With the Academy Awards being today it’s time to bring back what is now an annual blog post. Last year I decided to host my own Oscars (with blackjack and hookers) as I will always disagree with the Academy on what films and actors deserve to be awarded, also I actually restrict myself to movies from the previous year. But they do have one thing I don’t have, a golden man to give out to the winners…
There. Now on to the awards. This year I have twice as many award categories including awards for actors returning to roles they’ve played in the past and some more awards that aren’t for acting. So lets begin with our first award…
Best Original Song
Daniel Ingram – Lets Have A Battle (Of The Bands) (My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks)
This was a tricky award to choose as there were a lot of great movie songs last year. In the end I went with this song because of my love of villain songs. The film’s focus on music allowed for a lot of fun songs including three from the film’s antagonist trio the Dazzlings but this was my favourite.
Best Original Score
Yasuharu Takanashi (The Last: Naruto the Movie)
Most of last year’s soundtracks stood out for their songs (especially Guardians of the Galaxy which I can’t really award without creating a category that only it could ever win) but when it comes to instrumental scores it was Yasuharu Takanashi’s work on The Last that really stood out for me. A few of my favourite tracks include the romance tracks Snow, Close To You, The Day, My Sunshine and Naruto and Hinata as well as The Last which is a perfect recreation of Toshio Masuda’s Naruto Main Theme from the original series which plays during the final battle.
Best Costume Design
Masashi Kishimoto (The Last: Naruto the Movie)
Another award for The Last. I feel animated media gets ignored in this category when in reality characters from animated movies have much more memorable and impressive costumes than live action films do. I’ve always loved the character designs in Naruto and the fact Kishimoto chose to give this movie a timeskip means I get to show my appreciation for his work.
James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy)
First award for a live action film. Ever since this movie was announced a lot of people were unsure what a movie going audience would think about it, especially considering how obscure the comic was and how those who did know about it knew the line up would include a talking Raccoon and a tree. So the fact it is now considered one of the best films in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is the sign of a great director. Looking at his filmography the only films of his I’d seen before were the Scooby Doo movies and this was the first film of his I’ve seen that he directed.
Best Reprising Voice Actress
Junko Takeuchi as Naruto Uzumaki (The Last: Naruto the Movie)
There were a few returning voice actresses who did an impressive job but I found it was Junko who impressed me the most mostly for the differences in Naruto’s voice throughout the movie. There are some flashbacks to earlier stages in Naruto’s life and each era Naruto sounds in subtle ways you might not notice if you didn’t hear them back to back. The older Naruto’s voice in more mature and once he starts falling for Hinata you can hear the awkwardness in his voice in their scenes together.
Best Reprising Voice Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies)
Last year’s winner for Best Voice Actor. While a much smaller role this time with fewer lines Cumberbatch once again delivers an outstanding performance as Smaug the Stupendous. Fortunately to make up for his small role in the film Smaug did an interview with Stephen Colbert which is worth watching if, like me, you found the small amount of Smaug took away from the last Hobbit film you should certainly give this a watch.
Best Reprising Actress
Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
As I said in my Top Movies of 2014 list I saw all of Veronica Mars for the first time last year finishing in time for the movie’s release. In a way I’m giving her this award for the entire series but like with Junko earlier a big part of her getting this award is the small differences in her performance to show how the character has grown since the series ended. Plus to those unfamiliar with the character there are moments where Veronica will pretend to be someone else in order to help find evidence not normally available to her and it allows Kristen Bell to show her acting range with just the one character.
Best Reprising Actor
Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Ever since Marvel decided to model Nick Fury in the Ultimate Universe after Samuel L Jackson this role has been made for him. For most of the films Nick Fury has been a background presence even in Avengers where he has the most screen time. But in this film we get to see more of him as a character which means even though he’s absent for a majority of the film the scenes he does have are some of his best.
Best Supporting Actress
Mamrie Hart as Maxine Reynolds (Camp Takota)
Honestly I was torn between giving this award to Mamrie or her fellow Camp Takota star Hannah Hart. In the end I gave it to Mamrie as she has a bigger role in the film. This is Mamrie’s first feature film role which she does a fantastic job bringing to life, helped in no small part by her being one of the writers of the film.
Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe as Peter Van Houten (The Fault in Our Stars)
When I found out he’d been cast in The Fault in Our Stars I was surprised because despite my limited exposure to his work (the Spider-Man movies, Finding Nemo and the dub of Tales from Earthsea) I knew he was quite the big name actor. But I also knew he’d be the perfect choice for the character having read the book already and I was right. A big part of what makes Dafoe’s performances so great is his voice (something that makes his role in the overrated and mediocre Grand Budapest Hotel so dull, he doesn’t have any lines so his talents are criminally underused) which matches the general attitude of Van Houten perfectly.
Best Voice Actress
Alison Brie as Unikitty (The LEGO Movie)
Probably best known for playing Annie in Community (#sixseasonsandamovie) it was great hearing her in the amazing cast of The Lego Movie. Unikitty was one of the three most entertaining characters in the movie (the other two being Charlie Day as Benny the Spaceman and Will Arnett as Batman) and Alison’s performance really helped make the character work.
Best Voice Actor
Vin Diesel as Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy)
I know what you’re thinking, he only had one line for the entire movie. But each time he said “I am Groot” he said it differently depending on the scene, many of the best voice actors play characters will little to no actual lines but still express a great range of emotion (look up Dee Bradley Baker or watch Pokémon to get examples of this). Plus he recorded Groot’s lines in 15 different languages for the international release meaning he had to express that vocal range in languages he didn’t know.
Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace Lancaster (The Fault in Our Stars)
So far this is the only film I’ve seen her in but based on her performance here I’m looking forward to seeing more from her. I did worry that as a fan of the book I might get book bias about the way things happened in the film but I loved it and a big part of what made the film so great was Shailene’s portrayal of Hazel, she was exactly how I imagined the character when I read the book.
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy)
I often don’t care much for human characters in a crew that also includes aliens so the fact Peter Quill was such an entertaining character is a big deal for me. 2014 was also my introduction to Chris Pratt in general as it’s when I started watching Parks & Rec and he was also in The LEGO Movie. While it’s true Peter Quill, Andy Dwyer and Emmet are similar characters the way Chris Pratt plays them it doesn’t matter because they’re all hilarious (plus it looks like his role in Jurassic World is going to be pretty different). I’m really glad his career is taking off and hope the rumours of him being considered to play Indiana Jones in a potential reboot are true because he’s a fantastic actor who is entertaining in every role he plays.
Best Live Action Short Film
I Ship It
YouTube really is the best place for short films these days. It stars Mary Kate Wiles of Lizzie Bennet Diaries fame and centers around heartbreak and Wizard Rock. I’ve seen people compare it to Scott Pilgrim which is fair as it certainly has scenes with a similar look to it (especially the concert scene) along with a bit of Dr. Horrible with the vlog scenes. But while there’s certainly a lot of influence from other projects it’s very much its own thing and is very sweet. You can watch it here.
Best Animated Short Film
Eddsworld – Fun Dead
So I’m sure most of you are pretty sick of zombies and I don’t blame you, I choose to limit my zombie exposure for that very reason. Naturally what makes this short so entertaining isn’t the zombies but the characters and the comedy. The love everyone puts into the Eddsword Legacy shorts really shows and this particular short is filled with little references to Edd Gould’s past work and other zombie media. You can watch it here.
A Brony Tale
The second Brony documentary I’ve seen. What I like about this is the fact it shows the wide range of different types of people who like the series as well as showing the perspectives of people outside the fandom. It’s also nice the the main perspective that it follows is voice actress Ashleigh Ball (Rainbow Dash and Applejack) as she learns more about the community built around a show she works in.
Best Live Action Picture
Guardians of the Galaxy
Already voiced my opinions on this in my Top 10 but I felt it was important to recognize both the best live action and animated features this time as animated movies usually wind up as my favourite film of a year.
Best Animated Picture/Best Picture
The Last: Naruto the Movie
I’m still reblogging NaruHina stuff on Tumblr. Like with Guardians you can see my thoughts on this film on my Top 10 Movies of 2014.
And that’s all the awards. Thank you for reading, I look forward to doing this again next year.