Most people know me as NFL Commissioner and Shield-Protector-in-Chief Roger Goodell. But my life isn’t just about football, money, and football money. Like many a full-figured Roger before me, I’m a cinephile. In the continuing spirit of unchecked administrative power, I’ve singlehandedly selected the best and worst of 2015 in this year’s installment of The Goody Awards.
Picture of the Year: Draft Day
Yes, this masterpiece was technically released in 2014, but special consideration should be afforded to such a profound work, the Citizen Kane of movies in which guys talk to other guys about eventually playing football (offscreen). This several-holds-barred take on the front-office dealings of the NFL gives audiences a guided tour of the corridors of power, except for my actual office, which is kind of a mess. Obviously, Kevin Costner was great, but don’t overlook the riveting performance of Arian Foster, who overcame two broken arms and three groin pulls to finish the picture, or Rich Eisen’s breakout role as Rich Eisen. Personal guarantee: You won’t find more aerial shots of professional football stadiums in any other film (except, perhaps, for 2003’s Goodyear Blimp: The IMAX Experience).
Worst Movie: Concussion
Ironically, after seeing Concussion, you’ll want someone to whack you on the head to help you forget the experience. I love “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” as much as the next guy (shoutout to Uncle Phil!), but shame on Will Smith for participating in this nasty hackjob of a movie, chock full of rumors, and innuendo, and science. He sounded like a recent graduate from Miss Cleo’s School of Accents, and I’m surprised Alec Baldwin’s character didn’t have at least two mustaches to twirl. The best you can say about this baseless attempt to tarnish The Shield: It had a slightly worse viewership than a Week 17 Titans game. And, I mean, Forest Whitaker would’ve at least looked like that guy whose face is on my dartboard.
Most Misunderstood Villain: Blofeld, Spectre
Sometimes a perfectly reasonable character is miscategorized as a villain, just because his rival seems like a hero. Key word here: seems. For instance, perhaps you’re an intelligent, forward-thinking leader born into a pedigreed family, and you concoct elaborate money-making plans with an eye toward international dominance. Then you run across a good-looking icon who never misses, follows the orders of a beloved older mentor, romances supermodels, and has a specialized equipment manager to help him cheat his way to victory. I’m talking about Br- I mean, Bond, of course. Shame on 007 for running Blofeld’s name through the muck when this respectable businessman simply wanted to hold him accountable for his past misdeeds. Are we sure he’s 007 and not 0012?
Most Shameful Performance by a Lead Character (pending): John Ruth, The Hateful Eight
I’ve been told that John Ruth, star player in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, repeatedly assaults his traveling partner, Daisy Domergue. I can’t say for certain if this is true. We may never know what really happened inside that stagecoach. I have not personally seen the footage. If the allegations turn out to be founded, I will demand that John Ruth be suspended for the rest of 2016. (An anonymous source claims they sent me an Academy screener of The Hateful Eight, but to my knowledge, I never received it.)
Worst Roger Goodell: Luke Wilson, Concussion
If any doubt remained that Concussion is a mean-spirited, agenda-driven piece of propaganda, look no further than the casting of one Roger Goodell. They picked the ugly Wilson. Take a look at me. I’m clearly an Owen. His chiseled jawline, surfer-boy good looks, and devil-may-care attitude glinting in those soulful eyes. That’s your ticket to Rogertown.
Best Roger Goodell: Roger Goodell, Draft Day
Now there’s the stuff. Take note, future Spielbergs. This is how you capture the essence of a titan of industry, striding purposefully to the podium to read a name off a notecard in a thrilling climax. That swagger, that mojo, that panache, that je ne sais quoi, that navy-blue suit. To quote one of Goodell’s Classic Flicks, “There can be only one.”
Bryan Miller is a comedian and writer who hopes to one day have his own film awards. You should follow him on Twitter.