Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Victim's Gold Stars: The Worsts

Yes, 2007 is over. Technically, if you're going by the Gregorian calendar (and who reading this isn't? Put your hands up...), it ended three months ago, but everyone knows that the movie year, especially when combined with British release dates and my bizarre need to go by American release dates, that 2007 doesn't end until, at the earliest, mid-March. But now it's April 2nd, I saw The Orphanage and No End in Sight yesterday (oh, More4, I bow to your US-documentary acquisition skills), and I have decided that, with We Own the Night not appearing on DVD until April 28th, that it's time to stop this madness. Yes, in short, my awards begin now.

Now, last year, I begun with an Over- and Under-Appreciated post, but I'm leaving that this year- the most under-appreciated movie of the year will get coverage enough, believe me- and instead starting with a modicum of fun: the Worsts. All in fun, and remember- I really had to stretch to fill out the Worst Actress category. Mirroring how painful it was to pare down the Best Actress category to a paltry five. But we'll get to that later.


Orlando Bloom, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
I think Orlando is really a poet. And this is his ode to a wet-blanket.

Robert De Niro, Stardust
Alright, so the script hardly invites a good performance, but god, it's horrible watching someone who used to be so good be so consistently terrible nowadays. I had to watch his scenes through my fingers.

Clive Owen, Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Randy Quaid, Goya's Ghosts
Are you done being verbose and over-ripe yet?

Jon Turturro, Transformers
Any movie where Jon Turturro turns up is immediately 50% worse.


Saffrow Burrows, Reign Over Me
I doubt anyone could make wanting to fellatio Adam Sandler believable, but she's bug-eyed and skittishly irritating at the same time, so she never had a chance.

Mamie Gummer, Evening
She's no Meryl Streep, that's for sure.

Natasha Richardson, Evening
The most vacant, useless, listless and irritating performance in a cast chock-full of them.

Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson's War
All I could think while she stood there delivering those idiotic lines in the weirdest Texan accent was that she didn't fit into her dress properly. Seriously. Her bust had major overhang.

Susan Sarandon, Enchanted
I love Susan. I do. But hammy is too weak a word to describe this.

As last year, here's a little break: five diamonds in the rough.


Gillian Anderson, Straightheads
Empathic, rich, delicate characterization in a movie that only wants her to shove a rifle up someone's arse.

Steve Buscemi & Sienna Miller, Interview
These two virtuosic explorations of unpredictable characters provide interest for most of this movie, forming a fascinating duet (someone's literally) and navigating wild mood swings with pinpoint precision.

Tracie Thoms, Death Proof
God knows, I could've watched her spit out that Tarantino dialogue all day; she does it with such relish and vehement enunciation.

Kate Winslet, Romance & Cigarettes
Another vibrant characterization in a movie that was pale and listless; Winslet puts on a fierce Northern accent and stomps through this movie like the fruitful tart she's playing.


Javier Bardem, Goya's Ghosts
I've already explained this: "it's like he's trying to do a Spanish accent, even though he's already got one".

Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Unfortunately multiplication of an actor does not improve the quality of said actor's performance. In fact, it seems to be a reverse equation.

Danny Dyer, Straightheads
Look, just stop talking, okay? Please. Just stop.

Tom Hanks, Charlie Wilson's War
Oh, Tom. You're just not good enough any more.

Anthony Hopkins, Fracture
I'll always hate you, Anthony. But this just took it to an unknowable level of contempt. You're not called Hannibal Lecter in this movie, okay? And if you say you killed your wife, who are we to argue? In a sane world, this movie would've lasted five minutes. Or, rather, never existed at all, because Embeth Davidtz would never marry you, Anthony.


Emmanuelle Beart, The Witnesses
Remember: stretching. But there was something incredibly unsettling about her performance in this film, all 'kooky' and faux-hip.

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Alright, so the way she chews on her dialogue before yelling it passionately kinda gets me ("I too can command the wind sir!"), but that's also the reason why this film fails so miserably, so you're not going to get away with it, Cate. (Plus, I have to have one Oscar nominee on these lists somewhere, and Jennifer Hudson wasn't in a film last year. Kidding. I'm kidding!)

Claire Danes, Evening
Wake me up when she can act again.

Megan Fox, Transformers
Alright, so she's only meant to be hot, and I'm okay with that. But there are other hot young actresses who can act, so why not hire one of them? Shia deserves better than this.

Evan Rachel Wood, Across the Universe
This is basically the polar opposite of her performance in thirteen: never have I seen a less enthusiatic protestor. And she delivers her lines like some malfunctioning kind of robot. And she can't sing.


5. The Brave One
Unbelievably stupid, reductive and ridiculous, and that's before you get to the ending.

4. The Kite Runner
I've said it before: "the more I reflect on it, the more I detest it's backward simplicity, its cliched arcs, its flat visual sense, and the fact that it treats such a hot-button subject with such blunt tactlessness that it is, actually, quite offensive."

3. Evening
How you manage to make so boring, listless and contrived a film with this many talents on board (and make most of them seem so terrible, too) is beyond my comprehension.

2. Straightheads
Horrible, horrible revenge fantasy where the man is an impotent coward and the woman a hero for shoving a rifle up someone's arse.

1. Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
I know no one saw this but me, but my god, this is what gives art cinema a bad name. Watching someone sweat, spit and occasionally kick a ball (usually off camera) is not interesting. No, not even when you input a montage of things that we happening around the world at the same time.

Coming next: I kick off the Gold Stars proper with the first in my top ten countdown, followed by awards for best visual effects, and best make-up.


J.D. said...

My god, you are so right about Winslet and Owen.

Anonymous said...

Altough Cate has her worst performance in this film I think the prize of Worst Actress goes to Megan Fox