Unsung movie moments now can make room for a special trophy — the Envy

“Justice League” and “Get Out” both earn Envy Awards
(Illustration by Steve Brodner / For The Times)

Every year, the greatest film performances, cleverest writing and most skillful direction get their moment in the spotlight — and enough awards to fill a trophy case. But we take a different view on these things: Why not give out special recognition to an all-important piece of fruit, a friendly tropical bird, or a questionable mustache? In that vein, we hereby present the totally subjective annual prizes for this year’s overlooked film gems. Ladies and gentlemen, the envelope please for the 2018 Envy Awards!

Best “Dances With Wolves” reunion

“Molly’s Game”

It’s been 17 years since we got to enjoy Kevin Costner and Graham Greene together on camera, but “Molly’s Game” provided the very brief delight of seeing Lt. Dunbar in a courtroom with Kicking Bird, even if the two didn’t actually share any lines.


Best use of nonverbal language

Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

We’ve all had teen crushes, but having one validated with a kiss deserved exactly the amount of full-throated, middle-of-the-street screaming with delight that Lady Bird (Saoirse Ronan) let go, just after smooching Danny (Lucas Hedges). You go, girl!

The Envy Awards
(Illustration by Steve Brodner / For The Times )

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Best use of silence

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Blockbusters are full of sound and fury, often signifying something — usually. But when Vice Adm. Holdo (Laura Dern) slices her ship Raddus into Supremacy, there’s absolutely no sound in the film, just a lot of fury and destruction and things falling apart, and that provides even more impact than a sonic blast. Plus, scientists were happy: After all, there is no sound in space.

Best supporting food items (tie)

Fruit: “Call Me by Your Name,” “Girls Trip”

Mushrooms: “Phantom Thread,” “The Beguiled”

It’s true that fruit is a natural delight, but usually employed in eating — not as a sex toy. In “Call Me by Your Name,” a peach had a very special part to play in a sensual scene; in “Girls Trip,” a grapefruit grabbed center stage. Meanwhile, mushrooms had a much less … pleasant role to play in both “Phantom Thread” and “Beguiled,” where we learned all over again that fungi are not always fun. Honorable mention goes to hard-boiled eggs as romantic overture in “The Shape of Water.”

Worst misuse of facial hair

“Justice League”

We all get that Henry Cavill wasn’t allowed to shave off the mustache he grew for “Mission: Impossible 6,” but by trying to digitally erase it from his face while he played Superman in “Justice League,” he looked as if he had a speech impediment. What would have been the harm of letting Supe wield a ‘stache?

The Envy Awards
(Illustration by Steve Brodner / For The Times )

Best use of an eating utensil

Teaspoon, “Get Out”

At first, Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) seems to just really, really like to stir her drinks. OK, so maybe the suburban liberal mom is a little OCD; we can understand. But once we find out that the tinkling of the spoon on the cup is a kind of hypnotic trigger, suddenly “one lump or two” takes on a whole new meaning.

The Envy Award
(Illustration by Steve Brodner / For The Times )

Best use of a fine feathered friend

“I, Tonya”

Allison Janney has already won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of LaVona Golden, the stage mother in “I, Tonya” who could give Joan Crawford lessons in how to not-mom, but throughout a good deal of her performance she has a little … help. Specifically, a pet tropical bird perched on her shoulder that seems to irritate the heck out of her but won’t be batted away. Hey, we think we just found a metaphor for Tonya Harding’s life in there.

The Envy Award
(Illustration by Steve Brodner / For The Times )

Best 35-years-in-the-making reunion

“Blade Runner 2049”

It was all too brief, but who wasn’t moved by seeing Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard almost fall apart when confronted by the still-youthful love-of-his-life Rachael (Sean Young)? Her absence looms over much of the film, but once we finally get to see at least a version of her interacting with Deckard again everything seems to fall into place for just a moment … before it all falls apart again.

The Envy Award
(Illustration by Steve Brodner / For The Times )