Three Time "2011 BAM Award Winners"

The Movie Rat reports on the 2011 BAM Award Winners. Super 8 won in the following categories: 

  • Best Youth Ensemble
This is the best, most talented and most naturally amicable core of young actors I’d seen since Stand by Me and each subsequent viewing of the film has not shaken that belief instead it has solidified it. For those keeping track Stand by Me and Super 8 are separated by 25 years so when a new film earns that kind of comparison it’s well on its way to becoming a classic in due course whether it is hailed with the confusing “instant classic” label or not. The brilliant and naturalistic nature of this ensemble’s work is sealed in the clandestine diner conversation wherein in several topics are discussed at once, put-downs are exchanged and conversation flows so naturally it feels almost as if it’s real life and not a film. Certainly all these actors all have big futures but what they create here together is something truly special which they are blessed to have experienced and to recreate anything like in another project would be near miraculous.
  • Best Performance by a Child Actor in a Leading Role
The ensemble work in Super 8 is brilliant as stated above but they also split off and the common factor in the smaller groups is Joe Lamb plus one or a few of his friends, or his dad and Joe Lamb is Joel Courtney and vice versa. Joel not only worked with various scene partner permutations but with various notes and emotions. If you think of a kind of conversation a kid can hold in a film he likely had one and it was apt to be one of the best examples of the year: the diner speculation, the late night talk with Alice, the fight with his father, the fake movie dialogue, etc. Not only is he natural in all these situations but effective and makes the movie work.

This is a film about kids, Joe specifically, that is told through the guise of a sci-fi tale and for it to work the performance has to be strong. The performance is brilliant therefore the film achieves greatness.

  • Best Performance by a Child Actress in a Leading Role
Elle Fanning’s impact in Super 8 is massive. She is the girl in the boys’ club, she is the love interest not only that she is sought after by more than one of the guys so her disappearance has less negative impact on her lead status than most. She’s wise beyond her years, jaded, she plays older, she plays a great zombie and a brilliant “unfilmed” scene wherein you see how and why the boys fall in love with her. A lot of the film hinges on her and she more than holds up her own she helps carry it.
Joel Courtney