Monday, February 18, 2013


The weekend brings more updates from the land of the Muriel Awards as we inch ever closer to the unveiling of the big awards.

There’s a certain level of predictability that comes along with any awards compiled by the polling of a group, and the Muriels are no different in that regard. Where the Muriels do it right is in publishing sort essays from some of its selected voices in support of the winner in each category. It is precisely this feature that takes the edge off of the tendency for movies like The Tree of Life last year, Moonrise Kingdom and this year’s winner for Best Cinematography lining up to grab most of the glory. It’s also why I am glad that Steve and Paul also print links to the complete breakdown of voting in each category, so we can get a sense of what came close, and how far afield of the pack are some of the voters who register single votes for movies they love that haven’t a chance in hell of winning a consensus.

The awards for the year’s Best Cinematography went not to Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (third place) or Skyfall (second place), but instead… Danny Baldwin is on hand to express his love for the winner. (click here)

And here’s how the voting broke down...

Similarly, the prizes for Best Screenplay  and Best Ensemble both ended up going to another one of those favorites.  Matt Lynch checks in to tell us why this ensemble deserved the honors, while Matt Lynch shows us what impressed him most precisely about how the screenplay for the winner was written, and thusly translated to the screen.

Here's how the voting broke down for Best Ensemble  and Best Screenplay.

No real surprises to be had in the unveiling of the 50th Anniversary Award for Best Film of 1962 either. Your winner is not…

(Bunuel came in thirdsies, and he got my #1 slot)

But Matt Lotti packs in a desert vista’s worth of observations in detailing the appeal of the Muriels winner, which placed #2 on my ballot. (My other choices: Lolita, Ride the High Country  and Hell Is for Heroes. You can see where they ended up on the list by clicking here.)

And easily the most agonizing process of the Muriels voting this year was responding to the query about the Best Film of the 1970s. We were allowed 10 ranked choices, which ain’t a lot when you’re talking about this decade. My own list was culled down from an initial list of about 60 choices that came off the top of my head, and to get to a paltry 10 felt a lot like chopping off my own limbs and those of my children. (I’m being dramatic, okay, but you see my point.) And after all that, the only movie in my top 10, which just happened to be the Muriels winner, ranked only #7 for me. Nine other movies made up the rest of my list. They were, starting from #10…


Bryce Wilson organizizes his thoughts about the winner here; the breakdown of voting can be found here.

Coming up over the course of this week as we lead up to the unveiling of the Muriels Best Picture winners—Best Editing, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and my favorite category, Best Cinematic Moment. 


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