After an incredible year of film it’s always difficult to pin point one winner per category, to compare films that are completely different, with varied characters, styles and choices it’s always going to cause debate as to one ‘winner’. But as long as excellence prevails within the industry it’s always fun to take all elements into consideration and try to come to a decision. Now we know you’ve been waiting a whole week for these results, so without further ado…
Winner: MARRIAGE STORY
Noah Baumbach brought us what is described as ‘a love story through the lens of divorce’. Although a topic that most wouldn’t choose to spend their evening contemplating, it’s undeniable that this film is an incredible piece of art. Powerful performances, brilliant writing and a real whole package delivered with the raw truthful feel that Baumbach is known for.
Best Lead Actress:
Renee Zellweger (Judy)
Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story)
Florence Pugh (Midsommar)
Saoirse Ronan (Little Women)
Winner: RENEE ZELLWEGER (JUDY)
Renee Zellweger’s portrayal of Judy Garland during her final concert tour of England is simply outstanding. From transforming physically into Garland with gesture and movement to the phenomenal vocal performances of both spoken word and song, this was a no brainer. A really strong category but one of the easier choices.
Best Lead Actor:
Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
Adam Driver (Marriage Story)
Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse)
Winner: ADAM DRIVER (MARRIAGE STORY)
Adam Driver stepped into a whole new league with his work in Marriage Story, he was outstanding in every way and his performance propelled the telling of this incredible story in such an authentic way. A really difficult category to pick a winner from, but for us, Drivers performance is the one that stood out in a way that the others didn’t.
Best Supporting Actress:
Florence Pugh (Little Women)
Laura Dern (Marriage Story)
Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell)
Jessie Buckley (Judy)
Winner: FLORENCE PUGH (LITTLE WOMEN)
When it comes to the role of supporting actress, it’s undeniable that Florence Pugh’s performance not only succeeded on its own, but also elevated the acting of those around her. Despite the often immature and boisterous nature of her character, Pugh maintained a clear understanding of her status in relation to the others, but was still able to shine when articulating the ways in which Amy – the youngest of the four sisters – had matured as an artist, and a member of the family.
Best Supporting Actor:
Timothee Chalamet (Little Women)
Brad Pitt (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)
Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse)
Sam Rockwell (Richard Jewell)
Winner: WILLEM DAFOE (THE LIGHTHOUSE)
Willem Dafoe perfectly emodies everything that The Lighthouse is. Terrifying, complex and mysterious, the power with which some lines and monologues are delivered are brilliantly overwhelming. From moments of careless cruelty to scenes where we can’t help but feel empathy for him, Dafoe’s range within this film is truly excellent.
Greta Gerwig (Little Women)
Sam Mendes (1917)
Bong-Joon Ho (Parasite)
Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story)
Winner: BONG-JOON HO (PARASITE)
There are so many brilliant intricacies within Bong Joon-ho’s work that further the impact of his overall message. The themes presented within Parasite are so well articulated that they must be celebrated, and that’s why we’ve chosen him for best director.
Roger Deakins (1917)
Marshall Adams (El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie)
Hong Kyung-pyo (Parasite)
Jarin Blaschke (The Lighthouse)
Winner: JARIN BLASCHKE (THE LIGHTHOUSE)
I know, I know, why did this beat 1917? It’s undeniable that Deakins work on the war drama was brilliantly effective, but so too was Blaschke’s work on The Lighthouse. The ambiguity emphasised by shots throughout the film, as well as how each moment was effectively under or overstated as a result of the camerawork fit perfectly within the film’s narrative – just what great cinematography should do.
Best Original Score:
Hildur Guonadottir (Joker)
Thomas Newman (1917)
Mark Korven (The Lighthouse)
Michael Abels (Us)
Winner: HILDUR GUONADOTTIR (JOKER)
The score that accompanies the twisted origin story for the world’s most beloved villain is so intoxicating that it’s almost tangible. Guonadottir’s unorthodox approach to composition presents an entirely knew way of making film music, bringing in the real-world sounds of the film to further immerse the audience. In a year of intelligent composing, Guonadottir stands above the rest.
Fighting With My Family
Winner: FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY
Filled with great characters and great moments, Fighting With My Family is one of the most joyful films of the year. With moments of conflict that further immerse you in the future of these young wrestlers and their families, you can’t help but warm to those on-screen. As well as this, it’s great to see those in the film go on to bigger and better things, with Florence Pugh starring in both Midsommar and Little Women, Jack Lowden being nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award, and director Stephen Merchant continuing his great comedic work in JoJo Rabbit.
Though 2019 delivered a wide array of terrifying films, Ari Aster’s Midsommar is perhaps the tensest of them all. As so many have highlighted, Aster takes everything that is so horrifying in the dark, and brings it into broad daylight, where no one can shy away. With a fairly extensive runtime, the intensity of this film only heightens throughout, drawing audiences on the edge of their seat the entire time.
1917 takes it’s audience on an emotional, edge of seat journey giving a glimpse of the horrors of war. Though not a film for people to sit down and watch over and over again it powerfully moves its audience with it’s extraordinary storytelling.
Based On A True Story:
Fighting With My Family
Ford Vs Ferrari
Winner: FORD VS FERRARI
There have been some exceptional films made ‘based on a true story’ this year. Ford vs Ferrari (also known as Le Mans ’66) managed to draw in audiences that have no interest in cars or racing, purely because of their ability to tell the story. They honoured truth while captivating and entertaining audiences.
Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil
Spiderman: Far From Home
Toy Story 4
Winner: AVENGERS: ENDGAME
It’s unmistakable that Avengers: Endgame utilised everything at it’s fingertips to transport it’s audience into the MCU. Whether by years of build up from previous films and getting to know the characters or through the phenomenal effects or performances; Avengers: Endgame is the perfect film to forget about reality and jump into an action/fantasy adventure.
Maleficent 2: Mistress Of Evil
Toy Story 4
The Lion King
In May 2019 Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin burst on to our cinema screens in a rush of colour, excitement and songs. With a slight twist on Disney’s animated version there’s something for everyone and is a great choice for the whole family to enjoy.
Laugh Out Loud:
Fighting With My Family
ZombieLand 2: Double-Tap
Jumanji: The Next Level
Winner: JOJO RABBIT
Perhaps its the surreal nature of the narratives context, maybe its the perfectly-timed delivery of the films dialogue, there’s something about JoJo Rabbit that can’t help but make you laugh. Taika Waititi’s ability to capture childhood imagination once again shines through in his latest film, and he manages to find humour and hope in even the darkest of situations.
So that’s it for this years Active Spectator Film Awards, we’re excited to see which films we’ll be discussing this time next year.