Tuesday, July 21, 2015

2012 Fisti Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged By Clicking on Them]

2012.  This was a good year.  I started actively predicting Oscars back in 2011, after getting extremely involved with predicting the 2010 Oscar season (in the heat of the season) and 2012 was the year that I correctly predicted the Oscar winner back in April.  I actually think I missed it and then made an amendment because I forgot Argo was coming out and then someone asked me "what do you think about Argo?" and I was like, "OH YEAH!!!  ARGO IS WINNING!!!"


I'm not saying that this win was a good thing, though.  The win itself is so safe that it's rather bland and, at the end of the day I remember nothing about Argo other than it was fine and I have no desire to watch it again and remind myself that it's...fine.

You know what was more than fine?  The year in general!  Yeah, 2012 was a pretty great year for films, and while I'm sure that not all of my picks will resonate with you guys (I adore a film that gets a lot of vitriol from bloggers and friends), there is a lot to love here and dig in leave your thoughts, which I can't wait to read!  So, with that I present to you the Fisti Awards for 2012!

I want to start things with a special award that I created in honor of a very special movie.  I'm not sure that this award will ever be given again, and yet it might depending on how strongly I connect to it.  This special award is The Lee Hirsch Award for Change and will go to the film that I feel is an important statement in the fight for human betterment.  This award is named after the first recipient, Lee Hirsch (and by association, Cynthia Lowen) who wrote, directed, lensed and produced the gut-wrenching documentary, Bully.  I've spoken a bit about this film already, but this film is, in my humble opinion, the most important film any parent could ever see, and it really highlights a terrible problem we see in our youths.  Hirsch's tragic doc ends with a rousing call for change, change that we all should embrace and promote.  So, this is the first film I've ever been moved to create an entire award for, and it may be the only film to receive this honor, but this was the best way for me to reward Hirsch for his vision and passion, especially in a year that is so rich it was hard to actually nominate him for anything.

[NOTE: Due to the duality of their performances, I could not chose which performance was 'greater' and thus called this a tie.  Without one, the other would have been lesser, and visa-versa]

Award's Tally

[4 Wins]

Anna Karenina

[3 Wins]

Les Miserables

[2 Wins]

Declaration of War
The Master*
Moonrise Kingdom

[1 Win]

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Holy Motors
Life of Pi
Rust + Bone
The Snowtown Murders

*Because of the Special Award and the tie in Lead Actor, there are 19 Awards given out this year instead of the usual 17.


  1. Excellent lineup of films. Like that we both have Cotillard and Phoenix as our respective winners and I can certainly see why you tied Phoenix with Hoffman. While Jean-Louis Trintignant was the best thing about it, I still like the lack of enthusiasm for Amour. Wow, is that movie overrated!

    Keep up the great work, though!

    1. Yeah, Amour was a film I wanted to love but couldn't. As far as Haneke is concerned (and I love Haneke), this is lesser work from him.

  2. As someone who has been bullied in the past, Bully was just so honest and heartbreaking. I'm very glad that it exists.

    Moonrise Kingdom for the win! You picked some great winners here. I think you might also be the first person I've encountered who has Russell Crowe in their Supporting Actor lineup for Les Mis, but as a fan of his work in that film as well, I'm glad to see him here!

    I have to say, the amount of effort you put into these awards is amazing and inspiring. Keep up the great work!

    1. OMG! Someone else who is a fan of Crowe's work in Les Mis!!!

      He gets so much flack for that performance, but it's such an honest and layered performance. His face conveys so much, and yes...I actually liked his singing.

      Moonrise Kingdom for every win!

  3. LOVE your lineups overall, although I am shocked by the lack of Riva, Knightley, and Wallis from Best Actress given the love for their films elsewhere (and if The Master is a duet between Hoffman and Phoenix, then certainly Amour is one between Trintignant and Riva). And no Samuel L. Jackson for Django in Supporting Actor? He was the best thing about that movie! Your cinematography nominations are PERFECT.

    2012 was the first year I started keeping "Official" tally of my own awardage. My Best Picture 5 are Beasts of the Southern Wild (WINNER), Cloud Atlas, Amour, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Impossible. Bubbling under are Moonrise Kingdom, Magic Mike, Rust & Bone, Argo, and Django Unchained.

    Best Actor: Channing Tatum (Magic Mike), Hugh Jackman (Les Mis), Denzel Washington (Flight), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour, WINNER), and Logan Lerman (Perks) - with apologies to Bradley Cooper, John Hawkes, Matthias Schoenarts, and Daniel Day-Lewis (who I am THRILLED doesn't make your final five either. It's a good performance, but I could see any method actor giving the exact same performance).

    Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone), Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour, WINNER), Quevenzhane Wallis (Beasts), and Kirsten Dunst (Bachelorette) - and Honorable Mentions to Greta Gerwig, Naomi Watts, Helen Hunt, Jennifer Lawrence, and Meryl Streep.

    Supporting Actor: Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained), Matthew McConnaughey (Magic Mike, WINNER), Ewan McGregor (The Impossible), Jude Law (Anna Karenina), and Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) - which leaves out Garrett Hudlund, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Fran Kranz, and Ezra Miller.

    Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina), Emma Watson (Perks), Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy), Anne Hathaway (Les Mis, WINNER), and Sally Field (Lincoln) - which leaves out Isla Fisher, Charlize Theron, Rebel Wilson, Eva Green, and Diane Kruger.

    1. I liked Riva, but she doesn't even make my Top 12. Like, I didn't see as much there as I wanted to, and Trintignant for me really sold a film that I wasn't wholly invested in. Knightley is quite great in Anna Karenina, but that film for me is all about Wright and his brilliant vision (he was #6 for me in Director), and the same can be said for Wallis, who was convincing but I give most props to her direction, to be honest (and Zeitlin was my runner-up).

      UGH, I forgot to watch Perks of Being a Wallflower before posting these!!!

      Daniel Day-Lewis is undeniably good...but I don't think he's great, especially since it's such a mimicry type performance.

      I just don't get the McConaughey love this year. Like...really? Why?

    2. Riva was almost TOO real for me in Amour. Like, difficult to watch. There was no acting, there was no character, it was just HER going through these awful things. Incredible work.

      I see the "director's vision" thing with Wright and Zeitlin, but I think Keira is a perfect "partner in crime" as it were for Wright, effortlessly embodying his vision and doing personal-best work to boot, and Wallis is such a natural that it's hard to tell where Zeitlin's work ends and hers begins. It doesn't feel like a "directed" performance, and that's a credit to them both. That said, she's fifth place for me (Hunt or Streep is in sixth).

      McConaughey's performance in Magic Mike is such a perfect match of star persona to character - he takes what we all think of him and turns it on its head so perfectly. No other actor could have played this part and been this indelible.

      WATCH PERKS. NOW. And then immediately update these awards accordingly, kthanxbye.

    3. I can see what you're saying about Riva. I mean, it's a very good performance...that I may need to give another chance.

      I'll watch Perks...I promise...and when I do...I'll update.

  4. Fuck yeah, The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Rust and Bone, Django Unchained, Amour, THE KID WITH A BIKE, a bad year overall but it had it's gems. Others would be Magic Mike, Reality, Samsara, Nameless Gangster, The Sessions, Like Someone in Love, Killing Them Softly, but I still need to see a few that you mentioned.

    1. You've seen quite a few that I haven't seen either. I've really wanted to see Like Someone in Love...but I keep forgetting to.

  5. Looks like we’re miles apart. I haven’t seen many of the foreign films you nominate and many of the American films that are highly regarded this year, Les Miz, The Master I hated. Others, Zero Dark Thirty, Beasts of the Southern Wild, seriously underwhelmed me.

    Moonrise Kingdom
    The Woman in Black

    I haven’t seen Declaration of War, I did enjoy your winner but I'm a sucker for historical dramas on a grand scale and Lincoln is one of the best I've ever seen, although it should have ended about ten minutes sooner.

    Ben Affleck-Argo
    Wes Anderson-Moonrise Kingdom
    Michael Haneke-Amour
    Steven Spielberg-Lincoln-Winner
    Joe Wright-Anna Karenina

    As I said I haven’t seen Declarations so I can’t weigh in on that, I’ll have to check out the film. While I didn't love the film I admired Joe Wright's fresh take on the material of Anna Karenina and I thought Affleck's sure handed guiding of Argo kept it taut and consistently interesting but I went with Spielberg despite his misjudgment of when to end the film it was still a vast epic that he handled brilliantly.

    Daniel Day-Lewis-Lincoln-Winner
    Richard Gere-Arbitrage
    Hugh Jackman-Les Miserables
    Daniel Radcliffe-Woman in Black
    Jean-Louis Trintignant-Amour

    Both Hoffman and Phoenix are fine actors but they did nothing for me in The Master, probably because I hated the movie so much, although I often like performers in films I don’t like. I haven’t seen two of your nominees but Trintignant does beautiful work in Amour.

    I hated Les Miz and almost everybody in it, Jackman was the only shining light and showed why he's so great on stage. The underappreciated pair of Gere and Trintignant were excellent in their respective films and Radcliffe continues to impress as he pursues roles that expand his talents. DDL totally immersed himself in Lincoln, he’s astonishing-glad to see he made you list but I’m surprised he didn’t make your top five.

    Marion Cotillard-Rust and Bone
    Keira Knightley-Anna Karenina
    Melanie Lynskey-Hello, I Must be Going
    Emmanuelle Riva-Amour
    Rachel Weisz-The Deep Blue Sea-Winner

    This was the one category I was sure we’d match and while Marion was customarily excellent to me no one could beat Rachel Weisz's extraordinary work in Deep Blue Sea, it's my favorite performance of the year in any category.

    1. I have not seen Woman in Black...and I'm kind of shocked that it makes your ballot considering the reviews/lack of passion for it, but now I'm really intrigued to check it out.

      I'd love to hear your thoughts on Declaration of War when you get a chance to see it. It's such a powerful and personal film (it was written, directed and acted by a couple who documented their own personal struggle when their child got extremely sick) and it has such passion and style. It's beautiful and moving and is as close to a tie with Moonrise for me as they come, which is why I split Picture/Director this year.

      As far as Weisz is concerned, she's my runner-up...but Cotillard's character shift was everything to me. Her completion of character, the way she grew from beginning to end, was just astonishing to watch. There are few films that actually allow a character to do a complete 180, to show every shade of a person, and she did that brilliantly here.

      LOVE that you nominate Lynskey!!!

    2. Woman in Black is actually really good. Not Top Five worthy - for me, anyway - but far better than I expected, being a Hammer Horror film and all.

    3. I will make note of this and eventually check it out!

  6. Supporting Actor:
    Javier Bardem-Skyfall
    Simon Russell Beale-The Deep Blue Sea
    Tommy Lee Jones-Lincoln-Winner
    Ewan McGregor-The Impossible
    James Spader-Lincoln

    We share only one match, Beale, and that’s in your long list! I guess that shows that it was a rich year in the supporting actor field. I’ve never even heard of the film your winner is in. Willis was fun in Moonrise but he would be my 7th or 8th choice.

    Spader's richly comic turn adds a much needed touch of levity to the serious Lincoln but he makes sure he never comes across as a clown. The always underappreciated McGregor added another fine portrait to his list as the anguished father in Impossible and Bardem as always makes a great villain in Skyfall. Beale is quietly wonderful as the cuckold husband in Deep Blue Sea but the irascible Jones is ideally cast as the equally irascible Thaddeus Stevens in Lincoln, he should have won this year amongst the actual nominees instead of Christoph Weitz repeat of his Inglorious Basterds role.

    Supporting Actress:
    Ann Dowd-Compliance
    Sally Field-Lincoln-Winner
    Eva Green-Dark Shadows
    Gloria Rueben-Lincoln
    Charlize Theron-Snow White and the Huntsman

    Your winner is the only one of the performances you nominate that I’ve seen, though I have been meaning to see Farewell, My Queen for a long time. Sorry to say I hated what Hathaway did to Fantine but then I disliked the adaptation pretty much across the board.

    Again I didn't like Compliance or Dark Shadows but Dowd & Green were great in them-Dowd is my runner up in fact. Likewise Snow White was underwhelming but Theron ignited the movie whenever she appeared on screen. Rueben's quiet power in Lincoln made a role that could easily have faded into the background of the many characters that surrounded the main pair into something memorable. But it's Sally Field in a role she fought like a tiger to get who tears up the screen balancing Mary Todd Lincoln's extreme moods into a symmetry not just with DDL's Lincoln but with all her scene partners, her smiling smackdown of Tommy Lee's Thaddeus Stevens is perhaps my favorite part of the film.

    1. Beale was SO GOOD...I almost nominated him as well. He's probably #7 or #8 for me, but I love so much from this year in that particular category.

      The Snowtown Murders is a brutal Australian film that chronicles a true story about a serial killer and Henshall's performance is beyond chilling...it's the one performance from the year that completely took my breath away. It's not an easy watch...BUT MY GOD!!!

  7. I bow to you that you see all these films to make an assessment on who should have won if you had the vote. I have not seen Les Mis yet but I love "The Impossible" and felt Naomi Watts was stellar in that performance. I also love "Moonrise Kingdom" and agree that Bruce Willis was overlooked. I did enjoy "Lincoln'"more than I thought I would and I love Daniel Day Lewis but there was something about him portraying Lincoln that didn't totally jive for me. I can't judge on who was better since I have not seen all the films that were up or that you have listed. Sally Field was great in that film and stole the scenes she was in. "Argo" was good and I am not one of the Canadians that is really upset by the film because it was not centering on the Canadian embassy but on the method to get these hostages out. I remember this time so well and actually, Ken Taylor talked at my high school and I was riveted by what he talked about. For song-I do love "Skyfall"

    1. These take a lot of work, but they're worth it. I have fun putting them together and they seeing everyone's reaction to them :-D

      You'll hear my thoughts on Argo soon ;-)

  8. Here is my list although it doesn't reflect my recent favorites list. For me, Best Director would be Leos Carax and Denis Lavant as Best Actor. Best Actress would be a tie... Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone and Suzanne Clement for Laurence Anyways. Best Supporting Actor would be Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained and Best Supporting Actress would be Amy Adams for The Master.

    1. I have Laurence Anyways in 2013...otherwise Clement (who gives the greatest performance of the decade and one of the greatest of all time) would have beaten Cotillard here.

  9. I love everything about this list Fisti. Lovely choices. I can't say I disagree with any of them!

  10. Interesting picks, some very different from mine. Agree that Hoffman and Phoenix were both leads and they both gave pretty much the best performances of the year. Don't like Les Miserables so Redmayne and Crowe wouldn't have made my picks, especially Crowe who, I think should never sing again. Love Moonrise Kingdom getting so much nominations, especially Bruce Willis. Like Rust + Bone, and I'm somewhat excited for Aquidard's next film Dheepan, which won this year's Palme d'Or

    1. Poor Crowe. His voice is far from bad here, but it's just not in the same league as the stage vocals that came before him, so he gets flack for this. That being said, his emotional conveyance is BEYOND and possibly the best in the film (the stare when he sees the bodies, when it all hits him, when he realizes the folly of his ways) and it's because of that that I personally find his performance worthy of mention here. It lasts with you.

    2. There's also the reason that I don't like musicals, so even if his singing was good, I could never have gotten into the film. :(

    3. NOOOOOOOO!!!! I love me some musicals, and Les Mis has always been my favorite (like I mentioned above...I'm bias).

  11. Love the Lee Hirsch Award! It counts as a Fisti win then, right?

    That Best Actor tie is brilliant. Now I want to dig through my ballots and see if there are any acting wins that I could expand into ties. For instance, I kinda want to give Beckinsale and Scott Thomas a tie in '08 now, or even Hawkins with KST.

    Also, it's so awesome that Donzelli still wins Director.

    Holy Motors, Cloud Atlas, Les Miserables... Lovin' the love!! And Seydoux and Adele! Thrilled about Carax's second win, too. Great stuff buddy!

    1. LOL, just looked at the tallies. Scratch the Bully win question.

    2. Yeah, I just had to do the tie. It just felt right, and this way Hoffman gets his win. I've decided to keep 5 nominees unless under special circumstance (like in 62) so that's why I didn't nominate a 6th actor here.

      I knew you'd love the Holy Motors and Cloud Atlas noms.

    3. Oh...and that Lee Hirsch Award is actual three fold, which means that he has THREE Fisti WINS...for producing, directing and writing!

  12. Of those songs, I've gotta go with Skyfall myself.

    As with 2012, a good number of the 2013 best picture films didn't end up as favorites of mine. In fact of the 9 nominees, Beasts of the Southern Wild was the only one in my top 15 of 2012. I'm interested in giving the Bully documentary a look, you seem to have high praise for it.

    1. Bully is, in my eyes, possibly the most 'important' film to come out in decades. It's completely relevant and universally so, and it actually calls to arms to actually fix a prevalent problem. I highly, highly recommend it.