The 2022 Golden Steve Awards

April 2, 2023 • 9:30 am

Each year my nephew Steven, a huge movie buff and critic, presents his own personal list of nominees for the best movies, actors, and scores: the “Golden Steves.” I announced his nominations on March 4, and today we have the WINNERS.

First,  his humble introduction to the awards and the criteria for nomination.

Presenting…the 2022 Golden Steve Awards.

Far and away the most coveted of motion picture accolades, Golden Steves are frequently described as the Oscars without the politics. Impervious to bribery, immune to ballyhoo, unswayed by sentiment, and riddled with integrity, this committee of one might be termed in all accuracy “fair-mindedness incarnate.” Over 200 of the year’s most acclaimed features were screened prior to the compilation of this ballot. First, some caveats:

1) Owing to a lifelong suspicion of prime numbers, each category comprises six nominees, not five.

2) A film can be nominated in only one of the following categories: Best Animated Feature, Best Non-Fiction Film, Best Foreign Language Film. Placement is determined by the Board of Governors. Said film remains eligible in all other fields.

3) This list is in no way connected with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—a fact that should be apparent from its acumen. Please look elsewhere for Oscar analysis.

And now, the worthy honorees:

I’ll list the give nominees and winners in the seven categories I listed a month ago, adding “Best Animated Feature”. At the Golden Steves site, though, you’ll see winners in 12 categories.

And he told me this, which he’s quite proud of:

“I went rogue this year — zero overlap with the Academy!”

Click below to see all the nominees and winners; again I’ll include eight categories. The winners of the Golden Steves are in bold. My own comments are flush left.

Best Picture

The Fabelmans
Return to Seoul
Saint Omer

I saw two of these: “EO”, which I find overrated, and “The Fabelmans”, which I also find overrated. I haven’t seen any of the others, though the absence of “Tár” and “The Banishees of Inisherin” is mystifying. Remember, though that these nominations are not to be taken lightly. It’s best if you see them all.

Best Director

Davy Chou, Return to Seoul
Terence Davies, Benediction
Alice Diop, Saint Omer
Jerzy Skolimowski, EO
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Charlotte Wells, Aftersun

Didn’t see the movie so I missed this performance.

Best Actor

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Caleb Landry Jones, Nitram
Jack Lowden, Benediction
Paul Mescal, Aftersun
Bill Nighy, Living
Mark Rylance, The Outfit

I saw only Farrell in “Banshees,” which was excellent, but missed the other peformances.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Tar
Danielle Deadwyler, Till
Rebecca Hall, Resurrection
Vicky Krieps, Corsage
Park Ji-min, Return to Seoul
Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie

Saw only Blanchett, whose performance was great.

Best Supporting Actor

Paul Dano, The Fabelmans
Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time
Alex Lutz, Vortex
Matthew Maher, Funny Pages
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

I saw Dano’s and Quan’s performances (though I didn’t watch all of that vastly overrated film “Everything Everywhere All at Once”); missed the others.

Best Supporting Actress

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
Judy Davis, Nitram
Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness
Nina Hoss, Tar
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Guslagie Malanda, Saint Omer

Saw Condon’s, Hoss’s, and Hsu’s performances.

Best Non-Fiction Film

All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen)
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras)
Bad Axe (David Siev)
Moonage Daydream (Brett Morgan)
Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Bianca Stigter)
Young Plato (Declan McGrath, Neasa Ni Chianain)

Sadly, I missed all of these,

I’m adding this category because I did see the winner, and it’s a gorgeous animation. Don’t miss “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”!

Best Animated Feature

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (Richard Linklater)
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson)
Mad God (Phil Tippett)
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (Dean Fleischer Camp)
My Father’s Dragon (Nora Twomey)
The Sea Beast (Chris Williams)

Feel free to comment on his choices. If you have a beef or question like “why on earth did you nominate this?, put it in the comments, and I’ll ask him to answer.

I will add that Steven’s taste in films is very good (i.e., he’s clued me in to many good movies I’ve missed), so you might look in on the nominees above.

Finally, below is a photo of Steven tucking into a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli in NYC when I took him on a Lower East Side Jewish Eating Tour in 2010. He would have won the award for Best Deli Lunch except he chose a beer as Best Accompanying Beverage, while the real winner should be Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Tonic—a celery-flavored soft drink that’s the PERFECT match to corned beef or pastrami sandwiches. (Notice that I have one at lower right.)

14 thoughts on “The 2022 Golden Steve Awards

      1. This song is so beautiful. I’m glad you liked it. I attended a Zoom conference with Lisa Hurwitz, the brains and brawn behind the movie, and had an opportunity to ask her a question. She is one to watch. I love Colin Powell as the Shabbos goy. He was a mensch, too.

  1. Check Roget’s Thesaurus — arcane, esoteric, recondite… Except the Fabelmans, which truly is not one-quarter as good as Tar and The Menu, the first of these a tragedy, the second a biting comedy, both missing from the list. The movies have high critical acclaim, low audience ratings, limited release, low box-office. Introspective — he likes introspective. Steve, please watch (or re-watch) The Menu, and learn to like cheeseburgers.

  2. I am glad to hear about Steve’s awards that are not part of the politics of Hollywood.
    I don’t watch the Oscars but look forward to seeing good and quality movies, without the celebrities. I prefer good actors, mostly not recognizable ones.

    So far, I have only seen Tar, The Banshees of Inisherin (my favorite) and The Fablemans (a little too cute for me in some of the scenes).
    I am very glad to be informed Steve’s recommendations and now will check these out.
    Thank you for the post!

  3. Always good to check out the GSAs.
    I have a question about many critically acclaimed films. In their intimate plots, they sometimes have rather unusual events to add drama, and I must admit I don’t always get it. For example, in The Banshees of Inisherin one character repeatedly does something quite shocking and inexplicable (I won’t say what), and I wonder why movie makers do that since that sort of thing can take me out of the movie.

    1. I know what you mean. In the case of Banshees, writer/director Martin McDonagh has spent much of his career as a dramatist exploring stagnant situations disrupted by bursts of the macabre. His plays and films suggest naturalism at the outset, but that’s a feint — he’s more interested in encroachments of the absurd and, as you say, the inexplicable, rendered with jet-black, often gruesome humor that’s bound to alienate viewers who don’t appreciate his sensibility.

    2. Yeah, for me, Colm Doherty’s actions were inexplicable to the point of disbelief; I wrote it off as the director portraying an aspect of the “absurd”. Though I really enjoyed the movie and performances.

  4. I didn’t know Benediction was about Siegfried Sassoon. He was also portrayed in Pat Barker’s excellent Regeneration trilogy. I’m excited to watch it.

  5. Terence Davies is one of the greatest living Britrish directors and I wish Benediction was playing someplace near me! I’ve heard good things about Return to Seoul, and now Steve’s recommendation makes me really want to see it. At a meeting in Los Angeles I overheard Leonard Maltin praise Saint Omer, so that’s another one I need to catch up on.

  6. WHAT? Martin McDonagh not Best Director? Or Todd Field? Crikey! I line up most with Jerry on films. As for The Fabelmans,the less said the better. Filmed coyly as if it were the fifties, it came across as a stiff film and a flabby script; in fact it is one of the worst films I have ever seen, along with Crazy Rich Asians and Triangle of Sadness. All amateur abominations. The real pros, the artists, the creative minds are now in Europe and Latin America (plus Field). And reminder: First Reformed (Paul Schrader) was one of the finest American films ever made and disappeared from movie houses after after one week of screenings. If you didnt see it, go rent it now.

  7. I saw Living, which was much better than I had expected (I was afraid it wouldn’t measure up to the Japanese original), and I thought Bill Nighy deserved Best Actor. However, I would not have been unhappy to see Collin Farrell get Best Actor for Banshees. I did not see Benediction or Nitram.

  8. I agree wholeheartedly about “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On”. Great animation and just an overall very sweet and funny movie.

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