Wednesday, March 9, 2016

2015 CinSpec Awards

At long last, here are my personal movie awards for last year. I usually post my top 10 list first, but I decided to do it afterwards, since it spoils my Best Picture lineup. Look for my list in a day or two. There's a chance that I'll update the CinSpecs later, though these are basically finished. (I won't see Mustang for two months, so I wouldn't rule it out.) In the meantime, check out my lineups and winners below, with a first-time tie in one of the big categories.

Note: You can click on the images to enlarge them. Also, I've included a PDF with all of the credited nominees and nomination tallies.

I still need to see films like Mustang, Arabian Nights, The Tribe, Saint Laurent, Hard to Be a God, Taxi, Boy and the World, Eden, The Forbidden Room, Horse Money, By the Sea, Tokyo Tribe, Li’l Quinquin, Yves Saint Laurent, In Jackson Heights, The Last Five Years, Good Kill, Welcome to Me, Jimmy’s Hall, Sleeping with Other People, Buzzard, Our Brand is Crisis, Trash, Freeheld, The Summer of Sangaile, Manglehorn, Experimenter, Pawn Sacrifice, The Connection, Predestination, and Black Coal, Thin Ice.


  1. Nice. Glad to see this go up, even though it'll be months before I post mine. Anyhoo, some thoughts...

    As of right now, I'd go with Ex Machina for my BP, but I'd keep Miller as Best Director.

    Interesting call on Spike Lee getting a director nod. Seeing Chi-Raq soon, but from what I can tell it's a polarizing picture.

    Thank you for rewarding Vikander for the right role.

    Glad to see nods for Attah, Elba, and Isaac.

    And I'm calling shenanigans on Best Actress. A tie? C'mon, Josh!

    1. Thanks, Wendell.

      Oh, I love that Picture/Director split!

      Chi-Raq was a complete surprise. So glad I didn't skip it.

      As great as she is, Ex Machina isn't even Vikander's best performance last year. I prefer her in Testament of Youth. ;)

      Love those guys!

      Haha, I prefer Mara, but that tie was too tempting.

  2. BYRNE!!!!!!!!! Yay!!

    I also love the Carol ladies tying for Best Actress, the Mendelsohn nomination, and pretty much everything else here. Well done!

    1. She's brilliant!

      Thanks! The Carol tie just feels right, even if I prefer Mara. Mendelsohn was my winner for a long time, but Best Actor was so fluid. Anybody - including snubbed actors - could've won.

    2. It was a pretty sparse year for Best Actor.

      Also, I must salute you for putting Mara in Lead where she belongs!

    3. Yeah, Best Actor was sparse, though I did love a lot of lead performances.

      Oh, Mara is absolutely Lead. The category fraud in Best Supporting Actress was embarrassing.

    4. Yeah. Also, just out of curiosity, how do you make all those graphics? I want to do those for my own personal awards.

    5. I use Photoshop. If you haven't used it before, it's pretty easy to figure out.

      Graphics are always fun. They make these things seem more official.

  3. Love!

    I don't even know where to start.

    The Wonders is that good, huh? I can't wait to see it now. LOVE that Carol made the line up (so deserved).

    LOL at Spike Lee. I love that you loved it even though I thought it was a tacky mess, but Lee totally went for it, so there's that.

    Tom Hanks? DAYAM! I guess I really need to watch Bridge of Spies. Poor Leo, though, but who cares when Attah is there!!! And THE TIE is EVERYTHING!!! Your Supporting ballots are amazing.

    Techs are flawless...but you know my favorite nomination is the one for Russell Crowe.

    EEK!!! My heart sang when I saw it!

    1. Thanks, buddy! :D

      The Wonders is one of those little foreign gems that I just adored. Hope you love it! (I almost nominated Alice Rohrwacher for Director, but she gets a win for Screenplay.)

      Ha, Lee totally went for it!

      Ya know, Hanks' performance just keeps getting better the more I think about it. And it's only his second nom, so I love rewarding him. In a wide-open category, I'm thrilled that he wins, and he wasn't even IN my lineup a few hours before I posted. That's how crazy this category was for me. Bummed that Leo and Hardy (x2) missed my 5, though.

      Couldn't resist the Carol tie in the end, and I'm still drooling over my supporting lineups.

      Russell Crowe forever! The song worked its way back in when I listened to several of the contenders again. :)

  4. Love the Blanchett-Mara tie! Carol would be my Best Picture pick but Mad Max is amazing too. Can't say I agree that much with Hanks but he was good. Love the win for Schoenaerts, he barely misses my top five and it breaks my heart! My winner would be Hardy for The Revenant (and I'd nominate Keitel for Youth who was amazing and underrated). We agree on Best Supporting Actress (Vikander is phenomenal in Ex Machina) and I love the mentions for Cotillard, Stewart and Weisz (who's killer in her big monologue even if I might prefer Fonda). What did you think of Jane Fonda in Youth and Michael Fassbender in Macbeth? I'd easily nominate both.

    1. Carol relies so much on the performances from Blanchett and Mara, so I feel great about their tie. Hanks gives a relatively quiet performance (especially for him), and it really stuck with me after a second look. It continues to grow on me, actually. Schoenaerts blew me away, and he's basically been my tentative winner since May of last year. Hardy was my #6 for Legend and The Revenant, so he was SO close to getting two nominations. I do nominate him for Locke, though. Love Caine, Fonda, and Keitel in Youth, but Weisz kind of stole the show. Fonda was close to making my lineup, as was Fassbender, who's amazing in Macbeth. I usually have several painful snubs in the acting categories, unfortunately.

  5. I love that you nominate Rose Byrne!

    1. She's awesome in that movie! I hate that I couldn't find room for Tremblay, Theron, and Ferguson, though. And Hardy just missed for Legend and The Revenant. :(

  6. Hey Josh! I just finished my awards for this year, if you left me a comment and let me know what you thought, I'd be the happiest dude in the world lol ^^

    1. I'll have to check them out.

    2. Just so ya know in case you already looked, I updated them with a new movie I just saw ;)

  7. I'm late to this, sorry about that. Agree Inside Out is a better film than Anomalisa. Both are beautifully animated though.
    I've never heard of The Wonders, must be a hidden gem, I'll google the trailer.
    Leo didn't get a nomination from you? I agree Benicio's performance is noteworthy in Sicario and he was robbed of an oscar nom.
    Is it deliberate you don't have foreign language film and feature documentary categories? Maybe you haven't seen enough of those yet to do the category justice. Would be cool if you added that eventually. Of course it's entirely up to you.

    1. No problem, Chris. Thanks for your comments. :)

      I love the animation in both as well. The Wonders was big at Cannes in 2014 if I remember correctly, so it was high on my watchlist.

      Leo was my #9 (behind Hardy for Legend, Rohrig for Son of Saul, and Tremblay for Room), but I loved his performance. Best Actor was tough to narrow down for me, though. Even picking a winner was difficult.

      I'd love to include those categories, but I haven't done them, since docs and foreign films are eligible for Best Picture. (For instance, Man on Wire, Exit Through the Gift Shop, and Hoop Dreams get Best Picture noms from me.) Plus, the doc category is like you said: I rarely see enough to do the category justice. If I did a doc category for 2015, it'd look like this at the moment:

      Amy (winner)
      Listen to Me Marlon
      The Look of Silence
      The Russian Woodpecker

      My foreign film lineup would currently be:

      Goodnight Mommy
      Son of Saul
      The Wonders (winner)

      I do consider adding those categories sometimes, though.

    2. Thanks for sharing the bonus categories in the comments, a few there I'll look up :) Amy is my winner too. Victoria currently is my fav foreign film of 2015

    3. You're welcome. :) Oh, nice picks. Amy and Victoria just missed my top 10 list.

  8. Great stuff! Hanks is a spirited choice for actor. That was such a lovely performance by him - one of his best in a while. Also love that Victoria got a nomination for cinematography!

    1. Thanks! Best Actor was CRAZY. I could've given the win to Tom Hardy in Legend, and he was my #6. Glad I could give Hanks a win finally, though. Victoria was firmly in my lineup the minute I saw it, and Schipper just missed my Best Director lineup.