The Fordonfilm Year End Awards Part 1: Most Disappointing Film of the Year
One by one over the next week or two I’m going to be handing out various awards to some oft he best and worst films of the year. Starting with a negative, my first end of year award is for the biggest disappointment. 2013 wasn’t the greatest year for film, and it had its fair share of disappointments. Without further ado, here are the runner-ups and the winner:
A prime example of what happens if you take a talented cast, a stunning cinematographer and a great B-movie plot, and try and turn into an Academy Award contender, Dennis Villeneuve’s Prisoners was an insanely overlong, overly complicated film about an aggressive, Christian father (decent if overplaying Hugh Jackman) who takes the law into his own hands when his daughter is kidnapped, and he believes the kidnapper to be a local manchild (another weak, timid Paul Dano character). Despite yet another great Jake Gyllenhaal performance (he’s slowly turning into one of the finest actors of his generation), Prisoners couldn’t shake off the fact that, were it 90 minutes, made on a low budget and featured more gore, it would be a straight to DVD torture film. File this under: Torture Porn for the self righteous.
For a long time I considered this to be the most disappointing film of the year; a juvenile, Inception-lite crime film in which James McAvoy’s art thief suffers a head injury and forgets where he’s hidden it. Forced into seeing a hypnotherapist by master criminal Vincent Cassell, McAvoy finds himself exploring his inner self through sessions with Rosario Dawson. Directed by a true hero of mine, Danny Boyle, Trance was a rather hollow, boring experience with mediocre performances by its cast and dumb twist after dumb twist. Had Trance been made in the nineties with perfect antihero Ewan McGregor in the leading role, it might have been worthwhile, but as it stands, Trance just isn’t up to the standard previously set by Boyle.
And the winner is…
Only God Forgives
After a long time of debating, I decided that the real disappointment of the year was Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives . One of the most divisive films in years, this Drive-follow up was quite easily one of the dullest films I sat through this year. Glacially paced, with a minimal performance by Ryan Gosling, Only God Forgives seemed to be the complete opposite of Drive; whereas Drive was cool, exciting, sexy and close to iconic, Only God Forgives is gratuitously violent, insanely boring, rather poorly written and features Ryan Gosling’s worst ever performance. Despite some decent work from Kristen Scott Thomas and some of the best lighting and sound of the year, Only God Forgives is a completely charmless, witless, empty film, and, after how good the trailers and Drive were, the most disappointing film of the year.
Thanks for reading, and join me next time as I hand out yet another end of year award!
By Harry Ford