2023 Kaedrin Movie Award Nominees

Welcome to the 2023 Kaedrin Movie Award season, which we’re kicking off with nominees in our standard categories! The idea is to recognize films for 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 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021 | 2022]

Standard disclaimers apply: It must be a 2023 movie (with the one caveat that some 2022 films were not accessible until 2023 and are thus eligible under fiat) and I obviously have to have seen the movie. As of this writing, I’ve seen 93 movies that could be considered a 2023 release. This is right about where we were last year at this time, which means that I’ve actually caught up from being behind in early December, but 2023 has been a pretty jam packed year. There are still several films that I want to catch up with, but even though I probably have seen less movies than many critics have seen, I have seen more than your typical moviegoer and have certainly seen enough to populate the awards. I think that’s enough preamble, let’s get to it:

Best Villain/Badass
A moderate year for villainy here, lots of decent choices, but I’m not sure if there’s a true standout. I don’t envy the voting body on this one (um, wait a second…)! 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. This exclusion also, um, includes inhuman monsters or creatures (sorry Godzilla, we’ll hit you up in the Arbitrary Awards). Sometimes there’s a fine line here and certain nominees might be borderline, but we’re all just going to have to learn to live with it.

Best Hero/Badass
A better year for heroism, though this time around there are a few standouts such that the voting will probably not get very contentious (phew)… One fun thing about both the hero and villain categories is that they are not as dominated by superhero movies anymore, even if there is one token representative from the genre… Again limited to individuals and not groups/creatures.

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). That being said, there were definitely a few standout solo performances this year that are definitely worth recognition.

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…

Most Visually Stunning
Sometimes even bad movies can look really great… But this is a pretty solid list!

Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse

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 usually has to be combined with Horror in order to come up with a well rounded set of nominees, but here we are.

Best Sequel/Reboot/Remake
Always an awkward category to populate, especially given my normal feeling on this sort of thing (i.e. not a huge fan of sequels), but this year wasn’t that hard.

Biggest Disappointment
A category often dominated by sequels and reboots, but the occasional original film makes an appearance. Note that these movies don’t necessarily need to be “bad” in order to be a “disappointment”. Basically, these movies scored poorly on Joe Posnanski’s Plus-Minus Scale.

Best Action Sequences
This award isn’t for individual action sequences, but rather an overall estimation of each film. We’ve got a pretty great, extensive lineup this year. The added accessibility of streaming DTV actioners has been a boon to this category.

Best Plot Twist/Surprise
I suppose even listing that there is a twist is a bit of a spoiler, but I guess we’ll just have to risk it.

Best High Concept Film
A bit of a nebulous concept for this category, but there’s some good stuff worth recognizing here because they took chances on a weird concept.

2023’s 2022 Movie of the Year
This is a weird category that is sometimes difficult to populate. The idea centers around movies I never caught up with last year during the Kaedrin Awards season, but which are worthwhile in their own right. During the pandemic, things were even weirder with this category, but we’ve seemingly emerged from that wilderness. Still, I must have done a good job with last year’s catch-up, because pickins were slim this year. This list is modest and none of these would kick something off my top 10 from last year but a couple are worthwhile…

So there you have it, please congratulate all of the 2023 Kaedrin Movie Award nominees! Stay tuned for the winners (probably next week, but you never know), followed by the Arbitrary Awards and Top 10 list. I’m still catching up with various flicks, because as usual, those 9 and 10 slots in the top 10 are a little difficult to fill (not, I should add, because there aren’t worthy candidates, but more because there are so many vying for those slots)…

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