Wednesday, 5 December 2012

International Online Film Critics’ Poll 2012 - Greg Klymkiw Reporting

International Raquel!!!

International Online Film Critics’ Poll 2012
Nominations Announced
- By Greg Klymkiw
I was asked to participate in the International Online Film Critics’ Poll 2012 which nominates and subsequently bestows awards upon movies theatrically released in the USA over a two-year period. The following nominees were determined by a poll of international online critics from eligible titles released twixt 16 November 2010 to 15 November 2012. The 2012 edition is the 3rd edition of this poll and on December 20, 2012, the winners will be announced in addition the Ten Best Poll as ascertained by the critics invited to vote.

According to Mr. George McCoy, the primary contact for the poll, a list of the film critics participating will be a mystery until the final winners are revealed. At that time, the names of the critics will also be unveiled. (Guess I just put mine out there by jumping the gun with this piece.) I've already voted in the nominations round of the poll and just recently submitted my final votes for the winners. 

George McCoy - UK Hooker Critic

Delighted to be part of this poll, I was curious who Mr. McCoy actually was, so I Googled him and discovered a writer in UK who reviews British massage parlours, courtesans and dungeons in extensive detail. A worthwhile service to be sure. As revealed in the -ahem - fine "news"paper The Daily Mail, London Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse's man-boobs are in a wringer over McCoy's audacity to review women providing sexual services.

(That informative article can be read HERE.)

I asked my Mr. McCoy if he was, indeed, "The Real McCoy", and with his answer, my hopes were immediately dashed.

The George McCoy who presides over the International Online Film Critics Poll was born in Scotland, but moved to Italy as a child. He lives in Rome, far from the brothels of Blighty and works, not as a professional connoisseur of the world's oldest provision of services to gentlemen, but as a film journalist in his first language, Italian. As he is NOT the same George McCoy who reviews massage parlours in the UK and given my predilections for the perverse (and occasional disdain for legitimacy), I must live with that fact and do so without reserve.

As for participation in the poll itself, I found it much easier to whittle down my choices over a longer period of time since the richest cinematic cream of my own votes tended to rise to the top far more forcefully. After submitting my nominations, I discovered that Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy from 2011 and The Master from 2012 were the pictures that consistently made it to the nominations. Granted, my votes for nominations tended to be rather "out there", so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that the vast majority of my selections were, in fact, not part of the nominations (save for the above-named films).

In the meantime, here are the official final nominees and my own PERSONAL picks for the International Online Film Critics’ Poll 2012.


Best Motion Picture

The Artist
The King’s Speech
The Master
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Okay, I absolutely hated The Artist, which felt like an overlong Mel Brooks movie parody without the laughs and Mel's genuine love for the movies he lampooned. Worst of all, the insufferably cutesy-pie The Artist resembled a Guy Maddin picture without Guy Maddin. I especially detested the interminably predictable uplift of The King's Speech which felt like a dull made-for-tv movie with slightly better production value and far too much stuttering for my taste. While I did not hate Lincoln, I found it rather dull and clankingly jingoistic.

The movies I chose in the first round of voting for nominations in the best picture category that didn't make the cut were Carre Blanc, The Deep Blue Sea, End of Watch, Fat Kid Rules The World, God Bless America, Keyhole, Killer Joe and Take This Waltz. The Master and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy both did make the cut. Given how completely different they are, it seemed almost impossible to vote for just one of them as a winner, but ultimately, I am insanely obsessed with The Master so it got my vote for Best Picture.

Gotta Love this Turkish Poster

Best Director

Ben Affleck – Argo
Tomas Alfredson – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master
Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln

Affleck's direction ranged from competent to reasonable, but I found ARGO to be such an irredeemably racist dung pile of American propaganda that there's less than a snowball's chance in Hell I'd be picking it for anything. Spielberg's direction for Lincoln was pretty damn flaccid and Malick's helmsmanship of the aesthetically flatulent The Tree of Life, was fraught with more pretension than even the worst student films I've seen over the years.

Most of my votes in this category were shut out of the final nominations. I favoured Keyhole by Guy Maddin, Killer Joe by William Friedkin and Take This Waltz by Sarah Polley. Two directors I selected WERE nominated - P.T. Anderson (The Master) and Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). Both of these guys did such great work I felt like tossing a coin to pick a winner. At the end of the day, however, given how expertly Alfredson captured the Cold War flavour of spy bureaucracy, I happily gave him the nod over the more flamboyant P.T. Anderson for Best Director.

Tomas Alfredson Rules!!!

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Daniel Day-Lewis was just fine (as he always is) in Lincoln, but every time Honest Abe opened his mouth and said, "That reminds me of a story . . ." I wanted to punch him in the face. Jean Dujardin and Colin Firth were so objectionable in those two execrable films, I was similarly inclined to punch both of them in the face as well.

My own picks for nominees included Joseph Gordon Leavitt in 50/50, Joel Murray in God Bless America and the exemplary Michael Shannon in Take Shelter. Once again, those votes were given the bum's rush, but it did leave two of my nominees in the running - Joaquin Phoenix for The Master and Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. To pick a winner twixt the two proved again to be a bit of a coin toss. Finally though, I chose Gary Oldman's exquisite poker-faced performance as George Smiley.

A smiley-faced laddie

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Elizabeth Holsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin
Quvenzhané Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild

You know, I can't say I was happy with a couple of these nominees, save for the fine work of Elizabeth Holsen, Quvenzhané Wallis and Natalie Portman. Meryl Streep and Tilda Swinton inspired my need to punch face. All my favourite choices here were shut out of the nominations - Rachel Weizs in The Deep Blue Sea, Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn AND Take This Waltz, Tara Lynne Barre in God Bless America, Jodie Foster in Carnage and Stephanie Sigman in Miss Bala. I did, however, love Natalie Portman in Black Swan and was pleased to volley my vote in her direction for the big prize.

Yup. Natalie's a major babe!

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale – The Fighter
Bryan Cranston – Argo
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master

The mad inspiration that is Phillip Seymour Hoffman in The Master, was my pick for the best of the best in this category.

I'd follow The Master off a cliff.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams – The Master
Amy Adams – The Fighter
Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo – The Fighter

Amy Adams in either of the final nominated roles would make me happy (though her work in The Master is what really did it for me).

I'd follow Amy Adams off a cliff.

Best Ensemble Cast

The Artist
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Well, amongst this sorry lot, there was only only one ensemble cast that genuinely deserved to be here - that passel of Brits as deadly Cold War bureaucrats in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

I could listen to these guys talk all day.

Best Original Screenplay

Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master
Paddy Considine – Tyrannosaur
Sean Durkin – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Andrés Heinz, Mark Heyman and John McLaughlin – Black Swan
David Seidler – The King’s Speech

There is only one definitive choice amongst THESE nominees, P.T. Anderson's The Master.

Write me some words, P.T.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Lucy Alibar and Ben Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughan – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Alexander Payne, Net Faxon and Jim Rash – The Descendants
Tony Kushner – Lincoln
Chris Terrio – Argo

Hands down - gotta love the best LeCarre script adaptation ever.

Tinker Tailor Tinkers

Best Production Design

Rick Carter – Lincoln
Nathan Crowley, Kevin Kavanaugh – The Dark Knight Rises
Maria Djurkovic – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
David Crank, Jack Fish – The Master
Dennis Gassner – Skyfall

I wish I could live here.

Best Film Editing

Tariq Anwar – The King’s Speech
William Goldenberg – Argo
Michael Kahn – Lincoln
Leslie Jones, Peter McNulty – The Master
Dino Jonsäter – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I was blown away by the creepy pace - punctuated by several blasts of genuine nail-biting suspense in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Snip. Snip. Kaboom!!!

Best Original Score 

Ludovic Bource – The Artist
Alberto Iglesias – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Alexandre Desplat – The King’s Speech
Jonny Greenwood – The Master
Clint Mansell – Black Swan

Hands down, my vote went to Jonny Greenwood's supercool musical dissonance in The Master.


Best Visual Effects

The Avengers
Black Swan
The Dark Knight Rises
The Tree of Life

Great effects for a genuinely great movie Black Swan.


So there you have it, folks - the nominees and some of my personal votes for what I feel should be the winning entries. Check the International Online Film Critics’ Poll 2012 on December 20. 2012 for a full list of the winners at the Poll's website HERE.