The 2nd Annual Craggus Movie Awards

2nd Annual Craggus Awards Banner 2.jpeg

Last year I made a rod for my own back by putting out the “1st Annual Craggus Movie Awards” and now, on the eve of the 87th Academy Awards, here I am paying the price for saying “1st Annual”.

The rules: only movies released in 2014 in the UK are eligible (including preview screenings and, to be honest, I’ve bent the rules a bit because I only settled on a definitive dating approach recently). Only films I or The Mertmas have personally seen can be nominated and if a film we’ve seen has an Oscar nomination, it automatically gets a Craggus nomination. Our winners were chosen on the basis of personal preference and may bear no similarity to technical or artistic achievement, real or imagined!

Now, on with the show!

Best Actor

keatonNow the Craggus Award can’t go to the annointed Oscar front runner Eddie Redmayne as I haven’t seen it yet, but the other nominees are good ones, although I feel Bradley Cooper would be a bit of a surprise given his rivals. I’ve added in three nominations I think are richly deserved: David Oyelowo for his understated but compelling turn as Martin Luther King Jr, Timothy Spall for his riveting turn as J M W Turner and Andy Serkis, who for so long has deserved recognition for his amazing performances which happen to translated via computer wizardry.

But my winner is Michael Keaton. So much of “Birdman” and its success rests on his shoulders, and he delivered an amazingly intense and intimate performance.

Winner: Michael Keaton

Best Actress

essie davisAs was the case last year, according to the Academy, I haven’t seen many good female lead performances this year. I disagree, though, so Rene Russo and Essie Davis get get Craggus nominations. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Craggus Awards ceremony without a nomination for Scarlett Johanson, this time for her steely turn as an alien hunter in “Under The Skin” but the win this time goes to Essie Davis for her powerhouse turn in “The Babadook”.

Winner: Essie Davis

Best Supporting Actor

JKsimmonsSome undeniably great performances in this category but there’s obviously only one winner, and that’s J K Simmons. BAFTA got this one right and I hope the Academy does too.

Winner: J K Simmons

Best Supporting Actress

emily bluntGoing just by the Oscar nominations, this is a fairly bland choice. While all the performances were good, nothing really stood out and I guess the Academy felt the same given Meryl Streep’s nod for The Witch in “Into The Woods”. Yes, it was a fun performance, but Oscar-worthy? Anyway, there’s no genre snobbery here so I’m giving a nomination – and, in fact, the award – to Emily Blunt for her ‘Full Metal Bitch’ in “Edge Of Tomorrow”.

Winner: Emily Blunt

Best Animated Feature

boxtrollsOkay, so I’ll correct the Academy’s oversight and give “The Lego Movie” a nomination and I’ll give a nod to the charming and colourful “The Book Of Life” too. But the Craggus award goes to the quirky and intricate stop motion animated feature “The Boxtrolls”.

Winner: “The Boxtrolls”

Visual Effects

interstellarThis is an incredibly strong field this year but there’s really only one clear choice for the win. Whatever other problems I have with the movie, I can’t deny it looks freakin’ amazing. It’s a deserved win for “Interstellar”.

Winner: “Interstellar”


Best Director

linklaterThere are definitely three worthy winners from this field of five, but on the basis of the sweeping vision and commitment, the Craggus Award for Best Director goes to Richard Linklater.

Winner: Richard Linklater – “Boyhood”


Best Picture

The Grand Budapest HotelIf it weren’t for “The Theory Of Everything”, I’d be claiming a clean sweep of having seen all the Best Picture Oscar nominated films this year, and what a cracking list it is. I’m giving this award based on the one which entertained and delighted me the most, which means it’s a win for “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.

Winner: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”



And now onto The Mertie – picked exclusively by and for the younger cinema goer.

Mertie Award

The Mertie Award for Best Movie of 2014 nominations are:

I’d love to throw the others a bone and claim this was a close run thing and while “Paddington” may have managed to score a poster on his bedroom wall alongside “Guardians Of The Galaxy” but he doesn’t have “Get Santa” action figures, he doesn’t have a “Maleficent” bedspread and he hasn’t watched “The Boxtrolls” about a dozen times since getting the DVD. Of course, the Mertie Award for 2014 goes to…“Guardians Of The Galaxy”!

Winner: “Guardians Of The Galaxy”

guardians poster

So there we have it, a bunch of fictitious and arbitrary awards have been handed out to a bunch of movies The Mertmas and I liked. What do you think? Did we get it wrong? Are we guilty of outrageous miscarriages of artistic justice?

Let us know who you’d have nominated and who you’d have picked as winners. In the meantime, best of luck to all tonight’s Oscar nominees and especially the host, Neil Patrick Harris!


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