The Bedsit Cinema Awards 2023
This year The Bedsit Cinema Awards are a lot less litigious and that isn’t just because Tom Cruise is mentioned. 2022 as a whole was a good one both for films I’ve seen and for me personally and I really hope it was the same for you. These are my little way of celebrating the film and TV I saw for the first time over the last year. Oh and I take the piss out of the stuff I hated and continue my contrary love for The Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw.
Looking back over The Bedsit’s year (and my IMDb ratings), it’s an odder annum than I remember it being, which is weird because I was completely sober for 80% of it. Christmas doesn’t count. Lots of sports docs, fewer subtitles than normal and I was simultaneously hard to please, yet somehow always happy. I watched a lot of horror, probably more so than recent years, in a concerted effort to actually be scared or wowed. Did this pay off? Check out The Best Horror Film Award further down!
There was a lot of returning to favourites I only treat myself to every few years. This was mainly due to a new girlfriend (a girlfriend) who I wanted to wow with my cinephilic, encyclopaedic knowledge of obscure films by making her watch The Godfather on the projector. Ingmar Bergman? Never met the woman!
On an even more personal note, being able to see a screening of my mate Ivan Madeira’s debut feature, Pattern, at the cinema was fucking awesome. He’ll also go places, but hopefully not back to Canada because I like being able to see him.
Even I have noticed a shift in the tone of my writing, and I like it because I like being happy. That’s your intro you mushy lot, stop crying, my keyboard is all slippery. Oh, that’s not tears. Onto the awards!
The Best Subscription Award
Since signing up to the free trial, I’ve forked out the same amount as I spend on my Mum’s Christmas present, every month on Paramount. It’s all about preferences and rate of consumption but what big releases on Prime, Disney or Netflix impressed me? Very few. This win is for repeated access to smaller things like South Park’s newer series and specials and lots and lots of great TV. Another year of this and I’ll have to give Mum my password because watching Yellowstone is all she’s gonna get.
Winner: Jackass Forever
From Johnny Knoxville’s ever changing coiffure colour to Steve-O’s death defying dentals, between them these men already had as much skeletal metal as a T-800 and now, at around fifty years old, the energy to keep them looking remotely Hollywood deserves an award. The efforts to have kept them alive, as opposed to “pretty”, over these years make me glad to be British- because here it’d be Joe Public coughing up that idiot tax, there it’s just an insurance company via some hefty cover fees and thousand page contracts and clauses. This is when that system works, I guess.
The Best TV Award
The Righteous Gemstones is exceptional in season one but totally lost my interest in its second set of episodes. The Witchfinder was so much funnier than people seemed to find it. Workin' Moms was a nice surprise for me, a childless man in his late thirties and The Last Kingdom, a show which like Top Boy has greatly improved under Netflix's stewardship, said a perfect goodbye.
In 2022 I made a concerted effort to not drink, and to readjust my relationship with delicious booze- let's see how it pays off in 2023. Single Drunk Female, about a young woman doing a similar thing, is a funny and angry in the right places show with some great performances. House of the Dragon did everything I wanted it to bar have a season two, three and four ready for me to watch immediately after its nail-biting finale; the bastards.
Kidding is sweet and complex and deeply moving but with a sense of humour. Not a comedy though, despite featuring a brilliant Jim Carrey performance. Mayor of Kingstown is the TV equivalent of a page-turner, I got the Paramount free trial for it and it was worth every subsequent penny.
Disappointment of the year would be This is Going to Hurt, because the book is amazing and funny and in the show the main character is so unlikeable watching it was a chore. Gah, what a letdown, but enough of that.
Winner: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
The Best Documentary Award
In the All or Nothing series the athletes mostly all come across so well I wonder how much was redacted, but the team spirit is a joy to behold at times. I should differentiate between All or Nothing Arsenal, the team I support but whose fans continue to undermine themselves by being hypocrites, and the American Football All or Nothing. The Am-Foot AoN, because USA luvs a akronym or abrvtn, is a great intro to the game for someone like me who is developing my knowledge of its complex blend of brute force and guile. With advert breaks.
I almost couldn’t watch the racists in Louis Theroux’s latest America series. I found the rap one depressing and even struggled to masturbate through the porn one. I kid, I kid, great documentaries and all surprisingly easy wanks.
The Best Death Award
Oh shut up you love watching fictional deaths, and so do I.
The sad but somehow entertainingly gory demise of a scapegoat in Halloween Kills was an early frontrunner, and the scale of The Matrix Revolutions’ pavement people go splat was fun. I always love a shark kill (of people not vice versa) and House of the Dragon’s shocking half head slice was also very satisfying but the award goes to…
Winner: Groin to Gullet! - Terrifier
Honestly the first time in a long time I’ve watched violence thinking “they can’t possibly do this, can they?”, but they did, and, yeah. Grimly horrifying, I loved it.
The Best Performance Award
Evan Peters - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
They all make it look so easy, which is why they’re here (not) queuing for an imaginary award. Actors are the BEST at imaginary. I wonder how many Oscar winners have used their award as a sex toy. I bet it’s loads of them. Don’t know how that slipped in there, said the actress to the Bishop, but my mind wanders when I’m writing these.
I know I’ve seen him before in the role but the Antony Starr’s Homelander has reached Eric Cartman levels of hilarious sadism and psychopathy. I enjoy every shit eating grin. Ester Birch as Rigmor in The Bombardment was a little ray of joy in a film which hinged so cruelly on that. Austin Butler as Elvis I feel was probably aided by enhancements, but still shone so brightly in a film so overwhelmingly, stylishly bombastic you'd swear Baz Lurhman directed it.
A test I have is to prove myself wrong, and I can't think of a better piece of entertainment with a better performance than this.
Maybe Bazzy L influenced me when we had our intimate little chat with a couple hundred other people in the room and someone other than me asking the questions, but Austin Butler grounds the glitz and glam while still being it, as Elvis.
RIP Lisa Marie, by the way. Long live The King and Butler simultaneously becomes the actor I'll keep the closest watch on. I could phrase that in a less creepy way, but I'm not gonna because I can't afford the flights.
The Best Horror Film Award
The bloody jewel in my lusty crown of thorns, The Best Horror Film Award, has been a bit flat of late. Last year was really unimpressive by way of what I saw, and while having lots of fits and a low mood is pretty scary, you didn't see that because nobody signed upto my live stream.
In 2022 I worked even harder to watch more horror and my efforts paid off, rewarding me with the most shocking (Terrifier) and unsettling (Men) horrors I’ve seen in a while.
I spent a good twenty minutes of Men’s ultimate slip into insanity deeply uncomfortable and creeped out. That’s a huge compliment and it wins over Terrifier's shock factor.
Personally, which let's face it is all this year long hobby of mine reflects on, I think there’s a lovely mix of films in here. I’m not as diverse a viewer as some of my friends and certainly people on Twitter are, but I do watch a lot of films nonetheless and there are some surprises (for me at least) in this mix. With a few 9/10s, Nightmare Alley is in second place…
Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front
The trenches of the first world war has long been a cinematic dream of mine as I've never seen a film really nail it. Nailing it, by the way, means big budget and grim to me. As I told my Grandma about All Quiet on the Western Front, she said, “you like bleak though, don’t you Adam.” She’s not wrong. I love my Grandma, and she knows me well. What a brilliant, World War 1 masterpiece from Edward Berger, my only new 10/10 film for the year.
The WTF Moment Award
A strong contender for the award for something which made me spit out whatever was in my mouth at the times was the entirety of The Deep House and its casting of James Jagger. How he has managed to ever get work as an actor, let alone a lead in a film with a cast of three is beyond me. It’s almost like he’s well connected.
He’s awful, honestly, I can't think of a single more obviously terrible performance and why nobody said, "whoa whoa whoa, can we just start again please, from scratch, fuck the budget" would be beyond me if I wasn't so cynical my main thought was that given it's all filmed underwater, why nobody tried to drown him. The film isn’t terrible, I suppose, but what little it has is ruined by that gormless, sinking haircut.
Winner: The Boys, Blow-up-job
What was it Charlie Chaplin said about all you need for comedy being a cock, some cocaine and little man? If you haven’t seen The Boys and you think this might be your kinda thing, it definitely will be.
The Peter Bradshaw Award
The award for where Bedsit Cinema and The Guardian's knee trembling the politically correct in a back alley clash. They say great, I say I've had worse dates but at least buy me chips.
Look, me and Pete, who has never acknowledged me despite all the love I pour his way, don’t see films the same. Maybe that’s because we’re different people, maybe it is because Peter Bradshaw is a figment of my imagination who is some sort of mental blockade from accessing my real feelings towards my pet rabbit who ran away, Petey McRabbit. Either way, if he is real, I am laying down some huge love for Messer Bradshaw for this premier league shithousery.
Giving your two out of five film the film of the week, is both a kick in the nuts to it and everything else that week. I absolutely applaud this with every part of me. Well done Peter Bradshaw and The Guardian. However, let’s talk about:
Winner: The Banshees of Inisherin
Films about men and our inherent, monotonously dull bastardry and inability to communicate, which are made by men, have been lauded lots lately. By other men. Alex Garland’s Men saves itself from itself by being more than what its point is. The Banshees of Inisherin is overtly pointless but with a subtext so fucking cumbersome it annoyed me mainly because it really should be a good film and I liked a lot of it.
The filmmakers (I won’t name them in case they’re reading) are doing exactly what they intend to do, I assume, because nothing about The Banshees of Inisherin says clueless. What it does say is awards bait pitched leftfield enough that it’ll have a mass-cult appeal. Which isn’t a cult, I know. And so do they.
The music is good, but then I enjoyed The Well Below the Valley at the start of The Magdalene Sisters. Music isn’t always a sign that the film will be fun. It is frustrating to me to see things this dull about men’s interpersonal failings get high praise, because who the fuck watches The Banshees of Inisherin and engages who isn’t already on board with what it is trying to say. The Banshees of Inisherin isn’t part of the solution, and it isn’t entertaining either, ultimately. Sorry chaps.
The Made Me Blub Award
Winner: The Bombardment
Special mention for The Green Mile and Saving Private Ryan (“Mama?”) which even on their millionth watch still moved me. The Adam Project I was probably just having a bad day and All Quiet on the Western Front transcends sadness, becoming something more terrifying in the process. Winner, for pure, sudden sobs, is The Bombardment, a film you have to see despite this dubious accolade.
The La La Land Award
The La La Land Award "celebrates" the absolute worst of what Hollywood thinks I might like. Just writing this alters my suggestions. I like to think, anyway, or there's no point to any of it, is there.
Perhaps I’ve just been in a better mood (I have), or maybe I’ve got better at swerving things I’m inherently suspicious of (also true) but this hasn’t been an easy one to award this year. If it is the latter (it is both) that’s a bit worrying for me because I don’t want to become one of those people who doesn’t try new things. Anymore than I already am, anyway.
Musicals are usually directly in the soapy puddle of spunk I like to slip around in to find a winner, but Elvis and Dear Evan Hansen were both among the best films I’ve seen over the last twelve months. An argument that I am softening perhaps, but in my defence Dear Evan Hansen is about suicide and Elvis is about Elvis, so basically the same thing but with burgers.
West Side Story would win but that would be too easy, because it’s an expensively made, soggy cardboard cunt of a well known story I didn’t like when my parents put it on at dinner parties because it was the only CD they could afford. And even then at least I didn’t have to watch any dancing from between the bannisters, just the car keys going in the bowl and the inevitable sad faces when they left.
Fuckity bye, you lovely people!