' Cinema Romantico: Random Cinematic Awards 2016

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Random Cinematic Awards 2016

As always, her eminence Nicole Kidman is here to present Cinema Romantico's annual awards of cinematic randomness.

Line of the Year: “A mirthless chuckle.” - Ralph Fiennes, “Hail, Caesar!”

Line of the Year runner-up: “For two decades the words Laurence Laurentz presents has meant something!” - Ralph Fiennes, “Hail, Caesar!”

Line of the Year bronze medal: “I’m Bobby Andes. I look into things around here.” - Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Line of the Year fourth place: “You’re expecting an angel and you get Nixon.” - Ryan Gosling, “The Nice Guys”

Monologue of the Year: As a record producer and garrulous motormouth who goes at Ludicrous Speed 24/7, Ralph Fiennes in “A Bigger Splash” recounts in a rollicking, breakneck soliloquy how in a recording session he and The Rolling Stones settled on employing a garbage can as percussion in the latter’s “Moon is Up.” I adored my favorite movie of the year (still to come...) but this monologue might honestly have been my favorite 60 seconds at a movie in 2016.


The Annual Buck C. Turgidson Award (presented to the best facial expression in a movie): Sarah Paulson, “Blue Jay.” There is a moment when Paulson’s character is tasked with giving a monologue about her devotion to animals, akin to Paul Giamatti’s monologue about personalizing wine in “Sideways” or Keira Knightley’s confessional about her preference for how music sounds on vinyl in “Seeking A Friend for the End of the World.” It’s a little ridiculous. We know it and she knows it too, which Paulson makes evident in one little twist of the lips.

The Annual Ruby Slippers Award (presented to the best prop in a movie): Gold Grillz, “Moonlight.” Not only does the mouth grill that the adult version of Chiron (Trevante Rhodes) sport become an emblem of his unfortunate direction in life, it becomes this wonderful, occasionally comic, contrast to the gentle soul that still lies underneath. When he momentarily laughs in his car, the camera picks up the blue flash of street lights out the window, illuminating Chiron in such a way that you could think he is either a monster or a put-on.

The Annual Toto Award (presented to the best dog in a movie): “Certain Women” & “Paterson.” The little barking Corgi that follows Lily Gladstone’s character around while she’s riding her ATV becomes a kind of canine comic partner; the English Bulldog that Adam Driver’s titular character takes for nightly walks becomes a bona fide supporting character.


The Annual Raquel Welch Poster Award (presented to the best poster in a movie): Joni Mitchell poster, “Everybody Wants Some!!” A perfect illustration of the time in your life when a poster on the wall is not for decoration but a statement of purpose.

The Annual I Still Know What You Did Last Summer Award (presented to the worst dream sequence in a movie this year): Katie Couric, “Sully.”  She really did interview Chesley Sullenberger and she really does interview Chesley Sullenberger in “Sully”, but when Katie Couric looks right into the camera and starts talking directly to the screen as a means to approximate talking to Sully in his dreams you will want to look at the floor like the keynote speaker at the corporate retreat just went off script about things he thinks he knows but knows nothing about.

The Annual Now We Can Eat Award (presented to the best meal in a movie): Kristen Stewart, “Certain Women.” Leaving her diner plates of food half-eaten after shoveling in a few bites is less one of those movie contrivances than a quiet illustration getting your meals when you can between bouts of having to make ends meet.


The Annual Rose Dewitt Bukater Butterfly Clip Award (presented to the best hair clip in a movie): Tortoise Clip. Alicia Vikander, “Jason Bourne.” See above.

The Annual Jurassic World Gyrosphere Operator Award (presented to the most believably blasé employee in a movie this year): Fay (Stacy Martin), “High Rise.” It’s nice to know that even at a supermarket in a high rise functioning as an allegory for the apocalypse that the checkout clerks still don’t really give a shit.

The Annual Merv Griffin Is The Elevator Killer Award (presented to the best movie cameo of the year): Margaret Bowman in “Hell or High Water.” Bowman just as easily could have been slotted into the Monologue category or the Gyrosphere Operator category for her classically terse turn as a diner waitress who explains in no uncertain terms to a taken aback Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham both how and what they will be ordering.


The Annual Rolling Boulder Award (presented to the best action scene in a movie): Touch Pool in “Finding Dory” the crashing hands of children reaching into the shallow water to grab terror-stricken sea urchins resembles something like the Giantess of “Into the Woods” let loose in the scene of collecting 57mm shells in “One Crazy Summer.”

The Annual Then He Kissed Me In Goodfellas Award (presented for the best use of pop music in a movie this year): “Hello Stranger” by Barbara Lewis in “Moonlight.” I had some stuff sketched here about a late film encounter between two men who have not seen each other in a long time around a jukebox, but Ann Powers, writing for Slate, totally outdid me. She writes “The complexity of (director Barry) Jenkins’ musical choice, creating a plausible nostalgic moment that felt like both a fairy tale and a real person’s spontaneous attempt to resurrect a dream, reminded me of how people use recordings as time loops every day.”

The Annual Best Of My Love In Boogie Nights Award (presented for the second best use of pop music in a movie this year): “Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugar Hill Gang in “Everybody Wants Some!!” Unlike the famed music-as-healing “Tiny Dancer” sing along in “Almost Famous”, this rap along exists in an explicit vacuum, where the boys will be boys ball busting of before and after briefly gives way in a Sugarhill Gang ceasefire. What’s more, director Richard Linklater lets this scene go a few beats longer than it probably needs to, which is absolutely perfect.


The Annual Autobahn Award (presented to the best band in a movie): Stentorian, “Manchester by the Sea”

The Annual Waltz in Swing Time Award (presented to the best dance in a movie): Ralph Fiennes in “A Bigger Splash”, going positively troppo to “Emotional Rescue” by The Rolling Stones. If you’ve seen the dance, no explanation is necessary. If you haven’t seen the dance, no explanation would suffice. So watch it right now.

The Annual 9 1/2 Weeks Award (presented to the best sex scene in a movie): Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard’s dust storm liaison in “Allied”, in which the pounding winds and clamoring dust serve as a wondrously exaggerated metaphor to the passion erupting within. Subtlety, be gone. 

Movie Tweet of the Year:

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