Stones of Erasmus's 2017 Alternative Academy Awards

Hey, since everyone is talking about alternative this-and-thats - I put together my own alternative Academy Awards:

Film of the Year
- Moonlight (2016)
GIF from Moonlight (2016)
Kevin and Black reconnect after a long estrangement 
Source: A24

The film hits all of the right film language notes. It was a toss up between Lion and Moonlight -- but Moonlight won because I have to say the film speaks in a new film language -- one that honors both poetry and story, form and content.

Film Auteur of the Year- Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins, Director of Moonlight
Barry Jenkins, Director of Moonlight

Source: AV Club
Jenkins takes a story that - as far as I can tell - was never published and probably never performed on stage - and creates a beautiful cinematic triptych - of a child, teenager, and adult.

Best Male Actor in a Film- Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight)

Production still from Moonlight (2016)
Kevin and Black at a diner in a production still from Moonlight (2016) 

It's hard to play repressed emotion without seeming wooden. I am not sure what will come of Chiron and Kevin's love for each other - but Rhodes helped me to think that maybe there is a chance for a new beginning.

Best Female Actor in a Film- Sasha Lane (American Honey)

Production still from American Honey (2016)
Star makes a decision in American Honey (2016)

Source: American Honey
Lane plays vulnerability, recklessness and moments of sheer empathy with such depth and emotion. I did not want her to leave her hometown and join a ragged band of door-to-door magazine sellers -- but she is transformed. And so was I.

Best Young Actor in a Film- Michael Barbieri (Little Men)

Production still from Little Men (2016)
Tony and Jake wait for a train in Ira Sach's film Little Men (2016) 
Source: Ira Sachs
This kid is amazing (Barbieri, on the left with co-star Theo Taplitz). The improvisation scene alone is enough to make me crown him as best young actor; furthermore, Barbieri plays the best loyal friend I have seen on film or literature since Huckleberry Finn.

Best Male Supporting Actor in a Film- Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Juan teaches Little to swim in Barry Jenkin's Moonlight (2016)
Juan teaches Little to swim in Moonlight (2016)

Source: Moonlight

I liked how he took the trope of a mentoring drug dealer and created something believable. Also, I love how he was actually teaching actor Alex R. Hibbert how to swim in that ocean scene. 

Best Female Supporting Actor in a Film- Sônia Brag (Aquarius)

While she is not technically a supporting actor in Aquarius, I chose to ignore technicalities. Brag plays Dona Clara - a woman holding onto her lease in a Brazilian apartment complex.

Best Written Screenplay- Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias (Little Men)

Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias talk about their collaboration on Little Men

Source: videomovie.in
I sort of fell in love with Ira Sachs this year after seeing his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. He writes beautiful stories!

Best Short Film- Killer (2016)

Dusty and his father at the hospital

Source: Matt Kazman
I saw this short once and thought nothing of it - except that the young lead - Hale Lytle - is an actor to watch out for. However, I realized on a second viewing (and I do not want to give too much away) -that the director Matt Kazman takes a weird conceit - and takes it to its logical conclusion. I won't give it away. Trust me. 

Best Non-English Film- A Tale of Love and Darkness (2016)

Mother and son share a moment

Source: Tale of Love and Darkness
The film traces an old man's memory of his mother -- and in the process tries to make sense of her suicide.

Best Documentary Film- Life, Animated (2016)

Jonathan Freeman talks about how Disney films helped him to learn how to express his feelings
Source: Life, Animated
At first, I did not really like this film's premise. I thought the idea of Disney movies helping a child on the spectrum find his emotional voice a little cloying - however, the film feels real - and Jonathan Freeman is a brave young man. 


I did not watch enough memorable animated films. Sorry.

And, here are my honorable mentions:

Closet Monster (2016)
The Wailing (2016)
A Monster Calls (2016)

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