2019 Kaedrin Movie Awards

Welcome to the fourteenth annual Kaedrin Movie Awards! The idea is to recognize films for various achievements that don’t always reflect well on top 10 lists or traditional awards. There are lots of formal award categories and nominees listed below, but once those are announced, we’ll also leave some room for Arbitrary Awards that are more goofy and freeform. Finally, we’ll post a traditional top 10 list (usually sometime in early/mid-February). But first up is the awards! [Previous Installments here: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018]

Standard disclaimers apply: It must be a 2019 movie (with the one caveat that some 2018 films were not accessible until 2019 and are thus eligible under fiat) and I obviously have to have seen the movie. As of this writing, I’ve seen 92 movies that would be considered a 2019 release. Significantly less than your typical critic, but more than your average moviegoer and enough to populate these awards. Obviously this is a personal exercise that is entirely subjective in nature, but the world would be a boring place indeed if we all loved the same things for the same reasons, right? Right. Without further ado:

Best Villain/Badass

It seems like the last few years have been mired in mediocre villainy and while this year is not exactly breaking the mold, the winner is very clear and could hold their own with most of the previous winners in this category. In accordance with tradition, my picks in this category are limited to individuals, not groups (i.e. no vampires or zombies as a general menace, etc…) or ideas.

Best Hero/Badass

Probably a step up from villainy, and a more broad coalition of heroism to boot. A few standouts, might be difficult to pick the winner here. Again limited to individuals and not groups.

Best Comedic Performance

This is sometimes a difficult category to populate due to the prevalence of ensembles in comedy movies (this year being no exception). I also noticed a distinct bias towards smaller side roles or cameos this year, which is neat, but makes it hard to pick those roles as a winner. That being said, this year has a clear lead performance that exemplifies why this award exists…

Breakthrough Performance

This used to be a category more centered around my personal evaluation of a given actor (rather than a more general industry breakthrough), but it’s trended more towards the youngsters breaking through as time has gone on. This year is certainly more along those lines, with plenty of decent options. For whatever reason, I had a more difficult time populating this list this year, though I think I’ll be able to narrow it down easily enough…

Most Visually Stunning

Sometimes even bad movies can look really great… and yet most of these are pretty great. A middling year for this sort of thing, perhaps leaning towards more sober, well-photographed beauty than flashy spectacle, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Best Sci-Fi or Horror Film

It’s always nice to throw some love to genres that don’t normally get a lot of recognition in end-of-the-year lists. As an avid SF fan, it’s sad that the genre has to be combined with Horror in order to come up with a well rounded set of nominees. There was a time in the past decade or so where that seemed like it was changing, but that moment seems to have passed. At least, for the types of SF that I love (there were a few high profile SF films that I didn’t love this year, so the industry is still trying, at least).

Best Sequel/Reboot/Remake

Always an awkward category to populate, especially given my normal feeling on this sort of thing. After an unusually fertile year for this category last year, this year isn’t quite that great, but still pretty good.

Biggest Disappointment

A category often dominated by sequels and reboots, and lo, this year is a bit of a return to form, though there’s still some original films that were quite disappointing as well. This category is definitely weird in that sometimes I actually enjoy these movies… but my expectations were just too high when I saw them. Related reading: Joe Posnanski’s Plus-Minus Scale (these movies scored especially poor on that scale).

Best Action Sequence

This award isn’t for individual action sequences, but rather an overall estimation of each film, and there’s actually a pretty good range this year. I think there’s a pretty clear standout, but there’s not a lot of filler in this category, so it’s been a pretty solid year for action…

Best Plot Twist/Surprise

I suppose even listing that there is a twist is a bit of a spoiler, so I guess we’ll just have to risk it. A pretty strong lineup this year, and I think there will be a strong standout…

Best High Concept Film

A bit of a nebulous concept for this one, but I think the category fills out nicely, with a couple of standouts. Pretty wide open for the winner though.

2019’s 2018 Movie of the Year

This is a weird category. Once I get past my top 10, I rarely tackle challenging material from the previous year, though I do sometimes find a few diamonds in the rough. This category emerged from one frustrating year in which I saw two movies far too late for the top 10, so I created this award to recognize them. Since then, the nominees are pretty lackluster (and indeed, the amount of films I watch that qualify are usually pretty low to start with). This year, for whatever reason, I’ve seen a ton of decent things from 2018. None that I think would override my top 10 from that year, but I’m sure we can find a winner worthy of recognition.

So there you have it. 51 different films nominated (2018 films and disappointments not counted), so really spreading the love here. Surprisingly, Ready or Not leads the way with 5 nominations, which is an honor all by itself (because, um, I don’t think it’ll be winning many of those awards, even if I really enjoyed it). Us, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and Happy Death Day 2U clock in at a respectable 4 nominations a piece (with at least a good chance of winning some awards). Five movies snagged 3 nominations, and the grand majority have 2 noms or a lone nomination. Winners to be announced next week, followed by Arbitrary Awards, a traditional Top 10 of the year, and maybe some Oscars commentary (the ceremony is much earlier this year, so maybe not?) Stay tuned!

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