2012 Calvin Awards: Best Character
February 14, 2012
Complex villains and wacky comic relief do not mix, but separately they tend to make for great movie characters. It is no surprise that Megan, the outrageous, socially awkward Bridesmaid who hordes puppies and finds unconventional uses for sinks, came in at number six on this list. Writers Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, and actress Melissa McCarthy, might not have made it their goal to prove that women can be just as dirty, disgusting, and hilarious as men, but they certainly accomplished that with the character of Megan. Watching her come on to a stranger on an airplane, or talk some sense into protagonist Annie, shows just how much of a scene-stealer she is.
Two charming, endearing protagonists fill in the seven and eight spots in this category, one known for his gift of gab, the other more the strong, silent type. The BOP staff is filled with fans of animated films, and without a decent Pixar film, we left it up to Rango to steal our hearts. And steal them he did, with his colorful personality and quirky brazenness winning us over. Rango as a film has more depth and complexity than one would expect from a kids picture, and the credit for that has to go to writer John Logan and director Gore Verbinski. As Rango gets in over his head we see him grow and develop as a character, finally able to embrace the hero role thrust upon him.
Meanwhile, silent movie star George Valentin has his own growing and developing to do, as he is forced to take on a role he never expected: has been. Without saying a word (well, he says a couple at the end) George Valentin is able to show so much personality, so much charm, and so much emotion. Subtlety is not a quality associated with silent films, so Jean Dujardin had to be as big and broad with his performance as possible while still making George seem like a real person. The success of that performance is undeniable, as George's journey is at times hilarious, and at other times heartbreaking.
It took a lot of guts to create a brand new muppet to star in their reboot of the Muppets franchise, but in doing so writers Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller gave us one of the best new characters of the year. Coming in at number nine is Walter, the star of the Muppets, whose sunny optimism is the heart and soul of The Muppets. It is clear that Segel and Stoller put a lot of themselves into Walter; his idolization of the Muppets, and the fact that he wants to be both a man and a muppet (he is able to settle on being a very manly muppet) reflects how a lot of Muppets fans feel. Man or Muppet might be the new anthem of fans of the show and the movies, and Walter will fit very neatly into the pantheon of great muppet characters.
The last character in the top ten is a fellow you might have heard of. He's British, and he knows a little magic. And his name is HARRY FRICKIN' POTTER. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released in theaters only a few months after Box Office Prophets was created, and while it was tempting to shut down the website entirely as our way of honoring the completion of this remarkable series of films, we decided instead to list Potter as one of the best characters of the year. The evolution of Potter as a character, and Daniel Radcliffe as an actor, is remarkable to watch over the course of a decade. Harry Potter will surely be known as the greatest protagonist of any series of young adult fantasy novels for at least, like, a month, when The Hunger Games comes out.
As always in a category this crowded, a number of great characters just missed the top ten. Creepy villain Bernie Rose from Drive was a point away from the top 10, as BOP decided to do to his character what the Academy did to Albert Brooks. Another creepy villain, cult leader Patrick from indie hit Martha Marcy May Marlene, was the only character to miss the top 10 despite receiving a first place vote. On the non-creepy side of things, the suddenly studly Neville Longbottom almost joined Harry Potter on this list. BOP also came close to recognizing three complicated protagonists with luscious blond locks: Bridesmaids' Annie Walker, Young Adult's Mavis Gary, and Thor.
The Calvins: An Introduction
Best Overlooked Film
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
||Rise of the Planet of the Apes
|| Lisbeth Salander
||The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
|| Ernest Hemingway
||Midnight in Paris
|| Erik Lensherr/Magneto
||X-Men: First Class
|| George Valentin
|| Harry Potter
||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2