Here are MY favorites of the year.....
The 4th Annual Emily Movie Awards
Top Ten Favorite Films:
Why for Main Three: My main three films this year have the theme of questioning what is commonly acceptable. All three films dealt with changing a general belief of Western Society. In "Iron Jawed Angels" it is the belief that American women do not need to voice their opinions in politics. In "Second Generation" it is the stereotypical portrayal of South Asians who are a part of Western Society. In "Kinsey" it is the belief that sex is only beneficial for creating future generations and that it is not something that should be thoroughly studied. If the history that "Iron Jawed Angels" and "Kinsey" portrayed never occurred and the film "Second Generation" was never made then the society I live in would be very different. In my opinion, it would be miserable. Even though Western Society has already come so far in its progress, it can still benefit from the lessons in these films. I wish that there will be future films that follow this same theme and I hope that they are
1. Iron Jawed Angels (TV Movie)
Why: From this film, I learned more about how women obtained the right to vote in America than I ever did in a history class in school.
2. Second Generation (TV Movie)
Why: This film showed us that South Asians who are a part of Western Society are like everyone else in Western Society. Sometimes they will have affairs and parental issues. This is one of the very few films that I have seen that do not depict South Asians in a stereotypical way.
Why: In an era in which sex is still an issue, it was fascinating to take a look back to see how Western Society in general has progressed on the issue of sex and how it has not.
4. Garden State
Why: A wonderful little independent film that was funny, serious, and thoughtful.
5. Twelfth Night (TV Movie)
Why: In this production of the Shakespeare comedy, the drama of the story was front and center, which is not the way I am used to seeing it portrayed. Along with the multi-ethnic cast, it made for a fresh production.
6. Finding Neverland
Why: A delicious costume biopic depicting how "Peter Pan" came to be.
7. Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera
Why: The stage musical of my childhood was beautifully brought to the big screen.
8. Maria Full of Grace
Why: A thought-provoking look into the life of drug mules.
9. A Very Long Engagement
Why: A gorgeous mystery that kept me thinking.
10. The Incredibles
Why: A fun and witty children's film with splendid CG animation.
Favorite Actor: Liam Neeson (Kinsey)
Why: His portrayal of the title character was fantastic in revealing Kinsey's obsessive studies.
Favorite Actress: Natalie Portman (Garden State)
Why: This role made me stop thinking of her as just the girl from the new "Star Wars" movies. Her accent work was great and her character was hilarious.
Favorite Supporting Actor: John Lithgow (Kinsey)
Why: Of all the character transformations this year, this one I was most sympathetic too. Lithgow was wonderful in both revealing the man's dislike of his son's work and finally his confession of his childhood experience.
Favorite Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett (The Aviator)
Why: Her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn was phenomenal.
Favorite Breakthrough Performance: Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace)
Why: She portrayed the character as a very strong-willed young woman which I think brought a sense of hope for girls who are drug mules.
Favorite Performance by One of Emily's Favorites: Frances O'Connor (Iron Jawed Angels)
Why: All three nominated performances were very stirring and excellent. When it came down to choosing the winner, I focused on the emotional reaction that I had due to the performance. Fran's heartwarming and heartbreaking performance won by a nose, one runny nose and two tearful eyes. O'Connor's reaction to Hilary Swank being dragged to her character's torture in the prison was the one that tipped the scales in her favor. It tore my heart out. So much was said in the look on her face. That scene aside, throughout the film O'Connor not only successfully made this audience member nearly break into tears but also laugh hysterically. Her performance was beautiful in both its comedic and dramatic nature.
Favorite Ensemble Cast: Finding Neverland
Why: Everyone, from Johnny Depp to Freddie Highmore, had wonderful performances.
Favorite Scene: On Alice's porch, Lucy comforts Alice with the inspirational speech (Iron Jawed Angels)
Why: Nothing like a little reminiscing on the time when Alice urinated in a lord's boot for some inspiration!
Favorite Set Design: Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera
Why: The sets were intricately detailed, I never got tired of looking at them.
Favorite Costume Design: Twelfth Night
Why: The costumes brought a historic flavor to this production set in present day and provided a sense of the characters' personalities.
Favorite Cinematography: A Very Long Engagement
Why: The film was beautifully shot in a way that was like looking at old photos.
Favorite Screenplay: Jennifer Friedes, Eugenia Bostwick Singer, Sally Robinson, Raymond Singer (Iron Jawed Angels)
Why: The history was made accessible for today's viewers with dialogue that had features of the modern American dialect.
Favorite Director: Zach Braff (Garden State)
Why: A fantastic production by a promising young man.
Favorite Music: Various Artists (Iron Jawed Angels)
Why: Like the modern features of the dialogue this is yet another daring aspect of the film. Modern songs highlight the plot and the emotions of the characters.
Favorite End Credits Song: "Let Go" (Garden State)
Why: The main character's revelation is beautifully put to song.