Sunday, July 15, 2012

2011 Diva Cup Awards: The Oscar Categories

Best Picture
Beginners
Bridesmaids
Drive
Hanna
Young Adult

Best Actor
Dominic Cooper, The Devil's Double
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Mel Gibson, The Beaver
Ryan Gosling, Drive
☆Ewan McGregor, Beginners

An extremely tough decision between two star-making performances from Fassbender and Gosling, a dynamic duet of good and evil from Cooper and what should have been Gibson's return to the top. But McGregor sneaks past them all with his carefully constructed performance, delicately and intricately balanced between comedy and drama.

Best Actress
Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy
Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
☆Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

Can you think of another performance where we are supposed to be simultaneously disgusted by a character's self-delusion and narcissism, yet, against all odds, find tiny bits of ourselves among the acid-tongue barbs and Diet Coke chugging? Oscar-winner Theron "slumming" it in a comedy is anything but.

Best Supporting Actor
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Jeremy Irons, Margin Call
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Chris O'Dowd, Bridesmaids
☆Christopher Plummer, Beginners 

For years and years, people have been going on about Plummer getting a career Oscar. I'm just glad that he won for something so well deserved as his work in Beginners. Like McGregor, he does a masterful job juggling the sly comedy of the script with the profound sadness that hangs over all the characters.

Best Supporting Actress
Rose Byrne, Bridesmaids
Mary Page Keller, Beginners
Mélanie Laurent, Beginners
☆Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Amy Ryan, Win Win

You don't even notice until long after the credits roll that Melissa McCarthy has indeed stolen Bridesmaids from everyone around her. McCarthy's balls-out, take-no-prisoners style of comedy is used to full effect and certainly grabs everyone's attention (Let us never forget that her Oscar clip is the "steamy undercarriage" moment!). But I suspect what really seals the deal for her is her final one-on-one moment with Wiig's Annie, a could-have-been schmaltz fest turned on its head by McCarthy's energy and heart.

Best Director
☆Mike Mills, Beginners
Asif Kapadia, Senna
Abbas Kiarostami, Certified Copy
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
Joe Wright, Hanna 

Best Original Screenplay
☆Diablo Cody, Young Adult
Abbas Kiarostami, Certified Copy
Leon Ford, Griff the Invisible
Mike Mills, Beginners
Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

I've already gone on and on about Young Adult's ending--still a marvel--but there is so much to be appreciated in Cody's script. From its economy (a compact 95 minutes), to the way it captures chronic unhappiness and dissatisfaction without making Mavis a caricature, to the way it makes even minor characters in The Mavis Gary Show human and interesting (a Cody specialty), Young Adult is another huge step forward for Diablo Cody as the premiere screenwriter of her time. She is a voice of a generation.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Austín Almodóvar & Pedro Almodóvar, The Skin I Live In
☆Hossein Amini, Drive
Dustin Lance Black, J. Edgar
Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Bryan Singer & Sheldon Turner (Story); Jane Goldman, Ashley Miller, Zack Stentz & Matthew Vaughn (Screenplay), X-Men: First Class 

Best Cinematography
Drive
Hanna
Melancholia
The Skin I Live In
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

Best Editing
Certified Copy
Drive
Hanna
Shame
Senna 

Best Costume Design
Jane Eyre
Immortals
The Skin I Live In
X-Men: First Class
Young Adult 

Best Art Direction
The Artist
Hanna
Immortals
The Skin I Live In
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 

Best Score
The Artist
Drive
Hanna
Rio
Winnie the Pooh 

Best Song
The Muppets: "Pictures in My Head"
Winnie the Pooh: "The Backson Song"
X-Men: First Class: "Love Love"

Best Sound
Drive
Hanna
Jane Eyre
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Shame 

Best Makeup
Contagion
The Iron Lady
The Skin I Live In 

Best Visual Effects
Hugo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
X-Men: First Class 

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