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2014 Chicago Film Critics Awards

December 16, 2014

boyhoodarquette

 

It was definitely a night of surprises and disappointments tonight at this year’s awards dinner where the Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA) announced their picks for the best of the year in film. Yours truly and fortysomething other critics chose winners in 17 categories, a handful of them won by one or two votes – it was that tight. Alas, many of the nominees that I voted for were not chosen, especially the winners in all the acting categories. All four certainly gave worthy performances, but there was a sense of predictability to these winners though. On the flipside, it was surprising that we had a tie in cinematography and to also see Mika Levi’s atmospheric score for “Under the Skin” win. One particular upset for me though was the Swedish drama “Force Majeure” winning for Best Foreign Language over “Ida” the excellent Polish film which should’ve won. I thought both films were great, but “Ida” was the major discovery of the year for me.

Of the other winners, some will definitely feel “Life Itself”, the documentary about the late Roger Ebert, winning is the most obvious of the night. So be it. Out of the nominees in that category, likely resonating the most with critics in the iconic pundit’s hometown and it helped that Steve James made a film that offered a raw and real look at the man behind the critic.

Overall, it was another enjoyable evening hanging out with a plethora of talented writers whom I respect immensely. Too often, the only time we get to see each other is in a dark theater, quickly before or after a screening, but having dinner and great conversations together is a rarity that will be well-remembered.

Below is the full list of this year’s winners….

 

BEST PICTURE
Boyhood
BEST DIRECTOR
Richard Linklater–Boyhood
BEST ACTOR
Michael Keaton–Birdman
BEST ACTRESS
Julianne Moore–Still Alice
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
J.K. Simmons–Whiplash
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette–Boyhood
BEST ORIGNAL SCREENPLAY
The Grand Budapest Hotel–Wes Anderson
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Gone Girl–Gillian Flynn
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Force Majeure
BEST DOCUMENTARY
Life Itself
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The LEGO Movie
BEST ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
TIE: Birdman–Emmanuel Lubezki/The Grand Budapest Hotel–Robert Yeoman
BEST EDITING
Whiplash–Tom Cross
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Under the Skin–Mica Levi
MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Jack O’Connell–Starred Up/Unbroken
MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Damien Chazelle–Whiplash

 

BY THE NUMBERS

3 – Boyhood, Whiplash & The Grand Budapest Hotel

2- Birdman

1 – Force Majeure, Gone Girl, The LEGO Movie, Starred Up, Unbroken, Under the Skin, Still Alice & Life Itself

 

 

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