Saturday, December 13, 2014

SFFCC 2014—SECONDARY BALLOT

With the primary ballots of all the members of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC) tabulated, a secondary ballot has been formulated from which we must each choose and rank three of the five possible nominees. These will, in turn, be tabulated and—when we have our voting meeting on Sunday—we will be asked to choose between two (if there's a tie, three). Hedging towards that fateful day, here are my ranked choices. The final two in each list are those I have rejected.

BEST ACTOR

Michael Keaton, Birdman
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

BEST ACTRESS

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Essie Davis, The Babadook
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Edward Norton, Birdman
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Gene Jones, The Sacrament
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
Emma Stone, Birdman
Agata Kulesza, Ida
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year

BEST SCREENPLAY, Original

Birdman, Alejandro González Iñárritu; Nicolas Giacobone; Alexander Dinelaris; Armanso Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Mr. Turner, Mike Leigh
A Most Violent Year, J.C. Chandor
Grand Budapest Hotel, Stefan Zweig; Wes Anderson; Hugo Guinness
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

BEST SCREENPLAY, Adapted

Snowpiercer, Joon-ho Bong; Kelly Masterson
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
Wild, Nick Hornby
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Imitation Game, Grahame Moore

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Ida, Ryszard Lenczewski; Lukasz Zal
Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki
Mr. Turner, Dick Pope
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Robert D. Yeoman
Under the Skin, Daniel Landin

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Snowpiercer, Ondrej Nekvasil
Mr. Turner, Suzie Davies
Birdman, Kevin Thompson
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Adam Stockhausen
Inherent Vice, David Crank

EDITING

Boyhood, Sandra Adair
Birdman, Douglas Crise; Stephen Mirrione
Under the Skin, Paul Watts
Inherent Vice, Leslie Jones
Whiplash, Tom Cross

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

How To Train Your Dragon 2
The Box Trolls
Big Hero 6
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
The Lego Movie

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE PICTURE

Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, Two Days, One Night
Pawel Pawlikowski, Ida
Ruben Östlund, Force Majeure
Damián Szifrón, Wild Tales
Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

Note: Here I have to object to the inclusion of A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, despite the fact that it is delivered in Farsi, and despite the fact that I love the movie so much. As I have often argued here on The Evening Class, the concept of a national cinema—originally created to contest the hegemony of Hollywood product—has in recent years become all but obsolete with multi-lingual scripts and multi-national financing. The category will capsize altogether should it be given to a movie made by an American director on American locations, with a stylized use of Farsi. If SFFCC sets the precedent that all an American director has to do is make their film in a foreign language in order for it to be deemed a foreign film, then a valuable cultural distinction is lost and European cinemas, let alone Third World cinemas, will have been wrested of opportunity and fair share on the global stage. I hate to think that SFFCC would support such a hegemonic maneuver.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Laura Poitras, CitizenFour
John Maloof & Charlie Siskel, Finding Vivian Maier
Frank Pavich, Jodorowsky's Dune
Steve James, Life Itself
Jesse Moos, The Overnighters

BEST DIRECTOR

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Mike Leigh, Mr. Turner
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jonathan Glazer, Under the Skin

BEST PICTURE

Boyhood
Birdman
Under the Skin
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

SPECIAL CITATION

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Comes to Eden
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
Blue Ruin
Listen Up Philip
The One I Love

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