Paul Dano Wins & Loses, Transgender Winner: Film Critics Awards' Surprises

by S. Montgomery
Paul Dano Love & Mercy Award winner and loserPaul Dano in 'Love & Mercy': San Francisco Film Critics' award winner and loser.

Paul Dano: San Francisco Film Critics Awards winner & loser

The big story at the 2015 San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards is the surprising Paul Dano saga. The Love & Mercy actor both won and lost for the very same film role. But how could that be?

Well, enough San Francisco Film Critics saw fit to nominate Dano in two categories for their annual awards. Generally speaking, there's nothing wrong with that; it happens every now and then. But not for the same role. Ah, that ever elusive line separating a lead performance from a supporting one. What's a critics' group to do?

Anyhow, Paul Dano ended up pulling a Barry Fitzgerald in reverse. Whereas the 1944 Academy Award winner/loser for Leo McCarey's blockbuster Going My Way took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor while losing in the Best Actor category to co-star Bing Crosby, Dano won as Best Actor for his performance as the young version of The Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson (John Cusack played the older Wilson), while the Best Supporting Actor winner was (another surprising choice) Michael Shannon for 99 Homes.

Mya Taylor makes awards season history?

Among the other San Francisco Film Critics winners were several U.S. critics favorites:

Besides Paul Dano and Michael Shannon, there were a couple other surprises:

See below the full list of 2015 San Francisco Film Critics Circle winners and nominees.

Full list of 2015 San Francisco Film Critics winners and nominations

Best Film
Love & Mercy.
Mad Max: Fury Road.
* Spotlight.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Assassin.
Goodnight Mommy.
* Son of Saul.
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Its Existence.

Best Director
John Crowley, Brooklyn.
Todd Haynes, Carol.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant.
Tom Mccarthy, Spotlight.
* George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road.

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo.
* Paul Dano, Love & Mercy.
Leonardo Dicaprio, The Revenant.
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs.
Ian Mckellen, Mr. Holmes.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, Carol.
Brie Larson, Room.
Rooney Mara, Carol.
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years.
* Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn.

Best Supporting Actor
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy.
Benicio Del Toro, Sicario.
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies.
* Michael Shannon, 99 Homes.
Sylvester Stallone, Creed.

Best Supporting Actress
Elizabeth Banks, Love & Mercy.
Helen Mirren, Trumbo.
* Mya Taylor, Tangerine.
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl.
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina.

Best Original Screenplay
Ex Machina, Alex Garland.
* Love & Mercy, Michael Alan Lerner; Oren Moverman.
Sicario, Taylor Sheridan.
Spotlight, Tom Mccarthy; Josh Singer.
Tangerine, Sean Baker; Chris Bergoch.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Carol, Phyllis Nagy.
* Brooklyn, Nick Hornby.
Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller.
45 Years, Andrew Haigh.
The Martian, Drew Goddard.
Room, Emma Donahue.

Best Cinematography
The Assassin, Ping Bing Lee.
Carol, Edward Lachman.
* Mad Max: Fury Road, John Seale.
The Revenant, Emmanuel Lubezski.
Sicario, Roger Deakins.

Best Editing
The Big Short, Hank Corwin.
Love & Mercy, Dino Jonsater.
* Mad Max: Fury Road, Margaret Sixel.
The Revenant, Stephen Mirrione.
Sicario, Joe Walker.

Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies, Adam Stockhausen; Rena Deangelo; Bernard Henrich.
Brooklyn, Francois Seguin; Suzanne Cloutier.
* Carol, Judy Becker; Heather Loeffler.
Mad Max: Fury Road, Colin Gibson; Katie Sherrock; Lisa Thompson.
The Revenant, Jack Fisk; Hamish Purdy.

Best Documentary
Best of Enemies.
* Listen to Me Marlon.
The Look of Silence.

Best Animated Feature
* Anomalisa.
Boy and the World.
Inside Out.
The Peanuts Movie.
Shaun the Sheep Movie.

Marlon Riggs Award (“for courage & innovation in the Bay Area film community”).
Frank Lee. “For his lifelong dedication to film culture in San Francisco – in particular his twenty-plus-year film stewardship of the 4 Star Theatre in the tradition of the family-run independent art house and his attention to Hong Kong film, both marked by his astute taste and knowledge.”

Special Mention (“for underappreciated independent cinema”).
The Forbidden Room. “Guy Maddin's haunted scream, full of artfully recreated, vinegar-eaten celluloid, is a rat's nest of affairs too strange to recall and too troubling to forget.”


Note: Mad Max: Fury Road “Additional Editor” Jason Ballantine was initially listed as a co-winner in the San Francisco Film Critics Awards' Best Film Editing category. Margaret Sixel is actually that film's sole official editor.

Paul Dano Love & Mercy image: Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions.

San Francisco Film Critics Circle website.

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