Dienstag, 17. Februar 2015

Berlinale 2015

The 65th Berlinale is over. Of the 53 (!!) movies I saw this year, these are my personal favorites.

Best film: "Taxi"
Runner-up: "El Club (The Club)"
honorable mentions: "Knight of Cups", "Ixcanul (Ixcanul Volcano)", "Superwelt (Superworld)"

(Mysterious housing arrangement in Chile that hides unspeakably dirty laundry and would go to any length to keep it hidden (top); from courtship to divorce, all the stages of love as interpreted and woven together by Terrence Malick (left); young girl caught between family, tradition, her own heart, and a lot of snakes in Guatemala (bottom); retirement-age woman who awakens from the stupor of life only to find a world that's not so super (right); freedom, art, morality dissected in an exercise of perception and forms conducted by Jafar Panahi (central))

Best director: Jafar Panahi ("Taxi")
Runner-up: Pablo Larraín ("El Club (The Club)")
honorable mentions: Terrence Malick ("Knight of Cups"), Walter Salles ("汾陽小子賈樟柯 (Jia Zhang-ke, a guy from Fenyang)"), Karl Markovics ("Superwelt (Superworld))

Best lead actor: Ian McKellan ("Mr. Holmes")
Runner-up: Frederick Lau ("Victoria")
honorable mentions: Christian Bale ("Knight of Cups"), David Oyelowo ("Selma"), Christian Friedel ("Elser (13 Minutes)")

Best lead actress: Charlotte Rampling ("45 Years")
Runner-up: Ulrike Beimpold ("Superwelt (Superworld)")
honorable mentions: Elisabeth Moss ("Queen of Earth"), Bel Powley ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl"), Nicole Kidman ("Queen of the Desert"), Victoria Schulz ("Dora oder Die sexuellen Neurosen unserer Eltern (Dora or The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents)"), Catalina Saavedra ("La mujer de barro (The Mud Woman)"), Dakota Johnson ("Fifty Shades of Grey")

(A teenage girl discovers sex together with all its joys and consequences in the 70's; famed British traveller/archaeologist Gertrude Bell's journey to the east revisited; a Chilean woman returns to an old work place prepared for violence; a woman celebrating her 45th wedding anniversary realizes she hardly knows the man she's dancing with; a supermarket cashier about to retire senses there's something wrong with everything; a girl with Down Syndromes fights for a chance to love and get hurt like everybody else; a timid college student falls under the spell of a handsome billionaire with very particular playthings; a young woman retreats to her best friend's place for peace and solace but sinks ever deeper into insanity)  
(It's an incredibly strong year for female roles and performances. Even with 8 lead actresses nominated, it still leaves out Regina Casé ("Que Horas Ela Volta? (The Second Mother)"), Laia Costa ("Victoria"), Juliette Binoche ("Nobody Wants the Night"). Crazy!)

Best supporting actor: Lars Eidinger ("Dora oder Die sexuellen Neurosen unserer Eltern (Dora or The Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents)")
Runner-up: Alfredo Castro ("'El Club (The Club)")
honorable mentions: Rainer Wöss ("Superwelt (Superworld)"), Milo Parker ("Mr. Holmes"), Alexander Skarsgård ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl")

Best supporting actress: Kristen Wiig ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl")
Runner-up: Antonia Zegers ("El Club (The Club)")
honorable mentions: Katherine Waterston ("Queen of Earth"), Janet McTeer ("Angelica"), María Telón ("Ixcanul (Ixcanul Volcano)"), 呂雪鳳 (Lu Hsueh-Feng) ("醉.生夢死 (Thanatos, Drunk)")

Best screenplay: "Taxi"
Runner-up: "El Club (The Club)"
honorable mentions: "Superwelt (Superworld)", "Mr. Holmes", "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"

Best editing: "Knight of Cups" 
Runner-up: "Taxi"
honorable mentions: "El Club (The Club)", "Пионеры-герои (Pioneer Heroes)", "汾陽小子賈樟柯 (Jia Zhang-ke, a guy from Fenyang)"

Best cinematography: "Cha và con và (Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories)"
Runner-up: "Victoria"
honorable mentions: "Knight of Cups", "Пионеры-герои (Pioneer Heroes)", "Exotica, Erotica, Etc."

(Endlessness of the sea and endless longings of the sex workers waiting for their sailors' return (u.l.); pristine suffocation of the Soviet years and crushing void of the Muscovite metropolitan existence (l.l.); desires and pains coursing through the feverish nights of Vietnam (central); 140-min real-time adventure in Berlin's dangerous underbelly (u.r.); excess, gloss, emptiness and zen of an A-lister's life in L.A. (l.r.))

Best art direction: "Под электрическими облаками (Under Electric Clouds)"
Runner-up: "Queen of the Desert"
honorable mentions: "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", "Angelica", "H."

Best costume design: "Angelica"
Runner-up: "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
honorable mentions: "Queen of the Desert", "Nobody Wants the Night", "Mr. Holmes"

Best film music: "Queen of Earth"
Runner-up: "Als wir träumten (As We Were Dreaming)"
honorable mentions: "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", "Life", "ダリー・マルサン (Dari Marusan)"

(Looseness, nostalgia, careless cheer of 70's groove (top); raging techno from the last days of East Germany (left); light, sentimental jazz pondering James Dean's cool (bottom); unexpected use of synthesized, energetic J-pop (right); modern composition at its eeriest and most unpredictable (central))

Best sound: "Victoria"
Runner-up: "Knight of Cups"
honorable mentions: "H.", "ダリー・マルサン (Dari Marusan)", "Под электрическими облаками (Under Electric Clouds)"

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