I don’t want to be on your list of regrets. They all eventually regret me. You will regret me, too.
I want to run away and no one will know me.
I want to be someone else. Be someone else.
A Cure for Wellness, Alexandre Desplat, art, blogging, Call Me By Your Name, Coco, Columbus, Darren Aronofsky, Dunkirk, Faces Places, film, Film awards, Filmqueer, Get Out, Good Time, Hans Zimmer, I Am Heath Ledger, I Tonya, Jonny Greenwood, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Lady Bird, Lesley Manville, mother, music, Mutafukaz, Personal Shopper, Phantom Thread, Princess Cyd, Raw, Richard Jenkins, Safdie, Sean Baker, The Beguiled, The Florida Project, The Girl Without Hands, The Handmaiden, The Shape of Water, The Work, Thelma, Trainspotting 2, Window Horses, You Were Never Really Here
If you haven’t heard, let me tell you.
This year I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own film awards.
Brace yourself for *drum roll* the first annual filmqueer Awards!
That’s my username on Letterboxd. And I like it.
What are the filmqueer Awards?
filmqueer Awards are my personal take on last year’s films. They are 1000% subjective with no specific criteria. I picked my FAVORITE films, not necessarily the best ones – the categories are all still dubbed Best but that’s only for the sake of practicality; a pragmatic misnomer.
There is a total of 14 categories. Each category includes a minimum of three and a maximum of six nominees. Some categories are classic, others original.
One original category is the Beyond Award category; it is similar to “special mention” except there are no nominees, only winners. As lame as that sounds, it is particularly important that I highlight these films because they may have been overlooked, underrated, or misunderstood and I reeeeally want more people to watch (or rewatch) these films. My perception of these films ranges from thrilling, to heart wrenching, to what the fuck. And it’s my pleasure to share them with as many people as possible.
I also eliminated the Best Director category and merged it with Best Film because…I can never really tell the difference, to be honest. In addition, I don’t have many technical categories (editing, sound mixing/editing, VFX, etc.) due to my limited knowledge of these fields. However, I hope that over the years I expand my knowledge to include more elaborate categories.
Nominations are listed below. The winners will be announced on April 28.
Note: Some of the nominees are officially 2016 productions but were released in my region later in 2017 hence their presence among my nominees.
Here we go!
filmqueer Awards 2018 – appreciating my favorite films of 2017
Call Me By Your Name – Luca Guadagnino
Good Time – The Safdie Brothers
Personal Shopper – Olivier Assayas
Phantom Thread – Paul Thomas Anderson
The Florida Project – Sean Baker
The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook
Best Leading Actor
Adam Driver – Paterson
Daniel Day Lewis – Phantom Thread
Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
Robert Pattinson – Good Time
Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name
Vince Vaughn – Brawl in Cell Block 99
Best Leading Actress
Brooklyn Prince – The Florida Project
Eili Harboe – Thelma
Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane
Kristen Stewart – Personal Shopper
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
Best Supporting Actor
Barry Keoghan – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me By Your Name
Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
Steve Buscemi – The Death of Stalin
Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
Best Supporting Actress
Catherine Keener – Get Out
Kirsten Dunst – The Beguiled
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
Sylvia Hoeks – Blade Runner 2049
Best Ensemble Cast
The Death of Stalin
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Call Me By Your Name – James Ivory
Get Out – Jordan Peele
Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig
Phantom Thread – Paul Thomas Anderson
The Death of Stalin – Armando Iannucci
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – Noah Baumbach
Alexis Zabe – The Florida Project
Anthony Dod Mantle – Trainspotting 2
Bojan Bazelli – A Cure for Wellness
Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049
Sean Price Williams – Good Time
Alexandre Desplat – The Shape of Water
Hans Zimmer – Dunkirk
Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread
Jonny Greenwood – You Were Never Really Here
Oneohtrix Point Never – Good Time
Best Animated Film
Coco – Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Mutafukaz – Shôjirô Nishimi, Guillaume Renard
The Girl Without Hands – Sébastien Laudenbach
Window Horses – Ann Marie Fleming
78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene – Alexandre O. Phillipe
David Lynch: The Art Life – Jon Nguyen
Faces Places – Agnès Varda, JR
I Am Heath Ledger – Adrian Buitenhuis, Derik Murray
The Work – Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous
Best Foreign Film
Aloys – Tobias Nölle (Switzerland)
On Body and Soul – Ildikó Enyedi (Hungary)
Raw – Julia Ducournau (France)
Thelma – Joachim Trier (Norway)
The Handmaiden – Park Chan-wook (South Korea)
The Insult – Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon)
Best Directorial Debut
Columbus – Kogonada
Get Out – Jordan Peele
Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig
Manifesto – Julian Rosefeldt
Most Beautiful Island – Ana Asensio
Raw – Julia Ducournau
A Cure for Wellness – Gore Verbinski
mother! – Darren Aronofsky
Oh Lucy! – Atsuko Hirayanagi
Princess Cyd – Stephen Cone
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Luc Besson
World of Tomorrow: Episode 2 – Don Hertzfeldt
art, Cannes, capitalism, Captain Fantastic, cinematography, existence, family, fascism, film, film review, generation gap, humanity, life, love, Matt Ross, music, philosophy, religion, sex, society, Viggo Mortensen
Captain Fantastic (2016)
Director: Matt Ross
Like Ben and his children attending a funeral all dressed in bright red and green, Matt Ross’ Captain Fantastic is a soulful burst of color in the dark sad affair that is current moviemaking. Telling the story of the Cash family, the film follows the everyday life of Ben (masterfully played by Viggo Mortensen) as he trains and educates his six children in the middle of a forest. The setting may first seem like a summer camp but it turns out to be the permanent residence of the family where they exercise, hunt, play music, and learn everything from self-defense and bone carving to quantum physics and law. Their utopian microcosm is suddenly disturbed when they receive the news of their hospitalized mother’s death. What follows is the journey of a family vying to prove itself to the world.
The film is an outstanding social commentary on today’s world as well as a deliberation about the generation gap. At the beginning one may think Ben is hypocrite who decides to isolate his family from a corrupt world that indoctrinates all minds only to do that very same thing to them – protect them against the evil of the world by injecting them with his own set of beliefs. However as the film progresses we can see the nuances of Ben’s character, especially when contrasted against other characters. Other parental characters in the film are illustrated as either dictators who completely disregard their children’s wishes or blindly supportive shadows for their children and both juxtapose with Ben’s role in enlightening his family through free and unrestricted access to truth. Truth is a key concept that is tackled in an entirely original way: a multi-dimensional approach spanning different generations and mentalities. The film discusses the relationship between finding the truth and age. Ben refuses to lie to his children about anything and always divulges the truth about pertinent issues such as capitalism, sex, fascism, and religion which are generally avoided when talking to eight-year-olds. Unlike Harper (Kathryn Hahn) who argues that lying to children is for the sake of “protecting [them] from concepts that they are too young to understand,” Ben believes in no age when it comes to knowledge. However, what Ben eventually realizes is that knowing the truth about the world is not the same thing as living in it. He chooses to move his children into their grandparents’ residence and surrenders to the real world, accepting that this time he is not right and relinquishing his control. But he is not giving up; he’s giving in. Soon after returning back to the forest all by himself, Ben is surprised to find his children had followed him. The seeds he had sowed in their souls were blooming, the ideas growing into actions; he had raised them well and they were ready to face the world.
The film’s top moments involve death but they do not engulf the audience in melancholy but rather in the magnificent bond between humans, alive and dead. The first moment takes place early on in the film when Ben finds out his wife had died. Instead of inserting a typical hysterical reaction, Matt Ross chooses to transport us to a waterfall. Ben showers in the waterfall, bathing in nature’s ever flowing tears. The second moment is on the family’s bus where angelic music and light floods the scene as the children lay around their mother’s corpse on its way to be cremated. Death is portrayed as an ethereal experience not of loss but of love; a celebration of humanity. During the cremation ceremony, the children play music, sing, and dance while their mother’s body fades into ashes and her love flowers into them.
The use of close ups and music attenuates the emotional connection between the characters and the audience. We’re drawn into their special world where they celebrate Noam Chomsky day instead of Christmas and howl in excitement through their eyes and rhythms. Creating a successful dramedy, Ross fuses elements from different genres and the product is a genuine, thought-provoking, heartwarming experience of what it is to be alive.
Captain Fantastic won the Un Certain Regard Directing award at Cannes Film Festival 2016.