The Envy Awards: The otherwise unrecognized great moments in film

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Awards are flying off the shelves left and right these days -- nods for expensive special effects and heartfelt performances, confident helming and clever producing. But even so, we here at The Envelope feel there are plenty of trophy-worthy moments in films going unrecognized. So let’s remedy that with our annual Envy Awards — spotlighting those examples of greatness that otherwise go overlooked. After all, if you can’t honor teeth, logorrhea and the end of the world, what else are awards for?

Best Dance Number Justifying a Whole Film (Tie)

“Another Day of Sun” (“La La Land”) and “No Dames!” (“Hail, Caesar!”)

Channing Tatum. (Ken Fallin / For The Times)
(Ken Fallin / For The Times)

There are a lot of good things to say about “La La Land,” but we have a sneaking suspicion that the thing everyone loved so much was the sheer joy in its primary-color-splashed, vibrantly choreographed opening number, because really — do you need more? Meanwhile, Channing Tatum’s tongue-in-cheek bar tap dance from the “On the Town”-esque sailor suit number in “Caesar” is worth watching again and again, even if the rest of the movie falls a little short.

Best Logorrhea

James Martin’s introduction, “Love & Friendship”

Tom Bennett. (Ken Fallin / For The Times)
(Ken Fallin / For The Times)

You don’t expect guffaws from a Jane Austen adaptation, but thanks to Sir Martin’s (Tom Bennett) delightfully nervous, loquacious and tone-deaf way of rattling on even when he should have shut up minutes ago (and then going on and on beyond that), the film proves to be far more than a delightful comedy of manners. It’s downright hilarious.

Silence Is Golden Award


On the opposite end of the gab spectrum, Chiron isn’t much of a talker throughout the film, which instead frames his quiet reactions to the difficult life around him through his eyes and face. And it’s his quiet that speaks volumes toward the end of the film — with Trevante Rhodes in the role — when he’s reunited with his childhood friend and onetime lover Kevin (André Holland) in a diner. As the two men work toward the things they want to say, they let the song on the jukebox — Barbara Lewis’ “Hello Stranger” — do all the talking. It’s intimate and magic all at once.

Sexiest Use of Teeth in a Film

“The Handmaiden”

Chan-wook Park’s thriller features at its heart a great love between a worker and her mistress, but before the two have even had sex there’s a heated exchange between them that proves they’re not far from the bedroom: While helping her lollipop-sucking mistress (Kim Min-hee) bathe, the handmaiden in question (Kim Tae-Ri) helps her with a jagged tooth by rubbing it smooth, and the silent exchange between them and excellent use of heavy breathing gets viewers nicely steamed up.

Best Use of Voice

Natalie Portman, “Jackie”

"Jackie." (Ken Fallin / For The Times)
(Ken Fallin / For The Times)

Portman may not look a whole lot like post-JFK assassination Jacqueline Kennedy, but once she opens her mouth that hardly matters. Capturing Kennedy’s childlike, controlled-yet-breathless voice that mixes both patrician accents with Long Island regional tones is not an easy task, yet once she speaks we all know precisely who she is: the First Widow.

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Most Unexpectedly Moving Apocalyptic Sequence

Scarif’s end, “Rogue One”

Having accomplished their mission, Jyn (Felicity Jones) and Cassian (Diego Luna) are left to face the looming Death Star, which takes aim at the citadel and basically obliterates it — along with both our heroes and villains. But it’s the scene of the pair left alone, holding one another, facing their doom head-on, that resonates and provides a startlingly moving last-moments image that stays with you long after the picture has ended.

Best Opening Credits That Are Nearly Better Than the Movie Itself


Ryan Reynolds. (Ken Fallin / For The Times)
Ryan Reynolds. (Ken Fallin / For The Times)
(Ken Fallin / For The Times)

The Ryan Reynolds-starring super-meta, fourth-wall-breaking movie proved surprisingly strong over awards season — and not without cause, starting with the Juice Newton “Angel of the Morning”-fueled opening sequence, which weaves audiences through a supersonic car crash paused in midflight and features satiric “credits” (Reynolds is “God’s Perfect Idiot” as his Sexiest Man Alive People cover slides by). Perfection.