ESCAPE WEEKEND AWARD
Now that the official awards season is over for 2014 movies, it’s time to present my ninth annual Escape Weekend Award.
A few years back, possibly decades, a famous hotel chain offered The Escape Weekend campaign. Basically, they purported after working hard and accomplishing great deeds, an escape weekend at one of their luxury resorts was not only well deserved but indeed a necessity. They combined the escape weekend with an absolution for any wild and crazy activities, a la what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Continuing their now defunct campaign, I started The Escape Weekend Award. This award is presented to the actress whose work during the past year was so incredibly seductive as to merit an escape weekend. Take the actress to a luxury resort for a weekend and let your imagination run wild.
Of course, none of these actresses would ever want to accept this award; and frankly I’m reaching an age when the escape weekend with one of these ladies could and would probably be the death of me. Nonetheless, in keeping with the tradition, here are my nominees for the Escape Weekend Award for 2014.
1. Keira Knightly. I truly wonder why this woman makes the list almost every year. She is almost the antithesis of the Hollywood sex symbol. She is a lanky, skinny waif. Each year, however, she dons a period piece costume and exudes enough thespian talent to make the nomination list. This year, she excelled in THE IMITATION GAME, playing a perfect female foil to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Alan Turing. She’s just so damn cute.
2. JULIANN MOORE - This fiery redhead manages to boil any male’s blood in everything she does. I truly cannot remember her giving a bad performance, even though she has had bad material. She played a woman suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease in STILL ALICE, and even though she appeared progressively worse as the sickness advanced, she still looked like she would be exceptional fun on an escape weekend.
3. ROSAMUND PIKE - Many rookie critics discovered Rosamund Pike this year with her performance in GONE GIRL; yet she has been offering a powerful screen presence since. Whether she is playing serious dramatic roles like GONE GIRL, action films like DIE ANOTHER DAY or comedy like THE WORLD’S END, she has a seductive quality that would turn any man to putty.
4. EVANGELINE LILLY - Here is another one who doesn’t fit the typical Hollywood template. She’s a bit too skinny, and a bit rough around the dialogue boundaries, but there is always something about a woman pretending she’s a warrior and being able to convince chauvinistic men she could, just possibly, pull it off. THE HOBBIT: BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES may have scored higher on my movie rating scale if she had been in more scenes.
5. EMMA STONE - This one could very possibly be deadly. On an escape weekend, I’m next to certain Emma would probably spend Saturday and Sunday just helping me up and down the steps. She reminds me of the carousing days of my youth. She is young, energetic and has a body that doesn’t quit. Couple those traits with the ability to completely sell her character, and you have a winning combination. This year, she was the only thing worth watching in one of the worse movies ever made - BIRDMAN.
Those are the five nominees for the Escape Weekend Award for 2014. And the winner is (insert drum roll)….. Rosamund Pike.
Accepting the award for Rosamund Pike, is absolutely no one. In fact, no one on this list is desperate enough to even acknowledge this award. As Billy Joel once intoned, “It’s just a fantasy. It’s not the real thing. But, sometimes a fantasy, is all you need.”