There is no Academy telling me what to do here. If I want to hand out an award for “Worst Use of Female Acoustic Singer-Songwriter Music in an Eat, Pray, Love Knock-off Trailer,” I can. (It would be a hotly competitive category, I can tell you that.) But instead, I’m going to keep this simple and hand out Citations of Excellence to three videos that I can’t bear see go unwatched.
The envelopes, please!
BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN AUTHOR
Charlie Higson in The Enemy.
Yeah, I know “Best Performance by an Author” is setting the bar dangerously low, but Higson more than acquits himself in this trailer to his YA zombie-virus novel The Enemy. It’s pretty simple, really. He just sits there and tells the story of the book. While his face falls off.
BEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR
M. T. Anderson’s The Suburb beyond the Stars.
Got a middle-grader reluctant to read Anderson’s latest? Text this link to their smartphone. No matter how many times I watch it (I just watched it again!!), the two scares in this video make me do a spit-take. It doesn’t matter that you have to wade through nearly five minutes of Anderson pontificating about his native Vermont. Believe me, it just makes it all the awesomer.
BEST TRAILER OF THE YEAR
Mo Hayder’s Gone.
Directed by book-trailer virtuoso Paul Murphy (of whom I’ve become a genuine fan), this thing is 1) Convincing; 2) Scary; and 3) Persuasive — as in, I’d like to read the book. And it’s all done in a single shot. You know what that means? It means any author with the most limited of resources could have pulled this off. So take this as inspiration. Maybe you’ll be handed a Citation of Excellence next year, when I expect to have the full sponsorship of Apple and McDonald’s.