There's lots of action on the Muriel Awards front to report on from the weekend, so let's get crackin'.
Muriels voters check in on years past as well as the one that just got away, and right now you can see what got nods for Best Film of 2002 honors. Third place went to Spike Jonze’s Adaptation (adapted, of course, from Charlie Kaufman’s screenplay); second place was snagged by Spike Lee’s 25th Hour; and my own vote went to Brian De Palma’s Femme Fatale. Steve Carlson checks in with some passion the movie that Muriel voters crowned as 2002's finest.
Then we travel back even further, 25 years ago to the dark days of 1987, where Joel and Ethan Coen’s Raising Arizona bagged the third-place slot and Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop ranked as second best—my own vote went to John Boorman’s Hope and Glory. Scott von Doviak reveals the Muriels’ top choice and makes love, not war with the winner.
Three of us in the Muriels clan (including me) cast votes for both writer-director Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and director Bart Layton (The Imposter) as having the most impressive cinematic breakthrough of 2012, and two of us (including me) thought writer-director Nicholas McCarthy (The Pact) deserved honors in this category. But those votes weren’t enough to merit more than a mention in the shadow of Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe, Magic Mike, Bernie, The Paperboy) and Scoot McNairy (Killing Them Softly, Argo), tied for third place, second-place finisher Channing Tatum (Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street, Haywire, The Vow, Ten Year), or the eventual winner, whom Sam Juliano profiles at the Muriels site.
One of the aforementioned Cinematic Breakthrough contenders fared much better in the Muriel Award category recognizing 2012’s Best Body of Work, besting Steven Soderbergh (Haywire, Magic Mike, and even 2nd unit director on The Hunger Games) and the ubiquitous Joseph Gordon Levitt (Looper, The Dark Knight Rises, Premium Rush, Lincoln). You already know who it is, but click away anyway to read Andrew Dignan’s excellent assessment of this individual’s eye-opening achievements in 2012, all of which were finger-lickin’ good.
And finally, the Muriels check in on the year’s best achievements in film editing with nods to third-place finisher The Master (Leslie Jones and Peter McNulty), Cloud Atlas (Alexander Berner; film pictured above), and Glenn Heath’s unambiguous admiration for the winner.
It’s been a real pleasure to participate in the Muriels this year and keep up with the awards as they are revealed, especially since, as one friend has already observed, the Muriels seem to be the one voting body this year that have some serious love for Cloud Atlas. I’m looking forward to seeing if that love continues to be extended toward this thorny, ambitious soaring movie. And my own writing assignments for this year’s awards have finally been issued—I’ve got two this year, one that will not be unexpected and the other a cheeky rebuke to what I saw as a dearth of worthy nominees (at least among the films I actually had a chance to see by the voting deadline) in a certain high-profile category. Oh, boy! Stay tuned!