[2020 is finally over but before we send it off to the trash heap it deserves to be in, it’s time for the Golden Cages 2020 edition, 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!]
When it came time to vote for the Best Supporting Actress category in this year’s Golden Cages, I had no doubt in my mind about who I was going to nominate. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm may not have the same kind of cultural impact that the original did nearly two decades ago, but it’s an overall better film and features the breakout role of a lifetime from Maria Bakalova.
Starring as Borat’s daughter, Tutar Sagdiyev, Bakalova proves to be just as fearless and outrageous as Sacha Baron Cohen has been for his entire career. Willing to throw herself into the deep end, she practically ended up becoming the victim of some horrible crime at the hands of disgraced NYC ex-mayor Rudy Giuliani in the most shocking scene of 2020. The fact that she didn’t break character or begin sweating bullets at every turn proves she’s a talent that demands attention.
What’s better is that Cohen rightfully gave Bakalova the spotlight throughout most of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. People definitely tuned in because of brand recognition (is Borat a brand?) but were treated to the debut of a lifetime when Tutar stole every scene. I’d almost rather call her the leading actress, but Borat is still the ultimate star of the show, and the movie deals more with his evolution rather than Tutar’s.
It’s rare to see a pairing of actors that gel so well together, but Bakalova and Cohen were a tag team duo that took on the world and ended up on top. I’m not sure if we need another Borat film 15 years from now, but we absolutely need more of Bakalova as either an undercover “reporter,” or the star of her own insane comedy. Here’s to hoping that Hollywood recognizes her immense talent and doesn’t typecast her as the sidekick in future projects.