Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Studio Cancels All Screenings of 'No Good Deed' to Preserve Shocking Twist That It's Probably Terrible Studio Cancels All Screenings of 'No Good Deed' to Preserve Shocking Twist That It's Probably Terrible 'No Good Deed' Reviews: And the Twist Is That It's Good! (Not Really) 'No Good Deed' Reviews: And the Twist Is That It's Good! (Not Really) 'The Cobbler' Reviews: 'Makes Me Want to Upgrade Everything I've Ever Seen Half a Star' 'The Cobbler' Reviews: 'Makes Me Want to Upgrade Everything I've Ever Seen Half a Star' Kevin Smith Turns to Horror With 'Tusk,' and the Results Are Insane: First Reviews Kevin Smith Turns to Horror With 'Tusk,' and the Results Are Insane: First Reviews 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them': 'Between Just Enough and a Bit Too Much' 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them': 'Between Just Enough and a Bit Too Much' Daily Reads: The Death of Adulthood, the Future of Film in 'Snowpiercer' and More Daily Reads: The Death of Adulthood, the Future of Film in 'Snowpiercer' and More 'Men, Women & Children': Frowny Face Emoticon 'Men, Women & Children': Frowny Face Emoticon Kevin Smith Is OK With Critics Now Kevin Smith Is OK With Critics Now Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' Why the Unanimous Praise for 'Boyhood' Is Bad for Film Criticism — and for 'Boyhood' 'Phoenix' Reviews: A Postwar-set Masterwork By Way of 'Vertigo' 'Phoenix' Reviews: A Postwar-set Masterwork By Way of 'Vertigo' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Federico Fellini's '8 1/2' Criticwire Classic of the Week: Federico Fellini's '8 1/2' 'The Duke of Burgundy': With Butterflies and BDSM, a Kinky Romance Woos Critics 'The Duke of Burgundy': With Butterflies and BDSM, a Kinky Romance Woos Critics 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them 'While We're Young': Noah Baumbach's Xer-Millennial Comedy Ponders the Difference Between Sharing People's Lives and Stealing Them 'The Expendables 3' Torrent and the Techno-Utopian Delusion 'The Expendables 3' Torrent and the Techno-Utopian Delusion Did 'Edge of Tomorrow' Just Get a New Title for Home Video? Did 'Edge of Tomorrow' Just Get a New Title for Home Video? 'The Maze Runner' First Reviews: Once More Around the Dystopian YA Block 'The Maze Runner' First Reviews: Once More Around the Dystopian YA Block Now Streaming: 'Ida,' 'Last Year at Marienbad' and 'A Woman is a Woman' Now Streaming: 'Ida,' 'Last Year at Marienbad' and 'A Woman is a Woman' Whit Stillman's Paris-set Amazon Pilot, 'The Cosmopolitans,' Plays Like a More Self-Absorbed 'Girls' Whit Stillman's Paris-set Amazon Pilot, 'The Cosmopolitans,' Plays Like a More Self-Absorbed 'Girls' Daily Reads: The Disgusting But Important 'Wetlands,' Comic Book Movies That Thankfully Never Happened and More Daily Reads: The Disgusting But Important 'Wetlands,' Comic Book Movies That Thankfully Never Happened and More Armond White For Dummies or: Why I Enjoy Reading Him, and Why His Latest is His Lamest Armond White For Dummies or: Why I Enjoy Reading Him, and Why His Latest is His Lamest

How Is Joss Whedon Not the Entertainer of the Year?

Indiewire By Matt Singer | Indiewire November 30, 2012 at 11:39AM

Entertainment Weekly picked Ben Affleck for its annual award. Which is a good pick -- but not the best pick.
3
Joss Whedon on the set of "The Avengers."
Joss Whedon on the set of "The Avengers."

I like Ben Affleck. I thought "Argo" was fantastic -- one of the best films of the year. Affleck's certainly a worthy contender for Entertainment Weekly's annual "Entertainer of the Year" award. On my ballot he might have come in second or third. But this year, there's only one person who really makes sense for this title: "Avengers" director Joss Whedon. How in the world he got overlooked for this thing is beyond me.

So, "The Avengers:" $623 million domestically; $1.5 billion worldwide. It may have looked like a sure thing after the success of the movies leading into it, but consider the task Whedon had in front of him: tell a story that brought all these disparate characters -- and different tones -- together, balance all their subplots, make it fun and intelligible to neophytes while keeping things smart and clever enough for the hardcore fans. After "The Dark Knight Rises," it was the most anticipated movie of the year; in the final accounting, it was probably the most beloved movie of the year too.

If "The Avengers" was the only thing Whedon had done in 2012, he's still be a smart choice for Entertainer of the Year. But look at all the other stuff he did. He released the long-delayed horror deconstruction "The Cabin in the Woods," which he wrote and produced, to some of the best reviews of the year. He also released a documentary about San Diego Comic-Con that he co-wrote and co-produced with Morgan Spurlock, Stan Lee, and Harry Knowles. At the Toronto Film Festival, he premiered his adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing," which he just happened to shoot in between all these projects -- because clearly he had a ton of free time on his hands. That little labor of love got great reviews too.

If all those film projects weren't enough, Whedon also made two of the funniest viral videos of the year: an "endorsement" of Mitt Romney (7.2 million views on YouTube) and an "undorsement" of Mike Birbiglia's "Sleepwalk With Me" (200,000 views on YouTube). He tossed these things off the way you or I might toss off a peanut shell at a baseball game. For most folks, making that "Zomney" video would be the highlight of their year; on Whedon's personal 2012 top ten, that would probably be number four or five. Affleck's 2012 resume is conspicuously shorter. "Argo" was definitely a great movie, but his only other project this year, Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder," was the acclaimed director's most poorly received project to date.

EW's Entertainer of the Year issue includes a tribute to Whedon by his frequent collaborator Nathan Fillion. But how is he not the undisputed number one guy? Entertainment is a quality over quantity thing. "Argo" might be the single best piece of entertainment I've mentioned in this post. But in my book, quality gets trumpted by a quantity of quality. That's what Whedon gave us. This was his year. If we asked ten filmmakers whose 2012 they'd rather have, I'd bet the majority would pick Whedon's combination of mainstream success and small, personal projects. If we asked audiences who entertained them more, I think they'd say the same thing. 

"Read more of "This Week's Cover: Our Entertainers of the Year!"

This article is related to: Joss Whedon

E-Mail Updates