The Ford On Film Awards 2016: Odds and Ends
We are coming to the end of the Ford On Film Awards 2016. The major film awards have been dished out after Arrival took home the prize for Best Scene. Now, all we have time for are the odds and ends, including Best Television Series, Best Television Episode, and Worst Film, among a few others. It’s been a fantastic year for film and television. Here’s hoping 2017 is just as good.
Here are the results of the remaining Ford On Film awards for 2016:
Best Television Series:
A gripping, provocative drama that tackled the disturbing Operation Yewtree scandal with subtlety and complexity, Jack Thorne’s outstanding National Treasure saw Robbie Coltrane return to TV screens as Paul Finchley, a beloved stand-up comedian accused of rape. Was Paul innocent? That was the central mystery at the heart of National Treasure, but the outcome was unpredictable, partly down to Thorne’s superb writing, and partly due to the incredible performance from Coltrane, so easily flicking between likable and sincere to nasty and unnerving. Along with Coltrane, National Treasure saw excellent, awards-worthy work from Julie Walters as Finchley’s faithful wife and Andrea Riseborough as his drug addicted daughter. Look out for National Treasure at the BAFTAS, where it deserves a lot of success.
Best Television Episode:
Bojack Horseman – ‘That’s Too Much, Man’
At his lowest ebb, Bojack meets up with recovering junkie Sarah Lynn, and the two go on the bender to end all benders. An alarmingly frank depiction of depression and alcoholism, That’s Too Much, Man is difficult even for Bojack Horseman, a show whose main character has turned everyone in his life against him. “I wanna be an architect” was possibly the most moving line of the year.
Best New Voice on Television:
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag
Often playing like a more unhinged, female-lead version of Louie, Fleabag was notable for giving Phoebe Waller-Bridge a chance to show her acting and writing skills – and my God is she incredible. Adapted from her own one-woman play, Fleabag is an often hilarious, often upsetting comedy drama that sees Waller-Bridge breaking the fourth wall as the messy twenty-something protagonist, the owner of a failing restaurant and a possible sex addict with a dark secret.
Fleabag’s first few episodes are hilarious, tackling such risky subjects as anal sex, sexual harassment, and spiritualism with a feisty sense of humour and bounds of energy. By the end of the series, however, things take a nastier turn and the final episode provides an absolute gut punch of a twist that turns the whole series on its head. A second series is in the works – Hurry up and catch up with it now!
Most Unique Performance
Daniel Radcliffe – Swiss Army Man
Playing a corpse is never easy, especially one that powers itself with farts, but Daniel Radcliffe gave an awards-worthy performance as Manny, the dead body that comes to life to guide Paul Dano’s loner home with the help of his compass-y erection. Sweet, funny, and utterly mental, Radcliffe has mostly definitely put his Harry Potter past behind him.
While most would pick Nicolas Winding Refn’s often-baffling The Neon Demon, at least that one had a pretty blunt subtext. Evolution, however, was a fever dream from start to finish. Opening with a body being discovered under the sea, Evolution quickly revealed itself to be a nightmarish, Cronenbergian-body horror about a colony of insidious females and the young boys they experiment on. Chilling.
‘The Riddle of the Model’ – Sing Street
Sing Street featured a great soundtrack performed by the fictional band of the same name, and while ‘Drive It Like You Stole It’ might have been the biggest crowd-pleaser, it was this Duran Duran-inspired pop song that stuck in my head the longest.
Cliff Martinez – The Neon Demon
Pulsing, throbbing, endlessly menacing; Cliff Martinez’s synth score for The Neon Demon was career best work. Endlessly cool and endlessly replayable, it’s yet another brilliant collaboration between Martinez and Nicolas Winding Refn.
“I’m like the Terminator” – Hunt for the Wilderpeople
In a film full of one-liners, this was the smartest, funniest exchange.
Best Running Gag
The mailbox – Paterson
Repeatedly, Adam Driver’s titular character comes home to find his mailbox tipped over. At first, it just seems like a slightly odd observation, but eventually Jarmusch reveals what’s actually been going on, providing one of the funniest pay-offs of the year.
Most Disappointing Film
Closely fought, with Louis Theroux’s pointless My Scientology Movie and Tom Ford’s inert Nocturnal Animals nearly taking the prize, but no film dashed expectation quite like Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise. Based on an outstanding J.G. Ballard novel and featuring an incredible cast including Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, and Elizabeth Moss, High-Rise lacked the controlled violence and social commentary of the novel, instead turning its second act into a montage and providing retro style instead of substance.
Jesse Eisenberg – Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Let it be made clear that I don’t entirely blame Eisenberg for this performance; director Zack Snyder really should have reined him in and told he sounded like an arse. Even so, Eisenberg is dreadful as the hyperactive, unintelligible Lex Luthor, and his stupid character arc is one of the many reasons Batman v. Superman didn’t work.
Anyone who thinks Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is worse than Suicide Squad is delusional. At least Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is a film; Suicide Squad is a montage of bad behaviour set to the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Horrendously acted (did nobody tell Jared Leto he was embarrassing himself?), incompetently filmed and edited, awkwardly written, and failing to tell a coherent story or do anything remotely interesting/exciting/provocative/watchable, Suicide Squad is by far the worst film I subjected myself to in 2016.
And with that, the Ford On Film Awards 2016 are officially over! After tirelessly spending the last week writing, I’m going to take a short break, and then I’ll be back with more reviews, articles, think pieces, and everything else I’ve been doing since the blog first started. Thanks for reading, and for making 2016 my most-viewed year yet.
By Harry J. Ford
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