This week, I was thrilled to learn that I received two LAMMY nominations for Most Knowledgeable Writer and Best Movie Reviewer. I’m humbled to even be mentioned with the bloggers in each category and am surprised by the recognition. While I’d love to win the award, it’s exciting just to be nominated. It’s an obvious cliché, but it’s actually true in this case. The turnout for the 2013 LAMMYs was much higher this year with more than double last year’s entries. This makes the nominations even sweeter since it comes from a larger pool.
Most Knowledgeable Writer
Instead of listing the reasons why you should pick this blog, I’d like to spotlight the other nominees in each category. There’s a chance you aren’t reading these sites, and that should change immediately. I’ll start with Most Knowledgeable Writer, which has five nominees. This is a tricky category because it could mean different things. Has the person seen the most films, or do they just do better research? I consider it a reflection on the intellectual curiosity that drives them to do more than just review the latest movies. I’ve provided a brief description of each blogger and why they deserve the award.
Dan Fogarty at Fogs’ Movie Reviews — Fogs is an especially prolific writer who’s clearly passionate about movies. Along with owning his popular site, he’s the co-host of the (title pending) Movie Podcast with Tank & Fogs that covers the latest releases. His blog offers a mix of new and old films along with regular features like “Movies That Everyone Should See” and “Reader’s Recommendations”. He also does a really good Rocky Balboa impression.
Sam Fragoso at Movie Mezzanine — Although it only began this January, the Movie Mezzanine is already one of my first reading destinations each day. Its founder is the wise and surprisingly young Sam Fragoso, a teenager who previously owned Duke & the Movies. Don’t let his age fool you. Sam has tons of knowledge about movies and respects it more than many twice his age. He’s assembled a remarkable group of writers for his new site and still brings the power with his own writing on a regular basis.
Bonjour Tristesse at Bonjour Tristesse — I wasn’t as familiar with Bonjour Tristesse, who covers lesser-known foreign and independent films. When a site has features on the New French Extremity and Romanian New Wave, you know it’s in wonderful territory. A quick look at the recent posts shows a remarkable array of films and few that I recognize. The writing clearly comes from a well-informed source, which makes for an excellent contender.
Alex Withrow at And So It Begins… — The last nominee is my choice for the Best Blog when I submitted my ballot this week. Alex combines reviews of new movies with ongoing series that spotlight some of the best actors and directors working today. His “In Character” posts showcase a character actor and describe the best roles from that person’s career. The choices all have good support and rarely take the most obvious performances.
Best Movie Reviewer
This category includes 10 nominees, and it’s a diverse group of intelligent voices. This is a loaded field, so I expect that my chances aren’t that great against such impressive competition. Fogs and Alex Withrow were also nominated in this category, so I haven’t included them again in this section. These seven writers are all worthy candidates. I wasn’t aware of several and have now added them to my reading list.
Tyson Carter at Head in a Vice — I wasn’t familiar with this site prior to the nominations, and it’s been a really cool discovery. This attractive blog includes lots of interesting reviews of films from recent years. Tyson has built a strong community at his site, and the reason is strong writing on a diverse collection of movies.
Dan at Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews — Proving that having a great name is essential, Dan writes a crazy amount of reviews and basically posts new content every day. Where does he find the time to watch all these movies? I ask this question because his reviews are hardly small and provide more than just the basic plot summary. His venomous recent take on Margot at the Wedding is spot on and offers a perfect example of his top-notch writing.
Jessica at The Velvet Café — There’s definitely a shortage of female voices in the movie blogging world, so it’s great to read such brilliant material from Jessica each week. She lives in Sweden and is a bit older than many writers, and this gives her a refreshing perspective. Her posts bring her personal experiences into the picture while still keeping the movies at the center. That’s a tricky balance, but Jessica is more than up the task.
Nick Powell at The Cinematic Katzenjammer — One of the strongest new voices on The LAMB this year is Nick Powell, who undertook an amazing project in 2012. He watched a movie a day for an entire year and wrote about each one. It’s clear that this experience helped him to improve, and his site is becoming a popular destination. It’s great to see this type of growth, and his nine LAMMY nominations shows that he’s definitely succeeding.
Lady Sati at Cinematic Corner — I was thrilled to see five nominations for Lady Sati, who runs one of the most attractive sites. Her reviews go beyond the standard text and provide a rare thing, movement. I’m usually not a fan of sites that use videos because they're distracting. This is the rare case where the visuals enhance the writing and make the posts almost like art. The language remains sharp and isn’t diminished by the skillful design.
Chris Thomson at Terry Malloy’s Pigeon Coop — One of the most impressive blogs that I’ve discovered recently is this gem from Chris Thomson. Why did it take me so long? His in-depth reviews have plenty to say and do more than explain whether he liked the movie. Chris connects the movies to other works and the medium's history. Plus, he rates the films on a scale of five pigeons. It’s impossible not to enjoy a site with that fun rating system.
Mark Walker at Marked Movies — This is another case of a site that escaped my attention prior to the LAMMYs. Mark hails from Scotland and reviews both new and past releases. An interesting part of his site is the “Tuesday’s Trivia Tidbits”, which includes 10 movie facts. These posts combine with his reviews to provide a cool site that deserves your attention.
This is a remarkable group of writers that clearly have a passion for movies. It shows the diversity of the movie blogging community, and there are so many other interesting voices that deserved a nomination. If you’re just a visitor, check out all the great material that comes from this group every week. I’ve added all of them to my expanding reading list and can’t wait to hear more from them in the future.