Thursday, March 26, 2015

Announcing the Winners of the 2014 Undies!

Man oh man, this has been a short month. But, if you've been tracking with us, it's been a month filled with movies and laughter and some abysmally depressing existential angst tempered by a surprising number of vampires and aliens. And vampiric aliens.

So, these films announced here represent your favorite underappreciated films of the past year. Whether you defined "best" as "most entertaining" or "most heart-wrenching" or "most thought-provoking" or "most interesting and unique story", this is what you guys thought the best films were. And that's kind of seriously awesome.

Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2014 Underappreciated Films Awards:

Big Budget - Mockingjay

Mockingjay was a landslide winner here, which I was honestly not expecting. Seriously. I was figuring that Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Interstellar would put up more of a fight. I mean, I'm not arguing with the decision, but I was pretty surprised.

Also, shout out to Guardians of the Galaxy for coming in second place.

Micro Budget - Obvious Child

This one was the clear winner, though there was a slight rally near the end for Dear White People. Right on, Jenny Slate. Right on.

Foreign Language - A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

Okay. Caveat. It turns out that the foreign language category needs some work before we do this again next year.* Because it turns out that underappreciated, obscure foreign films are really hard to find in the US. Who knew?

Still, out of the voters who actually managed to see any of the movies, this was the clear favorite. Seriously. It was unanimous. So, sorry to everyone who tried to vote and couldn't, and apologies for inadvertently giving at least one voter's computer malware. We shall never speak of this again.

Animated - Song of the Sea

You know, I kind of figured that after all that hullaballoo over The LEGO Movie getting robbed at the Oscars it would do better here, but it turns out that people really love their experimental art styles. Song of the Sea came first, and Book of Life came second. Cute.

Mid-Range - Three-Way Tie. For Real.

And this brings us to our final topic of the day: the Mid-Range Category. Yeah. I can't actually announce a mid-range winner tonight because that category ended, at midnight, in a three-way tie. So while I very seriously considered just giving the award to Snowpiercer because I love it and it's first alphabetically, I've decided to be fair:

I myself will be watching all three of the tied films this weekend and deciding which one is actually the winner. For the record, the other two films are Under the Skin and Top Five. Wish me luck. You are also welcome to join in the rewatch and send in your votes, but just know that while your votes will count, if it's another tie I'm going to just pick my favorite.

I'll announce the winner as soon as humanly possible (so, like, Friday?) so that we can all get busy watching and voting on the BEST UNDERAPPRECIATED MOVIE OF 2014! Yeah!

Happy watching!

*We are so totally doing this again next year. This was fun!


  1. AWWWW YIISSSS!!! I am so stoked about that 3-way tie because honestly I was agonising over that for days.

    Snowpiercer was my personal favourite. I loved it. Half action, half arthouse, with well-drawn characters to latch onto, smart visuals, and lots to think about. One of the most moving scenes involves Chris Evans standing in an empty room saying nothing for about a minute. Damn. Serious respect for that guy's acting. I watched it three times in a row and bought a copy of my own, but... (I guess now it's official I'm allowed to say this)
    I ended up giving my vote to Top Five partly for simply being so entertaining and just telling a story rather than trying to make a point (i.e. 'This movie stars lots of black people - let's talk soley about racial politics!' which is obviously important to do, but if overdone throughout movie-land can still make race a divisive subject rather than the enriching incidental feature we hope it will someday become. Top Five fit that second category well). This is the film I would just put it on during a chilled out afternoon and watch as a straightforward good movie.
    Under the Skin was well done, and made me work hard all the way through for the reward in the last ten minutes, like an arthouse should. However I liked it for it's clever use of visuals and documentary-style filming techniques rather than the narrative itself, which is essentially a femme fatale story, albeit one with some challenging themes and a twist ending. Also ScarJo's British accent, which as a Brit I was impressed by :P

    It was so hard picking between all of them, but if the result of that is a 3-way tie then it was a vote well cast :)

    1. I also bought a copy of Snowpiercer just so I could have it with me always. I feel you. And Top Five is super good. I haven't seen Under the Skin yet (that's later tonight), but I know it's going to be amazing too. Gah! This is hard!

  2. Wait..what? I think I need an explanation as to how Obvious Child was better than any of the other movies it its category, if possible (and if not, I will of course bow to the crowd).

    Also, my inclination was to give Ida a bestofsomething, although I could not see Girl Alone (or much else). That movie was hella amazing, although it could be less amazing than the latter.

    1. Apparently there's no accounting for taste? I mean, Dear White People did come in second, but there was a strong contingent of voters that really liked Obvious Child, I guess. I haven't actually seen it yet, but now I'm very curious.

      Also, yes, Ida is amazing. I might do a solo review of it.