Birdman named best film by Florida Film Critics Circle

December 19, 2014

Birdman-Keaton-Norton-Bway

Some may not realize this, but Independent Ethos has a seat on the Florida Film Critics Circle. This writer has been a member since 2012. In previous years that I have been a member (2012 and 2013) we ranked three choices in each category. But this year, we tried something different. Two rounds of voting. Each of the 25* voting members offered three choices in each category, no ranking. Once all ballots were turned in, our chairman and vice chair tabulated the results and gave us a new ballot of three choices in each category. Everyone would pick one name or film in each category, and then the ones with the majority votes were declared winners.

Also new this year were two new categories: score and ensemble cast, and we have four new members in the voting group! So there were lots of changes with this years vote. Were these changes for the better? Probably. I would have liked more personal favorites like Only Lovers Left Alive represented, and the fact that the Raid 2, an action flick of all things, won the Best Foreign Language category… (cringe… but, full disclosure, I haven’t seen it nor did I have an interest in seeing it). But then I’m pleased that we don’t appear like your typical New York-following group. I’m happy with Under the Skin‘s recognition for score and, yes, even Birdman beating Boyhood, as much as I like the latteris refreshing.

Check out this link to see all the winners. Below you will find my ballot and nominees, which may hint at some of my favorite films of the year, but, as usual take it with a grain of salt. This is a political thing after all, and one should list and lobby for films that have a chance for recognition that at least define a certain aesthetic that I feel no shame in celebrating.

Below you will find the the nominees our group voted on. The winner is in bold and my choices have an asterisk* by them.

BEST PICTURE

Boyhood
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel*

BEST DIRECTOR

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel*

BEST ACTOR

Michael Keaton – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything*
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler

BEST ACTRESS

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Julianne Moore – Still Alice*

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
Edward Norton – Birdman*
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood*
Jessica Chastain – The Most Violent Year
Emma Stone – Birdman

BEST ENSEMBLE

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Birdman
Boyhood

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel*
Boyhood

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Gone Girl
Inherent Vice*
The Theory of Everything

CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Grand Budapest Hotel*
Interstellar
Birdman

VISUAL EFFECTS

Guardians of the Galaxy*
Interstellar
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN

Interstellar
The Grand Budapest Hotel*
Into the Woods

BEST SCORE

Gone Girl
Under the Skin*
Insterstellar

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Life Itself
Citizenfour*
Jodorowsky’s Dune

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Ida*
Force Majeure
The Raid 2

ANIMATED FEATURE

The Lego Movie
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2*

BREAKOUT AWARD

Jennifer Kent – The Babadook*
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle/Beyond the Lights

GOLDEN ORANGE

Borscht Film Festival*
Oscar Isaac

My initial ballot of nominees is below. All choices are listed in no particular order:

DSC01930.ARW

BEST PICTURE

Inherent Vice
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST ACTOR

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jason Schwartzman – Listen Up Philip

BEST ACTRESS

Tilda Swinton – Only Lovers Left Alive
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
Jonathan Pryce – Listen Up Philip

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Mia Wasikowska – Only Lovers Left Alive
Naomi Watts – Birdman
Emma Stone – Birdman

BEST ENSEMBLE

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Boyhood
Only Lovers Left Alive

BEST DIRECTOR

Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jim Jarmusch – Only Lovers Left Alive
Alex Ross Perry – Listen Up Philip

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel (as its based on the writings of Stefan Zweig it could qualify here too, and I wanted to give this a good chance for script)
Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten – The Theory of Everything

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Emmanuel Lubezki – Birdman
Nick Bentgen – Hide Your Smiling Faces
Robert Elswit – Inherent Vice

VISUAL EFFECTS

Fury
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Birdman

ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Only Lovers Left Alive
Big Eyes

BEST SCORE

Jim Jarmusch and Jozef van Wissem – Only Lovers Left Alive
Mica Levi – Under the Skin
Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel 

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Citizen Four
Life Itself
Jodorowsky’s Dune

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Ida
Force Majeure
Norte: The End of History

ANIMATED FEATURE (I nominated only one)

 The Tale of Princess Kaguya

BREAKOUT AWARD

Director Jennifer Kent – The Babadook
Ana Lily Amirpour – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood

GOLDEN ORANGE:

Oscar Isaac
Borscht Film Festival (It’s happening now! I lobbied hard for this one. Check out their trailer below)

I’ve actually covered Borscht a lot this year at the “Miami New Times.” Pick up today’s issue for My story in the film section. Also I wrote about the films “Papa Machete” and “Cool As Ice 2” on the publication’s art and culture blog Cultist. Click on the titles for the articles.

Hans Morgenstern

*There are two other members of the FFCC with emeritus status who sit on the sidelines, one of whom who likes to send out an email to all of us with his opinionated recap of what he has seen.

(Copyright 2014 by Hans Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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