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Village Voice Offbeat Choices Rampling & Stewart

Village Voice Nina Hoss Phoenix Best Actress runner-up‘Village Voice’ Critics made a number of off-beat choices. One of them was their Best Actress runner-up: Nina Hoss in Phoenix; Hoss trailed Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years.

‘Village Voice’: Offbeat picks include Géza Röhrig & Best Actress runner-up Nina Hoss

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

The Best of 2015 choices of the Village Voice film critics will not influence the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, or the SAG Awards. No matter.

If you’re interested in movies to watch or performances to check out, then you should pay close attention to those smaller critics’ lists. More so, in fact, than the lists by academies, guilds, and press/critics associations with televised awards shows – or even critics groups worried about their “Oscar relevance.” In their case, buzz easily (and usually) trumps quality.

‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ tops

The top three slots of the Village Voice critics went to expected, English-language fare:

  • George Miller’s female-centered actioner Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy.
  • Todd Haynes’ female-centered romantic drama Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara.
  • Tom McCarthy’s all-star ensemble piece – and Best Screenplay pick – Spotlight, described elsewhere on this site as the All the President’s Men of the early 21st century, with the Boston Globe replacing the Washington Post and the Catholic church replacing the Richard Nixon White House.

But the no. 4 movie on the critics’ list, Christian Petzold’s Phoenix, starring Best Actress runner-up Nina Hoss as a concentration-camp survivor out to find the husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) who may have betrayed her to the Nazis, was somewhat of a (welcome) surprise.

And so was the no. 5 entry, Sean Baker’s iPhone-shot Tangerine, the story of a transgender Hollywood sex worker (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) out to find the pimp/fiancé (James Ransone) who has exchanged her for another (non-transgender) woman.

Non-Hollywood names

Instead of a Hollywood name, the Village Voice critics’ Best Actor was Géza Röhrig, the star of László Nemes’ Auschwitz-set drama Son of Saul and the Los Angeles Film Critics’ Best Actor runner-up.

Another non-Hollywood name, veteran Charlotte Rampling (The Damned, The Night Porter) was chosen as 2015’s Best Actress for her performance as Tom Courtenay’s distraught wife in Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years. This year’s Best Actress winner at the Berlin Film Festival, Rampling has been bypassed by both the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards.

Village Voice winner Mark Rylance Bridge of Spies‘Village Voice’ winner Mark Rylance in ‘Bridge of Spies’: Tom Hanks’ co-star is critics’ and (so far) Oscar favorite.

Mark Rylance, Kristen Stewart

In the supporting categories, Mark Rylance was singled out for his performance as Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, while Kristen Stewart topped the Best Supporting Actress category for her work as Juliette Binoche’s secretary in Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria.

Mark Rylance, whose film was distributed by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures, is a shoo-in for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. The jury is still out regarding Kristen Stewart, as Clouds of Sils Maria U.S. distributor IFC Films/Sundance Selects has a terrible Oscar track record – Stewart was also bypassed for both the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes. (The former Twilight movie franchise star was, however, the top choice of the New York and Boston film critics.)

Stewart, by the way, received twice as many votes as runner-up Rooney Mara – even though Mara is actually Cate Blanchett’s Carol co-lead.


And finally, Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Chevalier, the Best Film winner at the London Film Festival, has nothing to do with either the 20th century actor/singer Maurice Chevalier (The Love Parade, Gigi) or with Brian Helgeland’s A Knight’s Tale, starring Heath Ledger and known as Chevalier in France.

Instead, the title of this Greek comedy, which premiered at the Locarno Film Festival, refers to the signet ring given to the winner of a series of competitions between men aboard a luxury yacht on the Aegean Sea.

2015 ‘Village Voice’ film critics poll

Best Picture
1. Mad Max: Fury Road.
2. Carol.
3. Spotlight.
4. Phoenix.
5. Tangerine.
6. Anomalisa.
7. Clouds of Sils Maria.
8. Inside Out.
9. Brooklyn.
10. The Assassin.

Best Director
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road.

Best Actor
Géza Röhrig, Son of Saul.
Michael B. Jordan, Creed.
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs.

Best Actress
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years.
Nina Hoss, Phoenix.
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn.

Best Supporting Actress
Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria.
Rooney Mara, Carol.
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight.

Best Supporting Actor
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies.
Sylvester Stallone, Creed.
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight.

Best Screenplay

Best Documentary
The Look of Silence.

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

Best Animated Feature
Inside Out.

Best Undistributed Film

Worst Film
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.

Movie Everyone Is Wrong About
Jupiter Ascending.

Village Voice Best Actress runner-up Nina Hoss Phoenix image: Sundance Selects / IFC Films.

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:

  • Best Actress Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn.
  • Best Foreign Language Film for László Nemes’ Son of Saul.
  • Best Animated Feature for Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s Anomalisa.
  • Best Picture for Tom McCarthy’s Catholic Church/child molestation/investigative journalism drama Spotlight.

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

  • Best Supporting Actress Mya Taylor – perhaps the first transgender person to win a U.S. critics’ group award in the acting categories? – for Sean S. Baker’s low-budget Tangerine.
  • Best Documentary for Stevan Riley’s Listen to Me Marlon, about two-time Academy Award winner Marlon Brando.

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.

Image Village Voice Best Supporting Actor winner Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies: Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Productions.

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

San Francisco Film Critics Circle website.

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