Celebrating the best, and worse, of 2015/2016, the Moulinie awards have been designed as your antidote to the political genital twiddling contest that is the contemporary Academy Awards. Confused with Spotlight's win? You're not alone, so I'm here to (hopefully) set things right. Read on, enjoy, and if you disagree with any of the winners, let me know.
Disclaimer, it's almost impossible to have watched every film released in a calendar year. Believe me, I've tried. So, for now, there will not only not be a best foreign language picture category (I know, boo me), but some of your favourites, that may well have been great films, may not make the list. If so, try not to take it personally. Also, the film must have been released originally in 2015, regardless of European release dates. If you had your debut in 2016, you don't count. Soz.
- The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu)
- Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson)
- Star Wars:A Force Awakens (J.J Abrams)
- Slow West (John Maclean)
- Mad Max:Fury Road (George Miller)
And the winner is.....(Drum Roll)
Was there really any other choice here? Whilst the Academy's testicles may have shriveled up to the point where awarding the best film of the year to the film that swept up best actor, best director and best cinematography seems to them perhaps unfair, my balls still swing low and hard. As such, I have no problem awarding the best film of last year the award for best film. If you haven't seen it, it's an incredibly layered, visceral, intense and raw film that is an experience as much as it is entertainment. It transcends the line between poetry and film, it is truly remarkable. As such, this was a no contest from the beginning.
- Leonardo Di Caprio (The Revenant)
- David Thewlis (Anomalisa)
- Matt Damon (The Martian)
- Jaoquin Pheonix (Inherent Vice)
- Tom Hardy (The Revenant)
And the winner is.......
Now this may be controversial, it probably is. Because I wanted this to be a relatively brief post, I've dropped the supporting actor/actress categories, in order to streamline the results. As such, Hardy was placed up to the best actor category, and for me he wins this, but it's close between him and Leo. Very close. Hardy edges it for me though; his performance is more transforming, as anything you once knew to be Tom Hardy is thrown in the bin. Hardy is traditionally a very charming, well spoken and attractive fella. Here, he's a nasty, gruff, fast-speaking guy who isn't particularly pretty. Whilst Leo's performance is truly wonderful, Hardy just edged it for me. How amazing though that one film can produce two magical performances?
- Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
- Jennifer Jason Leigh (Anomalisa)
- Maika Monroe (It Follows)
- Charlize Theron (Mad Max:Fury Road)
- Caren Pistorious (Slow West)
And the winner is.......
Again, I'm not sure if I had much of a choice here. Fury Road is easily the best Mad Max film ever made, and the biggest artistic surprise of last year. The biggest surprise of all? Max wasn't even the star. Instead Theron's Furiosa steals the show. Not only is this a very strong, commanding and believable performance, against a cartoon backdrop of chaos, but Theron stole both the show and the press from Hardy, as the world lost it's mind when they found out a female was taking a major role in an action movie. A woman? Being a badass? That's crazy. People lost their damn minds and the internet almost imploded out of rage. Not only was this role a huge moment in the history of the depiction of females in blockbusters, and a massive victory for feminism that changed the game forever, but she managed to outshine the mercurial Tom Hardy in effectively his own movie. Anytime that happens, you know it's special.
Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant)
- George Miller (Mad Max:Fury Road)
- J.J Abrams (Star Wars:The Force Awakens)
- Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson (Anomalisa)
- John Maclean (Slow West)
And the winner is.......
Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant) ;
Now, for me, this was a no-brainer. The Revenant was easily the best film of last year, as one can see from my awarding it best picture, and a lot of that was Iñárritu's directing. You make one great film (Birdman), you may have gotten lucky. You make two great films? You're a great director. You make two masterpieces back to back? You're a GOD. Iñárritu take a bow, son. You've earned it.
- Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa)
- Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant)
- John Maclean (Slow West)
- Rhet Reese, Paul Wernick (Deadpool)
- Drew Goddard (The Martian)
And the winner is......
Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa;
Anomalisa, for those who haven't seen it, is a rare example of a truly beautiful and moving film that relies on no cheap tricks or gimmicks. The dialogue is naturalistic, featuring the 'umms' and pauses we associate with human speech. The primary protagonist's descent into madness is wonderfully handled; feeling authentic and believable throughout. It's crazy almost that a claymation movie could be the most authentically human film of the year, but it is, and it is a wonderful character study. I won't spoil a damn thing for you, all I can say is watch it. It will blow your mind.
- Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)
- Dan Mindel (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
- John Seale (Mad Max:Fury Road)
- Robbie Ryan (Slow West)
- Mike Gioulakis (It Follows)
And the winner is...
Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant) ;
As with best picture, this wasn't even a contest. What Lubezki did in this movie is absolutely incredible. Fake snow? CGI mountains? Fuck that noise. After three consecutive academy award wins Lubezki is quickly building quite the legend and he deserves every accolade he gets. I could talk about the immaculate framing and composition of shots. I could talk about the fantastic use of deep focus to create large believable worlds. I could talk about how the opening native American attack is effectively one continuous tracking shot, which is, frankly, incredible. I could talk about Lubezki all day, but all I will say for now is this. Go and watch the film. Then watch Birdman. Then watch Gravity..well, maybe not that one. Or, if you do watch it, mute it. It's a beautiful movie, but goddamn does Sandra Bullock to ruin the damn thing.
I'm gonna cut the bullshit and save you all some valuable, precious time; Lucy sweeps the 'worst of category'. Worst picture? Yup. Worst actress? Yup. Worst screenplay? Yup. Worst director? Yup. Worst cinematography or actor? Actually, maybe not. Regardless, this is easily the most ludicrous and brain dead piece of cinema I've had the displeasure of seeing. Sure, there are a lot of stupid B-Movies out there that are far worse. Difference is that they often know they're silly and stupid, and as such we give them a pass. Lucy lied to us. Lucy told us it was clever and based on real science. Lucy is full of shit, and as a result the film is a braindead excercise in complete nonsense. I would say go watch it yourself and find out, but seriously, don't torture yourself. I can name at least five things more enjoyable than watching this mess, and I'll name them now;
- Hitting yourself in the balls/tits with a hammer.
- Watching your family murdered.
- Hanging out with Donald Trump.
- Spending a weekend in Syria.
- Roman fucking Reigns.
So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the first ever Moulinie awards! I sure hope you've enjoyed the read and that this can wash that nasty the Academy left in your mouth out.
Thanks for reading.