2020 is finally over but before we send it off to the trash heap it deserves to be in, it’s time for the third annual Golden Cages, Flixist’s extremely coveted prize! Each year the Flixist staff gets together to vote on the best and worst films of the year and gives you lovely readers our true and honest thoughts. Plus since there are no other awards shows this winter (suck it Academy!) we’re now the de facto voice of truth in the film industry. So read on dear viewer and see which films win our lovely little award!
Weighted voting is a funny thing. Hell, voting for Best Picture with our staff is a funny thing. Only a few folks on staff get access to press screeners, so for the most part writers watch the movies that they want to watch, not the movies that they “should” watch or whatever is being heralded as award contenders. That often makes the Golden Cages a very unique voting process and this year was no different. That is what led Wolfwakers to become Flixist’s best film of the year.
Don’t get us wrong: Wolfwalkers deserves to be the best picture of the year because it is indeed fantastic. It’s a stunningly animated film that looks completely different from almost every other animated film released last year. That’s not only because it’s not CGI but because of its Celtic influences and willingness to go a bit dark. Every frame of the film looks lovingly crafted and its story, couched in Celtic history, is strikingly powerful and layered.
However, you’ll notice this is the only Golden Cage that the film is taking home. In fact, it didn’t even win Best Animated Picture. That honor went to Soul, which also netted Best Screenplay and Best Score and was our top winner of the year, but couldn’t pull off the Best Picture win. Then there’s also the fact that we have such a wide variety of writers who enjoy such varied things that a lot of the more traditional Best Picture choices weren’t seen by everyone.
That is the beauty of Wolfwalkers. Everyone loved it who watched it and everyone wanted to watch it. There’s something to be said for being universally engaging and rewarding that engagement with a fantastic film full of action, adventure, and heart. From the fantastic voice acting by Honor Kneafsey and Eva Whittaker to the sweat-inducing finale, Wolfwalkers delivers a film that can pull anyone in, no matter who they are or why they’re watching.
It’s universally good. Not art house good. Not big-budget good. Not niche good. It’s just plain good. That’s why it got the Golden Cage for Best Picture. That’s also why it deserves it.