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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Underdog Awards 2015

The Underdog Awards

2015 Edition

I'm baaaccckkkk!

Sorry it took so long, but I've been busy with heavy work load and watching enough movies to make this years underdog awards as unpredictable as can be.

So let's not waste time and get down to it. Below is a re-introduction to the rules of this award show, new additions and of course the nominees that will be facing off for a chance at glory at the Second Annual Underdog Awards. 

The Underdog Awards are basically as the title suggests. A set of awards for those under appreciated movies and aspects of movies from the past year.

As you will know from the link here.

The Underdog Awards are a subjective based awards show. There are multiple categories including those given at the celebrated Academy Awards every year.

The idea of the awards is thus very simple. This year the rules change slightly though. Any film or any aspect of a film that was nominated for either an Oscar or a Golden Globe will not be up for a nomination at the Underdog Awards.

Hence no nomination for the vastly underappreciated performance by Jake Gylenhaal (Golden Globe nominee) for Nightcrawler.

At the same time a film that has parts of it appreciated but not the whole can get in e.g. Gone Girl despite being nominated for Best Leading Actor (Female), Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars and Best Director at the Globes.

So Underdog doesn't necessarily equate to the most underrated films of the year. In fact it equates to unappreciated films by these two award bodies and more, regardless of box office clout.

This still of course does not mean that these are the best films of the year, just that they deserved to be known about individually and as a whole.

Also note that the winner for each award amongst the nominees isn't the most underrated, but the best amongst the underrated nominations.

A few specific rules as well.

The eligible films for nomination are according to American wide release dates of 2014. This rule is however negated for films vying for the foreign language award.

In that section only one film can be nominated per country (although non-English is a pre-requisite) as well as language. As such a few films get into this category and others don't;

Under the Skin is a British film in English, so it doesn't compete in the foreign category. However A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is a Persian language film set in Iran, but is an American film by definition, yet it remains in the foreign category. Then other films come from different countries but in the same language, so their both eligible for nomination.

No two films from the same country can be nominated.

Another thing to note is that the foreign language films will be minimally nominated elsewhere if worthy except for Best Picture.

This also applies to the set of breakthrough awards. Where nominees of breakthrough actor or director can't be nominated for best actor or best director.

The number of nominees are also relatively higher because I feel the need to showcase as many under appreciated films I can.

Below are the final set of nominees for both the older categories from the previous year 

and newer ones; including Best Documentary, Foreign Film, Breakthrough Director, VFX, Costume Design, Production Design and...

the First Ever Underdog Hall of Fame!

Underdog Award for Best Film

Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
Gone Girl
Under The Skin
Mr. Turner
The Babadook
Blue Ruin
The Double
The Rover
Starred Up
Dear White People
Only Lovers Left Alive
Inherent Vice
The Immigrant

Underdog Award for Best Director
Underdog Award for Best Cinematography
Bong Joon Ho for Snowpiercer
Seamus McGarvey for Godzilla
Mike Leigh for Mr. Turner
Daniel Landin for Under The Skin
David Michod for The Rover
Yorick Le Saux for Only Lovers Left Alive
Steven Knight for Locke
Mandy Walker for Tracks
Christopher Nolan for Interstellar
Jeremy Saulnier for Blue Ruin
Matt Reeves for Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
Jeff Cronenweth for Gone Girl
Dennis Villeneuve for Enemy
Robert Elswit for Nightcrawler
Jonathan Glazer for Under The Skin
Darius Khondji for The Immigrant
Jim Jarmusch for Only Lovers Left Alive
Erik Wilson for The Double
James Gray for The Immigrant
Natasha Braie for The Rover

Underdog Award for Best Editing
Underdog Award for Best Production Design
Mike Flanagan for Oculus
Jon Hutman for Unbroken
Matt Villa for Predestination
David Warren for The Zero Theorem
Paul Watts for Under The Skin
Ondrej Nekvasil for Snowpiercer
James Herbert for Edge of Tomorrow
David Crank for Inherent Vice
John Gilroy for Nightcrawler
Charles Wood for The Guardians of The Galaxy

Underdog Award for Best Costume Design
Underdog Award for Best VFX
Mary Zophres for Interstellar
Carlo Poggioli for The Zero Theorem
Bina Daigeler for Only Lovers Left Alive
Edge of Tomorrow
Anna Biedrzycka-Sheppard for Fury
Under The Skin
Patricia Norris for The Immigrant

Underdog Award for Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male)
Underdog Award for Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female)
Guy Pearce for The Rover
Juliete Binoche for Clouds of Sils Maria
Bill Hader for Skeleton Twins
Essie Davis for The Babadook
Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner
Hilary Swank for The Homesman
Tom Hardy for Locke
Charlotte Gainsbourg for Nymphomaniac
Chadwick Boseman for Get on Up
Marion Cotillard for The Immigrant
Brendan Gleeson for Calvary
Anne Dorval for Mommy
Tom Hardy for The Drop
Mia Wasikowska for Tracks
Andy Serkis for Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
Jessica Chastain for The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
John Lithgow for Love is Strange
Scarlett Johansson for Under The Skin
Chris Evans for Snowpiercer
Tilda Swinton for Only Lovers Left Alive

Underdog Award for Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male)
Underdog Award for Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Female)
Alfred Molina for Love Is Strange
Elizabeth Moss for Listen Up Philip
Tyler Perry for Gone Girl
Agata Kuleza for Ida
Ben Mendelsohn for Starred Up
Emily Blunt for Edge of Tomorrow
Josh Brolin for Inherent Vice
Suzanne Clement for Mommy
Michael Fassbender for Frank
Carrie Coon for Gone Girl
Nicolas Cage for Joe
Rene Russo for Nightcrawler
James Gandolfini for The Drop
Tilda Swinton for Snowpiercer
Phillip Seymour Hoffman for A Most Wanted Man
Kristen Stewart for Clouds of Sils Maria
Robert Pattinson for The Rover
Maggie Gylenhall for Frank
Toby Kebell for Dawn of The Planet of The Apes
Kristen Wiig for The Skeleton Twins

Underdog Award for Best Breakthrough Performer
Underdog Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Katherine Waterston for Inherent Vice
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Tessa Thompson for Dear White People
Gone Girl
Ellar Coltrane for Boyhood
Dear White People
Jack O'Connell for Starred Up, 71 and Unbroken
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Macon Blair for Blue Ruin
Jenny Slate for Obvious Child
Chris Pratt for The Lego Movie and The Guardians of The Galaxy
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Ansel Elgort for Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars
Gugu Mbatha Raw for Belle and Beyond the Lights
The Guardians of The Galaxy
Stacy Martin for Nymphomaniac
Inherent Vice

Underdog Award for Best Breakthrough Director
Underdog Awards Hall of Fame
Anna Lily Amirpour for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Gary Oldman
Jennifer Kent for The Babadook
Alejandro Jodorowsky
Xavier Dolan for Mommy
Sigourney Weaver
Damien Chazelle for Whiplash
Charlie Kauffman
Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler
Michael Ballhaus

Underdog Award for Best Original Screenplay
Underdog Award For Best Adapted Screenplay
Jim Jarmusch for Only Lovers Left Alive
Avi Korine and Richard Ayoade for The Double
Justin Simien for Dear White People
Gillian Robespierre for Obvious Child
Alex Ross Perry for Listen Up Philip
Kelly Masterson and Bong Joon Ho for Snowpiercer
Jennifer Kent for The Babadook
Gary Hawkins for Joe
Jeremy Saulnier for Blue Ruin
Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan for Frank

Underdog Award for Best Soundtrack
Underdog Award for Best Score
The Guardians of The Galaxy
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Only Lovers Left Alive
Only Lovers Left Alive
Inherent Vice
Under The Skin
Inherent Vice

Underdog Award for Best Foreign Language Film
Underdog Award for Best Documentary
The Raid: Berandal-Indonesia (Indonesian)
SuperMensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night-American (Persian)
Ivory Tower
Mommy-Canada (French)
Jodorowsky's Dune
2 Days, 1 Night-Belgium (French)
The Internets Own Boy: The True Story of Aaron Swartz
Why Don't You Play in Hell-Japan (Japanese)
The Final Member

The awards will be divided across multiple articles as was the case last year.

Also note, just because a film isn't nominated across the board doesn't mean it isn’t going to be in the top 20 best picture nominees. Starred Up is an example of films with a great script, direction and more that just didn't cut it completely but left an impact. Not that it's the best films in the 20 (sorry just one spoiler).

Also I had to do one thing I hate, move actors from one category to another like the Academy does. I pushed the likes of Kristen Wigg, Nicolas Cage and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman to supporting because they straddled the line between the two perfectly enough to warrant it. They were great performances that just couldn't miss the cut for me. 

If there's anything else, I'll mention it in the coming posts for now enjoy!

'Nuff Said

Aneesh Raikundalia

Friday, 27 February 2015

Live Long And Prosper Leonard Nimoy!

Live Long and Prosper

Leonard Nimoy RIP

Logic dictates that everything and everyone will come to an end. Even Vulcan logic.

Yet logic will not prevent true shock and heartbreak, such as of today's.

I'm not the biggest Star Trek fan, but the sudden shock of Leonard Nimoy's death at the age of 83 comes with trued sadness.

But as an eloquent New York Times Article puts it; Leonard Nimoy was not only Spock.

He was more than that.

A poet, musician, director, photographer and above all an actor.

Beyond that he is a cultural icon even with Spock over him.

It's what the fans will remember him the most for and I'm sure his happy somewhere knowing that.

So to Leonard Nimoy, wherever you may rest as a shining star in the final frontier; we'd like to say

Live Long And Prosper.

(for there will be no one like you)

Thursday, 26 February 2015

The HIndie Awards 2015

The HIndie Awards

It took long, but the Hindie Awards are finally over and they're done with one hell of a riveting end. We all know the winners, but since the division of genres we don't know each films actual score and ranking in terms of top ten (like you've gotten to know for the past two years). So here in this post, I will put a cap on that.

But first here's short rundown of the HIndie Awards winners of 2015 (in terms of which film won) and some fun statistics of the first ever Official HIndie Awards.

Ankhon Dekhi
Best Screenplay (Comedy/Musical)
Aankhon Dekhi
Best Lead Female (Drama)
Best Lead Male (Comedy/Musical)
Aankhon Dekhi
Best Lead Female (Comedy/Musical)
Miss Lovely
Best Supporting Female (Drama)
Best Supporting Male (Comedy/Musical)
Finding Fanny
Best Supporting Female (Comedy/Musical)
Finding Fanny
Best Breakthrough Male
Best Breakthrough Female
Miss Lovely
Best Editing
Finding Fanny
Best Production Design
Dedh Ishqiya
Best Costume Design
Finding Fanny
Best VFX
Best Documentary
The World Before Her
Best Score
Miss Lovely

So that's it for the winners. Now for some statistics...the nominated for the most awards was the black crime comedy Dedh Ishqiya!

And the film with the most award wins was; Haider!

Now onto the ranking of the top ten films of the year...

The HIndie Awards 2015: Best Picture Award Part 2

The HIndie Awards 2015

Best Picture Award (Drama)



Drama will always be an integral form of cinema, in fact it's funny that it's even considered a genre since every film has an essence of drama within it. To be honest, my feature isn't about dramas but instead these are films that are genres anti-comedy in some sense. 

For example what you have here are seven films of different thematic values. A road-trip/romance mash-up, a war film, a political revenge thriller, an experimental feature, a sports movie, a crime thriller and a dark comedy mixed with a psychological thriller. 

As this is the last post, it's a guaranteed that the winner of this is the best Hindi film of 2014. It's true that drama goes home big, but the films on this list sadly have a wider disparity than all the comedies together. 

That still doesn't mean that these films are bad, far from it. In fact these are some features I'd back against the regular nominees that horded over shitty Indian film awards. 

So once again let me reiterate (and copy paste due to laziness)

So overall who will win the big one? In my opinion, a film need not win either screenplay or direction to prove their the best film. They don't even need to win all the awards. All the film needs to be is consistent all across the board. 
Still winning awards isn't a bad thing, so here's a look at so far how well each of the Drama nominees have done in terms of individual nominations and wins below.

Miss Lovely
Hawaa Hawaai
Kya Dilli, Kya Lahore

Here you can see big disparity in award winners, but is it a big bullseye or a red herring? Check below to find out...

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The HIndie Awards 2015: Best Picture Award Part 1

The HIndie Awards 2015

Best Picture Award (Comedy/Musical)

This year saw as any year a number of great comedies take center stage, whether they be of the romantic kind or of satirical whimsy. Though there aren't any necessarily great outright musicals. 

Some of the greatest bits the past year in Hindi cinema have come from this side of the fence. Terrific directorial efforts by newbies and sophomores such as Vikas Bahl (Queen) and Abhishek Chaubey (Dedh Ishqiya). Definitely the best stories whether it's Queen, Filmistaan or Ankhon Dekhi. Of course the performances of a Kangana Ranaut (Queen) and a Sanjay Mishra (Ankhon Dekhi) are not far behind. 

So overall who will win the big one? In my opinion, a film need not win either screenplay or direction to prove their the best film. They don't even need to win all the awards. All the film needs to be is consistent all across the board. 

Still winning awards isn't a bad thing, so here's a look at so far how well each of the Comedy/Musical nominees have done in terms of individual nominations and wins below. 

Ankhon Dekhi
Dedh Ishqiya
Hasee Toh Phasee
Finding Fanny

So as you can see some films win big while others are consistent across the board with nominations. So which film should win? Find out below...

(PS: Straight to the award, no bullshit this time round below)