I know you’re all on the edge of your seats (or toilets), but I should probably clarify something before I hand out these awards: I am not a real film critic. I’m a stoney film critic. The qualifications for the two are very different. One requires a degree, training, and an analytical mind. The other requires some weed and the desire to spend time alone in dark rooms. This ain’t the oscars, its the stoneys. Keep that in mind.
I was tinkering with ways to have my readers act as presenters, but I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work. It basically would’ve required that each presenter write an introduction to each award. I know I could tap the right people for something like that, but I didn’t think I’d get all the intros submitted in time so I tabled the idea. Next year, there will be presenters.
And now, without further ado, the 2010 Stoney Awards:
Best Supporting Actor/Actress
Nominees: Matt Damon- True Grit, Nic Cage- Kick Ass, Barbara Hershey- Black Swan, Hugo Weaving- The Wolfman, Christian Bale- The Fighter, Geoffrey Rush- The King’s Speech
Gold Stoney: Matt Damon- True Grit
Silver Stoney: Christian Bale- The Fighter
Bronze Stoney: Geoffrey Rush- The King’s Speech
This category was absolutely stacked. There were at least 10 potential nominees, and I agonized for days over who to include. I guess maybe its easier to shine in a supporting role. And shine these actors did.
I might’ve taken days to select the nominees, but the three winners were never in doubt. Bale’s was the most impressive performance of the three. Still, I enjoyed Matt Damon more, no question about it. His turn as the bumbling Texas ranger Laboeuf was one of the most endearing performances I’ve ever seen, and I’m not even a Damon fan. In a movie jam-packed with good acting, his was the best. I will now turn a kinder eye towards his future projects. I will not, however, be seeing The Adjustment Bureau.
I normally find Geoffrey Rush irritating, but I think Lionel Logue was the part he was born to play. It was perfect. I absolutely loved his character. Firth is getting all the dap right now, and he deserves it. Between The King’s Speech and The Single Man*, he had a fantastic year. But it was Rush that really brought the movie home for me. Muchos respecticos.
*I explained this in a comment Friday, but The Single Man was very good and would’ve gotten several nominations if I’d reviewed it. Unfortunately, at that point this was still a “subway movies” blog, and thus The Single Man didn’t qualify (wasn’t advertised in subways). You should see it. Good look, awesome score, impressive acting all over the place. I’ll be purchasing it the second I see it for $10 or less. Now I play the waiting game.
Worst Supporting Actor/Actress
Nominees: Gemma Arterton- Clash of the Titans, Michael Sheen- Tron: Legacy, Tyrese- Legion, Kevin Pollack- Cop Out, Frankie and George McLaren- Hereafter, Ben Barnes- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Gold Stoney: Michael Sheen- Tron: Legacy
Silver Stoney: Tyrese- Legion
Bronze Stoney: Gemma Arterton- Clash Of The Titans
Tyrese may be the world’s worst actor. He’s certainly in the conversation. If he is in a movie, you know for certain the movie will be bad. So if you wanted to give him the nod for worst supporting actor, I wouldn’t argue with you. He’s just as terrible in Legion as he is in every other movie he’s been in.
My gold stoney goes to Michael Sheen, who is undoubtedly a better actor than Tyrese. But Sheen was given the chance to steal the show in Tron: Legacy and he whiffed worse than I’ve ever seen an actor whiff before. He was annoying every second he was onscreen. The more I think about Tron the more certain I am that it could’ve been a really good movie with a better cast. But after Bridges, there was nothing. Sheen is the most obvious example of what doomed this movie to mediocrity.
Gemma Arterton’s character in Clash of the Titans was bizarre and out of place. It made no sense. And she was bad. I wanted to give the bronze stoney to the unbelievably unfunny Kevin Pollack, but Arterton was worse. She was also pretty bad in Quantum of Solace. This bronze stoney could be the start of big things for her. Definitely a potential rising star in the bad actor/actress scene.
Nominees: The Wolfmin, Alice in Wonderland, Tron: Legacy, Inception, Shutter Island, Micmacs
Gold Stoney: Inception
Silver Stoney: Alice In Wonderland
Bronze Stoney: Tron: Legacy
I know there are some Inception-haters out there, but I think even they would have to admit this movie was beautiful. And not just the outlandish dream sequences. Even simple shots like waves breaking on a shore were somehow turned into stirring imagery. Of course, the dream sequences were awesome. The snow scenes in particular stand out in my mind as time passes. As does JGL’s zero-gravity fight and Ellen Page’s city-folding. I’m itchin’ to see that stuff again soon.
I was, perhaps, a little too eager to have a non-3D film take home the gold stoney. But you know I would’ve given it to my boy Burton if he’d deserved it. Alice In Wonderland was indeed a feast for mine stoney eyes. Inception was prettier still. Tron: Legacy places a distant 3rd, which is still a highly respectable finish given some of the movies it beat. The Wolfman probably would’ve edged it out if not for the fact that the wolfmen in question looked ridiculous.
Nominees: Christopher Nolan- Inception, The Coen Brothers- True Grit, Martin Scorcese- Shutter island, Tom Hooper- The King’s Speech, Tim Burton- Alice In Wonderland, Nimrod Antal- Predators
Gold Stoney: Christopher Nolan- Inception
Silver Stoney: The Coen Brothers- True Grit
Bronze Stoney: Tom Hooper- The King’s Speech
I’m tempted to call Nolan an up-and-comer, but he was that ten years ago when Memento dropped. After a brief sophomore slump with the surprisingly mediocre Insomnia, Nolan has churned out consistent gems like no one else in the biz. For him to have beaten Tim Burton for best aesthetic stoney is a major coup. It speaks to the continuing evolution in that aspect of his filmmaking.
Overall, I think Nolan’s non-Batman work (Memento, The Prestige, Inception) has been his most impressive, so I’m a little disappointed his next two projects are going to be a Batman and Superman movie. Although, to be fair, I’m sure he’ll knock those out of the park. He certainly did with Inception. Here’s to hoping Nolan doesn’t graduate to that shadowy “producer/consultant/creative input” realm thats irresistable to the most successful deirectors. I want him squarely behind the camera.
The Coen brothers killed it with True Grit. Easy call for the silver stoney. Hooper beats out Burton and Scorcese becasue he did more with so much less. Those guys were given proven, successful fictional stories to work with. Hooper was given a monarch with a stutter. Yet his was the more captivating film. I almost considered giving him the silver, but True Grit was the Coen Brothers at their finest. Their particular stamp worked better on this material than it ever had before.
This category was top-heavy, thats for sure. Scorcese and Burton both actually disappointed me a little. And you may have noticed that I replaced my joke Affleck nomination with Nimrod Antal. No, this is not also a joke. Predators might not have been a legitimately good movie, but Antal was smart enough to sift through the steaming mound of horseshit the Predator franchise had become and resurrect what was once almost-kinda good about it. I felt he deserved an honorary nomination for that.
Nominees: Kevin Smith- Cop Out, Ridley Scott- Robin Hood, Louis Leterrier- Clash Of The Titans, The Hughes Brothers- The Book of Eli, Paul Haggis- The Next Three Days, Pierre Morel- From Paris With love
Gold Stoney: Kevin Smith- Cop Out
Silver Stoney: Louis Leterrier- Clash Of the Titans
Bronze Stoney: The Hughes Brothers- The Book Of Eli
These were the stoneys I struggled the most with. All bad movies, and all bad largely due to the choices made by their respective directors. I tried to place an emphasis on wasted potential, as opposed to lambasting whoever “directed” movies like Season of The Witch and A-Team that, while terrible, probably basically accomplished what they were going for. With greater intent and potential comes greater responsibility.
Kevin Smith takes home the gold stoney because in my opinion he embarrassed himself the most. Cop Out proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that he no longer has any idea whats funny, if he ever did. I’ve never been a big fan of Smith, so his fall from grace hasn’t been particularly hard for me to bear. For the few intelligent fans still clinging to him for nostalgia’s sake, this movie must have been hard to watch. Like watching a fighter you had tabbed for greatness flail wildly for a few rounds before getting brutally knocked out by a weak jab. You’re left thinking, “This was the guy I thought was due for a title shot? What the fuck was I thinking?”
Smith was able to fool a lot of us for many years, but he has finally been completely exposed. Cop Out features the worst laugh/attempted joke ratio of any movie I’ve seen in a long, long time. And what few laughs exist in that 90 minute travesty were provided via Tracy Morgan ridiculousness, not Smith-brand pseudo-witty dialogue. That shit is played. So played.
Leterrier made numerous significant changes to his reboot of Titans, and literally every one of them was for the worse. I’m guessing the studio forced a lot of that, as many of them were ultra-conservative, idiot-friendly filmmaking devices. Regardless, when you take a beloved film from my past and shit all over it, you’re beggin’ for a stoney.
The Hughes Brothers win the bronze in recognition of their taking a movie that, on paper at least, should’ve been interesting, and turning it into a 2 hour commercial for the Bible. I don’t think they even cared about the plot or the acting. The whole thing was riddled with cliches. There were many worse movies this year, but this was propoganda disguised as art. Disgusting.
Ridley Scott came close to a stoney with the convoluted mess that was Robin Hood, but I think a lot of that was beyond his control. The script went through far too many changes before the directing even began.
Best Lead Actor/Actress
Nominees: Will Forte- MacGruber, Mia Wasikowska- Alice In Wonderland, Jeff Bridges- True Grit, Natalie Portman- Black Swan, Hailee Steinfeld- True Grit, Greta Gerwig- Greenberg
Gold Stoney: Hailee Steinfeld- True Grit
Silver Stoney: Will Forte- MacGruber
Bronze Stoney: Natalie Portman- Black Swan
I’m not trying to get cute here, I swear to god. Hailee Steinfeld’s performance as Mattie Ross was really, truly, the best piece of acting I saw this year. She was superb, son! And I hate kids! All ages, baby!
Seriously, Ross displayed unbelievable chops for someone her age. I’m interested to see where she goes from here, although I can’t imagine I’ll be seeing many of her movies. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed her performance in True Grit. She had me from the word go. And I’m always ready to hate on child actors. I don’t give a shit about oscars anymore, but I do want to see her win. She deserves it. I also think its hilarious that she was referred to as ugly throughout the film. Imagine having to deal with that as a 13-year-old girl.
Forte killed it as MacGruber, if you’re reading this you probably already know that. He’ll never be popular, but he’s doing things nobody else is doing, and he deserves recognition for it. I can only hope there are Macgruber sequels planned so I’ll have the chance to give him a gold stoney one day.
I wanted to give Jeff Bridges the bronze stoney, and I certainly enjoyed his performance more than Portman’s. But playing grizzled isn’t exactly a challenge for a guy like Bridges. Rooster Cogburn was a classic character, but ultimately a pretty easy one to play in my opinion. Portman, on the other hand, had her work cut out for her. She cut 20 pounds from an already tiny body. She learned to do all that weird, gross ballerina toe standing and such. And, perhaps most impressive of all, she essentially played two characters. I’ll award points for that. I’m not a massive Portman fanboy or anything, but I feel her performance is more deserving of stoney praise. Hence, the bronze stoney.
Gerwig and Wasikowska were great, but ultimately not in contention.
Worst Lead Actor/Actress
Nominees: Jonathan Rhys Meyers- From Paris With Love, Lucas Black- Legion, Dany Boon- Micmacs, Mary Louise Parker- Red, Jessica Biel- The A-Team, Bradley Cooper- The A-Team
Gold Stoney: Lucas Black- Legion
Silver Stoney: Dany Boon- Micmacs
Bronze Stoney: Jessica Biel- The A-Team
Some pretty legendary performances here. If you’ve seen Legion, you already knew Lucas Black was going to take home the gold. His turn as Jeep the semi-retarded gas station attendant with a heart of gold was easily the worst performance of the year. It isn’t close. I don’t feel like I need to say any more about this. If you doubt me, watch the movie. All doubts will be erased.
As for the others, they all sucked at a high level. I realize Boon isn’t a sexy pick for the silver because, Micmacs being a french film, most of you probably didn’t see it. It had the potential to be interesting, if not good, but Boon put on a not funny clinic. 90 minutes straight of confusing buffoonery and offputting facial expressions. I realize there is a cultural difference in taste at play here, but if the French really think Boon is funny, they’re in the wrong and thats that.
Biel gets the nod for bronze over a possibly more deserving John Rhys Myers. Myers was god-awful in From Paris With Love. By all rights, he should’ve earned himself a stoney. Big picture though, he’s harmless. Jessica Biel is a disgusting person, and her performance in The A-team displays that perfectly. She plays a terrible character….terribly. Walks hard, shouts commands, a real stone cold bitch (cue guitar riff). Biel’s “method” seems to consist of bad imitations of characters she’s seen in other bad movies. She is famous only because of her body (which is admittedly awesome) and her total willingness (eagerness, even) to play the gross Hollywood game. This woman deserves our derision. And unfortunately, I definitely haven’t seen the last of her.
Nominees: Shutter Island, MacGruber, Inception, Greenberg, True Grit, The Kings Speech
Gold Stoney: MacGruber
Silver Stoney: Inception
Bronze Stoney: True Grit
Yeah, thats right, I thought MacGruber was the best movie of 2010. For the stoney awards, the highest honor isn’t restricted to dramas. MacGruber is the funniest movie to come out in a long, long time. Since Old School probably? And honestly, I think this movie will stand the test of time much better. Forte is a bizarre, hilarious innovator. Thats something desperately needed at the cineplex these days. I only hope MacGruber‘s commercial failure doesn’t limit his future options. Which, of course, it will. But here and now, I don’t want to worry about that. I want to celebrate a comedy tour de force. Congrats, MacGruber. You earned it.
Inception and True Grit were both awesome, and both highly deserving of their silver and bronze stoney awards. You’ve heard me praise their various virtues plenty already in this post, but suffice it to say there was never any doubt in my mind how this category would go. It was the first I settled on, and the decision was the easiest. The King’s Speech was great, but these were the choice three. Greenberg and Shutter Island were not in realistic contention.
Nominees: Legion, From Paris With Love, Season of the Witch, Copout, A-Team, Hereafter
Gold Stoney: From Paris With Love
Silver Stoney: Legion
Bronze Stoney: Hereafter
From Paris With Love is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It is absolutely baffling to me that a movie like this can get made. It really calls the whole process into question. I went in to laugh at yet another Travolta trainwreck. Hilarious as he was, I left the theater angry. I think that really says a lot. I suspect if I take it in a second time with a few stoney friends the laughs will abound. That won’t change the fact that this was the worst movie to come out in 2010.
Legion featured the worst acting of the three. And make no mistake, it was a truly horrendous movie on every level. But there have been a dozen Legions, whereas From Paris was truly unique. It pushed through to that next level. Transcendently bad. None of the other 2010 candidates quite get there. Legion comes close. But From Paris With Love takes the crown. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the script was written on napkins.
Hereafter takes the bronze by virtue of being my most boring time spent in a theater in many years.
I only wish I’d seen Jonah Hex…..
Stoney Boner: Emily Blunt- The Wolfmin
Very, very pretty. In a believable way, if that makes any sense. I’m into her.
Stoney Man (Stoneymin?) Of The Year: Colin Firth- A Single Man, The King’s Speech
Firth may not have taken in any stoney awards, but he starred in two of my top five movies of the year and he was great in both. All praise be to Firth. I also saw him in The Last Legion a while back. I’d prefer not to talk about that.
Stoney-Break: Liam Neeson- The A-Team, Clash Of The Titans
Liam, I love ya man, but its time to take a stoney-break. Take a few months off. Wear pajamas, get stoney, nosh, and collect yourself. Think a little harder about what your next role should be.
As for you, bad action movie directors, for the love of god please leave this man alone. He’s not in his right mind right now and you’re tarnishing his legacy. Making him scream catch phrases and murder people. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Unintentional Stoney Laughs: John Travolta- From Paris With Love
I may have hated the movie, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna let Travolta go begging here. This was definitely one of the most memorable performances of 2010. Travolta out-ridiculoused Cage this year. Charlie Wax is officially part of the lexicon. The stoney loser lexicon.