Thursday, December 13, 2012

San Diego Film Critics pick best of year

SDFCS Best Film of the Year Award
By James Colt Harrison

After a year of seeing movies from the major studios and independent production companies, the San Diego Film Critic’s Society has selected its “best of” for the year of 2012. Out of the hundreds of films seen by the critics, these are the ones deemed to be the best in each category.

The Best Film of the year was selected by the critics as ARGO. It is the story of the Iranian hostage crisis, with a little twist of a phony movie being made as a ruse to get the hostages out of Iran. The runner-up film was DJANGO UNCHAINED by Quentin Tarantino.

The Best Director category was won by young BEN AFFLECK, who directed ARGO. Rarely is a Best Film selected when the director of the film isn’t also a winner. This is only Affleck’s third film that he has directed, the others being Gone Baby,Gone, The Town, and now Argo. The runner-up winning director was Kathryn Bigelow for her Osama Bin Laden action film, Zero Dark Thirty.

The Best Actor category was won by DANIEL DAY-LEWIS for his portrayal of the President in LINCOLN. Day-Lewis is famous for immersing himself into the characters he plays. Joaquin Phoenix was the runner-up winner as Best Actor for his portrayal of a disturbed young man seeking approval in the cult film The Master.

The Best Actress category was a difficult one, but a winner was selected from the group of five nominated actresses. ComIng out on top was winner MICHELLE WILLIAMS for her role in TAKE THIS WALTZ. Young Jennifer Lawrence took second place for Silver Linings Playbook.

Best Supporting Actor turned out to be CHRISTOLPH WALTZ for his serio-comical role in Tarantino’s DJANGO UNCHAINED. Coming in for second place support was Matthew McConaughey for his part in Killer Joe.

Best Supporting Actress was an upset with EMMA WATSON earning the award for her role as an understanding teen in the quirky comedy THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. Actress Anne Hathaway swept the runner-up award for her intense dramatic part in Les Miserables.

Best Adapted Screenplay went to CHRIS TERRIO for his gripping adventure story ARGO. Stephen Chbosky took the honors for The Perks of Being a Wallflower as runner-up.

Best Original Screenplay came from the hands of PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON for his writing of THE MASTER. For his over-the-top western adventure film, Quentin Tarantino came in as runner-up.

To capture beauty on screen, the cameras must be commandeered by a master. For the Best Cinematography, CLAUDIO MIRANDA came in first for capturing the sea, a boy, and a Bengal tiger in 3D in director Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI. The runner-up film was Django Unchained  by cinematographer Robert Richardson. Also nominated in this category were Danny Cohen for Les Miserables, Ben Richardson for Beasts of the Southern Wild and Mihai Malaimare, Jr. for The Master.

Best Production Design was a tough one because of all the excellent work done by the artists involved. It was finally decided that HUGH BATEUP and ULI HANISCH should win for their work on CLOUD ATLAS. Runner up film was Moonrise Kingdom with designs by Adam Stockhausen. Other nominees were Sarah Greenwood for Anna Karenina, Sharon Seymour for Argo, and Eve Stewart for Les Miserables.

The Best Foreign Language Film was THE KID WITH A BIKE, followed by Headhunters. Other nominees were Amour, Holy Motors, and The Intouchables.

Best Animated Film was selected as PARANORMAN, with Brave  as the runner-up winner.

Music fans will appreciate that the Best Score was written by JOHNNY GREENWOOD for THE MASTER, with Alexandre Desplat as runner-up for his Argo score.

Best Editing is a tough job that is important to creating the pace of a film. For his editing on ARGO, WILLIAM GOLDENBERG was selected for the top prize. He was also honored with Dylan Tichenor for work on Zero Dark Thirty.

Best Ensemble Performance obviously relies on a great cast. THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER with Logan Lerman and Emma Watson and their supporting players was selected as the winner. Argo was the runner-up with Ben Affleck, John Goodman, and Alan Arkin. Other great ensemble casts were in the films Les Miserables, Django Unchained and Seven Psycopaths.


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