Saturday, 30 December 2017

The 2017 Fuzzies Film Awards

You're following the Oscar race and you've pretended to care about the Golden Globe nominations – now discover the film awards that really matter with the Fuzzies Film Awards.

Now into their fifth year, the Fuzzies have grown from inauspicious beginnings to a worldwide audience of literally dozens! Who will take home prestigious awards such as Best Actor, Best Director, Best Onscreen Butt and Sexiest Alien? Find out all the winners right here...

Note: Winners and nominees are pooled from films that were released in Australia during 2017 - this includes a crop of films (Moonlight, Jackie, Fences) that didn't arrive here until late January or early February. By the same token, films like The Post, The Shape of Water and Lady Bird (which are tipped to be frontrunners during the current awards season) don't open here until January or February 2018 and will consequently have to wait until next time to be considered. Got it? Good!

Best Actress

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – Seething with rage and overflowing with sorrow, Frances McDormand's towering performance as Mildred in Martin McDonagh's latest is my pick for best of the year.

Strong and determined, McDormand takes no prisoners as she strides around town kicking ass and taking names. However, under her hardened facade, Mildred is a vulnerable and fragile mother grieving for her daughter. McDormand sells this duality with ease and the audience is immediately aligned with her cause, even if her methods are often a little extreme. Layered, nuanced, complex, empathic – the superlatives keep stacking up.

Runners-up: Viola Davis (Fences), Elizabeth Olsen (Wind River), Jennifer Lawrence (Mother!), Natalie Portman (Jackie).

Best Actor

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out – Making an audience cry or cower is tough; making them chuckle is another ask entirely. Achieving all three within the one film is something pretty special. Get Out, the directorial debut of Jordan Peele which took the world by storm at the start of the year, nails this vast spectrum of emotions with aplomb, and a significant chunk of this acclaim can be attributed to a superb lead performance by Daniel Kaluuya.

Kaluuya was excellent as Chris, the outsider plunged into all manner of weird shit when visiting his Caucasian girlfriend's creepy parents upstate. Mixing unsettled and paranoid with humour, terror, power and defiance, Kaluuya's performance is being hailed as the 'one performance from 2017 that embodies the general political angst of post-Trump America'. Not too shabby at all.

Runners-up: Hugh Jackman (Logan), James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049).

Best Supporting Actress

Janelle Monae in Hidden Figures – The brightest star in a whole cast that shine bright like the night sky, Janelle Monae's empathic performance as Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures from the start of the year was a highlight.

Armed with some razor sharp wit and deft comedic timing, Monae balanced humour with a steely determination to upend the societal shackles imposed upon her peers, lending depth and complexity to a historical figure we previously knew so little about.

Runners-up: Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Kirsten Dunst (The Beguiled), Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049).

Best Supporting Actor

Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – Another really strong category, the supporting performance that stood out for me from this year is Sam Rockwell in Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards.

Rockwell's knuckle-dragging, racist, bigoted, violent police officer Dixon starts out as the kind of character you love to hate before transitioning into someone you just straight-up hate and finally a character you begrudgingly admire and care for – it's the kind of arc any actor worth their weight would kill to have a crack at, and Rockwell knocks it out of the park. What could have been a fairly rote one-note character is elevated into something far greater by Rockwell's ability to funnel the inherent complexity of McDonagh's screenplay and dialogue into a nuanced and layered performance. Fingers crossed he scores a nomination (or even a win) at Oscars next year.

Runners-up: Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jamie Foxx (Baby Driver), Harrison Ford (Blade Runner 2049).

Best Ensemble Cast

(L-R) Robin Wright and Sylvia Hoeks in Blade Runner 2049.
Blade Runner 2049 – Thinking back on Denis Villeneuve's overlooked Blade Runner 2049, there are raft of things that jump out, such as the score, the cinematography and the screenplay. And while it's unlikely that its cast will be notching up any awards wins this coming season, I'd wager that together it's much greater than the sum of its parts.

As well as Ryan Gosling's impressive lead performance as K, you've also got Harrison Ford bringing added intrigue to an iconic role, Ana de Armas lending life and depth to an artificial intelligence and even Jared Leto bringing understated malice as villain Niander Wallace. And that's before we've even mentioned smaller parts like Robin Wright's Joshi, Dave Bautista's Sapper and Sylvia Hoeks' formidable Luv. There really are no weak links in this ensemble.

Runners-up: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Hidden Figures, Logan Lucky, Baby Driver.

Best Director

Edgar Wright (centre) on the set of Baby Driver
with Ansel Elgort (right).
Edgar Wright with Baby Driver – Whether it's the electrifying opening salvo set to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or the breathless foot chase to Hocus Pocus, every beat, edit and camera movement in Baby Driver is totally in synch with its eclectic and diegetic soundtrack of rock n' roll, reggae, soul and funk.

Safe to say, Edgar Wright directed the fuck out of this film. After charging out of the gate at terminal velocity, Baby Driver's pulsating camerawork, editing and action is watertight and meticulously interlinked. For a showcase of an auteur in his element, look no further than this.

Runners-up: Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk).

Best Cinematography

Denis Villeneuve (left) with frequent collaborator Roger Deakins. 
Roger Deakins for Blade Runner 2049 – Legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins has worked with director Denis Villeneuve on multiple occasions in the past, but it was their most recent collaboration on Blade Runner 2049 that went above and beyond. 

Whether it's the glittering neon lights and deep smokey alleyways of Los Angeles or the stark salt fields of San Diego and the arid deserts of Las Vegas, Deakins proved to be the perfect choice for the nightmarish future hellscape that is the Blade Runner universe. The results are nothing short of achingly beautiful. 

Runners-up: Hoyte van Hoytema (Dunkirk), James Laxton (Moonlight), Ben Davis (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), Steve Yedlin (Star Wars: The Last Jedi).

Best Soundtrack/Score

Hans Zimmer working on Blade Runner 2049.
Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch for Blade Runner 2049 – Equal parts hauntingly sombre, enchantingly gentle and deafeningly bombastic, Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch's score for Blade Runner 2049 takes the cake as my favourite for this year.

Whether it's the scuzzy synth and digital feedback that rounds out 'Mesa' or the driving drums in 'Sea Wall', the music in Blade Runner 2049 perfectly complemented the neon and rain-soaked futuristic dystopia visuals.

Runners-up: Rupert Gregson-Williams (Wonder Woman), John Williams (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk), Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Wind River)

Best Australian Film

Lion – While it would have been nice if something other than Lion won some awards at the AACTAs last month, it's hard to deny that Garth Davis' emotional exploration of family and home was anything less than excellent.

Boasting a brilliant international cast with the likes of Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and homegrown heroes like Nicole Kidman and David Wenham, this Oscar-nominated film took a powerful Australian story and charmed international audiences around the globe. Plus, how frickin' cute is Sunny Pawar? What a gosh darn cutie.

Runners-up: Jasper Jones, Ali's Wedding, Berlin Syndrome, Hounds of Love.

Best Animated Feature

The Lego Batman Movie – Warner Animation's colourful and frenetic Lego Batman film was a hoot and a half from top to tail.

Everything from the distinctive animation style, the hilarious voice acting (everyone from Will Arnett to Michael Cera and Ralph Fiennes absolutely kills it) and the message ensured it was just as good, if not better than, the original Lego Movie. Guilty secret; the number of times I've listened to 'Friends Are Family' from the soundtrack on Spotify doesn't bear thinking about.

Runners-up: Coco, Cars 3.

Best Documentary

McLaren – Okay, so this is where my bias is showing a little – but it's my blog so my rules! As a lifelong fan of Formula 1, Roger Donaldson's documentary on Kiwi racing driver Bruce McLaren was filled to the brim with captivating insight and nuggets of motor-racing history. 

Runners-up: Mountain, The Eagle Huntress, Williams, An Inconvinient Sequel.

Breakout Star of the Year

Katherine Langford from 13 Reasons Why – Again, more bias is showing – I'm going to barrack for a local in this category. The show that propelled her to fame may have divided audiences (I'm still on the fence), but you have to admit it's been a big year for Perth's own Katherine Langford. Playing the shared lead role in 13 Reasons Why, 21-year-old Langford has gone from small independent features to delivering a Satellite Award and Golden Globe-nominated performance as tragic teen Hannah Baker.

Next year Langford will reprise Hannah for the second season of the hit Netflix show as well as appear alongside Nick Robinson in Greg Berlanti's teen comedy Love Simon.

Runners-up: Zendaya (Spider-man: Homecoming, The Greatest Showman), Dafne Keen (Logan), Timothee Chamalet (Call Me By Your Name), Kelly-Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi).

The Fast and Furious Award for Biggest Guilty Pleasure

Alien: Covenant – Another divisive film, this time from Ridley Scott. Alien: Covenant didn't sit well with a lot of people, but I personally really loved the weird mishmash of brazen ideas and squelchy schlock.

How many other filmmakers would be set aside the killer aliens for the entire second act and instead focus on multiple Michael Fassbender's learning to play the recorder in a dingy cave whilst quoting John Milton? It's a frankly absurd film that fascinates and baffles in equal measure – and I found it all the more compelling as a result.

Runners-up: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Fate of the Furious, Kong: Skull Island

The Crystal Skull Award for Most Unnecessary Sequel, Remake or Reboot

The Mummy – Reshaped and remoulded from a fun rollercoaster vehicle for Brendan Fraser into a dark and convoluted springboard for a cinematic universe, 2017's reincarnation of The Mummy was a bridge too far for audiences tired of lethargic summer movies that didn't offer anything new. Though it had the potential to be something entertaining, the end result was a flaccid and uninspired reboot that was DOA.

Bonus shoutouts to Flatliners for remaking something no-one knew or cared about, Ghost in the Shell for remaking an iconic anime into something painfully mediocre, Baywatch for somehow sapping the funny from The Rock (aka the most charismatic man alive), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales for being immediately forgettable and Despicable Me 3 for ensuring the world hasn't forgotten how annoying Minions are.

The Award for Most Shameless Product Placement, Sponsored by Bud Light

Power Rangers – Is it just me or did everyone really crave some doughnuts after watching this film? Krispy Kremes, specifically. I just can't put my finger on why. It's not like every other scene in Lionsgate's reboot of Power Rangers included several references to that very same popular doughnut vendor. Here's a fun drinking game idea to spice up your New Year's; step one, drink every time Krispy Kreme is mentioned in 2017's Power Rangers. Step two, die.

Bonus shoutout to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle for reminding us how great PlayStation and every other Sony brand under the sun are at every conceivable opportunity and The Emoji Movie for essentially just coasting along on brands like Twitter, Candy Crush, Just Dance, WeChat, Dropbox and YouTube.

The Dr Dolittle Award for Best Movie Animal

Melo the Converter from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Okay, maybe I'm stretching the definition of animal a little on this one but that little pearl-pooping Pokemon that Cara Delevingne carried around in her fanny pack for 90% of Valerian was frickin' adorable and absolutely nuts.

Let's be honest, Porgs are pretty cute, but they don't have anything on this little dude. What do they do? Nothing. They're a menace. This guy can manufacture exact replicas of pearls with its butt in seconds. SECONDS. Congratulations on winning this meaningless award, you strange and poorly-explained freak.

Runners-up: Porgs (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Kong (Kong: Skull Island), Bad Ape (War for the Planet of the Apes).

The Lucius Malfoy Award for Worst Wig

Another banner year for bad wigs – it's a three-way tie once again! This year our winners are Laura Dern for her purple do in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, James Franco's Wiseau wig in The Disaster Artist and Rihanna's bouncy blonde bombshell thing in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Special shoutouts to Charlize Theron's multiple wigs in Atomic Blonde and Cate Blanchett's goth get-up in Thor: Ragnarok. Congratulations on your terrible hairdos being immortalised in cinema forever.

The Liara T'Soni Award for Sexiest Alien

Bubble from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Another win for Valerian! This time its Rihanna as the shape-shifting stripper Bubble who was, if I understood this correctly, able to transform and mimic anything and anyone (which I guess is why she chose to look like Rihanna most of the time – makes total sense).

The Kleenex Award for Biggest Tear-Jerker

The Big Sick – Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon's autobiographical screenplay of their own courtship really struck a chord with me earlier in the year for a lot of reasons. It's not often a film so closely matches up with our day-to-day lives, so seeing a couple dealing with a chronic illness meant this rom-com hit home especially hard for me.

The Dick Van Dyke Award for Worst Accent

Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky – I'm not expert in accents but Daniel Craig's Southern accent in Logan Lucky was so good and/or bad that it made my ears bleed. His character of demolitions expert Joe Bang couldn't have been further from Bond. Please Daniel, bring back your smooth British accent. Please.

The Inception Award for Biggest Mindfuck

Mother! – So what was that golden liquid all about? Or the crystal in Javier Bardem's study? Or the isolated house in the middle of nowhere? Or the two squabbling brothers? Or the legions of random people who just wandered out of the forest? Why were they so determined to sit on the kitchen counter? Why was Michelle Pfeiffer so judgemental all the time? Why did all those people want to worship and/or eat Jennifer Lawrence's baby? What the hell is happening Aronofsky?

The Wolf of Wall Street Award for Film You Really Don't Want to Watch With Your Nan

Mother! – Oh I get it. It's one big allegory for the Bible. Damn Aronofsky, you are one messed up dude. How's about peeling back on the religion for a bit mate? I don't know, maybe a nice rom-com will do you the world of good?

Runners-up: The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.

The Mister Freeze Award for Worst Movie Villain

Steppenwolf in Justice League – Poorly rendered CGI visage? Check. Weak or ill-defined motivations? Check. Prone to longwinded monologues? Check. Obsessed with plot MacGuffin? Check. Justice League's primary antagonist checks every box on the rubbish comic book movie villain scorecard. That's a bingo!

Runners-up: Charlize Theron as Cipher (The Fate of the Furious), Javier Bardem as Salazar (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales), Julianne Moore as Poppy (Kingsman: The Golden Circle).

Mr Pringle Award for Best Facial Hair

Henry Cavill in Justice League – A moustache so powerful that it cost Warner Brothers $25 million to digitally erase and prompted approximately a million snarky tweets, Cavill's facial fuzz (or lack thereof so to speak) was hilarious.

Paramount's pettiness in forbidding Cavill from shaving was the ultimate power move, and put Warner Brothers in a wonderfully awkward situation of trawling through frame by frame. Who knew Superman's upper lip would be the subject of so much debate?

Runners-up: Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express), Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Last Jedi).

The Zoolander 2 Award for Weirdest Cameo

David Hasslehoff and Pamela Anderson in Baywatch – The first cameo in Baywatch wasn't so bad; Hasslehoff pops up as The Rock's ageing and slightly deranged mentor. That makes sense and is a cute callback to the original TV show. But Anderson's? Woof. Introduced in literally the final scene of the film, Anderson slinks onto screen in slow motion, doesn't say a word and then the credits roll. Are we supposed to give a standing ovation or something?

Runners-up: David Hasslehoff (again) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Justin Theroux in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Matt Damon in Thor: Ragnarok, David Beckham in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Movie Meme of the Year

Mister Police memes from The Snowman – Boy oh boy did Film Twitter go to town over the poster for The Snowman. Flaunting one of the worst taglines of all time, the meme potential of The Snowman grew even further once it opened and the world discovered it was absolute garbage. All of a sudden the little snowman, the creepy handwriting and the tagline seemed infinitely funnier.

Runners-up: It memes, Porg memes, memes about The Mummy trailer that didn't have all the audio.

The Mark Lewis Award for Creepiest Sexual Predator

It's a tie! Jamie Dornan picks up his second consecutive win in this category for his performance as Christian Grey in Fifty Shades Darker, only this time he shares it with Chris Pratt's Jim Preston in Passengers and whoever Michael Pena played in Chips. Congratulations fellas, you succeeded in creeping us all the fuck out this year.

The Suicide Squad Award for Most Needle Drops

Atomic Blonde – You've got East Berlin in the late 80s, a Cold War spy thriller plot and a ice-cold femme fatale – what do you need to complete the picture? An extensive list of period appropriate dance anthems of course!

Runner-up: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The Hermione Granger Award for Most Inappropriate Sexualisation of a Minor

Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper in Riverdale.
Lili Reinhart in Riverdale – Okay so Reinhart herself is 21 but Betty Cooper, the character she plays on Riverdale, is still a sophomore in high school, making her 16 or 17 at the most. Which makes the scene where Betty strips and pole dances in front of a whole bar of gruff bikers a really weird and pervy creative decision by the showrunners – why they felt the need to go in that direction in a show that is already pretty horny anyway eludes me.

The Neill Blomkamp Award for Most Wasted Potential

The Mummy – Don't get me wrong, Universal's short-lived Dark Universe venture may have seemed ill-conceived from the start, but at least it had the potential to go somewhere. Loosely connected monster movies with pulpy B-movie heroes? That sounds fun and promising at the very least. All this quickly escaped down the drain after The Mummy, a film so amazingly bad that it killed any hope of a series dead in its tracks. Not even the appeal of Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe and a semi-naked Sofia Boutella could stem the tide of negative word of mouth surrounding this film back in June.

Runners-up: The Dark Tower, Justice League, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

Best Onscreen Butt

James Franco in The Disaster Artist – In keeping with Tommy Wiseau's butt making an appearance in The Room, James Franco put his tushy front and centre for a scene in The Disaster Artist, delivering one of the biggest laughs of the film. Take a bow Mr Franco (but maybe put some jocks on first eh?).

Runners-up: Pretty much everyone in Baywatch, Kit Harington and Nathalie Emmanuel in Game of Thrones (you know the scenes I'm talking about).

The Sir Isaac Newton Memorial Award for Complete and Utter Disregard for the Laws of Physics

The Fate of the Furious – Now I'm no scientist, but I don't reckon a lot of the stunts that went down in The Fate of the Furious would actually happen in real life. First off, what was up with that tidal wave of cars? Or The Rock pushing a missile away whilst skating along some ice? Or the most unbelievable feat of all; Vin Diesel actually emoting? I mean I can get onboard with a lot of the illogical stunts but that just takes the cake.

The Walter Mitty Award for Forgotten and Underseen Gem of the Year

A Cure for Wellness – Gore Verbinski's ode to classic Hammer horror flew under the radar at the start of the year, probably because it was really long, really weird and didn't boast a big star front and centre.

A shame, because the twisted plot and amazing production design were the just the start of a really strange and distinctive film that stayed with me for a long time.

Runners-up: Battle of the Sexes, Brad's Status.

The Last Airbender Award for Biggest Letdown

The Dark Tower – Stephen King's sprawling Dark Tower series is often heralded as his magnum opus, comparable in size and scope to George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, so to see it slashed into a generic 90-minute fantasy Western hodgepodge was a crying shame.

Not even Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey could transform the bland screenplay and production into something enjoyable.

Runner-up: Justice League, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. 

Thanks for reading the 2017 edition of the Fuzzies! I always enjoy writing something tongue-in-cheek to go with the best actor/director waffle which usually rounds off the year. Let me know what you think in the comments section below! Plus, keep your eyes peeled for my Top 10 Films of 2017 post in the next few days!


  1. I love your snarky awards. No Fast and Furious movie abides by the laws of physics. At this point if Vin Diesel picked up a car and threw it at someone I wouldn't even question it.

    The worst product placement for me by far was orange juice in The Punisher. I think it was in episode three. It drove me insane. I've haven't seen such obvious product placement in years.

    I love that you picked Katherine Langford for break out. She was so good!

    1. Gotta go with a local pick whenever I can ;)



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