And The Winners Are… (2013 Edition)

Time once again to hand out honors and accolades to those who deserve it most: Members of the movie industry. The St. Louis Film Critics Awards were announced today and here’s my annual run-down of who won what and where my vote landed. Winners are in bold, first-runner-up is in italic.

Best Film 

12 Years a Slavetwelve_years_a_slave_xlg

American Hustle

Gravity

Her

Nebraska

My Vote: Gravity. This was one of those rare years when I didn’t have to think long on my choice. “Gravity” is such a unique film and the kind that comes around rarely. And it didn’t even come in first or second place. Oh well, this is a very good lineup (well, I don’t see what so many critics see in “Her,” but I’ll let that go).

 Best Director 

Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)

Spike Jonze (Her)

Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)

Alexander Payne (Nebraska)

David O. Russell (American Hustle)

My Vote: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity). Well, at least he came in second. Not sure how he leapfrogged David O’ Russell.

Best Actor

Christian Bale (American Hustle)

Bruce Dern (Nebraska)

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)

Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)

Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

 My vote: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave). Although to be honest, I would’ve voted for Robert Redford for “All is Lost” if he had been among the nominees.

 Best Actress

Amy Adams (American Hustle)

Cate Blanchette (Blue Jasmine)

Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

Judi Dench (Philomena)

Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

 I didn’t see “Blue Jasmine” so I didn’t vote here. Of the remaining nominees I probably would’ve gone with Judi Dench, although they’re all good choices.

Best Supporting Actor

Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)

Harrison Ford (42)

Will Forte (Nebraska)

Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

 My vote: Will Forte. Although I really liked all the nominees about equally.

 Best Supporting Actress

Scarlett Johannson (Her)

Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Lupita Nyongo (12 Years a Slave)

Lea Seydoux (Blue Is the Warmest Colour)

June Squibb (Nebraska)

 Didn’t see “Blue.” Of the remaining nominees I’m torn between Nyongo and Squibb. I would’ve gone with Squibb because she was hilarious.

 Best Original Screenplay

American Hustle

Enough Said

Her

Nebraska

Saving Mr. Banks

 My vote: American Hustle

 Best Adapted Screenplay

12 Years a Slave

Before Midnight

Captain Phillips

Philomena

Short Term 12

The Spectacular Now

 My choice: 12 Years a Slave

 Best Cinematography (tie)

12 Years a Slave

The Grandmaster

The Great Gatsby

Gravity 

Inside Llewyn Davis

Nebraska

 My vote: Gravity

 Best Visual Special Effects

gravity-movie-posterGravity

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Iron Man 3

Pacific Rim

Star Trek Into Darkness

Thor: The Dark World

 My vote: Gravity. It was hard to go against my beloved Thor in the only category he was nominated in, and I was glad to see the Giant Robots vs. Monsters movie get a nod, but it’s hard to deny that Gravity and Hobbit 2 were tops in FX.

 Best Art Direction

12 Years A Slave

The Grandmaster

The Great Gatsby

Her

Inside Llewyn Davis

 My Vote: The Great Gatsby

 Best Documentary

20 Feet from Stardom

The Act of Killing

Blackfish

Muscle Shoals

Stories We Tell

 My personal favorite was “20 Feet from Stardom,” but “Blackfish” was pretty chilling and award-worthy. Did not see “The Act of Killing” and felt “Stories We Tell” was overrated.

 Best Musical Score

12 Years a Slave

Gravity (tie)

Her

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Nebraska (tie)

Saving Mr. Banks

 My vote: Nebraska. To be honest, I don’t recall any of these films having memorable scores, except I remember I hated the one for “Gravity.” I’d rather no sound in space than piercing music.

 Best Soundtrack

llewyn-306-1372334640American Hustle

Despicable Me 2

Frozen

The Great Gatsby

Inside Llewyn Davis

Muscle Shoals

 My Vote: Inside Llewyn Davis. Although “American Hustle” did give me some serious ’70s flashbacks which were good for a smile.

Best Non-English Language Film

Blue Is the Warmest Colour

A Hijacking

The Hunt

No

Wadjda

 I have no clue

 Best Comedy (tie)

Enough Said

The Heat

Nebraska

The Way Way Back

The World’s End

 I don’t get the love for “Enough Said” but it’s pleasant enough. I don’t even remember “The Way Way Back.” I would’ve gone with “Nebraska,” as it made me laugh out loud more than any other movie this year. But I’m not sure I’d label it a comedy.

Best Animated Feature

The Croods

Despicable Me 2

Frozen

Monsters University

The Wind Rises

 My Vote: The Wind Rises. I was torn between this and “Frozen,” but I went with “The Wind Rises” because it’s such an unconventional animated film and we need more like it.

 Best Art-House or Festival Film

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Before Midnight

Blue Is the Warmest Colour (tie)

Frances Ha (tie)

In a World…

Short Term 12

 As you should have figured out by now, I’m not much of an art-house guy. I guess I’d vote for “In a World…”

 Best Scene

12 Years a Slave – The hanging scene

Captain Phillips – The scene near the end of the film where Tom Hanks is being checked out by military medical personnel and he breaks down.

Gravity – The opening tracking shot.

Her – Off-screen OS sex scene

The Place Beyond the Pines – The opening scene where Ryan Gosling is walking through the carnival.

I almost voted for the hanging scene but wound up going with “Gravity.”

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