08 Jan The 2nd Annual Jammies – celebrating the best (and worst) of film in 2015
A new tradition was born last year, and it’s time to keep it going. You should know by now I love a good awards show. Last year I created my own awards show with my own categories, nominees and winners. It’s my way of having a little control over an industry I have literally zero control over. Bazinga.
All in all, it was a fabulous year in film, so choosing this year’s lucky nominees and winners was another exhaustive process. But there were some stinkers, and they get their limelight here as well.
Last year I went a little nuts with the nominees, so I’m being harsh and limiting myself to a maximum of seven per category. Why seven? I don’t know. Pretend I came up with some wonderful explanation and just go with that.
So without further ado, let the 2nd Annual Jammies commence!
This award is given to the box-office result that surprised the most in 2015, whether that be in a positive way or a negative way. And the nominees are:
Jurassic World grosses over $1.6 billion and ends up the third highest grossing film of all time
Minions rakes in over $1.1 billion to become the second biggest animated film ever and the eleventh highest grossing film of all time
There are zero wholly-original films in the top ten grossing films of the year
The Martian scores a staggering $595 million at the worldwide box-office
Fantastic Four manages a paltry $150 million gross worldwide
Furious 7 ends up with $1.5 billion and is the sixth biggest film of all time
Star Wars: The Force Awakens breaks pretty much every box-office record and, after only a month, is already the fourth highest grossing film of all time
And the winner is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Last year, I called it a tie, and I was set to do the same. That all changed when Star Wars obliterated records left, right and centre. It has become a box-office giant like we’ve never seen before, and therefore it was a worthy winner of this award.
This award is given to the film that held such great promise, but ultimately failed to deliver on that potential. And the nominees are:
Jurassic World (I was disappointed. Deal with it.)
And the winner is Fantastic Four. Reboots and restarts come with a certain level of anticipation. There’s always the hope that a fresh cast and a fresh pool of production talent can bring something new to the game. This piece of garbage was a monumental failure on every level and was quite frankly the worst piece of cinema in 2015. Such a wasted opportunity and such a waste of enormous talent. Fox should just give up and hand the rights back to Marvel Studios. They clearly do not know how to make this franchise work.
This award is given to the film that achieved the polar opposite of the above category, managing to please and delight without any real prior warning or buzz. And the nominees are:
Mad Max: Fury Road
And the winner is It Follows. Truly one of the most original pieces of horror cinema of recent times. While deceptively simple, it packs a hell of a punch and is the kind of horror film that will stay with you for days. The film is incredibly unsettling and decisively creepy with some genuinely terrifying moments that are so rare in horror cinema these days. It takes this award purely due to the fact that it came out of absolutely nowhere which is always a remarkable achievement in this day and age. Bravo.
This award is probably the closest to a category typically seen throughout awards season, and is given to the most outstanding performance seen on film in 2015. And the nominees are:
Cate Blanchett in Carol
Emily Blunt in Sicario
Matt Damon in The Martian
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn
Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
And the winner is Saoirse Ronan for her captivating performance as Eilis Lacey in Brooklyn. After reading my top ten films post, you will already know I was completely in awe of her performance here. With Brooklyn, Ronan stamps her mark as one of the most exciting talents working in cinema today. Ronan is a true revelation here and genuinely unlike anything else seen this year. She will take your damn breath away from the minute she steps on-screen. I still hold out hope of a dark-horse Oscar victory, but if not, she still takes out a Jammie for the best performance of the year.
Best Voice-Over Performance
This award was created because it was truly a stellar year for voice-over work, so this will be given to the actor who managed to create a brilliant performance with nothing but their voice. And the nominees are:
Adam Driver in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Richard Kind in Inside Out
Lupita N’yongo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Amy Poehler in Inside Out
Phyllis Smith in Inside Out
James Spader in Avengers: Age of Ultron
And the winner is Richard Kind for his heartwarming (and heartbreaking) performance as Bing Bong in Disney Pixar’s Inside Out. Time and time again, Disney and Pixar deliver animated characters for the ages, and once again, they knock it out of the park with Bing Bong, thanks in large part to Kind’s voice-over work. So much heart. So much warmth. So much humour. A true delight to watch. Bing Bong is the kind of character you wish were real.
This award is given to the performance that elicited the worst kind of emotions a film-goer can experience. These actors are usually quite impressive (three Oscar winners, come on!), but they all took a bad misstep this year with these woeful performances. And the nominees are:
Anyone involved with Entourage
Johnny Depp in Mortdecai
The entire cast of Fantastic Four
Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part Two
Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending
Meryl Streep in Suffragette (I’m not kidding…it’s genuinely terrible)
The margarita guy in Jurassic World
My first instinct was to give this to the cast of Fantastic Four, but upon further reflection, it wasn’t really their fault. Four great actors just unfortunately found themselves performing the worst screenplay of the year, so they get a pass. Instead, the winner is Jennifer Lawrence for phoning it in for the fourth time in the overbloated and overstretched final chapter of The Hunger Games franchise. The woman is better than this. I know these films made her a household name. I know her stellar performances in Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and the X-Men franchise probably wouldn’t exist without her breakout role as Katniss Everdeen. But by god, it’s just been nauseating to watch four films where all one the best actresses of our time is required to do is run around, look upset occasionally and give a woefully scripted speech every thirty minutes or so. I’m just glad it’s all over. Sorry, J-Law. I still adore you.
This award is given to the performance that blew audiences away and introduced us to a star that we were either shamefully ignoring or had never had a chance to notice before. And the nominees are:
Elizabeth Banks in Love & Mercy
Emery Cohen in Brooklyn
Ryan Corr in Holding The Man
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Géza Röhrig in Son of Saul
Amy Schumer in Trainwreck
Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina
And the winner is Alicia Vikander for her stunning performance as Ava in Ex Machina. Plenty of actors have played robots, but none quite like Vikander. Utterly captivating to watch, Vikander is sublime. There are rumblings of a surprise Oscar nod (a notion complicated but Vikander also being in contention for The Danish Girl) and frankly I’d be happy to see her awarded. She is a true star on the rise and I cannot wait to see what she delivers next.
This award is given to that one special stand-out moment from a film that lives with you long after you’ve left the cinema. And the nominees are:
Therese sees Carol for the first time in Carol
That one-shot fight sequence in Creed
“Take her to the moon for me, okay?” in Inside Out
The tall man appears in It Follows
T-Rex v Indominus Rex v Velociraptors in Jurassic World
Any car-chase sequence in Max Max: Fury Road
Amy delivers a eulogy in Trainwreck
And the winner is the car-chase sequences in Mad Max: Fury Road. Truly unlike anything we’ve seen on screen in years. These physically-created sequences are utterly stunning to witness, especially when you attempt to uncover how they were actually created. George Miller could have very easily achieved these shots from the comfort of green-screen, but he knew he would lose all impact by taking the easy way out. By taking it back to the production methods of the past, he captures something special and every single sequence is a masterpiece in its own.
Best Music Moment
This award is given to that special stand-out moment from a film that involves music in some way. And the nominees are:
Oscar Isaac and Sonoya Mizuno dance to “Get Down Saturday Night” in Ex Machina
“Who’s your friend who likes to play? Bing Bong, Bing Bong!” in Inside Out
The explosion sequence set to the music of Pomp & Circumstance in Kingsman: The Secret Service
The use of Verdi’s Requiem in the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road
The entire disco soundtrack in The Martian
That familiar John Williams theme begins in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Amy Schumer joins the Mets cheerleaders in Trainwreck
And the winner is the entire disco soundtrack in The Martian. Let’s be honest. If you told me a sci-fi film would be scored by the sounds of disco music, I probably would have laughed in your face. And yet, here we are. I can’t explain how but something just clicks here. From the killer montage sequence set to David Bowie’s “Starman” to Matt Damon sweltering on Mars to the sounds of Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” to Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” being cheekily played over the closing credits, every choice of music is just perfect, no matter how out-of-place it may seem in a film set in outer space. It worked for Guardians of the Galaxy and it works here. Maybe every sci-fi film needs to reexamine its musical choices from now on. Disco and sci-fi are now a match made in cinematic heaven.
This award is given to the duo or team that worked together in perfect harmony to create movie magic in 2015. And the nominees are:
Saoirise Ronan and Emory Cohen in Brooklyn
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol
Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in Creed
Ryan Corr and Craig Stott in Holding The Man
Amy Poehler and Phyllis Smith in Inside Out
Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road
Amy Schumer and Bill Hader in Trainwreck
And the winner is a tie – Saoirise Ronan and Emory Cohen in Brooklyn and Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol. Both these duos delivered the most beautiful love stories seen on-screen this year. Both were utterly captivating to watch, for different reasons, and proved that love triumphs over all things.
Most Unnecessary Sequel, Remake, Reboot, or Re-imagining
This award is given to the sequel or remake that no one asked for, and was only a desperate attempt to grab some cash in the already overcrowded franchise marketplace. And the nominees are:
Hotel Transylvania 2
Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
And for the second year in a row, the winner is all of them! Congratulations to the studio executives behind these films, for once again proving that the opportunity to make some dollars at the box-office generally outweighs the need to tell a good story. Who needs originality when you can just drag out the same shit that audiences have already seen before? I’m not against sequels and remakes. I’m against lazy sequels and remakes which all of these were. Please stop. Give us something new or don’t bother.
Most Anticipated Film of 2015
This award is given to the upcoming film that The Jam Report is counting down the days until, while at the same time praying that it doesn’t wind up taking next year’s Biggest Disappointment crown. And the nominees are:
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Captain America: Civil War
The Jungle Book
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
It’s a tough one, as 2016 is shaping up as a truly glorious year for blockbuster films. But the winner is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s just far too exciting to think what this film will deliver. It’s a superhero battle every comic-book nerd has been dying to see, and now it’s finally upon us. The Affleck backlash is long gone and I cannot wait to see what he brings to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. Add in the long-awaited cinematic introductions of Wonder Woman and Aqua Man (and potentially other Justice League cameos we may be gifted) plus Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth and you have the makings of a truly phenomenal action epic. There is equal amount of excitement for Marvel’s Captain America v Iron Man showdown, but DC’s offering just manages to pip them at the post. Bring it on.
Special Award of Excellence for the Criminally Underrated
This award is given to the performer who will shamefully be overlooked for nominations/wins during awards season this year, and so The Jam Report would like to give them something, since no one else will. And the nominees are:
Rose Byrne in Spy
Benicio Del Toro in Sicario
Michael B. Jordan in Creed
Sarah Paulson in Carol
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Julie Walters in Brooklyn
Kristen Wiig in Welcome To Me
And the winner is Michael B. Jordan in Creed. Much like his powerful performance in Fruitvale Station, Jordan will again be overlooked this season and I genuinely do not understand why. He is a phenomenal actor and should be getting nominations for his wonderful performance in Creed. Hollywood has an unfortunate double-standard. It loves to nominate/award hot young actresses (Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron, Marion Cotillard) but tends to shun up and coming actors in favor of seasoned veterans (Daniel Day-Lewis, Matthew McConaughey, Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges). Yes, you occasionally get your Eddie Redmayne or Adrien Brody, but that’s usually the one slot they’ll give for a newbie. The other four slots are almost always taken by old-timers. This sadly means Jordan will be pushed aside again this year. Shameful. He owns that film, and if it’s up for Best Picture, he should consequently also be nominated.
Congratulations (and perhaps commiserations) to the winners of the 2nd Annual Jammies. See you all next year.