The Dallas-Forth Worth Film Critics Association, of which I am a voting member, announced its annual critics poll this morning, and Birdman came out on top as the best film of the year. Other winners: Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Reese Witherspoon (Wild) took home acting honors, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu won best director for Birdman. I was happy to see the brilliant and incisive Force Majeure win for best foreign film, even if Winter Sleep was, for me, a superior film just on the basis of its own scope and ambition. Citzenfour won for best documentary, and Boyhood took home the association’s Russell Smith Award, which is named for the late Dallas Morning News film critic and honors the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.
I must admit, this has been a disappointing movie year for me. Among the late year award-ambition films, movies like A Most Violent Year and Wild felt half-made, while The Imitation Game and Unbroken both shouted “I’m a movie” so loudly they drowned out whatever dramatic virtues they may have possessed. Some of the best films of the year, like Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel, came out a long time ago, and so I’m missing that usual year end excitement as the Oscar race heats up.
That said, in going back over the year in an effort to get my ballot ready for the DFWFCA vote, I came across a number of movies which I had forgotten about and are worth revisiting. I’ll be along with a list of some overlooked gems later in the week. For now, here’s the complete rundown of the DFWFCA honorees:
DALLAS-FORT WORTH FILM CRITICS NAME “BIRDMAN” BEST PICTURE OF 2014
The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association voted the backstage drama BIRDMAN as the best film of 2014, according to the results of its 21st annual critics’ poll released today.
Rounding out the composite list of the top 10 films of the year were BOYHOOD (2), THE IMITATION GAME (3), THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (4), THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (5), WHIPLASH (6), GONE GIRL (7), SELMA (8), WILD (9) and NIGHTCRAWLER (10).
For Best Actor, the association named Michael Keaton for BIRDMAN. Runners-up included Eddie Redmayne for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (2), Benedict Cumberbatch for THE IMITATION GAME (3), Jake Gyllenhaal for NIGHTCRAWLER (4) and Timothy Spall for MR. TURNER (5).
Reese Witherspoon was voted Best Actress for WILD. Next in the voting were Julianne Moore for STILL ALICE (2), Rosamund Pike for GONE GIRL (3), Felicity Jones for THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (4) and Marion Cotillard for TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (5).
In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was J.K. Simmons for WHIPLASH. He was followed by Edward Norton for BIRDMAN (2), Ethan Hawke for BOYHOOD (3), Mark Ruffalo for FOXCATCHER (4) and Alfred Molina for LOVE IS STRANGE (5).
For Best Supporting Actress, the association named Patricia Arquette for BOYHOOD. Runners-up were Emma Stone for BIRDMAN (2), Keira Knightley for THE IMITATION GAME (3), Jessica Chastain for A MOST VIOLENT YEAR (4) and Laura Dern for WILD (5).
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was voted Best Director for BIRDMAN. Next in the voting were Richard Linklater for BOYHOOD (2), Wes Anderson for THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (3), David Fincher for GONE GIRL (4) and Ava DuVernay for SELMA (5).
The association voted FORCE MAJEURE as the best foreign-language film of the year. Runners-up included IDA (2), WINTER SLEEP (3), LEVIATHAN (4) and WILD TALES (5).
CITIZENFOUR won for Best Documentary over LIFE ITSELF (2), JODOROWSKY’S DUNE (3), THE OVERNIGHTERS (4) and THE GREAT INVISIBLE (5).
THE LEGO MOVIE was named the best animated film of 2014, with BIG HERO 6 as runner-up. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo shared the Best Screenplay award for BIRDMAN over Richard Linklater for BOYHOOD.
The award for Best Cinematography went to Emmanuel Lubezki for BIRDMAN, followed by Hoyte Van Hoytema for INTERSTELLAR. The association gave its award for Best Musical Score to Hans Zimmer for INTERSTELLAR.
The association voted BOYHOOD as the winner of the Russell Smith Award, named for the late Dallas Morning News film critic. The honor is given annually to the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association consists of 30 broadcast, print and online journalists from throughout North Texas. For more information, visit www.dfwcritics.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @dfwfilmcritics.