Wednesday, 14 May 2014

TOP FIVES: Award Winning Canadian Films - The Mortal Instruments, Enemy, and More

Canada has had its own award ceremonies to honour domestic films for over 60 years. For the past 3 decades, until 2012, these were called the Genies, but as of 2013 they were merged with the Geminis (TV) to create the Canadian Screen Awards (CSA).

Whatever we call it, the point is these ceremonies are some of the best ways to keep up with our film industry, and although there a lot of great Canadian films that don't make it to the CSAs, there are oh so many that do.

This post is just a compilation of the top winners over the last five years. Enjoy!

2nd Annual CSA (2014) Hosted by Martin Short

The big winner this year was Denis Villeneuve's Enemy, taking home 5 awards. Villeneuve won for Best Direction, and Sarah Gadon won for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The film also won in the categories of Original Score, Editing, and Cinematography. It had 10 nominations in all.

The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a man who decides to seek out his doppelganger after spotting him in a movie. Watch Trailer Here.

Next in line was the Canada/USA co-production, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. This teen-fantasy film took home 3 awards; Achievement in Make-Up, Achievement in Overall Sound, and Achievement in Sound Editing. It was also awarded the Golden Reel for highest box office gross.

The film is a blockbuster that was long anticipated by many young adult readers who had been following the book series since it first hit stands in 2007. It follows a young girl who sets out to find answers when her mother goes missing during what appears to be a violent attack, only to discover she belongs to an underground world of magic and demons. Watch Trailer Here.

The Best Picture award went to Gabrielle. It is directed by Louis Archambault, and follows the story of a young woman, Gabrielle (if you couldn't guess) with Wiliams Syndromw. Her musical gift leads her to a choir at the rec centre where she meets Martin. The two instantly connect but as they prepare for an upcoming show they are met with prejudices and family-fears about their relationship. Watch Trailer Here.

1st Annual CSA (2013) Hosted by Martin Short, Also

Kim Nguyen's film War Witch (Rebelle) took home an astonishing 10 awards. It won Best Picture and Best Director. Rachel Mwanza received the Best Acrtess in a Leading Role award, and Serge Kandyinda got Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The film was also given, Best Original Screenplay, Art Direction, Cinematography, Overall Sound, and Sound Editing.

The story Komona, a 14 year old girl in Sub-Saharan Africa as she tells her unborn child the story of her life - beginning with her abduction by a rebel army two years back. Watch Trailer Here.

Meanwhile, the Achievement in Visual Effects went to the Canada/USA co=production Resident Evil: Retribution, which also took home the Golden Reel. The sci-fi action horror is the 5th in its series (with the 6th set for release in 2015) and this time it follows Alice as she fights alongside a resistance battle. Watch Trailer Here.

32nd Genie Awards (2012) Hosted by George Stromboulopoulos

The most awards this year went to Monsieur Lazhar, directed by Phillipe Falardeau. It took home six awards, Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, and Editing; plus Best Supporting Actress went to Sophie Nelisse, and Best Actor to Mohammed Fellag. 

The story unfolds when an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a public school teacher who recently committed suicide. The dramedy follows his attempts to help the children through their grief, while he deals with his own loss. Watch Trailer Here.

Following so close behind with 5 awards was David Cronenberg's Drama, A Dangerous Method, starring Kiera Knightly, Viggo Mortenson, and Michael Fassbender. Viggo won for Best Actor, and it was also given Best Art Direction, Overall Sound, Sound Editing, and the Achievement in Music for its Original Score. 

The beautifully constructed film is something of a bio-pic of Carl Jung and his ever-deteriorating relationship with Sigmund Freud as the two find themselves drawn to a particularly fascinating patient, Sabina Speilrein. Watch Trailer Here.

Lastly, the Golden Reel went to Starbuck. The film follows David ("Starbuck"), a fortysomething year old who faces a class-action lawsuit when the 142 children he fathered through artificial insemination file against him. Meanwhile, his own girlfriend reveals her pregnancy - good timing. Watch Trailer Here.

31st Annual Genie Awards (2011), Hosted by William Shatner

Incendies was the big winner of 2011, garnering 8 awards. It brought in Best Picture, Best Director (Denis Villeneuve), Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing and Overall Sound. As well as Best Actress for Lubna Azabal.

The film follows a set of twins who make a journey back to their birthplace in the middle-East, in an attempt to unravel the mystery of their mother's life.

Barney's Version followed close behind with 7 awards. It won for Art Direction, Costume Design, Achievement in Music, and in Makeup. The cast also did very well, with Paul Giamatti winning Best Actor, Dustin Hoffman winning Best Supporting Actor, and Minnie Driver getting Best Supporting Actress.

The film follows a foul-mouthed hard-drinking 65 year old man who, nearing the end of his life takes time to reflect on his many successes and failures. Watch Trailer Here.

The Golden Reel went to the Canada/USA co-production (again) Resident Evil: Afterlife. Watch Trailer Here.

30th Annual Genie Awards (2010)

Scooping up 9 awards was the drama Polytechnique, directed by Denis Villeneuve (he's kind of a big deal if you can't tell yet). It took home, Best Picture, Best Director, Cinematography, Editing, Original Screenplay, Overall Sound, and Sound Editing. Also, it won Best Supporting Actor (Maxime Gaudette) and Best Actress (Karine Vanasse).

The film is based on the true story of the 1989 school shooting in Montreal which resulted in the deaths of several female engineer students at the hand of a crazed misogynist. Watch Trailer Here.

The runner up for most awards goes to Fifty Dead Men Walking, but it only took home 2! It won for Art Direction and Best Adapted Screenplay.

This one is also based on a true story. It tells the story of Martin MacGartland, an Irishman (played by Jim Sturgess) who in the 1980s was recruited by the British Police to go undercover in the deadly Irish terrorist group known as the IRA. As he works his way up the ranks of the IRA, things become increasingly complicated until his whole life feels like a grey area. Watch Trailer Here.

The Golden Reel went to the comedy Father and Guns (De Pere en Flic). Directed by Emile Gaudreault, it follows the strained relationship of a father and son. Both policemen, they are shocked to find they have been paired up on an undercover assignment, at a father-son therapy camp no less. Watch Trailer Here.