have grown to like her as an actress, and I really like her in Silver Linings Playbook and in American Hustle, but her early work was so wooden for me.

      I also am not really a fan of what Portman did in Black Swan. I don't care for the movie as a whole, but her performance, for me, never felt genuine. I also felt her 'acting'...'trying'...'reaching' and it never settled for me. I actually thought that Kunis was the best thing about that movie. She felt alive in that role. I believed her.

  5. Supporting Actor:
    Christian Bale-The Fighter
    Tom Hardy-Inception
    John Hawkes-Winter's Bone-Winner
    Bob Hoskins-Made in Dagenham
    Ben Mendelsohn-Animal Kingdom
    I wasn’t really taken with The Kids are Alright or the performances in it , I think my expectations were too high and Garfield never does much for me, unfortunately I’ve yet to see Fish Tank nor Four Lions.

    Hardy’s breakout in Inception is a dazzler in a part that in less talented hands could have been nothing. Mendelsohn, Bale and the late, lamented Hoskins are standouts in their films but Hawkes as the ragged Uncle Teardrop almost matches Lawrence's performance in Winter's Bone.

    Supporting Actress:
    Barbara Hershey-Black Swan-Winner
    Illaria Occhini-Loose Cannons
    Miranda Richardson-Made in Dagenham
    Jacki Weaver-Animal Kingdom
    Olivia Williams-The Ghost Writer
    Looks like I need to catch up with Mother & Child and Somewhere but we’re in agreement that Jacki Weaver is phenomenal in Animal Kingdom. Although she’s not one of my five Kristen Dunst was the best thing in the disappointing All Good Things.

    Like Hardy in supporting actor Miranda Richardson takes a role that could have been a nothing in Dagenham and makes it memorable in that film full of terrific work. I’m also especially fond of Occhini's worldly wise grandmother in Loose Cannons, but Hershey's overwound Erica whose madness seeps out in sudden bursts is the best of the bunch.

    1. Hawkes was my #6. I really love what he does there, but I couldn't nominate him over the five I chose. I loved the performances within The Kids are All Right more than I loved the movie as a whole. Moore was also delightful. They felt alive, real, genuine.

      I love that you nominate Hardy. He was great in Inception, although I think his character was a bit underdeveloped for a nod here.

      I have never heard of Loose Cannons!

      I hated everything about All Good Things after Dunst dies. Like...she breathed so much life into that film. It was a brilliant performance that anchored an otherwise awful film.

      I love Bale...but consider him co-lead, and he just misses my personal Lead Actor ballot (he's probably my #8, right after Serkis and Colin Farrell)

  6. OK-I realize now that when I had my very great drunken party tent fest in 1985, you were born that year-lol so that being said maybe I show my age but I hated The Social Network! None of my age range talk about that film but we all love The King's Speech! So...I find it actually quite interesting how us older folk (Egad I am older...ughhh) gravitate to The King's Speech and real old folggies are behind the Oscar. I mean I can 't stand that film and you are the polar opposite:) I also hate Black Swan. We call our one cat Fat Swan cos she is fat and seems to have 2 personalities. I would have given more love to Ghost Writer. I thought that was quite an exceptional film. I did enjoy Inception and Shutter island where Leonardo did a great acting job. Toy Story 3 is excellent-actually all 3 are. I totally agree that Birgit deserved an Oscar. No have not seen the film but it is rare to see my name anywhere and my cousin's name is Gitta so I have to go with your choice:)

    1. Birgit is BRILLIANT in Everyone Else. Love that movie so much. You really should see it...such a smart relationship drama that exposes how young relationships (as in newly formed) can suffer from expectations not realized but almost blossom in the midst of the unexpected. So sharp.

      I'm also not a fan of Black's technically very sharp, but it's just shallow (to me), although I know many (Josh and Sati included) who love the movie.

      I won't comment on your age or your liking of The King's Speech :-P

  7. Love these picks. I'm bitter about this year too. The King's Speech? That was like 7th or 8th for me out of those nominees. (Can't wait to talk/bitch about this btw!)

    1. Yup, that's going to be a fun discussion!

  8. Brilliant buddy! :D

    That Banksy nod! And DiCaprio winning! Mendelsohn getting a nom now! And Ondine cracking your Screenplay lineup! Thrilled that Bardem made it, even if it's unfortunate for Serkis. I was *this* close to giving Black Swan a Sound win as well, but I just love how Micmacs (which I wanted to honor somewhere) incorporated sound into the narrative. Great to see "Timing is Everything" is still your winner as well. I wish that'd been the Oscar nominee. Again, awesome job!

    1. I knew you'd be a fan of the Banksy and Mendelsohn inclusions!

      The soundscape for Black Swan is INSANE. UGH, the feet sweeping across the floor gets me every time. I love the little sound details like sharp. That's why Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is my winner in 2011. Those doors...the sound of the wind outside being shut absolute...just WOW!

      I love Timing is of my favorite movie songs of the decade.

  9. Toy Story 3 takes the award for Best Picture for me. I'd also give Incendies Best Foreign Film.

    I too was upset when Hooper won over Fincher. King's Speech was total Oscar bait and once again, the Weinsteins used everything in their power to secure the win.

    1. Incendies was a film I wanted to like...but ultimately felt it was trying WAY TOO HARD.

  10. Great opening commentary on The King's Speech. Nice, but no, not the best. When I first listed my best movies for that year, I went with Inception for the top spot. Probably going to redo it soon, but The Social Network is not a lock for that spot. I might put Toy Story 3 there. Far as your acting awards go, ironically one you didn't give to TSN is one I would. I liked Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right, but think his performance pales next to Garfield's in TSN. And best actress for me is only between two ladies, Williams in Blue Valentine and Lawrence in Winter's Bone. Lots here to discuss. That's what makes these awards posts fun.

    1. Garfield was SO GOOD in The Social Network, my runner-up even, but I just love the looseness of Ruffalo's performance.

      I love Williams...Lawrence not so much.

      But yes, that's why I love doing these see what everyone else is thinking!

  11. Ooooooooooooooooh INTERESTING! I'd have to go back and look at my notes to see what I had as my tops that year...

    1. Toy Story 3
    2. Black Swan
    3. True Grit
    4. Inception
    5. Animal Kingdom

    It's interesting, though. Looking at it now, I'd probably push both True Grit and Inception down to Honorable Mention status and push Winter's Bone and How to Train Your Dragon up into the Top 5.

    Winter's Bone is surprisingly sticky in a way True Grit has proven largely not to be... It would come very close to sweeping the acting awards (Lawrence, Hawkes, and Dale Dickey would all be either winners or runner-ups), along with Rabbit Hole (Kidman, Wiest, and Eckhart) and Black Swan (Portman, Kunis, and Hershey) and The Fighter (Bale, Wahlberg, and Leo).

    The only nods Social Network would get from me are Score (its only win) Screenplay and Editing. Garfield MIGHT sneak in to Supporting Actor but he wouldn't stand a chance against Mark Ruffalo, who is simply superb in Kids.

    Jacki Weaver I think handily wins Best Supporting Actress, and James Franco walks away with Best Actor for the stunning one-man show he puts on in 127 Hours (I honestly did not think he had it him to make me care about this guy for a whole movie, but dammit he did). Best Actress is HARD between Kidman, Portman, Bening, Moore (co-leads), Steinfeld, Stone, Lawrence, and Rapace (I place the Swedish Dragon Tattoo in this year). I'm not sure I even know who I'd nominate, and I haven't seen Everyone Else, Blue Valentine, or Secret Sunshine yet.

    Incidentally, this is one of my favorite Best Picture lineups ever, despite not having much crossover with my personal Top 10 of the year. It's just so diverse, and there really isn't a clunker in the bunch!

    1. Love that Toy Story 3 is your #1, like SO MUCH!!!

      I knew that you weren't keen on The Social Network, but I continue to absolutely love it.

      Lead Actress was so hard this year, but I wholly love my lineup. I place the Swedish GWTDT in 09, and Rapace is a nominee (possible winner) there for that. I contemplated placing it in 2010, but I loved my lineup too much to snub Stone. She's just aces in this film.

      You need to see Blue Valentine, Everyone Else and Secret Sunshine! All three are incredible films!

    2. Oh nothing else even came CLOSE that year. I was bawling uncontrollably for the last, like, fifteen minutes and was completely unable to stop - and I didn't have any particular attachment to the other Toy Story films. It really hit home for me in a lot of ways, and no other film has ever had such an effect on me.

      Social Network has a lot of very worthy elements but it just doesn't add up for me.

      Yeah, Stone is all kinds of incredible in Easy A. But even as incredible as she is I'm not sure she'd place in my top 5 - because this field is just SO incredible... AND I just remembered/noticed that MOTHER is from this year. Kim Hye-Ja just OWNS in that. This year is such a coin toss in this category! (Is Vincere really that good? I barely remember hearing about it, and I LOVE French films.)

      It's interesting to me that you don't care for Lawrence in Winter's Bone; to me she's so shockingly natural in it, and keeps finding unexpected moments of humor that considerably lighten a pretty heavy film.

    3. Also: FOUR LIONS. SO. MUCH. YES.

    4. OMG...yes...Toy Story 3 ruined me in that final act. I was bawling in a theater full of children who were laughing and cheering and I didn't care.

      Kim Hye-Ja is incredible.

      Vincere is pretty good, but great, but both Giovanna and Filippo are great. It's been a little while since I've seen it, but I believe that it's mostly in Italian.

    5. Whoops, meant to note the Lawrence thing. I have grown to like her, but that's because I think she's grown as an actress. I see raw potential, but that's all I see in her early work...potential...dry, untapped, green potential.

    6. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm interesting. I read that potential you're talking about as Ree's potential, not Lawrence's. She's definitely grown as an actress, but I think part of that is the parts and projects she's worked on - they've gotten bigger and rangier.

    7. No, I meant Lawrence's potential. When watching her in things like Like Crazy and Winter's Bone and The Burning Plain and even the first Hunger Games...I see an actress who has potential, but she hasn't tapped into it yet. She needed to loosen up. Then Silver Linings Playbook happened. THAT was a star making performance.

    8. You're absolutely right about Silver Linings, although I'd argue that's more a triumph of personality/charisma than acting (not that I think it's a bad performance).

    9. But I think that's why it was her star turn and where, for me, it showed her finally tap into that potential. She was finally comfortable enough with a role to show personality. She thrives on those kinds of characters, where she can bleed her own persona into them. When she's saddled with a character that is quiet and repressed, she comes off wooden to me...she doesn't quite understand how to sell that kind of a character, to me.

  12. Great work! Love that Somewhere, Blue Valentine and Fish Tank make an appearance. And the strong Animal Kingdom showing is awesome.

    1. Yeah, Animal Kingdom was so fierce! The more I rest on it, the more I love it!

  13. This is great. Nice to see Social Network winning and Animal Kingdom getting some love as well. I am on full-agreement with you on Best Supporting Actor, I'd nominate all 5 of these guys but I'd probably give Garfield the win.

    Like that Banksy got nominated for Best Director, his work on Exit Through the Gift Shop was remarkable.

    1. Thanks Khalid! Love that you're in agreement on Sup. Actor. When I saw Four Lions on your Top Ten list, I was hoping you'd agree with that nom here. Garfield is my runner-up, and SO deserving.

    2. Yeah, I loved Four Lions, Riz Ahmed was pretty good in it as well but I think the film's main genius is the writing. It's a shame Garfield missed out on a Oscar nom.

    3. Yeah, I was praying that Renner would miss (I just don't get that performance)...and I was really pissed when Garfield was snubbed...especially since Bale (who was great) and Rush (who was very good) were clearly Leads in their films and had no business being the two frontrunners for the Supporting Oscar.

    4. Oh...completely forgot about Renner. I actually loved that performance, the whole movie in fact. I guess I would probably nominate Renner over Fassbender, the rest would be the same.

    5. I liked The Town...but not a fan of Renner as an actor...