The 7th Annual EMO Awards

Hello and welcome to the 7th Annual Ethan’s Makeshift Oscars – or the EMOs, for short – looking back on the year in film that was 2013. Qualifications for the EMOs are simple: the film must have been released in the U.S. in 2013, and I must have seen it (either in theaters, streaming, on home video) by December 25. The cut-off date was set earlier this year to accommodate last night’s live ceremony; but despite that early deadline, a record 32 films qualified this year. That leaves us with a lot of nominations and winners to sort through, so let’s just get right to it!

In Part 1, more traditional categories are laid out – nominees are ranked from top to bottom, with the ultimately winning nominee listed last. In Part 2, every movie is a winner, even if it requires some unusual superlatives to make it so.

Best Action Film:

  • Iron Man 3
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • World War Z
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The World’s End

Funniest Film:

  • The Bling Ring
  • Frances Ha
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Way, Way Back
  • The World’s End

Most Fucked-Up Protagonist:

  • Llewyn Davis, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
  • Gary, “The World’s End”
  • David (Sedaris), “C.O.G.”
  • Jasmine, “Blue Jasmine”
  • India Stoker, “Stoker”

Most Deserving to Have Everyone Involved in Production Die a Horribly Painful Death Just For Making Me Watch the Trailer:

  • Planes
  • R.I.P.D.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs
  • The Smurfs 2
  • Grown Ups 2
  • Blended

Worst Science:

  • Gravity
  • Side Effects
  • Iron Man 3
  • Star Trek Into Darkness

Least Convincing Fake Lesbians:

  • Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, “Blue Is the Warmest Color”
  • Kirk and Spock, “Star Trek Into Darkness”
  • Rooney Mara and Catherine Zeta-Jones, “Side Effects”

Rising Above It Award (for elevating flawed or generally sub-par material):

  • Robert Downey, Jr., “Iron Man 3”
  • whoever voiced “Edward” the troll, “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Scene-Stealer Award:

  • not-Bob-Dylan, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
  • Bill Nighy (voice), “The World’s End”
  • Bob Odenkirk, “The Spectacular Now”
  • Walter Lassally, “Before Midnight”
  • Alfre Woodard, “12 Years a Slave”

Breakthrough Performance of the Year:

  • Israel Broussard, “The Bling Ring”
  • Tye Sheridan, “Mud”
  • Dane DeHaan, “The Place Beyond the Pines”
  • Miles Teller, “The Spectacular Now”
  • Adele Exarchopoulos, “Blue Is the Warmest Color”
  • Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Poster:

  • Nebraska

Nebraska poster

  • Leviathan


  • The Wolverine


  • The Bling Ring

the bling ring2

  • Computer Chess

computer chess

  • Only God Forgives

only god forgives

  • Much Ado About Nothing


  • Gravity


  • Nymphomaniac


  • Escape from Tomorrow


Best Trailer:

Best Scene:

  • retrieving ice cream, “Stoker”
  • silent robbery, “The Bling Ring”
  • “Execute,” “Captain Phillips”
  • Bilbo and Smaug, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
  • crying, “Stories We Tell”
  • Walden by the pool, “Upstream Color”
  • “Please, Mr. Kennedy,” “Inside Llewyn Davis”
  • earthquake, “The Wind Rises”
  • hanging, “12 Years a Slave”
  • opening shot, “Gravity”

Best Use of a Pre-Existing Song:

  • “Blue Moon,” from “Blue Jasmine”
  • “Roll, Jordan, Roll,” from “12 Years a Slave”
  • “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me,” from “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Best Original Song:

  • “I See Fire,” performed by Ed Sheeran, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
  • “Young and Beautiful,” performed by Lana Del Rey, “The Great Gatsby”
  • “My Lord Sunshine,” from “12 Years a Slave”
  • “Please, Mr. Kennedy,” performed by Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Best Original Score:

  • Clint Mansell and Philip Glass, “Stoker”
  • Thomas Newman, “Side Effects”
  • Joe Hisaishi, “The Wind Rises”
  • Steven Price, “Gravity”
  • Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”

Prettiest Pictures (cinematography award):

  • Harris Savides, “The Bling Ring”
  • Chung-hoon Chung, “Stoker”
  • Simone Zampagni, “Caesar Must Die”
  • Bruno Delbonnel, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
  • Sean Bobbitt, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”
  • Emmanuel Lubezki, “Gravity”

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Kyle Patrick Alvarez, “C.O.G.”
  • Sofia Coppola, “The Bling Ring”
  • John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, “Caesar Must Die”
  • Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix, “Blue Is the Warmest Color”
  • Hayao Miyazaki, “The Wind Rises”

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, “The World’s End”
  • Andrew Bujalski, “Computer Chess”
  • Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine”
  • Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”
  • Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, “Frances Ha”
  • Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
  • Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, “Before Midnight”

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Reese Witherspoon, “Mud”
  • Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
  • Emma Watson, “The Bling Ring”
  • Allison Janney, “The Way, Way Back”
  • Toni Collette, “The Way, Way Back”
  • Sarah Paulson, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Nicole Kidman, “Stoker”
  • Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Lea Seydoux, “Blue Is the Warmest Color”

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Bobby Cannavale, “Blue Jasmine”
  • Dane DeHaan, “The Place Beyond the Pines”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (voice), “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
  • Sam Rockwell, “The Way, Way Back”
  • John Goodman, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
  • Denis O’Hare, “C.O.G.”
  • Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
  • Matthew Goode, “Stoker”
  • Matthew McConaughey, “Mud”
  • Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Actress:

  • Rooney Mara, “Side Effects”
  • Carey Mulligan, “The Great Gatsby”
  • Shailene Woodley, “The Spectacular Now”
  • Mia Wasikowska, “Stoker”
  • Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
  • Greta Gerwig, “Frances Ha”
  • Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
  • Adele Exarchopoulos, “Blue Is the Warmest Color”
  • Amy Seimetz, “Upstream Color”
  • Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight”

Best Actor:

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Great Gatsby”
  • Jude Law, “Side Effects”
  • Jonathan Groff, “C.O.G.”
  • Miles Teller, “The Spectacular Now”
  • Salvatore Striano, “Caesar Must Die”
  • Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”
  • Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Ethan Hawke, “Before Midnight”
  • Oscar Isaac, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Best Acting Ensemble:

  • The World’s End
  • Blue Jasmine
  • The Way, Way Back
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Caesar Must Die

Best Director:

  • Sofia Coppola, “The Bling Ring”
  • Park Chan-wook, “Stoker”
  • Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, “Caesar Must Die”
  • Richard Linklater, “Before Midnight”
  • Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
  • Abdellatif Kechiche, “Blue Is the Warmest Color”
  • Hayao Miyazaki, “The Wind Rises”
  • Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity”
  • Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”
  • Sarah Polley, “Stories We Tell”

Film of the Year:

  • Frances Ha
  • The Bling Ring
  • Stoker
  • Caesar Must Die
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Before Midnight
  • The Wind Rises
  • Upstream Color
  • Stories We Tell

Either the Best or Worst Diabetes PSA Ever Made, I Can’t Decide Which: 

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

I would come down more firmly on the “Best” side if Wilford Brimley had been involved.

Biggest Waste of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone:

Gangster Squad

Also, best proof that you need more than sexy character posters to make a movie.

Shane Black-est Shane Black Movie:

Iron Man 3

*On the third Iron Man movie, my Shane Black gave to meee: three Christmas parties, two quipping lovers and a wisecracking smart-aleck child*

Shiniest Biceps:

Fast & Furious 6

In the rewritten F&F7, Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson defeat Jason Statham’s diamond-powered space death ray by reflecting the beam off their pecs.

Most Apologies Ever Issued By a Big-Name Director for a Stupid Summer Blockbuster:

J.J. Abrams, “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Sorry, probably shouldn’t have put Alice Eve in her underwear for no reason. Sorry, probably shouldn’t have made such a fuss about keeping Khan secret. Sorry, you probably should’ve seen this coming since I always liked “Star Wars” more than “Star Trek” anyway.

Most Unnecessary Film Rights Purchase:

World War Z

Lefty and Righty wonder why the studios are riding for a fall, when they do things like spend millions of dollars on a title.

Best Use of a Real-Life Landmark:

Water Wizz, “The Way, Way Back”

We’re sort of using the term “landmark” loosely here.

The Connie Britton in Season One of “American Horror Story” Award for Completely Irrational Loyalty to a Piece of Real Estate:

The Conjuring

The dog’s dead, I’ve got weird bruises covering my body, and our daughter was just pulled by her hair across the living room by an invisible force. Do you think we should move out of the house?

Most Ridiculous Hipster Couple Names:

Sutter and Aimee, “The Spectacular Now”

I blame this on you, Jennifer Jason Leigh. You did this.

Most Flattering Casting of David Sedaris:

Jonathan Groff, “C.O.G.”

At least he didn’t sing. Then it would really just be unfair.

Most Egregiously Fake Accent:

Jay Gatsby, “The Great Gatsby”

God, Jay, stop trying to make “old sport” happen. It’s not going to happen!

How Not to Fight Your Dragon:

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

You know, the phrase “fighting fire with fire” really doesn’t work when it comes to dragons.

The “Synecdoche, New York” Award for Making Schenectady, New York Seem a Hell of a Lot More Interesting Than It Actually Is:

The Place Beyond the Pines

Unfortunately I didn’t learn a new SAT vocabulary word from this one, though.

Coolest Party That You Weren’t Invited To:

Much Ado About Nothing

Yeah, this weekend my buddies and I just dicked around and read some Shakespeare. We put it on YouTube and it made $5 million dollars. No biggie.

Biggest Anachronism That Only Someone in a Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program Would Notice, Much Less Care About:

1960’s Sony AVC vacuum tube video cameras used for a 1980’s aesthetic, “Computer Chess”

I know, I know that going with an even more outdated technology than necessary just emphasized the whole nascence-of-the-modern-world thing. But they had color by 1980, dammit.

Most Disappointing Use of a Former James Bond:

Pierce Brosnan, “The World’s End”

I suppose this wouldn’t have been so bad if Timothy Dalton in “Hot Fuzz” wasn’t the greatest thing ever to happen to cinema. Or if Sean Connery was still selling out.

Best Pharmaceutical MacGuffin Since “The Bourne Legacy” (…or maybe before that):

Side Effects

I actually probably would’ve enjoyed “The Bourne Legacy” a lot more if Aaron Cross was terminally depressed and needed Ablixa to carry on working as a government death machine. And then had a hilariously awkward lesbian affair. On second thought, I’m just going to watch “Side Effects” again and stop thinking about “The Bourne Legacy.”

Most Inappropriate Moment to Laugh at a Movie:

the ending of “Captain Phillips”

To everyone in my movie theater who apparently thought traumatized Tom Hanks is hilarious: you are horrible, horrible people.

Partial Demerit for Helping to Introduce the Word “McConaughssaince” Into the Blogoshophere:


Stop, just everyone just…stop. There’s a whole dictionary filled with real words right over here.

Best Evidence That Woody Allen Really Has No Idea What Working Class People Should Look or Sound Like:

Blue Jasmine

Look at Sally Hawkins and her pedestrian, costume designer-chosen outfits. How bourgeois.

Absolute Worst Film to Watch Less Than 24 Hours Before You Move to New York City:

Frances Ha

*What do you dooo, with an MA in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation? / What is my life going to beeee…*

Haters Gonna Hate:

The Bling Ring

Man, who wants movies that actually try to say something about our relationship to celebrity in this country. I just want to know which famous people are banging this week.

Most Belabored Pun:

“Hey Stoker – or do you go by Stroker now? Because I hear that’s what your mom has been doing – to you uncle!“, from “Stoker”

“Like, in a bed! Probably at night! You know…sex.”

Most Troublingly Sympathetic Criminals:

Caesar Must Die

In fact, these are the most sympathetic murderers since Brutus……. oh, I see what you did there.

Worst Superhero:

White Jesus Savior Man, “12 Years a Slave”

At night, mild-mannered millionaire actor Brad Pitt goes home to his beautiful, famous wife and adoring children. But during the day, he conquers centuries of racial hatred as…WHITE JESUS SAVIOR MAN!

Not Nearly So Difficult to Talk About Without Sounding Pervy As People Make It Out to Be:

Blue Is the Warmest Color

The movie’s freaking three hours long, there really wasn’t anything else that stood out to you?

Worst Spirit Animal:

George Clooney, “Gravity”

On the plus side, at least he does know where the vodka’s stashed.

The Let’s Put Adam Sandler in “Punch-Drunk Love” Casting Award for Finally Figuring Out What to Do with Garrett Hedlund:

Inside Llewyn Davis

The key is in not letting him speak. Do we want to try “Tron: Legacy” again now with that in mind?

Best Distillation of the Third-Wheel Experience:

Before Midnight

Or, in the case of the dinner scene, ninth-wheel. That’s the awkward one on an eighteen-wheeler.

The “…And God Created Woman” Award for Completely Changing the Meaning of the Title By Lopping Off Part of the Original Quote:

The Wind Rises

“…And So We Must Try to Live” just didn’t have the same zip to it.

Biggest Mindfuck:

Upstream Color

Pigs? Pigs.

Most Likely to Inspire Some Awkward Conversations with Your Parents:

Stories We Tell

So…about that time Mom went to Toronto for the weekend…

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