Film of the Year
After struggling to wheedle down the best movies of the past 12 months into an appropriately decimal number, picking the ultimate winner of Film of the Year was a surprisingly easy task.
Mike Ott’s Pearblossom HWY, a keen selection at the 19th Bradford International Film Festival, was the only conceivable choice for the first ever Totality Film Awards. At some point I’m sure, it’s conceivable that I will run out of superlatives for this incredible feature – when I do, it will be due to my own linguistic failings rather than my enthusiasm failing for this startling US indie. Another must see film from the team who also brought us LiTTLEROCK.
The Selfish Giant,
Miracle In Cell No. 7,
Female Performance of the Year
Perhaps the bravest performance committed to camera this year belonged to Amanda Seyfried in the troubling biopic Lovelace. It’s almost impossible to imagine any other Hollywood star committing themselves so wholeheartedly and so fearlessly to a role which is as emotionally complex as it is entirely unflattering. Having proven herself as an admirable, engaging and talented actress in more frothy fare (such as the wonderfully silly Mamma Mia!), Seyfried's intensely expressive performance in Lovelace marks her out as one of the most potentially interesting performers of her generation.
Atsuko Okatsuka (Pearblossom HWY),
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr Banks),
Lee Si-young (How To Use Guys With Secret Tips),
Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Male Performance of the Year
Masaharu Fukuyama (Like Father, Like Son) delivers a masterclass performance of masculinity in crisis. His austere and stoically still turn as a man who begins to untangle with the discovery that the son he has raised may not be his biologically, is a subtle yet evocative performance allowing the audience to question his deep thoughts and hidden feelings that are hidden behind the inert mask of his face.
Corey Zachariah (Pearblossom HWY),
Steve Coogan (Philomena),
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Documentary of the Year
As with the Film of the Year category, another decision which was rather simple to make was awarding Little World with the title of 2013’s best documentary. In a rather shallow year for quality non-fiction film releases, this Spanish documentary comprised a rare ray of light. A non-fiction feature free of any cynicism, Marcel Barrena's wondrous feature proved a timely reminder of the elative joy that can be found at the movies.
Springsteen & I,
Best Film In a Foreign Language
Miracle In Cell No 7, currently the third most popular film of all time in it's native South Korea, managed to fulfill the difficult task of providing riotous belly laughs whilst delivering a righteously indignant polemic against the inhumanity of the death penalty. Mirth and sadness flow in equal measure - a real coup for the London Korean Film Festival.
Like Father, Like Son,
How To Use Guys With Secret Tips
Best Musical Performance
"Do You Want To Build A Snowman?" from the enchanting Frozen (performed by Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn and Katie Lopez) is the type of show-stopping song that only comes around once in a blue moon - earnest, powerful and full of tear wrenching subtext, the composition (by husband and wife team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez) is as deeply touching and profound as any song could ever wish to be. Disney at their absolute finest.
"Doby" performed by Will Ferrell (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues),
"I Dreamed a Dream" performed by Anne Hathaway, (Les Miserables)
Worst Feature of the Year
Jack the Giant Slayer is the type of film which Orlando Bloom would have taken the lead role in were it made in the mid 2000s. This, in case there was any confusion, is definitely not a good thing. Featuring cringe inducing animation (appearing as if it pre-dated Bloom's aforementioned peak by a good two decades) and a rather strangely pious tone to a movie that is inherently ridiculous, the film tops the year's worst list for feeling the most brutally cynical of all. Boasting a tale as flat and weightless as its poorly induced CGI visuals, Jack the Giant Slayer is exhaustively dull and feels like no one involved in the movie ever aimed higher than gallingly perfunctory in their efforts. Lazy, brazen and dour.
Much Ado About Nothing,