Friday, 14 March 2014

Encore Awards (2013 in Review): Visual Awards

More 2013 accolades coming your way. In some key ways I suppose my personal choices are not that far off from public consensus (but for, probably editing) but it's been a typically strong batch of nominees in all the visual categories even a few films tend to reappear in many of the categories.

I saved Cinematography for a post on its own, because there are so many films to consider.



Great Expectations
- for aging Mrs Havisham in her decaying glory but never repulsive
- but also for the flashback to young Mrs Havisham making Helena look 20
- for the grimy world of young Pip's life and fine work on Joe
- for making Fiennes almost unrecognisable as Magwitch
- for understanding the difference between the greasy Pip before he leaves for London and the gentleman Pip after is more than just the absence of dirt on his face
- for Olly Alexander's ridiculous hair

Zoe Brown
Marc Pilcher

The Great Gatsby
- because make-up to make actors pretty is rarely, if ever, given the recognition it  deserves
- for making young Daisy different from older Daisy and both of them similar but not quite like Carey Mulligan regularly
- for recalling Leonardo DiCaprio at his youngest
- for keeping older Gatsby seeming young until you look closer and notice the wrinkles
- for the ace hair of all the ladies
- for Tom's mustache

Wizzy Molineaux
Ashley Johnson

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- because, yes, it's still fine work on a particularly large cast
- for working magic keeping Orlando Bloom looking like he did a decade ago
- for believably making Lee Pace and Orlando Bloom seem like family
- for Radagast who is all makeup in some ways
- and for the Dwarves, of course
- for Thranduil's dye-job

Peter King
Rick Findlater
Richard Taylor

The Lone Ranger
- for showing restraint and not making Old Tonto ridiculous
- for work on Young Tonto that never seems over-the-top
- for John Reid's face when he wakes up after his near-death experience
- for realistic touches on the entire of Butch's gang
- for making James Badge Dale maintain his looks but still look like a man who has weathered some storms
- for knowing just how to make Helena Bonham Carter look like a Madam

Joel Harlow
Gloria Pasqua-Casny

World War Z
- because it's a zombie movie, obviously, this is an essential part
- but, also for such attention to detail like teeth and tongues
- for showing stages in zombie development through the makeup
- for human work on Mireille Enos showing just how tired this woman really is
- for something as banal as Brad's weird hairstyle

Julie Dartnell
Joe Grover
Shaune Harrison
Carmel Jackson

FINALISTS: 12 Years a Slave for my favourite bit: the subtle work on Alfre; Dallas Buyers Club for effective shades not just of sickness but exhaustion; Rush for specific work on Bruhl after the crash, but for making Hemsworth the best looking he's ever been on screen

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: American Hustle; August: Osage County; Prisoners


Blue Jasmine

- for Jasmine, mostly because a great deal of her status is found in what she wears
- but even more for the way present day Jasmine's wardrobe becomes more and more worn
- for Chili's blazer in his first scene
- for Ginger's warm wardrobe

Suzy Benzinger

The Grandmaster

- for a wide array of period sumptuousness going through the decades
- for great use of colour to convey emotion
- for all the women who have no lines but have clothes that are not afterthoughts.
- for Gong Er's cloak
- for Sister San's shoes

William Chang Suk Ping

Great Expectations
- for knowing that in a tale like this the difference between Pip and Mr Pirrip is in the clothes
- for Mrs Havisham's dress decaying, but still ornate
- for Estella's entire wardrobe
- for that first gentleman outfit Pip wears from Pumblechook which is just the ostentatious thing you'd expect him to choose

Beatrix Aruna Pasztor

The Great Gatsby
- for the very first outfit Daisy wears which is just the sort of dream thing we expect her in
- for tailoring each woman to specific appropriateness
- for having fun with colour and understanding why Gatsby's jackets matter
- for, in a brief flashback, telling us significant things about how Daisy dressed in the past

Catherine Martin

Mother of George
- for kowing that with Adenike as the focus every article must count
- but, for still knowing well enough to give specificity to what Sade wears
- for evoking mood through use of colour
- for just general eye-catching ability, also head-wraps.

 Mobolaji Dawodu 

FINALISTS: American Hustle for many things but mostly for the wardrobe in the disco; Beautiful Creatures for contemporary work with a flair that's magical enough to endorse its narrative; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for the elf-wear, mostly; The Lone Ranger for having fun with dressing Red, and for sensible menswear throughout

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: 12 Years a Slave; Her; Inside Llewyn Davis; Spring Breakers; The Wolf of Wall Street

...production design, visual effects and editing below the jump....


The Grandmaster
- for rooms which seem as steeped in doom, gloom, drama and tension as the film
- for William Chang
- for tracing the way the characters lives move from lavish, to less so
- for some very snazzy curtains
- for knowing that sometimes we just want to look at pretty things

Alfred Yau

Great Expectations
- for nailing the haunted feeling of Mrs Havisham's room and way its suffused with decay
- for Pip's bedroom in London which is just a wondrous thing to behold
- for the cramped space of Mrs Joe's house
- for Jaggers' office

Jim Clay
Caroline Smith

The Great Gatsby
- for knowing that this Gatsby is as much about the real as it as about the imagined
- for nailing the gaudy side of the film as well as the austere richness
- for Nick's little house
- for every inch of Gatsby's abode

Catherine Martin
Beverley Dunn

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- for that wonderful cave and everything in it
- for the Bowman's house which looks just as you'd expect it to
- for the home of the elves
- for the jail

Dan Hennah
Ra Vincent

The Lone Ranger
- for that Brothel and particularly Red's room which is one of the best designed rooms of the year
- for the inside of that train which is just wonderful to look at
- for looking as sumptuous and rich as you'd hope for from something of this scale

Jess Gonchor
Cheryl Carasik  

FINALISTS: American Hustle for the cluttered home of Irving and Rosalyn; Beautiful Creatures for that library I want to live in; Blue Jasmine for specific touches of idiosyncrasy in Ginger's house; Her for that elevator; Inside Llewyn Davis for the layout of the club; World War Z for that WHO facility

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Gravity; Man of Steel; The Wolf of Wall Street; The World’s End

Its work becomes particularly essential when the plot reveals itself as inextricably linked to what we see and it is innovative and inventive work that thrills continuously throughout the film. There are so many instances of smaller, subtler aspects being seen if you look closer and the sense of cohesiveness between the scope, the exciting spectacles, the invigorating digital extravaganza and the sheer ability to make us gasp at just the right moments.

Tim Webber
Chris Lawrence
Dave Shirk
Neil Corbould

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
I'm usually way less reticent about choosing what my favourites ares, consensus be damned except Middle Earth has come in for so much criticism recently - perhaps, mostly, due to fatigue - that pronouncing it best seems unwise. Except, I really am more thrilled with the visual work here than any film this year. Much of that owing to the wondrous creation that is Smaug but also that excellent attack by the spiders in the forest or even smaller things like the role of the visual effects in creating the world of Dale and everything in the final cave sequence

Joe Letteri
Eric Saindon
David Clayton
R. Christopher White

The Lone Ranger
I keep saying, but it bears repetition - let it not be said that the millions of money spent on this was not money well spent. This film looks gorgeous, expensive and sumptuous and although the final train sequence gets the bulk of the attention it's working with a fine effects team throughout. Verbinski has an eye for the visual, and he promises his audience splendor for the eye and he does not skimp on delivering it.

 Tim Alexander
Gary Brozenich
Edson Williams
John Frazier

Man of Steel
Unfortunately forgotten for reasons beyond my comprehension which is a shame because it's so excellently created. Even with just the extended opening scene its place here would be justified but it goes further. The way it creates a world crumbling from the effects of destruction is so chilling because its so well done, from the falling building to the natural disasters the visual effects team is doing unimpeachable work.

Joe Letteri
John 'D.J.' Des Jardin
Dan Lemmon

World War Z
Its main visuals are of lower importance than you'd expect for a summer blockbuster of the sort, and of a zombie film specifically which becomes its biggest asset. Grounding its world in a staunch realistic tone its use of visual effects must be subtler and more nuanced than it might have and it works, in the big set-pieces like the zombies scaling the wall or the plane disaster and in smaller bits like the car ride that turns dangerous or the WHO facility woes.

Andrew R. Jones
Jessica Norman
Matt Johnson
Scott Farrar

FINALISTS: The Great Gatsby; Rush ; The World’s End

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Beautiful Creatures; The Grandmaster



Inside Llewn Davis
Inside Llewyn Davis is, indeed, straddling the line between comedic and musical but so many of the comic moments depend on expert choice of cuts and pacing. It's not just that Carey Mulligan is lucky enough to get some of the best lines of the film, so much of Jean's relationship with Llewyn is revealed in reaction shots. My favourite sequence of cuts from Llewyn's I love you to Jean's eye roll to Llewyn being refused his marines' license.

Joel Coen
Ethan Coen

On the most surface level it's an easy get here because it deals with editing pre-existing material into the present day film and sometimes even depends on making the audience gets what's part of the movie and part of the ads within the movies, but it's more than just that. In a film that deals in great part with how audiences are influenced by the things they see the seamless way everything is mixed together is such a significant example of the film's themes shining through not just narratively, but technically.

Andrea Chignoli

More than just a default choice because of its subject, Hanley and Hill deserve numerous plaudits for being essential in the film's success as a thriller. The machinations of based-on-a-true-story sports antics might seem tired and true but its edited with so much verve. The break-necked pace never lets up but major points for the breathless editing never leading to lose the audience. It's done so well that even someone completely ignorant of Formula 1 driving manages to to keep up with just the information necessary to understand what's happening in Rush.

Daniel Hanley
Mike Hill

The World’s End
This is action movie + comedy + buddy film + alien invasion movie and all the varying parts of this one singular World's End depends on Machliss and his editing skills. That bathroom scene where the film becomes something wholly different could so easily go wrong unless the editing is on point, and it is. As the blanks become more integral to the plot, leading to the final showdown between humans and robots its the editing that keeps the pace jaunty, the comedy registering while giving way to the palpable feeling of supernatural destruction.

Paul Machliss

World War Z
Like Rush, above, the editing is essential to building up tension but in an even starker manner. There are  a large number of anxiety ridden scenes where the difference between legitimate thrills and a miss is a well executed cut. It's true every aspect of World War Z is functioning as a means of prolonging tension, but that's even a surer sign of Barton and Chesse's work here. They ensure that the essential tautness is sustained throughout, especially in the film's central scene of excellence - the WHO facility - where shot after shot keeps us riveted.

Roger Barton
Matt Chesse

FINALISTS: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints for a poetic quality that does not descend into pointlessness; The Kings of Summer for some A+ montage work and for capturing boyhood fun with specificity; The Past for balancing its characters and their secrets; Short Term 12 for the sanguine easiness the film depends on; Upstream Color for managing to make me understand what was happening even when I didn't understand what was going on; The Wolf of Wall Street for the Qualuudes scene

HONOURABLE MENTIONS: Frances Ha; Gravity; ; Mother of George; Prisoners; Spring Breakers

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent nominees and winners! I have a few left to see from your list here, but I've seen most of them.