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The T-Dub movie awards for 2021

by TYLER WILSON/Coeur Voice Contributor
| January 5, 2022 1:00 AM

Pandemic be damned, cinema roared back to life in 2021. OK, sorta. Hardly anything made money except superhero movies. Still, there was plenty to see, and even if you didn’t head to theaters very often, you didn’t have to wait long for titles to be available at home.

With the Academy Awards scheduled for March, now is the time for an even more prestigious awards ceremony — the Coeur d’Alene Press exclusive T-Dub Awards, culled from a list of more than 120 movies released in the United States in 2021.

Stay tuned for a formal “Best of” feature later this month, as I’m still a guy who lives in the Inland Northwest and not in a big city that plays all the late-breaking films.

Scene of the year: “America” in “West Side Story.”

Just give him the Oscar already: Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog.”

The multitasking award: Lin-Manuel Miranda with new music for “Encanto” and “Vivo,” directing “Tick, Tick…Boom!” and appearing/creating “In the Heights.”

The ‘He was never really gone’ award: Nicolas Cage in “Pig.”

Best performance in a bad movie: Amy Adams in “The Woman in the Window.”

Best performance in a mediocre movie: Tie: Lady Gaga in “House of Gucci” and Jessica Chastain in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”

Underrated performance: Tie: Tessa Thompson in “Passing” and Jodie Comer in “The Last Duel.”

Best chemistry: Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass, “Language Lessons.”

Best ensemble cast: Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton, Jason Isaacs and Reed Birney in “Mass.”

Best breakout performance: Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, “Licorice Pizza.”

The cast makes the movie: “The Harder They Fall.”

The “Makes it look easy” award: Margot Robbie in “The Suicide Squad.”

Scene-stealer: Florence Pugh in “Black Widow.”

Best scenery chewing: Ben Affleck in “The Last Duel.”

The “He deserves to be a bigger star” award: Oscar Isaac in “The Card Counter.”

Fan service done right: “Spider-man: No Way Home.”

Fan service gone wrong: “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”

Best movie you haven’t heard of: “Ninjababy.”

Best movie almost nobody saw: “The Fallout.” It’ll be on HBO Max in February.

Best looking movie: Tie: “The Power of the Dog” and “Nightmare Alley.”

Best shot: One of at least a dozen options from “The Green Knight.”

Best production/set design: “The French Dispatch.”

Best first impression: Michael Sarnoski’s directorial debut, “Pig.”

Best pick-me-up: “In the Heights.”

Funniest Movie: “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.”

Best blockbuster: “Spider-man: No Way Home.”

Worst blockbuster: “Red Notice.”

Third best “Alien” movie: “Alien on Stage.”

Movie most bummed about jumping to 2022: “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Movie I wish I would’ve seen in a theater rather than at home: “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

Movie I’m glad I waited for Redbox: “Venom: Let There Be Carnage.”

Movie people get mad at me for recommending: “Titane.”

Best return to form: Kenneth Branagh directing “Belfast” after last year’s abysmal “Artemis Fowl.”

The “Not a movie but superbly compelling” award: HBO’s “Mare of Easttown” with Kate Winslet.

Best “TV” movie: Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move” on HBO Max.

Most shocking scene: That sex scene in “Titane.”

Most baffling decision: The angry mob in “Halloween Kills.”

The “It really goes there” award: The “reveal” in “Malignant.”

The “Udo Kier is awesome” award: “Swan Song.”

The “Mahershala Ali is awesome” award: The other “Swan Song.”

Best use of archival footage: “Summer of Soul.”

Best use of home movies: “Val.”

Most confessional: “Introducing, Selma Blair.”

All the tears: “Nine Days.”

Best location for a fight: City bus, “Nobody” and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”

Not even that good on paper: “Good on Paper.”

Favorite movie other people think is just fine: “The French Dispatch.”

The “It’s fine, I guess” award: “Free Guy.”

The “Stop telling me it’s actually good” award: “Don’t Look Up.” You can appreciate the message and still criticize the execution.

The “What were they thinking?” award: “Silent Night.”

Least terrible “End of the world” movie: “How it Ends.”

The “High tension” award: “Spencer.”

Movie most likely to cause a panic attack: “Shiva Baby.”

Most enjoyable relic from the 90s: “Those Who Wish Me Dead.”

Slowest chase sequence: The entirety of “Cry Macho.”

Most slippery chase sequence: “Ice Road.”

Best needle drop: “Bye, Bye, Bye” in “Red Rocket.”

Not a good movie, but at least it has a great end credits song: “Reminiscence.”

Good movie with a terrible end credits song: “The Rescue.”

Most traditionally powerful climax: “King Richard.”

Most surprisingly powerful climax: “Nine Days.”

Too much climax: “F9: The Fast Saga.”

Most magical: “Derek Delguadio’s In & Of Itself.”

The “I want to go to there” award: The Italian Riviera in “Luca.”

Better than it had any right to be: “8-Bit Christmas.”

Best justification for social media: “Zola.”

Worst justification for social media: “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil.”

The “Be sure to get your crazy Nicolas Cage fix” award: “Willy’s Wonderland.”

Breakout character in need of a spin-off: Ana de Armas in “No Time To Die.”

The “Great first half” award: “Last Night in Soho.”

Best “slow burn”: “Pig.”

Best animated film: “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.”

I can’t believe I actually watched: “Boss Baby 2: Family Business.”

Best vocal performance in an animated film: Awkwafina in “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

The “I played solitaire on my phone for the entire run time” award: “Paw Patrol: The Movie.”

Best use of a small budget: “Language Lessons.”

Best use of a big budget: “Dune.”

Movie your dad will like: “The Tomorrow War.”

Best fantasy sequence: The “alternate timeline” climax of “The Green Knight.”

Making black-and-white cool again: “Passing.”

Best horror movie that’s not a horror movie: “The Humans.”

Best movie I’ll never want to watch again: “Quo Vadis, Aida?”

Best musical moment not in “West Side Story”: Jamie Dornan’s song in “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.”

The “It’s totally fine!” award: “Being the Ricardos.”

The “It’s not as bad as you think” award: M. Night Shyamalan’s “Old.”

The “Big swing and miss” award: “Army of the Dead.”

Wasted cast: “Don’t Look Up.”

The “I can’t believe I still haven’t seen” award: “The Eternals.”

Best movie starring a Coeur d’Alene Press employee: “Jungle Cruise.”

Underrated: Pixar’s “Luca.”

Most baffling misfire: “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”

Messy but points for trying: “The Matrix Resurrections.”

Most overstuffed: “Annette.”

Yep, that actually came out in 2021: “The Little Things.”

The “A waste of Samuel L. Jackson” award: “Spiral: From the Book of Saw.”

The “At least it had Samuel L. Jackson” award: “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.”

Confusing title: “Gunpowder Milkshake.”

The “Wish I could see it before I make a ‘Best of’ list” award: Tie: “Drive My Car” and “The Worst Person in the World.”

Best animal performance: Not a movie, but Pizza Dog in “Hawkeye.”

Worst sequel: “Home Sweet Home Alone.”

Most unnecessary sequel: “The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It.”

Most unnecessary prequel: “The Many Saints of Newark.”

The “At least it was only 90 minutes” award: “Tom and Jerry.”

The ‘It didn’t need to be 2.5 hours” award: “The Sparks Brothers.”

Not as good as “Princess Switch 2:” “Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star.”

The “I forgot about it five minutes after seeing it” award: “Mortal Kombat.”

Most pleasant surprise: “Ron’s Gone Wrong.”

Biggest hype for nothing: “A Quiet Place Part II.”

Biggest guilty pleasure: Emma Stone’s performance in “Cruella.”

And… my kids’ favorite movie: Tie: “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” and “Encanto.”

• • •

Tyler Wilson is a member of the International Press Academy and has been writing about movies for Inland Northwest publications since 2000, including a regular column in The Press since 2006. He can be reached at twilson@cdapress.com.

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