This week’s reviews by TFCA critics, including After the Wedding, Blinded by the Light, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
And The Winners Are…
December 14, 2015
The Toronto Film Critics Association names Todd Haynes’ Carol the Best Film of the Year
Carol, the swooning tale of a life-changing love affair, won two top prizes at the 2015 awards of the Toronto Film Critics Association.
Todd Haynes’ 1950s melodrama was named Best Picture, and Haynes named Best Director. The film’s stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, were runners-up for this year’s Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress prizes, respectively.
The TFCA named Tom Hardy Best Actor for the second consecutive year for his dual role as homicidal twin crime lords Reggie and Ronnie Kray in Brian Helgeland’s Legend; he’d won the 2014 award for holding the screen all by his lonesome in Steven Knight’s solo drama Locke.
And Joshua Oppenheimer, who won the Allan King Documentary Award in 2013 for The Act of Killing, won the 2015 prize for its companion piece, The Look of Silence, which revisits the Indonesian genocide from the perspective of an optometrist confronting his brother’s murderers.
The awards were voted on (and, for the first time, live-tweeted) by the TFCA at a meeting on Sunday, December 13, 2015. The membership also chose the three finalists for the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award: The Forbidden Room, directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson; My Internship In Canada, directed by Philippe Falardeau, and Sleeping Giant, directed by Andrew Cividino. The winner will be named at the TFCA’s awards gala, to be held January 5, 2016.
The winner of the Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist, to be announced at a later date, will be presented with a $5,000 cheque at the gala.
At the January 5 ceremony, the TFCA will also announce the winner of the Manulife Student Film Award, which carries a $5,000 cash prize. It will be presented to a short film that the critics select from student entries submitted by film programs at Humber College, Ryerson University, Sheridan College and York University.
As previously announced, the 2015 recipient of the Technicolor Clyde Gilmour Award is Deepa Mehta, who will present a filmmaker of her choice with $50,000 worth of services from Technicolor at the January 5 gala.
The 2015 TFCA Awards will be presented at a gala dinner at Toronto’s The Carlu on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, hosted by Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. There the TFCA will also reveal the winner of the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, which carries a record-setting $100,000 cash prize, the richest film award in the country. The runners-up will each receive $5,000.
“This year’s winning films encompass a remarkable diversity of genres and styles,” said TFCA President Brian D. Johnson. “And the Canadian finalists present a broad spectrum of talent — a veteran Winnipeg auteur who remixes cinema like a mad alchemist, an Oscar-honoured Quebecois who’s made a bold turn from intimate drama to sly political satire, and a young Toronto director making his feature debut with a Lakehead coming-of-age story that dazzled Cannes and TIFF.”
More details of the 19th annual TFCA awards, which were live tweeted Sunday, December 13, 2015:
- Nina Hoss was named Best Actress for her performance as a woman forced to assume her own identity in post-war German in Christian Petzold’s Phoenix, which also won Best Foreign-Language Film.
- Mark Rylance was named Best Supporting Actor for his role as the enigmatic Soviet operative Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.
- Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting Actress for her work as the calculating android Ava in Alex Garland’s near-future drama Ex Machina, which was named the year’s Best First Feature.
- Adam McKay and Charles Randolph won the Best Screenplay prize for The Big Short, which turns Michael Lewis’ deeply researched recounting of the global financial meltdown into a giddy, outraged comedy.
- Aardman Animation’s Shaun the Sheep Movie, a wordless comedy about a flock of very determined sheep in the big city, was named the year’s Best Animated Feature.
(Under the TFCA’s guidelines, contenders eligible for the awards include films released in Canada in 2015 plus films that qualify for the 2015 Oscars and have Canadian distribution scheduled by the end of February 2016.)
The TFCA is extremely grateful to founding sponsor Rogers Communications Inc. and welcomes new accessory sponsor Birk’s and Stella Artois. Thanks to returning sponsors Manulife Financial, Cineplex Entertainment, Technicolor Creative Services, Maclean’s Magazine, the Globe and Mail, Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, MacLaren Craft and Ontario Media Development Corporation.
The TFCA Awards gala will take place in the historic art-deco Round Room at The Carlu, with cuisine provided by chef Christopher Palik, Executive Chef, O&B and The Carlu. A cocktail reception sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment will precede the dinner and awards ceremony.
The Toronto Film Critics Association was established in 1997 and is comprised of Toronto based journalists and broadcasters who specialize in film criticism and commentary. All major dailies, weeklies and a variety of other print, electronic and web outlets are represented. Members of the TFCA also participate in the Federation of International Film Critics (FIPRESCI). As such, they have sat on juries at festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, Montreal, Miami, Palm Springs, Chicago, Pusan, Moscow, Amsterdam, London and Vienna, among others.
The full list of Toronto Film Critics Association Awards winners and runners-up:
“Carol” (Entertainment One)
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (Warner Bros.)
“Spotlight” (Entertainment One)
Tom Hardy, “Legend”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant”
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Nina Hoss, “Phoenix”
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies”
Benicio Del Toro, “Sicario”
Michael Shannon, “99 Homes”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Alicia Vikander, “Ex Machina”
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Kristen Stewart, “Clouds of Sils Maria”
Todd Haynes, “Carol”
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight”
George Miller, “Mad Max: Fury Road”
Denis Villeneuve, “Sicario”
BEST SCREENPLAY, ADAPTED OR ORIGINAL
“The Big Short”, Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; based upon the book by Michael Lewis
“Anomalisa,” Charlie Kaufman; based on his stage play
“Carol,” by Phyllis Nagy; based on the novel “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith
“Spotlight,” by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
BEST FIRST FEATURE
“Ex Machina,” directed by Alex Garland
“Sleeping Giant,” directed by Andrew Cividino
“Son of Saul,” directed by Lázsló Nemes
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Shaun the Sheep Movie” (Elevation Pictures)
“Anomalisa” (Paramount Pictures)
“Inside Out” (Disney*Pixar)
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
“Phoenix” (Films We Like)
“The Assassin” (Amplify Releasing)
“Son of Saul” (Mongrel Media)
ALLAN KING DOCUMENTARY AWARD
“The Look of Silence” (Blue Ice Docs)
“Amy” (Mongrel Media)
“Listen To Me Marlon” ( distributor unknown )
ROGERS BEST CANADIAN FILM AWARD FINALISTS
“The Forbidden Room,” directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson
“My Internship in Canada,” directed by Philippe Falardeau
“Sleeping Giant,” directed by Andrew Cividino