The Sundae Film Awards 2023

In a lot of ways, 2022 wasn’t a “great year” for film, but that certainly wasn’t because it lacked great films. In fact, this was definitely the most competitive year we’ve ever had at the Sundae Film Awards and we genuinely considered tying most of the awards to reflect that. (We only tied one in the end.) We had a truly agonising experience picking our winners, and more than most years, you should check out our full slates of nominees at the bottom of the post, because there is nothing in there but great films.

The real reason 2022 won’t go down in film history is there was no one big story to tell about it. Instead, we had lots of little trends: semi-autobiographical films about the director’s youth (Aftersun, Armageddon Time, The Fabelmans), satires of the modern rich (Glass Onion, The Menu, Triangle of Sadness), movies that are mostly just people talking in one room (Three Thousands Years of Longing, The Whale, Women Talking) actors who appeared on Scrubs at the height of their movie stardom getting late career plaudits (Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser). It was also a big year for poop, puke, piss, donkeys, stop-motion, and ominous concrete steps into dark. The last superstar actor and director on the planet each released a long-awaited blockbuster that helped to save theatrical distribution (Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water) and dormant auteurs returned with the best films of their careers (Elvis, Tár). Sony released the biggest superhero flop of the year twice because of memes and a canny campaign launched an indie actress to the front of the Best Actress race.

Most shockingly of all, the Academy… actually did a pretty good job of nominating worthwhile films for Oscars? Excitingly for us, that included correctly noticing that an Irish-language film was one of the best of the year for the first time ever. Irish cinema has been building towards a breakout on the global stage for a while now, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see this moment finally arrive and celebrate it in our own annual film awards too.

As with every year, we gave one award for each of the eight major Oscars: we care about most of the others (except for the fake awards like Best Original Song) but this post would be absurdly long if we picked those too. We each did out our personal nominees and then selected the winner by consensus, so the winners only come from films that both of us have seen and nominated, but we’ve each picked a personal runner-up regardless of whether the other has seen or nominated it. We also each gave a Special Achievement Award for something that doesn’t fit our other categories: this year, by sheer coincidence, both to animated films.

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