Frank Awards 2015

 

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Hello and welcome to the Frank Awards 2015. These are my personal awards on many categories, based on the movies that I managed to see that are strictly from 2015. So, without much further ado, here are the nominees and winners, which were announced on Oscar night through Twitter and now you can peruse at will.

Best Art Direction

The winners last year were the art directors and production designers of ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ (2014). Of the four winners, three of them continued to work in 2015 in the following films: Adam Stockhausen – ‘Bridge of Spies’; Gerald Sullivan – ‘The End of the Tour’ and ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’; Steve Summersgill – ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2’.

These are the nominees this year. If a nominee is in cursive, it means that it has been nominated before (in parenthetical it’ll say which movies was it nominated for) and if it’s in bold it means that it has won in this category (or a similar one) before (and you’ll see the movie that it won for in parenthetical as well):

  • David Allday, Hugh Bateup (‘Cloud Atlas’), Dominc Hyman, David W. Krummel, Charlie Reval (‘Cloud Atlas’), Mark Scruton, Merje Veski and Su Whitaker (‘The Dark Knight Rises’) – ‘Jupiter Ascending’
  • Alastair Bullock (‘Hugo’), Rick Carter (‘Avatar’), James Clyne, James Collins, Robert Cowper, Peter Dorme (‘The World’s End’, ‘Prometheus’), Jordana Finkel, Darren Gilford, Mark Harris, Kevin Jenkins, Ashley Lamont, Neil Lamont, Andrew Palmer, Stuart Rose (‘Hugo’), Hayley Easton Street, Stephen Swain and Gary Tomkins – ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’
  • Thomas E. Sanders and Brandt Gordon – ‘Crimson Peak’
  • Colin Gibson, Shira Hockman and Jacinta Leong – ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
  • Michelle Lannon and Ethan Tobman – ‘Room’

And the winners are:

Film Title: Crimson Peak

Thomas E. Sanders and Brandt Gordon wonderfully capture the dread of the time and the putrid nature of the places that ‘Crimson Peak’ explores.

Best Choreography, Action

The winning choreography last year was the one in the film ‘The Raid 2: Berandal’, will another Asian film win this year?

The nominees are:

  • Creed
  • Furious Seven
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Nie yin niang
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

And the winner is:

movie-the-assassin-yin-niang

The wonderful, poetic and extremely violent choreography of HHH’s ‘Nie yin niang’ (The Assassin) is one of the most inovative I’ve seen, while still maintaining faithful to the ideas and fighting styles of the time.

Best Choreography, Dance

The winning choreography in dance of last year was for the live performance recorded and released to some theaters (and online) known as ‘Monty Python Live (Mostly)’ (2014), will the new winner also be a comedy/musical?

The nominees are:

  • Cinderella
  • Hua lI shang ban zou
  • Shan he gu ren
  • Sunset Song
  • Um Século de Energia

And the winner is:

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The wonderful camera movements accompany the wonderful set pieces, dances and movements of the performers in ‘Hua lI shang ban zou’ (Office), the wonderful musical from Hong Kong directed by Johnnie To.

Best Cinematography

The winner of last year for ‘Jauja’ (2014), Timo Salminen, didn’t have any work released in 2015. So, let’s get to it.

The nominees are:

  • Ping Bin Lee – ‘Nie yin niang’
  • Emmanuel Lubezki (‘The Tree of Life’) – ‘Knight of Cups’
  • Michael McDonough – ‘Sunset Song’
  • Robert Richardson (‘Django Unchained’, ‘Hugo’, ‘Shutter Island’, ‘Inglourious Basterds’) – ‘The Hateful Eight’
  • John Seale – ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

‘And the winner is:

1-400

Ping Bin Lee constructed a wonderful sense of sensual imagery that permeates the screen, as it feels like the colors are distorting not only the way that we’re watching the events unfold, but also the way in which the layers feel as if you could peel them off the screen when watching ‘Nie yin niang’ (The Assassin).

Best Costume Design

Of the three Costume designers that worked on ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ (2014), two of them had some released work in 2015 in the same kind of work: Bob Buck (‘Z for Zachariah’, ‘Krampus’); Ann Maskrey (‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’).

The nominees are:

  • Kym Barrett (‘Cloud Atlas’) – ‘Jupiter Ascending’
  • Kate Hawley – ‘Crimson Peak’
  • Courtney Hoffman – ‘The Hateful Eight’
  • Wen-Ying Huang – ‘Nie yin niang’
  • Sandy Powell (‘Hugo’) – ‘Cinderella’

And the winner is:

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Kym Barrett exposes all her talent when rendering completely inhuman fashion to the most original science fiction film of last year. ‘Jupiter Ascending’ doesn’t only look good, it also dresses perfectly.

“Sally Menke Award” AKA Best Film Editing

After what I think was an excruciating work editing ‘Boyhood’ (2014) Sandra Adair continued to work in lesser bombastic fare in 2015, in films like ‘Tumbledown’ and ‘A Single Frame’, after her win of the Sally Menke award, given in memory of the Frank Award winner, editor of the film ‘Inglorious Basterds’ (2009) who inaugurated these awards.

The nominees this year are:

  • Telmo Churro, Miguel Gomes and Pedro Filipe Marques – ‘As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto’
  • John Gurdebeke – ‘The Forbidden Room’
  • Chih-Chia Huang and Ching-Song Llao – ‘Nie yin niang’
  • Jean-Gabriel Périot – ‘Une jeunesse allemande’
  • Margaret Sixel – ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

And the winner/s is/are:

image

Jean-Gabriel Périot not only mixes hundreds of sources, finding from the most sublime to the most ridiculous moments in the German student films and the news of the time, he also makes them dialogue with each other, making a narration through the sheer power of editing one clip alongside other, putting one sound above a certain sequence, or just being cheeky, which is the main things that make a film like ‘Une jeunesse allemande’ (A German Youth) immensely important. Deserves the honor of the Sally Menke award.

Best Makeup

Last year it was the alien makeup of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ (2014) that was awarded this prize, which film will win it this year? Will it be another science fiction film? A genre film?

The nominees are:

  • Creed
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant

And the winner is:

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I found the makeup in ‘The Revenant’ completely incredible, how the wounds were created and made believable, how the cold was fixed into the character’s faces, the pain feels real and everything goes awful, and it’s the accurate portrayal of that awfulness that gives this movie its award.

Best Score

The winner last year was the artist know as B.C.D.M.G. for the wonderful rap score of ‘Tokyo Tribe’. He didn’t do any work in 2015.

The nominees are:

  • Ennio Morricone – ‘The Hateful Eight’
  • Carsten Nicolai and Ryuichi Sakamoto – ‘The Revenant’
  • Yasuko Ohmori – ‘Wonderful World End’
  • Hanan Townshend – ‘Knight of Cups’
  • Junkie XL – ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

And the winner/s is/are:

Ennio Morricone is a master, and the return that he did with the score for Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ is maybe among his most experimental, using a wonderful blend between horror and western that makes the score foreboding and always completely tense.

Best Performance, Acting, Ensemble

This Frank Award is given to the movie that has the best array and most wonderful acting, so it was obvious that ‘Birdman'(2014) last year was going to be the winner.

The nominees this year are:

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • El Club
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado
  • The Revenant
  • Show Me a Hero
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Stinking Heaven

And the winner is:

the-cast-of-the-hateful-eight-tries-to-figure-out-who-leaked-the-script-on-jimmy-kimmel

‘The Hateful Eight’ brings together the old and the new: new characters and actors to the world of Quentin Tarantino, marred with the old actors that have graced his filmography throughout the ages, and they all kick ass in this wonderful filmic play of errors and murders.

Best Performance, Acting, Female, Lead

Last year the Frank Award went to the wonderful Marion Cotillard for her role in the exceedingly great ‘Deux jours, une nuit’ (2014). In 2015 she gave her voice to two animated films (‘The Little Prince’ and ‘Avril et le monde troqué’), as well as acting in the Cannes-bound ‘Macbeth’.

This year the nominees are:

  • Cate Blanchett (‘Blue Jasmine’) as “Carol Aird” in ‘Carol’
  • Laia Costa as “Victoria” in ‘Victoria’
  • Min-hee Kim as “Yoon Hee-jeong” in ‘Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da’
  • Rooney Mara as “Therese Belivet” in ‘Carol’
  • Tao Zhao as “Tao” in ‘Shan he gu ren’

And the winner is:

rooneymara1

While the movie surely doesn’t work without the counterpoint of Cate Blanchett, also nominated for this category, I don’t think there’s nothing better in ‘Carol’ than what Rooney Mara does with her eyes and face in her role as Therese Belivet. A wonderful and heartfelt performance.

Best Performance, Acting, Female, Supporting

Last year the winner of the Frank Award for this category was the lovely Rosamund Pike  in the not so lovely role that she had in ‘Gone Girl’ (2014). In 2015 she acted in TV and in the film ‘Return to Sender’.

The nominees are:

  • Cate Blanchett (‘Carol’, ‘Blue Jasmine’) as “Stepmother” in ‘Cinderella’
  • Jessica Chastain as “Lucille Sharpe” in ‘Crimson Peak’
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh as “Daisy Domergue” in ‘The Hateful Eight’
  • Natalie Paul as “Doreen Henderson” in ‘Show Me a Hero’
  • Charlize Theron as “Furiosa” in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

And the winner is:

show2bme2ba2bhero2bpart2b62b192blift2bme2bup

I think the character of Doreen Henderson in the TV miniseries ‘Show Me a Hero’ was fundamental to understand the social conundrum of the whole endeavor, but in the end the character would’ve been nothing without the powerful and committed performance by Natalie Paul, someone that will surely shine bright in the future.

Best Performance, Acting, Male, Lead

It was a wonderful year for Abel Ferrara directed performances, as Gerard Depardieu was nominated, as well as Willem Dafoe won for his turn in ‘Passolini’ (2014). In 2015 he did some TV as well as the film ‘My Hindu Friend’.

The nominees this year are:

  • Elmer Bäck as “Sergei Eisenstein” in ‘Eisenstein in Guanajuato’
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (‘The Wolf of Wall Street’) as “Hugh Glass” in ‘The Revenant’
  • Oscar Isaac (‘Inside Llewyn Davis’) as “Nick Wasicsko” in ‘Show Me a Hero’
  • Jae-yeong Jeong as “Ham Cheon-soo” in ‘Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da’
  • Samuel L. Jackson (‘Django Unchained’) as “Major Marquis Warren” in ‘The Hateful Eight’

And the winner is:

226

Another win for ‘Show Me a Hero’, maybe one of the most underrated pieces of television of last year. I was flabbergasted by the incredible jump in quality of Oscar Isaac’s acting this year, with his Star Wars turn after Llewyn Davies and now here portraying who once was the mayor of Yonkers, Nick Wasicsko, as a tragic figure but a complex one at that.

Best Performance, Acting, Male, Supporting

Bernard Pruvost was the winner last year for his unforgettable performance as the detective in ‘P’tit Quinquin’ (2014), but he is a gardener after all, so it’s understandable that he wanted to let some time pass before taking any more roles.

The nominees now are:

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (’12 Years a Slave’) as “Vincent Kapoor” in ‘The Martian’
  • Tom Hardy as “John Fitzgerald” in ‘The Revenant’
  • Nicholas Hoult as “Nux” in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
  • Mark Rylance as “Rudolf Abel” in ‘Bridge of Spies’
  • Sylvester Stallone as “Rocky Balboa” in ‘Creed’

And the winner is:

mark-rylance-bridge

Rudolf Abel is, essentially, a Coen Brothers character that slipped into a Steven Spielberg movie, and Mark Rylance perfectly encapsulates that feeling as well as the overall quirkyness of the whole performance in the serious film that was ‘Bridge of Spies’.

Best Screenplay, Adapted

Paul Thomas Anderson based the last year’s winner of this award, ‘Inherent Vice’ (2014), in the equally called novel by Thomas Pynchon, who in 2015 inspired the structure of the making off of that film that was released in 2015, named ‘Chryskylodon Blues’. Beyond that, PTA didn’t do any screenwriting job.

The nominees this year are:

  • Drew Goddard for ‘The Martian’, based on the novel by Andy Weir
  • Mark L. Smith and Alejandro González Iñárritu (‘Birdman’, ‘Biutiful’) for ‘The Revenant’, based in part in the novel by Michael Punke
  • George Miller, Brendan McCarthy and Nick Lathouris for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, being a sequel
  • David Simon and William F. Zorzi for ‘Show Me a Hero’, based on the book by Lisa Belkin
  • Sion Sono (‘Tokyo Tribe’) for ‘Riaru onigokko’, based on the original story by Yûsuke Yamada

And the winner/s is/are:

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The Frank Award is usually given to the writer and to the one who inspired the script, so this is a joint win by Sion Sono and Yûsuke Yamada, who created a series of novels that inspired ‘Riaru onigokko’ (Tag), in a script that mixes both the elements of feminism with video game logic as well as well thought out banter. A precious little film.

Best Screenplay, Original

Neither Jonathan nor Christopher Nolan, the writer winners of last year’s Frank Award for this category for ‘Interstellar’, wrote scripts for films in 2015.

So, this year’s nominees are:

  • Cheng Ah, T’ien-wen Chu, Hsiao-hsien Hou, Hai-Meng Hsieh and Xing Pei – ‘Nie yin niang’
  • Telmo Churro, Miguel Gomes and Mariana Ricardo – ‘As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado’
  • Don Hertzfeldt – ‘World of Tomorrow’
  • Sion Sono (‘Riaru onigokko’, ‘Tokyo Tribe’) – ‘Love & Peace’
  • Quentin Tarantino (‘Django Unchained’, ‘Inglorious Basterds’) – ‘The Hateful Eight’

And the winner/s is/are:

Doing a number … Quentin Tarantino's new film, The Hateful Eight, will not be a direct sequel to Dja

Quentin Tarantino, until now, has not lost a Frank Award given to writing, and it couldn’t really be any different than with what he did here in ‘The Hateful Eight’, a playful and joyful script.

Best Special Effects

Last year the effects in ‘Godzilla’ (2014) wowed me more than any other. What will it be this year?

The nominated films are:

  • Chappie
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Walk
  • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

And the winner is:

The idea was bringing back Star Wars to the forefront and what the special effects did in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’ was exactly that, using technology and the best of the practical effects, this movie managed to have a soul while it wowed me with its effects.

Best Cinematical Moment

This award goes out to the film that had the most breathtaking or incredible moment, for example last year, it was all about the “23 Years of Messages” in ‘Interstellar’ (2014), the scene that last year had me closer to tears than any other.

So, the nominated scenes are:

  • “1999” in ‘Shan he gu ren’
  • “Chappie Left Alone” in ‘Chappie’
  • “Final Chase” in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’
  • “Opening Slice” in ‘Riaru onigokko’
  • “Piano” in ‘Victoria’
  • “Reading the Full Letter” in ‘The Hateful Eight’
  • “Sea of People in Jakarta” in ‘Blackhat’
  • “Singing for the First Time” in ‘Love & Peace’
  • “The Tears of the Judge” in ‘As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado’
  • “Wedding Day” in ‘Sunset Song’

And the Best Cinematical Moment is:

arabian-nights-2-trial-620

No video still of this wonderful segment of ‘As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado’ (Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One), but “The Tears of the Judge” is easily the most political and at the same time most fun segment of the whole trilogy, at least to me, even if I find volume 1 to be a bit more rounded up overall.

Best Animated Film

Last year it was the animation of ‘The Lego Movie’ (2014) that took the price, will the features stand tall this year?

The nominated films are:

  • Inside Out
  • The Little Prince
  • The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
  • Trumptastic Voyage
  • World of Tomorrow

And the winner is:

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‘World of Tomorrow’ directed by Don Hertzfeldt is easily among the most accomplished works of the director, and the best animated film of the year, no matter how it’s only 20-something minutes long, it achieves what none of the other nominees had in their full lengths.

Best Chilean Film

As always, I give back to my heritage and bring out the best Chilean film of the year, just as last year it was the documentary ‘Los castores’ (2014) (Beaverland), this year we have a mixture of fiction and documentaries.

The nominees are:

  • El botón de nácar
  • El Club
  • De vida y de Muerte, Testimonios de la Operación Cóndor
  • La memoria del agua
  • El rastreador de estatuas

And the winner is:

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‘El botón de nácar’ (The Pearl Button) directed by Patricio Guzmán is the clear continuation of the work of the masterful Chilean director, who marries politics with beauty and the glorious stories that he finds in the common people.

Best Documentary Film

Last year I couldn’t resist myself to the emotions that ‘Life Itself’ (2014) gave me when I ended up seeing it, so, which film will it be this time?

  • Bitter Lake
  • El botón de nácar
  • The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
  • El rastreador de estatuas
  • Une jeunesse allemande

And the best documentary film of the year is:

el-botc3b3n-de-nc3a1car-le-bouton-dun-prisionnier-sur-un-rail

I can’t resist what ‘El botón de nácar’ (The Pearl Button) did to me on an emotional level, I might be biased as I live in Chile and this story gets to me more, but I can’t deny the level of beauty presented here.

Best Direction

Last year it was Christopher Nolan’s turn to win a Frank Award for his impeccable ‘Interstellar’ (2014), and in 2015 he did direct a short documentary, ‘Quay’, that I didn’t have the chance to see.

The roast of directors this year is:

  • Miguel Gomes – ‘As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto’
  • Hsiao-hsien Hou – ‘Nie yin niang’
  • Terrence Malick – ‘Knight of Cups’
  • Sion Sono (‘Tokyo Tribe’, ‘Koi no tsumi’) – ‘Love & Peace’
  • Quentin Tarantino (‘Django Unchained’, ‘Inglorious Basterds’) – ‘The Hateful Eight’

And the Best Director is:

hateful-eight-image-quentin-tarantino-kurt-russell-jennifer-jason-leigh

Quentin Tarantino also hasn’t missed this award since he’s had a film released the year the awards have been given, but here for ‘The Hateful Eight’ he surpassed his notions and the calmness of his style gives the film a wonderful look and pace.

Best Film

So, which movie will join the stellar line of films like ‘Interstellar’ (2014) that will be awarded the big price?

The nominated films are:

  • El botón de nácar
  • The Hateful Eight
  • As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto
  • As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado
  • Nie yin niang

And the Best Film of the Year is:

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Political, divisive and just plain entertaining, ‘The Hateful Eight’ is a film that wonderfully puts itself among the best horror and western films of this decade: wonderfully acted, wonderfully shot, directed and edited, this film is more than the sum of its parts: it’s the whole that makes it the wonderment that excited, thrilled and wowed me at the theaters.

***

That’s about it for this year’s awards, here’s the final tally:

The Hateful Eight – 5 Frank Awards – 10 Nominations

Nie yin niang – 2 Frank Awards – 7 Nominations

Show Me a Hero – 2 Frank Awards – 4 Nominations

El botón de nácar – 2 Frank Awards – 3 Nominations

The Revenant – 1 Frank Award – 6 Nominations

As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado – 1 Frank Award – 4 Nominations

Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – 1 Frank Award – 4 Nominations

Crimson Peak – 1 Frank Award – 3 Nominations

Jupiter Ascending – 1 Frank Award – 3 Nominations

Carol – 1 Frank Award – 2 Nominations

Riaru onigokko – 1 Frank Award – 2 Nominations

Une jeunesse allemande – 1 Frank Award – 2 Nominations

World of Tomorrow – 1 Frank Award – 2 Nominations

Bridge of Spies – 1 Frank Award – 1 Nomination

Hua li shang ban zou – 1 Frank Award – 1 Nomination

Mad Max: Fury Road – 12 Nominations

As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto – 3 Nominations

Cinderella – 3 Nominations

Creed – 3 Nominations

Knight of Cups – 3 Nominations

Love & Peace – 3 Nominations

The Martian – 3 Nominations

Shan he gu ren – 3 Nominations

Sunset Song – 3 Nominations

Chappie – 2 Nominations

El Club – 2 Nominations

Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da – 2 Nominations

El rastreador de estatuas – 2 Nominations

Victoria – 2 Nominations

Avengers: Age of Ultron – 1 Nomination

Bitter Lake – 1 Nomination

Blackhat – 1 Nomination

De vida y de Muerte, Testimonios de la Operación Cóndor – 1 Nomination

Eisenstein in Guanajuato – 1 Nomination

The Forbidden Room – 1 Nomination

Furious Seven – 1 Nomination

In the Heart of the Sea – 1 Nomination

Inside Out – 1 Nomination

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst – 1 Nomination

The Little Prince – 1 Nomination

La memoria del agua – 1 Nomination

Room – 1 Nomination

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water – 1 Nomination

Spotlight – 1 Nomination

Stinking Heaven – 1 Nomination

Trumptastic Voyage – 1 Nomination

Um Século de Energia – 1 Nomination

The Walk – 1 Nomination

Wonderful World End – 1 Nomination

***

See you next year with Frank Awards 2016.

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