Turn off the Lights

The Entertainment Fuse Movie Awards 2012

In addition to the best and worst movies of the year, we like to hand out some superlative awards in the movie world as well. Below, we’ve honored some of the best (and worst) performances as well as other best and worst movie moments, trailers and more.


Best Performance by an Actor (Drama) – Joaquin Phoenix, The Master 

Joaquin Phoenix leads Paul Thomas Anderson’s abstract, frustrating, complex, and utterly brilliant The Master as the equally aggravating Freddie Quell in a way that perhaps no other actor could. An incredibly disturbed individual, he’s without any kind of identity, but when he finds a place he can call home, it’s not the kind of refuge he seems to have had in mind. The boredom, decadence, and the screams, Phoenix balances mental unrest with an immensely physical, tick-filled performance, serving as a lens through which one can examine the American dream and its sheer vanity. As he descends into madness, he takes the audience down the path of insanity with him. His eventual freedoms perplex as much as the rest of the film. ~ Donovan



Best Performance by an Actress (Drama) – Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild 

There’s no real obvious pick for Best Actress, but our pick for Breakthrough Actress was no contest, and there was enough overlap on our ballots that newcomer Quvenzhané Wallis has won the prize. Hushpuppy’s coming-of-age story is rapid and fierce. She’s one of the most complex young characters ever to hit the screen and Wallis holds nothing back in her portrayal. As a child, sympathy and empathy are inextricably in play, but she didn’t whine and cry her way to critical acclaim, she stomped about and bravely dreamed. ~ Steven



Best Performance by an Actor (Comedy) – Sam Rockwell, Seven Psychopaths


As you'll see in our pick for funniest scene of the year, Rockwell finds time to steal for himself in what's obviously an ensemble comedy. One of our favorite films of the year, Seven Psychopaths is downright hilarious, and among the many performances, he deserves honorable mention. It's hard to ignore how truly psychopathic his portrayal of Billy is, even if we've seen Rockwell go kind of cuckoo before. He really sells it, and his character is more than just comic relief. He's a complex creation and Rockwell sells all sides of him completely. But ultimately, he's pee-your-pants funny in this movie, and that's all that matters. ~ Steven



Best Performance by an Actress (Comedy) – Anna Kendrick, Pitch Perfect


As our third highest-rated mainstream comedy, Pitch Perfect came as quite a surprise. Not a lot of mainstream comedies featured women, but this take on the college a cappella scene did. You’d normally be bothered to see an Oscar nominee appear to stoop to immature comedy, but her sarcasm plays well amidst a cast of goofy supporting characters, and the level of sincerity she brings to every role helped sell the romantic subplot. ~Steven



Best Performance by an Actor in a Blockbuster – Javier Bardem, Skyfall


The casting of Javier Bardem as the main villain in Skyfall was a massive coup for the Bond series (along with most of the casting), and the Oscar-winning actor delivered. With a tragic backstory, Bardem was able to give Raoul Silva seemingly campy mannerisms and twisted them to make the character a dark and sinister threat. He is one of the best villains in the Bond series and maybe the best of the year. Bardem’s performance has so far been rewarded a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor and been nominated for seven critics’ awards. ~ Kieran



Best Performance by an Actress in a Blockbuster – Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises

Sure, she’s Oscar-worthy as Fantine in Les Misérables, but to dismiss her stellar work in The Dark Knight Rises would be foolish. Hathaway takes to this challenging role without trying to one-up Michelle Pfeiffer’s delicious turn as Selina Kyle in Batman Returns. She instead uses her physicality and a previously unseen, somewhat dark wittiness to create a strong female character that’s stunning and alluring, not merely an object. She also holds her own in the action sequences, the movie drags when she’s absent from the frame. Hathaway’s the only cast member who leaves any kind of impression in the bloated finale of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and it’s a ferocious, sly one at that. ~ Donovan



Breakthrough Actor – Logan Lerman, The Perks of Being A Wallflower


Stephen Chbosky's adaptation of his own bestseller was one of the year's most pleasant surprises. At its heart is a tender, moving performance from Logan Lerman. Previously known best for his work in 3:10 to Yuma, The Three Musketeers and as Percy Jackson, Lerman had left a strong impression on a grand total of zero non-teenage-girl moviegoers. What he does here is revelatory and Oscar-nomination worthy. ~ John



Best Year by an Actor – Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises, Premium Rush, Looper, Lincoln)


When your least successful performance of a given year is in a universally admired Steven Spielberg historical drama, you know you're doing something right. JGL turned what could have been a one-note superhero movie character into someone believable and real, he carried one of the year's best, most exciting movies, and — maybe best of all — he turned a movie about bike messengers into must-watch stuff. ~ John



Best Year by an Actress – Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook)


Any discussion of 2012 in film would be incomplete without mentioning Jennifer Lawrence. Two short years ago, the actress was breaking through with film critics for Winter’s Bone, but now she’s a full-fledged celebrity – and not for a turbulent personal life. Lawrence kicked off 2012 with Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games, the franchise starter that made her a household name. She also led The House at the End of the Street, a film that, while critically panned, still made $31.6 million in the States on a $10-million budget. She also goes against type in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, embracing her comedic chops and winning critical acclaim for it. On top of that, the comedy’s earning her some Oscar buzz, and she could be walking away with Oscar gold in February. 2012 marks the best year of Lawrence’s career thus far, and we can’t wait to see how brightly it burns in the years to come. ~ Donovan 



Worst Performance by an Actor/Actress – The Cast of Battleship


All due respect to men and women in arms around the world – the greatest respect – but a paraplegic does not an actor make, nor does a singer, nor do laughably absurd GCI aliens make imposing villains (despite what silly water-logged spacecraft they may own). If the inclusion of those individuals wasn’t embarrassing enough, any talented thesps on display are given nothing to do but stare blankly at a green screen, screech ludicrous orders or waste opportunities to say awesome game-inspired lines (looking at you Mr. Neeson!) Nobody expects grade-A acting from a film called Battleship, regardless of its origins, but the lack of spirit on display throughout only serves to highlight how incompetent the rest of the film is as a whole. ~ Simon



Best Director – Ben Affleck, Argo


Ben Affleck has been working his way up to elite director status and Argo should be considered his welcoming party. The execution of this non-fiction (minus a few liberties) thriller is absolute textbook, putting audiences on the edge of their seats for nearly its entire runtime. The humorous add-ins and small love note to Hollywood are nice flourishes that Affleck handles so well. He might not win the Oscar, but his job warrants no negative criticism to say the least. ~ Steven



Most Promising New Director – Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

As our No. 1 film of 2012, this award could go to no one else. Zeitlin portrayed the gritty faux-New Orleans world of the Bathtub with the touch of a filmmaking veteran. His use of handheld evokes Alfonso Cuarón, but the bright poetic imagery suggest a younger version of Terrence Malick, though Zeitlin has already shown he’s a much more dynamic and engaging storyteller. It will be a treat to follow his career. ~ Steven



Best Writing/Screenplay – Rian Johnson, Looper


The deck for this category was stacked, really. Rian Johnson was working with one of the strongest premises of any film in years. A time traveler is confronted by his past self who has orders to kill him? Genius. But Johnson's accomplishment shouldn't be underestimated at all. Things could have gone horribly wrong. There are few things harder than to smartly wrap up a time travel movie. Looper goes in directions that are as unpredictable as they are satisfying. ~ John



Biggest Surprise Film – Men in Black III


For years we’ve been trying to figure out what prompted Sony to dip back into the Men in Black franchise after 10 years and little to no clamoring for a third chapter from the general public. Add to that word of production and script woes and MIB3 was setting up to be one of 2012’s biggest disasters. It’s be one accomplishment if the film were passable, but it was actually quite entertaining. Paving the way to success is a nasty villain in Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) and Josh Brolin’s dead-on Tommy Lee Jones impersonation. ~ Steven



Best Use of Visual Effects: TIE - The Dark Knight Rises and Life of Pi


So much emphasis is put on CGI in modern Hollywood, it’s ironically forgotten that practical, often cheaper effects result in so much more visual zest and realism. As the Joker put it in The Dark Knight, look what can be done with some bullets and a few barrels of gasoline, and Christopher Nolan carried on with his own advice for the sequel, which amassed hoards of extras, carefully orchestrated shootouts, and model work nothing short of astonishing. The use of computer-generated effects should be used only when real-world ingenuity fails, and The Dark Knight Rises remembers that golden rule with integrity and flair. ~ Simon


Ang Lee’s adventure epic presents a film that’s all about storytelling, but so much of the film gathers its greatness from its visual aesthetics, including lush shots from D.P. Claudio Miranda. The visual components of Pi often remove themselves from the action at hand, symbolizing how it’s often easier to know the world once one removes one’s self from it. Through visual effects, every aspect of the story that can be seen is so crisp and clear, even in the murkiness of the massive storm that sets Pi at sea. Life of Pi delivers dazzling yet poignant visual effects throughout the film, everything from the storm sequence to scenes on an island one should probably vacate by nightfall. By movie’s end, it’s worth questioning all that you’ve seen on the screen, a purposeful confusion aided by the hyperrealism of the visuals. ~ Donovan



Funniest Scene: TIE – Billy’s End to the Movie (Seven Psychopaths) and the Party Scene (Ted)


Seven Psychopaths was a damn funny movie. Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, and even Tom Waits all get their fair share of golden moments, but no actor or actress in this deep, hilarious cast has a moment as jaw-dropping and unforgettable as Sam Rockwell. Billy is arguably the most psychotic of this gang of psychopaths, but in his heart, he's merely a guy who wants to help his friend figure out his screenplay. His ideas are a little … er … out there. About two-thirds of the way though, he shares his ideas for his friend's film's conclusion. Words can't do its hilarity justice. ~ John


In a movie that was constantly funny, the party scene in Ted was a particular highlight, giving us different types of humor that starts with a Seth MacFarlane cutaway gag and ends with a couple of outrageous fights. This was a highly exaggerated sequence filled with plenty of drug humor, shock humor and was completely crazy as everything goes wrong. Sam Jones was hilarious playing ‘himself’ and a pro for willing to be the butt of so many jokes. This sequence/montage had more laughs in five minutes then the so-call party comedy Project X had in a 90-minute running time. ~ Kieran



Best Trailer for a Movie in 2011Prometheus

The trailer for Prometheus demonstrated that Fox new exactly what the strengths of Ridley Scott’s mystery project were, chief among them that no one knew what the heck the movie was about and were desperate to fill that void with anything and everything. The trailer uses a lot of the common editing techniques used in today’s trailers, but the combination of intriguing sci-fi imagery, chaos, buzzing high-stakes dialogue and blaring sirens was a combination so powerful you had to watch it over and over again. Michael Fassbender’s face at the end as he says “big things have small beginnings” was the perfect cap to a tantalizing trailer. ~ Steven



Best Trailer for a Movie in 2012Man of Steel (Trailer #2)

The return of Superman in Man of Steel is one of the most anticipated films of 2013 and Zack Snyder films are often promoted with fantastic trailers. The second trailer for Man of Steel took a very unconventional approach in its promotion of a superhero movie; it is focused on character development and less on the action. With its somber tone, impressive dark visuals and beautiful music, Man of Steel looks like a must-see movie as it reintroduces us to one of the most popular superheroes ever. Plus, the final line of the trailer is daring us to like the film. You have to admire the gall. ~ Kieran



Best Movie Poster/Series of PostersThe Dark Knight Rises 

As to why studios opt to discard their stellar viral marketing posters in lieu of bland stock examples remains mostly a mystery; the fact that they exist at all is cause for some consideration. Leading up to this year’s most anticipated film The Dark Knight Rises, Warner Bros. unveiled a number of slick but gritty character posters featuring some of Batman’s greatest opponents, with color schemes and bleak imagery to match everything we’ve come to expect from Christopher Nolan’s batman franchise. From Bane leaving a shattering bat cowl in his muscular wake, to Catwoman’s stiletto knife heel shattering the batman symbol in a pool of black rain, these graphics were capable of spurring excitement further, even for a film that millions had kept a close eye on for four years. That’s why Rises takes this award for the second year in a row. ~ Simon



Meet the Author

User not found.

Follow Us