The Best of 2012, Sports Awards Style
With the NFL and college football winding down I’ve seen a lot of talk about Most Valuable Players, Comeback Players of the year and so on as I wondered to myself “What if Hollywood did this for their actors and actresses?”. Not just some kind of award ceremony like the Oscars which is driven by politics, but an awards ceremony that followed actual sports awards? What would it look like? Welp my curiosity has led me to tackle some of their biggest recognitions and attempt to apply them to celebrities this year in Hollywood. So without further adieu here are the 2012 winners as judged by sports criteria:
MVP (Most Valuable Player): Jennifer Lawrence
When it came to 2012 there was one celebrity who owned everything from the silver screen to late night talk shows, social media, tabloids, magazine covers and a majority of teenaged boys walls, and that was Jennifer Lawrence. She solidified her spot as arguably the #1 go-to actress in Hollywood by carrying a franchise that grossed $650 million dollars this summer as well as adding the lead in Silver Linings Playbook, a Best Picture contender that could possibly net her a 2nd Oscar nomination in 2 years…. and she’s 22 years old. She’s already garnered 47 acting nominations and if 2012 is any indication that number will keep growing as well as the number of hearts she steals as she climbs up the Hollywood ladder. Smart, sophisticated, down to to Earth and a great role model to the young women of the world, Lawrence tornado’d through 2012 by comfortably passing from the “up and coming” to the “here and fucking now” list of Hollywood actresses.
Runner(s) Up: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Robert Downey Jr.
Comeback Player of the Year: Bruce Willis
Since 2005’s Sin City I can honestly say that I’ve seen enough tired, lazy and uninspiring Bruce Willis action movies to last me another lifetime. He reached the point of his career where he was starting to sleepwalk through most of his performances and I feared he would never regain that luster that made him one of the biggest names in Hollywood for a couple of decades. Well enter 2012 and his two key roles in Moonrise Kingdom and Looper (two of the best movies of the year critically) to revitalize his career and point him back on the right track. He nabbed an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance in Moonrise Kingdom (which was his first acting nomination since a 2008 People’s Choice Award) and brought his A-game to one of the surprise hits of the year in Looper. He even made the fans happy with a solid entry in The Expendables 2 which only further helped to showcase his range as an actor and his foothold in Hollywood. I honestly felt like Bruce Willis was going the way of Deniro and Pacino and would never reach the respectability he did in years past and this might not be a comeback of Rourke or Nolte quality but because of those 3 movies I felt like he resurrected his career in 2012 by thrusting himself back into the spotlight.
Runner(s) Up: Sally Field, Helen Hunt
Most Improved Player of the Year: Anne Hathaway
Since her Oscar Nomination in 2008 for Rachel Getting Married Anne has starred in Get Smart, Passengers, Bride Wars, Love & Other Drugs, Valentine’s Day and Alice in Wonderland. Yeah… that’s not quite the lineup is it? I was never a huge fan of Hathaway and was always pretty indifferent towards her but in 2012 she stepped up in a massive way by stealing the show as Selina Kyle in one of the biggest movies of 2012 and by emerging as the Oscar front runner for her portrayal of Fantine in Les Miserable. I have yet to see the movie but the buzz coming out of it is that her performance is everything an Oscar-winning performance should be, and she’s already nabbed a ton of nominations for that role alone. There were a lot of different people that I could’ve picked for this one but after looking at the contrasting quality of her track record from the past 4 years and her two gigantic roles in 2012 it became clear to me that she was my choice.
Runner(s) Up: Channing Tatum, Logan Lerman
Rookie of the Year: Richard Armitage
I know that this isn’t a choice you’d see in years past where the selection is someone who exploded onto the scene with no previous movie experience and had everyone asking “Who is that?” but I thought that Richard was close enough for that group and because of that he’s my choice. Armitage was a prominent member of the BBC television scene since 2002 and hasn’t made a movie (outside of a 2 minute role in Captain America) that wasn’t “made for TV” since 2005 so when he stormed onto the scene in one of the biggest movies of the year people were asking “Who the fuck is that?”. While Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen provided two of the best performances in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey it was Richard Armitage who stole every scene he was in with a deeply flawed, haunting and conflicting performance as the leader of the Dwarven Race, Thorin Oakenshield. He’s already nabbed one leading role in an action movie coming out next year and I think it’s safe to say that when The Hobbit Trilogy is finished Armitage will be turning himself into a household name with a solid Hollywood movie career.
Runner(s) Up: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jason Clarke
Coach (Director) of the Year: Ben Affleck
There were a ton of choice to choose from in this option and it came down to a core 3 guys. Joss Whedon took on an “impossible” project and turned it into the perfect summer blockbuster that had everything you could want from a superhero movie as it was a massive commercial, critical and financial success. Rian Johnson stepped up from brilliant small-budget films and showed that he could not only carry that quality over to larger, potential blocksbuster Hollywood movies but that he could deliver on them turning into praised hits. However, there was one director who in my opinion solidifed his spot as an A-list filmmaker and that was Ben Affleck. After Gone Baby Gone and The Town most people thought that Affleck was a good director but it wasn’t until 2012’s Argo where he finally got ALL of the critical and award-worthy success that every big director recieves when they’ve made it. Argo was a critical darling that sparked an audience reaction to the tension and is popping up on nearly every “Best of 2012” list I’ve read this past month. That makes it 3 straight home-runs for Affleck in the directorial chair and anyone who thought he was riding a string of safe pictures set in his hometown of Boston saw their words eaten as he branched out to a historical period piece and came through with flying colors. So for that, he’s my “Director of the Year”.
Runner(s) Up: Joss Whedon, Quentin Tarantino
Least Valuable Player (Since this is a fantasy I can pretend this is a real award): Lindsay Lohan
I mean, what else can be said about this train-wreck at this point? I’m sick and tired of seeing this obnoxious, self-centered, stuck-up, pampered abortion of a human-being everywhere I look from magazines to websites to the media and news articles. Oh look, Lohan skipped her court date for the 47th time; she might get a day in jail, what will she do next? GO AWAY. She’s not only received but disrespectfully thrown away dozens upon dozens of opportunities and I’m so sick and tired of seeing her 78 year old decrepid, botox-infused face in the spotlight. Any hope of a “comeback” she had left was squashed with her truly horrific performance in Liz & Dick which solidified her role as a talentless hack that’s living out her last days on the bottom-feeding soul-sucking disgrace of tabloid media. I’d love to see her disappear, forever.
Runner Up: The Entire Twilight Cast