Best Movie Dad
So Sarah Polley *SPOILER* now has, like Nicole Bradford, two Dads, but if she'd like us to take one off her hands, we'd be happy to adopt Michael Polley with whom we are more in love than any movie parent, fictional or real, all year. We get a little sentimental about parents anyway, and Michael, as portrayed in Polley's "Stories We Tell," well, what an absolutely genuinely, wonderful dad. [We're slightly crying.]
Best Movie Mom
Among the many pleasures of "Behind The Candelabra" (and yeah, with a Cannes premiere and theatrical release outside the U.S, we're counting it as a movie), is a lovely little performance from screen legend Debbie Reynolds as Liberace's mother. The 81-year-old "Singin' In The Rain" star walks away with her scenes even against formidable competition, and her sweet relationship with Michael Douglas' piano-tinkler goes a long way towards redeeming a character who sometimes veers towards the monstrous.
Most Disappointing Villain
Is he Khan? Is he someone called Gary Mitchell? Is he, as according to J.J. Abrams, someone called John Harrison? Oh, no, he was Khan all along. No one cared much about the mystery-box secrets behind "Star Trek: Into Darkness" villain when it came down to it, but even Abrams has admitted that it hurt the movie. We'd go further, as to say that relying so heavily on an old-school villain, never properly explained here, goes against the spirit that make the 2009 reboot so enjoyable for fans and non-fans alike.
Runner Up: Even if Joaquin Phoenix does end up playing the villain in "Batman & Superman: BFFs Forever," you'll forgive us for not getting too excited, given the way that Michael Shannon (or Shouty Shouty Shannon, as he's become known in Playlist HQ) was used in "Man of Steel." It's nice that he had a motivation and everything, but for one of the best actors working right now, it was a rather tepid and uninspired performance.
Worst Listener Of The Year
Jesus H. Christ, how many times do you think Michael Fassbender’s lawyer needs to be told by everyone in Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor” that he’s about to make the worst transaction of his life? DUDE.
Most Reviled Character/Performance
Stephen Merchant takes this ignominious ribbon for the one-note, trying-to-be-clever obnoxiousness his character displays in the godawful “I Give It a Year."