Welcome to the 3rd Annual Golden Geek Awards. Every year, the Nerdist Industries editorial team honors the best in cinema that appeals to us, as well as the performances that best represent the nerds and geeks we know and love in real life. Without further ado, here are our selections:
Best Picture: Wreck-It Ralph – From the moment we pressed start on the E3 teaser trailer we’ve been in love with Wreck-It Ralph. Disney did the unthinkable this year and made a better computer animated film than Pixar. Don’t get us wrong, we loved Brave, but Wreck-It Ralph had an incredible amount of depth hidden away in a movie that is essentially about what video games do at night. Rich Moore and company made a triumph of a family movie and we can’t wait for more. So seriously, once and for all, “Shut up and take our quarters!”
Best Director: Rian Johnson, Looper - With its byzantine rules and propensity for paradoxes, time travel is a tempestuous beast to tackle as a screenwriter, but to pull it off as a director takes some serious stones and deft maneuvering. In Looper, Rian Johnson did both with panache, pulling together one of the most exciting new original properties that we’ve seen in years. We just wish that we could go back in time to see it in theaters again.
Best Actor: Fran Kranz, Cabin in the Woods - At its heart, Cabin in the Woods had one simple conceit, “What if Shaggy was the smartest member of the Scooby Gang?” Fran Kranz’s performance as lovable stoner Marty anchored the reality of the film and left an impression of a whole person, not just a caricature. That’s pretty handy when your film deals with horror stereotypes and keeping monsters at bay.
Best Actress: Aubrey Plaza, Safety Not Guaranteed – The most emotionally fulfilling movie about time travel ever made also features the best performance of Aubrey Plaza’s still young career. When first we meet Aubrey’s Darius she’s just as cynical and sarcastic as you could want her to be. But, the changes in her character leave us with a strong female ready for an adventure. Plus, the movie gets bonus points for not using a cop out ending.
Best Supporting Performance: Clark Gregg, The Avengers – We all have day jobs and throughIron Man, Iron Man 2 and Thor we’ve seen Clark Gregg’s Agent Phil Coulson doing his. It was in The Avengers that we finally got to see the lighter side of our favorite Agent of SHIELD as he met his idol, Captain America. Gregg’s ability to channel unabashed enthusiasm and then turn on a dime to being a hard ass of the highest order deserves recognition. The Avengers’ utility player will return in The SHIELD pilot for ABC, but he’s getting the nod from us for taking one for the team.
Best Villain: Lena Headey, Dredd – Cersei Lannister ain’t no wilting flower, but in Dredd, Lena Headey proved that she can pack a punch verbally and physically. As Ma-Ma, Headey is the baddest bitch on the block, a slumlord ruling over a two hundred story tenement with an iron fist (and the help of Slowmo, a dystopian version of marijuana). If anyone can inspire equal parts terror and allure, it’s Headey and as the grimy domestic dictator she shines.
Best Badass: Iko Uwais, The Raid: Redemption is the Die Hard of martial arts flicks. Iko Uwais’ Rama is the movies’ John McClane, an honest SWAT team member sent into a slum filled with the dregs of society (that surprisingly all know kung-fu) to take down a crime boss who’s gone too far. The three way fight with Mad Dog is one of the longest and most brutal fight scenes we’ve ever seen… and given a standing ovation to.
Best Screenplay: Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard, Cabin in the Woods – When Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon locked themselves in a hotel room to write the script for a horror film, it’s hard to guess what they thought was going to come out of there. The film is a weird balance between Scream, a Don Coscarelli film and an office comedy. With knowing winks to the sandbox they were playing in, tight dialogue and great character development in a short window, Cabin in the Woods is a step above and it only took 3 years for it to see the light of day.
Best Score: Marc Steitenfeld, Prometheus - Whether or not you enjoyed Prometheus or felt that itanswered your burning questions about the Xenomorphs and why there were polar bears on “the Island”, one thing is certain: it had killer music. Marc Steitenfeld’s unnerving score gives the film an appropriately claustrophobic tone by playing with tonality, instrumentation and clever arrangements designed to creep you the hell out. Months later, it’s still chest bursting its way on to our playlists.