As the Spring 2022 semester comes to an end, it is time to celebrate theaters returning to normal by looking back on the best and worst of cinema from this past semester. Films up for nomination include the previously reviewed films like “Moonfall,” “Ambulance,” and “The Batman.” With both amazingly complex and artistic films, and your average blockbuster money making films, several noteworthy films were released over the academic term.
Worst Actor: Jared Leto – “Morbius”
Last semester Jared Leto ended up getting the award for best performance in his memorable role as Paolo Gucci in “House of Gucci,” but this semester he gave a boring flat performance as Marvel comic book character Dr. Michael Morbius.
Leto’s performance as the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type character is lackluster. He is constantly outshone by co-star Matt Smith who plays a friend turned foe. As the character in the titular role, you need to make it memorable and remarkable, but it barely had a pulse.
Worst Actress: Gal Gadot – “Death on the Nile”
“Death on the Nile” is a fun and interesting whodunnit, but the worst part of it was the boring rich girl performance that was given by Gal Gadot. It would not have mattered if she was in the film for 15 minutes, or 2 hours, she still would have given the same lifeless performance.
It felt like there was no connection between her and the character, she was just Gal Gadot in 1930s period dress. She did not make you care if her character was the victim, killer, or neither.
Worst Movie: “Morbius”
Picking the worst came down between “Moonfall” and “Morbius” but at the end of the day, “Moonfall” had better visual effects and was just slightly more entertaining than the latter. “Morbius” just felt sloppy and generic.
Forgettable performances, weird CGI vampire faces, and overall predictability made “Morbius” end up getting the Worst Film award. With potential to be a great origin story, the Marvel/Sony combo film failed to give any excitement for Dr. Michael Morbius.
Best Actor: Robert Pattinson – “The Batman”
Robert Pattinson gave one of the best Batman performances to date with his gritty and emotional take on the caped crusader. As Bruce Wayne, he throws the billionaire playboy approach out the window and takes the character on as a son who still deeply grieves for his murdered parents.
It is an interpretation of the character that has not been seen before, as well as a portrayal as more of a detective trying to figure out who the Riddler is and why he is killing important citizens of Gotham. The juxtaposition between Pattinson’s Batman and Paul Dano’s Riddler is gripping and thrilling to watch.
Best Actress: Park Yoo-Rim – “Drive My Car”
None of the women have impressed me more than Park Yoo-Rim, who played a deaf actress in “Drive My Car.” Everytime she was on screen all eyes went to her. She stole the entire thing.
Her very first scene, where her character is auditioning for a play, takes your breath away. Without words her performance is able to capture you into an emotional connection that often resonates, despite being scripted.
Best Director: Robert Eggers – “The Northman”
Elevated horror director Robert Eggers, known for his two other films “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse,” made one visually stunning revenge film centered around Vikings. “The Northman” is almost like a Shakespearn themed horror film of violence, gore, and supernatural elements.
Eggers at the helm was able to bring together cinematography, editing, and acting to masterfully make a film that takes the audience back in time on a gripping journey through family drama.
Best Film: “The Batman”
“The Batman” is the obvious choice for best film because it takes a different approach to the Batman character. It blends a superhero movie with a suspenseful serial killer thriller. It was a genius choice by director and co-script writer Matt Reeves.
Highlighting Batman’s cleverness, detective skills, and overall trauma regarding his parents, “The Batman” is different from any other adaptation that came before it. The high flying action, cinematic visuals, and fantastic score throws the audience into the depths of the crime plagued Gotham and into Bruce’s life of trying to make a difference.