Take it away read­ers,

So you, the read­ers, have once again de­cided that The Ticket’s film cor­ner has got ghastly taste and may need some sort of brain op­er­a­tion. An un­bowed Don­ald Clarke takes stock of how you voted

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TICKETAWARDS2012 -

STOP com­plain­ing. The Ticket poll is a near-per­fect sim­u­lacrum of the demo­cratic process as it func­tions in most west­ern so­ci­eties. Ev­ery­body is free to vote as they choose, but only for the can­di­dates that we party bosses put their way. It is not, per­haps, sur­pris­ing that the most com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful film on the bal­lot pa­per, Looper, ended up tak­ing the prize for best film. Nei­ther is that a cause for any gnash­ing of teeth. Rian John­son’s time-travel flick con­firmed that orig­i­nal think­ing is still wel­come in main­stream cin­ema. Let’s hope John­son and his team come up with an­other equally fresh idea, rather than im­me­di­ately mak­ing for Se­quel Gulch. Sil­ver and gold medal fin­ishes by, re­spec­tively, Paul Thomas An­der­son’s The Master and Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the South­ern Wild re­as­sured us that read­ers of this publi­ca­tion are at home to odd­ity.

The sit­u­a­tion was sim­i­lar when the unof­fi­cial con­so­la­tion prize of best di­rec­tor was tab­u­lated. Ev­ery­body loves Ben Af­fleck’s Argo and the square-headed ac­tor con­firmed his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion with a com­fort­able vic­tory. PT An­der­son and Michael Haneke, di­rec­tor of Amour, also dragged up a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of votes.

De­spite tear­ing up our screens in The Hunt, Mads Mikkelsen was wal­loped in the best ac­tor race by Joaquin Phoenix. He may have to set­tle for The Ticket prize. Daniel Day Lewis, star of the up­com­ing Lin­coln, is, by all ac­counts, streets ahead in the bat­tle for the best-ac­tor Os­car.

There are, in fact, few enor­mous sur­prises in the win­ning films and per­son­al­i­ties. The Dark Knight Rises closed Chris Nolan’s Bat­man tril­ogy in some style and, as ex­pected, grabbed the prize for best fran­chise pic­ture. Search­ing for Sugar Man won a lot of friends and – though sleeper hit Bill Cun­ning­ham New York ran it close – the film was prob­a­bly al­ways the favourite for best doc­u­men­tary.

What Richard Did was the clos­est thing we had to a break­out Ir­ish hit this year and it ended up polling well over twice as many votes as run­ner-up Grab­bers.

In­side sources at the count cen­tre give us in­ter­est­ing news about Michael Fassbender’s vic­tory in best Ir­ish per­for­mance. True, he is by far the most fa­mous name on the list. But it is still worth mar­vel­ling that the Ker­ry­man re­ceived more votes than any can­di­date in any of the mu­sic or cin­ema cat­e­gories. He’ll be with us for some time.

The worst film also scarred up some psepho­log­i­cal aber­ra­tions. Rock of Ages looked like a film that wanted to be so bad it was good. In the end, Ticket vot­ers de­cided that – by a colos­sal mar­gin – it was just plain aw­ful. The mak­ers of the use­less The Watch can con­sole them­selves with the knowl­edge that they came last in this par­tic­u­lar poll. That’s some sort of achieve­ment. What is, how­ever, most in­ter­est­ing is how badly some films fig­ured. It might rea­son­ably have been as­sumed that the race for best fran­chise was a bat­tle be­tween Marvel Avengers As­sem­ble and The Dark Knight Rises. In the event, the Marvel su­per­heroes fin­ished way back in fourth place be­hind Bat­man, The Mup­pets and The Hunger Games. Hooray for The Mup­pets. We felt the in­clu­sion of that film might trig­ger some weary groans. Not a bit of it. Our sen­si­ble read­ers recog­nised it as a felt-cov­ered clas­sic.

More de­press­ing for your film team was – in the wider world and in this poll – the poor per­for­mance of three films we re­gard as con­tem­po­rary clas­sics: Leos Carax’s Holy Mo­tors, Peter Strick­land’s Berberian Sound Stu­dio and Ben Wheat­ley’s Sight­seers. The Carax and the Strick­land film, de­spite ec­static re­views in most places, stum­bled into the bot­tom three of our best film poll. Béla Tarr’s for­bid­ding (and bril­liant) The Turin Horse gar­nered over twice as many votes as Strick­land’s pic­ture. Ben Wheat­ley – di­rec­tor of a very funny, very ac­ces­si­ble film – failed to make it into the top five in the di­rec­tor’s race.

None of those films broke through at the box of­fice ei­ther. Now, it is, of course, pos­si­ble that all three are ghastly and we need some sort of brain op­er­a­tion. But the pos­i­tive re­cep­tions they re­ceived at fes­ti­val screen­ings sug­gested there is a will­ing au­di­ence for pic­tures that blend sur­real high-jinx with some­thing a lit­tle like pop­ulist en­ter­tain­ment. Is there still time for them to be­come cults? Does the cult movie still ex­ist as a con­cept? Wor­ry­ing times.

BEST DI­REC­TOR

BEN AF­FLECK – ARGO

BEST AC­TOR JOAQUIN PHOENIX –

THE MASTER

BEST AC­TRESS

EMANUELLE RIVA – AMOUR

BEST FRAN­CHISE

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

BEST AN­I­MA­TION

BRAVE

BEST DOC­U­MEN­TARY

SEARCH­ING FOR SUGAR MAN

BEST IR­ISH FILM

WHAT RICHARD DID

MOST WEL­COME REIS­SUE THE LIFE AND DEATH OF

COLONEL BLIMP

WORST FILM

ROCK OF AGES

BEST IR­ISH PER­FOR­MANCE MICHAEL FASSBENDER –

SHAME

BEST FILM

LOOPER

BEST VIDEO

GANG­NAM STYLE

BAND OF THE YEAR

THE XX

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