Ray’s 2012 Movie Awards


Ray’s 2012 Movie Awards

Best Films of the Year

  1.  Lincoln – Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner took a big, complicated story from history and crafted a riveting political procedural out of it.
  2. Argo – Ben Affleck successfully transported us to the late 1970s in this fictionalized but thrilling retelling of a long-classified true story.
  3. Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell reboots the movie romance with this tale of damaged people trying to work through their baggage and make a connection.
  4. Django Unchained – In his best movie since Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino fearlessly takes on slavery, using the tropes of the spaghetti western and blaxploitation films.
  5. Cloud Atlas – This dizzyingly ambitious film adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel sweeps us along through six interconnected stories about freedom, slavery, justice and human progress.
  6. Life of Pi —  Ang Lee took a tricky book and made an absolutely beautiful movie of it.  Go see it.
  7. Moonrise Kingdom – It’s been a long time since I’ve even liked a Wes Anderson movie, and I LOVED this one.  It’s quirky, dear and features production design to die for.
  8. Compliance – One of the most disturbing movies I’ve ever seen, particularly because it’s based on actual incidents.  Watch the movie, then go to the internet and read about it.
  9. Safety Not Guaranteed – Perhaps the first film inspired by a Craig’s List ad, and for a time traveler, yet.
  10. Sound of My Voice – An eerie, ultra-low-budget psychological time-travel thriller starring and written by the beautiful and talented Brit Marling.

HONORABLE MENTION:  Robot and Frank, Chronicle, The Impossible, End of Watch, Arbitrage, Not Fade Away, Les Miserables, The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey, Stand Up Guys, 21 Jump Street

Lead Actress

*Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Emanuelle Riva, Amour

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Lead Actor

*Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Jack Black, Bernie

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour

HONORABLE MENTION:  Denzel Washington, Flight;  Frank Langella in Robot and Frank; Richard Gere in Arbitrage; Tom Holland, The Impossible

Compliance’s Ann Dowd

Supporting Actress

Susan Sarandon, Jeff Who Lives At Home

*Ann Dowd, Compliance

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Melissa McCarthy, This is 40

Supporting Actor

Javier Bardem, Skyfall

Robert DeNiro, Silver Lining’s Playbook

The glorious Samuel L. Jackson in Django Unchained

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln

Christoph Walz, Django Unchained

*Samuel L. Jackson, Django Unchained

Honorable Mention:  Jake Johnson, Safety Not Guaranteed; Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Francois Cluzet, Little White Lies; Domhnall Gleeson, Anna Karenina


Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

*Ben Affleck, Argo

Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom

Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski, Cloud Atlas

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Adapted Screenplay – it’s a TIE

*Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)

*Lincoln (Tony Kushner)

Original Screenplay

*Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)

Safety Not Guaranteed (Derek Connolly)

Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola)

Moonrise Kingdom

Foreign Language Film

The Intouchables  (France)

*Amour (Austria)

Snabba Cash (Sweden)

Generation P (Russia)

Documentary Feature

The Queen of Versailles

The Imposter

*How to Survive a Plague

The Central Park Five

Production Design

Moonrise Kingdom

*Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Life of Pi


Cloud Atlas



Hysteria (the vibrator movie!)

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Ruby Sparks

Liberal Arts

Best Action Thriller

Premium Rush

Funniest Movie of the Year

21 Jump Street21 Jump Street

Okay This Has to the VERY LAST Documentary about the West Memphis Three

West of Memphis

I Know It Wasn’t Exactly GOOD, But That Director Tarsem Singh Can Sure Bring the Pretty

Mirror, Mirror

Most Misnamed Movie

Bully:  A documentary about bullying in which almost no bullies appear.

What a Great Career He’s Having

Mark Duplass, who’s directing films (Jeff Who Lives At Home) and acting in them (Zero Dark Thirty, Safety Not Guaranteed).  Go Mr. D.!

What a Great Career SHE’S Having

Not only does Jennifer Lawrence have a huge big-budget franchise going, but she’s got TWO Best Actress Academy Award nominations.  At age twenty-two.

Show Me Something, Spurlock

While Morgan Spurlock is still appealing and handsome, his film Mansome was shallow and inconsequential.  He still hasn’t put out a feature that fulfills the promise of his superb debut Super Size Me.

Ray And Tayler “Get In Shape For Your Movie” Award

Colin Farrell, Total Recall

Please Can We See More Of

Snabba Cash’s Joel Kinnamon

Safety Not Guaranteed’s Aubrey Plaza

Compliance’s Ann Dowd

Stand Up Guys’ Lucy Punch

Generation P’s Vladimir Epifantsev

Vladimir Epifantsev

Anna Karenina’s Domhnall Gleeson

The Impossible’s Tom Holland

Not Totally Sure He Can Actually Act, But He Can Sure Heat Up the Screen

Garrett Hedlund

Everyone Loved It But Me

The Avengers.  I’m so tired of comic book superhero movies.  They simply devolve into CGI showcases.  Yawn.

Special “Three Strikes, You’re Out” Award

To the hilariously named Taylor Kitsch, who brought his great looks and charisma-free presence to THREE expensive bombs in one year:  John Carter, Battleship, and Savages.  Hope you have a Plan B, handsome!


Further Proof that Pixar’s Best Days are Behind Them


Worst Theatrical Trailer for a Good Movie

Amour.  The trailer gave you no inkling of what the damn movie was about.  Except that it was about old people.

By a Large Margin, The Most OVERRATED Film of the Year

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Worst Movies I Saw This Year

John Carter

Seven Psychopaths

Keep the Light On

Rise of the Guardians

Absolutely Positively the Worst Film of the Year

Prometheus.  It was shockingly, swinishly bad.  It was stupid and virtually incoherent.  I did not enjoy it.


Trends That Need to Be Over

No title card at the beginning of a movie (it’s pretentious)

Unnecessarily jerky handheld camera work (also pretentious)

Too much frantic energy on the screen (I’m looking at you, Hobbit and Rise of the Guardians)

In Memoriam!

Davy Jones (66)

Marvin Hamlisch (68)

Hal David (91)

Andy Williams (84)

Dave Brubeck (91)

Ben Gazarra (81)

Kathryn Joosten (72)

Richard Dawson (79)

Ann Rutherford (94)

Ernest Borgnine (95)

Celeste Holm (95)

Sherman Hemsley (74)

Tony Martin (98)

Phyllis Diller (95)

Michael Clarke Duncan (54)

Herbert Lom (95)

Larry Hagman (81)

Jack Klugman (90)

Charles Durning (89)

Robert B. Sherman (86)

Nora Ephron (71)

Richard Zanuck (77)

Whitney Houston (48)

Tony Scott (68)

Dick Clark (582)

Comments?  Complaints?  Fawning compliments?  Leave a comment!!


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