Best of 2017: The Unconventional Categories Part 2

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Continuing the Unconventional Citations of 2017, where I remember the little things that hopefully cinephiles talk about around the cooler, lunch table, or the “safe haven” of a message board or chat.

Go to the gallery below and check out the citations, along with nominees in select categories. The winners of those will be announced with the rest of the Personal Winners on Friday, accompanying the Top 10 Films of 2017.

BEST LIMITED PERFORMANCES

Sandy Martin as “Dixon’s Mother” in “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Lucas Hedges as “Danny” in “Lady Bird”
Jonathan Majors as “Henry” in “Hostiles”
Matt Damon as “Loki” in “Thor: Ragnarok”
Austin Stowell as “Larry King” in “Battle of the Sexes”

WINNER: TBA

RUNNERS-UP:

These performances are not hefty enough to get listed in a supporting lineup but they made enough of an impression to be included in 2017’s citations. We’ll also remember Michelle Williams quiet heartbreak in “Wonderstruck,” Sarah Paulson‘s supportive wife in “The Post,” and Zendaya‘s introduction into the MCU in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

BEST KISS

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Saying goodbye is difficult. Saying goodbye forever is unimaginable. While this category has conventionally looked for the hot and steamy, there’s no doubt there was a poetic and somber moment embedded in Luke and Leia’s greeting and goodbye in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” As Luke enters, full of courage and wisdom, Leia’s sympathetic and heartbreaking goodbye to her brother is profound. Insert the tragic truth that our favorite princess is no longer with us and you can feel the tear ducts fill up.

RUNNERS-UP:

Admittedly, Carey Mulligan’s character’s decision to sleep with her husband’s brother may trouble many. However, there’s no refuting the passion and burning lust that encapsulates both her and co-star Garrett Hedlund in “Mudbound.” A quiet, surprising visit in the middle of the night holds mass when Margaret Qualley and Rebecca Dayan exchange “comfort” in “Novitiate.” Finally, after a night of dancing and subtle flirting, a motel room begins a chain of secrets for both Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and her hairdresser (Andrea Riseborough) in sadly overlooked “Battle of the Sexes.”

BEST VILLAIN

Benjamin Bratt in “Coco
Cate Blanchett in “Thor: Ragnarok
Allison Williams in “Get Out
Bill Skarsgard in “It
Adam Driver in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi

WINNER: TBA

RUNNERS-UP:

I was tempted to categorize the villains into male and female this year because there was an embarrassment of riches on both ends. Some of the other highlights that miss the cut included Barry Keoghan’s spaghetti eating psychopath in “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” the pig-hating twin Tilda Swinton in “Okja,” and the multiple personalities of James McAvoy in “Split.”

BEST ACTION SEQUENCE

Opening Battle in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Forest Fight in “Logan
Battle on Crait (The Salt Planet) in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Spider-Man on the Staten Island Ferry in “Spider-Man: Homecoming
Wonder Woman vs. The Soldiers in “Wonder Woman

WINNER: TBA

RUNNERS-UP:

The Colonel and Caesar finally come to face each other in the finale “War for Planet of the Apes” franchise which gets the heart racing and it couldn’t be greater. Additionally, the opening of “Baby Driver” sets up music and thrills in one of the most exciting ways possible.

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE

Kumail Nanjiani in “The Big Sick

There are plenty of ways to interpret a “comedy” category. The insert of chuckles seem to give plenty of contenders passes to submit themselves into the Comedy or Musical lineups at the Golden Globes. However, I like to weigh it on a “51%” rule, where the genre is present in more than half of the film to qualify. Judging on those merits, Kumail Nanjiani embodies the spirit of himself in a faithful, ravishing manner in “The Big Sick.” He embraces the awkward beats with Zoe Kazan‘s parents (both played remarkably by Ray Romano and Holly Hunter) before effortlessly venturing off into serious territories.

RUNNERS-UP:

If Nanjiani is #1, then Tiffany Haddish’s hilarious turn in the moneymaking “Girls Trip” is a “#1.a” as one of the year’s funniest gems. Add the faultless work of James Franco as Tommy Wiseau in “The Disaster Artist,” before going into supporting and scene-stealing turns of Daniel Craig in “Logan Lucky,” and Jack Black in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and we have a banner year for comedy.

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE (MALE)

Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Jack Dylan Grazer, “It”
Kelvin Harrison, Jr., “It Comes at Night”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Algee Smith, “Detroit”

WINNER: TBA

RUNNERS-UP:

Voice work is always worth citing if people feel inclined to do so. With that being said, the discovery of the multi-talented Anthony Gonzalez in Pixar’s “Coco” is one of the year’s great finds. He’s also accompanied by the hilarity of Paul Walter Hauser in “I, Tonya” and Kumail Nanjiani in “The Big Sick.”

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)

Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Beanie Feldstein, “Lady Bird”
Sophie Lillis, “It”
Millicent Simmonds, “Wonderstruck”
Daniela Vega, “A Fantastic Woman”

RUNNERS-UP:

Many knew who she was prior to taking on “Wonder Woman,” but now the entire world knows who Gal Gadot is and it feels so good. Also, Tiffany Haddish’s future will show her as a force in the comedy genre as she demonstrated in “Girls Trip,” while Margaret Qualley will surely become an indie giant as shown in “Novitiate.”

Check back tomorrow for my personal Oscar ballot.  Friday will announce the winners and the Top 10 of 2017.

Share your own “Unconventional” citations in the comments below.

  • Rubén González

    I like a lot these unconventional categories Clayton mentions.
    My picks for some of them would be:

    – Limited performers: Matthias Schoenaerts in Our Souls at Midnight.
    I also LOVED Sandy Martin in Three Billboards, wish she had more screen time

    – Best Villain: Will Poulter in Detroit. The worst thing to me is that he plays a real person that did all those horrible stuff and that there are real people in the real world that are also like that.
    Barry in The Killing of a Sacred Deer was also very creepy as was Allison and her faimly in Get Out.

    – Comedic performance: Dustin Hoffman in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected).
    Tiffany was also a standout in Girls Trip while I also liked Kumail very much in The Big Sick.
    Would it be crazy to consider Finn Wolfhard in It kind of a comedic performance?

  • Joey Magidson

    Limited Performance: Matt Damon in Thor: Ragnarok
    Best Kiss: Stronger
    Best Villain: Benjamin Bratt in Coco
    Best Action Sequence: Opening Space Battle in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    Best Comedic Performance: Bryan Cranston in Last Flag Flying
    Breakthrough Male: Kumail Nanjiani
    Breakthrough Female: Beanie Feldstein

  • Tee

    Limited Performance: Hard to deny how awesome Domnhall Gleeson does in such limited time onscreen during “mother!”.

    Best Kiss: I was gonna put Lady Bird’s first time with Kyle, since it’s both hilarious and poignant, but Luke & Leia is kind of hard to top when you put it like that.

    Best Villain: Phillip Krauss, played by Will Poulter, remained the single greatest performance of the year for the longest time for me. Honorable mentions to Kylo Ren, the Vulture, Alison Williams’ girlfriend in Get Out, and a wealth of others.

    Best Male Breakthrough: Saying anybody other than Timothee Chalamet is just wrong- I’m sorry, but any other answer is just objectively wrong.

    Best Female Breakthrough: As much as I want to say Dafne Keen, it’s hard to deny that it’s Mary J. Blige who picked up the most steam to break into the acting world with a permanent career.

    Comedic Performance: Aubrey Plaza in Ingrid Goes West is another favorite, absolutely selling every one-liner and physical itch of the character to reduce statues to stitches.

    Best Action Sequence
    1. Throne Room Showdown – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    2. Berserker Rage – Logan
    3. Barge – Spider-Man: Homecoming

  • Ryan

    Best Limited Performance: Lucas Hedges – Lady Bird
    Nominees: Shira Haas – The Zookeeper’s Wife, Domnhall Gleeson – mother!, Veronica Ngo – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ulrich Tukur – In the Fade

    Best Kiss: Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Riley Keough – It Comes at Night
    Nominees: Emma Stone and Andrea Riseborough – Battle of the Sexes, John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Gemma Arterton and Sam Claflin – Their Finest, Jaeden Lieberher and Sophia Lillis – It

    Best Villain: Jason Sudeikis – Colossal
    Nominees: Will Poulter – Detroit, Allison Williams – Get Out, Justin Theroux – The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Benjamin Bratt – Coco

    Best Action Sequence: Forest Fight – Logan
    Nominees: Throne Room Fight – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Helicopter Crashes – Kong: Skull Island, No Man’s Land – Wonder Woman, Superman vs. Justice League – Justice League

    Best Comedic Performance – Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick
    Nominees: Gael Garcia Bernal – Coco, Justin Theroux – The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Lakeith Stanfield – Get Out, Greg Kinnear – Brigsby Bear

    Breakthrough Performance (Male): Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
    Nominees: Kelvin Harrison Jr. – It Comes at Night, Fionn Whitehead – Dunkirk, Anthony Gonzalez – Coco, Harry Stiles – Dunkirk

    Breakthrough Performance (Female): Dafne Keen – Logan
    Nominees: Hong Chau – Downsizing, Kelly Marie Tran – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Betty Gabriel – Get Out, Shira Haas – The Zookeeper’s Wife

  • Tim Bruns

    BEST LIMITED PERFORMANCE
    Keisha Castle-Hughes, Thank You for Your Service
    Betty Gabriel, Get Out
    Domhnall Gleeson, Mother!
    Lucas Hedges, Lady Bird
    Robin Wright, Wonder Woman

    BEST KISS
    Timothee Chalamet & Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
    Sally Hawkins & Doug Jones, The Shape of Water
    Jaeden Lieberher & Sophia Lillis, It
    Margaret Qualley & Rebecca Dayun, Novitiate
    Charlize Theron & Sofia Boutella, Atomic Blonde

    BEST VILLAIN
    Cate Blanchett, Thor: Ragnarok
    Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    Will Poulter, Detroit
    Jason Sudeikis, Colossal
    Tilda Swinton, Okja

    BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
    Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
    Lil Rey Howery, Get Out
    Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
    Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
    Emma Thompson, The Meyerowitz Stories

    BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, MALE
    Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
    Jack Dylan Grazer, It
    Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
    Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    Beulah Koale, Thank You for Your Service

    BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, FEMALE
    Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
    Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
    Sareum Srey Moch, First They Killed My Father
    Florence Pugh, Lady Macbeth
    Margaret Qualley, Novitiate

  • Andrew Gillespie

    BEST LIMITED PERFORMANCES
    Betty Gabriel-Get Out
    Ari Graynor-The Disaster Artist
    Odeya Rush-Lady Bird
    Taika Waititi-Thor: Ragnarok
    Christine Woods-I don’t feel at home in this world anymore.

    BEST KISS
    Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer-Call Me By Your Name
    Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany-Stronger
    Lucas Hedges and John Karna-Lady Bird
    Jada Pinkett Smith and a wall-Girls Trip
    Emma Stone and Andrea Riseborough-Battle of the Sexes

    BEST VILLAIN
    Adam Driver-Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    James McAvoy-Split
    Jason Sudeikis-Colossal
    Tilda Swinton-Okja
    Allison Williams-Get Out

    BEST ACTION SEQUENCE
    Escaping with Okja-Okja
    Final Battle with Immigrant Song-Thor: Ragnarok
    Forest chase-Logan
    No Man’s Land-Wonder Woman
    Throne Room-Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
    Jack Black-Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
    Tiffany Haddish-Girls Trip
    Kumail Nanjiani-The Big Sick
    Aubrey Plaza-Ingrid Goes West
    Jessica Rothe-Happy Death Day

    BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE (MALE)
    Timothee Chalamet-Call Me By Your Name
    Barry Keoghan-The Killing of a Sacred Deer
    Daniel Kaluuya-Get Out
    Kumail Nanjiani-The Big Sick
    Harry Styles-Dunkirk

    BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)
    Beanie Feldstein-Lady Bird
    Tiffany Haddish-Girls Trip
    Dafne Keen-Logan
    Kelly Marie Tran-Star Wars: The Last Jedi
    Zendaya-The Greatest Showman

  • Matt St.Clair

    For me:

    Limited Performance: Douglas Everett Davis ,Beach Rats
    Best Kiss: Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
    Best Villain: Allison Williams, Get Out
    Best Action Sequence: One Take Fight Scene in Atomic Blonde
    Best Comedic Performance: Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
    Best Breakthrough Performance (Male): Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
    Best Breakthrough Performance (Female): Sophia Lillis, It