Ok everyone, let’s kick off our winner announcements with the winner for Most Surprising Movie! This category celebrates pleasant surprises… those movies that catch you off guard in a good way.
The nominees are: “21 Jump Street”, “Chronicle”, “The Grey”, “Hope Springs”, and “Rise of the Guardians”.
Click through to see which of these five surprising films was the biggest surprise of the year!
I clearly remember being in the theatre watching this, and realizing that I was literally on the edge of my seat. I had to chuckle at myself, but it definitely made me realize just how into the movie I was!
“The Grey” is the story of a small handful of men who survive an arctic plane crash, only to be hunted by a pack of ravenous wolves. They’re forced to fight for their lives, but they also confront their own mortality in a very meaningful way.
Given its January release date, and the questionable quality of many of the projects that Liam Neeson has chosen to associate himself with in recent years, I never even suspected that this might be good. In all honesty, I was completely dismissive of it prior to actually seeing it. I was more than content to chalk it up as “Liam Neeson fights wolves this time, instead of kidnappers”. But director Joe Carnahan gets solid performances across the board – including from Neeson, who reminds us here why we consider him a great actor. He and the rest of the cast engage in a physical struggle against the wolves, and a metaphysical struggle against death. It all added up to a film that was exciting, yes, but also far more profound than anyone would have expected it to be.
The other films were surprising as well. I watched the trailers for “21 Jump Street” and thought, God that looks dumb. Plus, the track record of movies based on tv shows is pretty awful. Of course, it only turned out to be one of the funniest movies of the year. I didn’t expect “Chronicle” to illustrate just how fun it would be to have superpowers, and then follow it up with a rumination on power. The idea of a senior citizen sex comedy made me cringe, but I should have realized that Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones could have pulled it off. The trailers failed to convey just how fun “Rise of the Guardians” would be, but given Dreamworks track record, maybe I should have expected more than I did.
“The Grey”, the FMR Major Award winner for Most Surprising Movie, 2012