Phoenix Film Critics Society's Best Film of 2013

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Phoenix Film Critics Society’s Best Film of 2013

You won’t find “The Wolf of Wall Street” here but that’s probably more a reflection of limited viewing opportunities than the quality of the movie.  And while there has been praise for Forest Whitaker, you won’t find “The Butler” on the list either.  “12 Years a Slave” has been honored with the title of Best Film of 2013 by the Phoenix Film Critics Society.  But the film did not enjoy a big sweep of awards.  That kind of recognition has been bestowed upon “Gravity”.  It claims 5 awards, including Best Director for Alfonse Cuaron. 

But do I think “12 Years a Slave” is the Best Picture of the year?  Excellent as it is, it is not my pick.  My personal vote is for “Gravity”.  Like “12 Years a Slave” and really the rest of the Top 10 Films, it is compelling story telling, with great acting and incredible photography but unlike the others it’s all in the freefall of space!
I think it is a true landmark achievement in film and will be viewed as a classic in film history.

Here is the complete list of this year’s PFSC winners, along with my picks in the top 5 categories.

Phoenix Film Critics Society 2013 Awards

BEST PICTURE
"12 Years a Slave"  (1.  Flick Chick Pick:  “Gravity”)

TOP TEN FILMS OF 2013 (in alphabetical order, Flick Chick Pick's in numerical order)
"12 Years a Slave"

"American Hustle"
(2. Flick Chick Pick:  “Saving Mr. Banks”  A lovely, heartwarming  and beautifully told story of how Walt Disney wooed the author of ‘Mary Poppins’ into giving him the rights to make his movie.  You don’t have to love ‘Mary Poppins’ to love this movie but it wouldn’t hurt!)

"Captain Phillips"
(3.  Flick Chick Pick:  “Rush”  I don’t care about racing and I didn’t know the true story of the rivalry of the drivers but wow!  Ron Howard and company put together a stunning, edge of your seat action movie set against a real life drama.)

"Dallas Buyers Club"
(4.  Flick Chick Pick:  “Captain Phillips”  I vaguely remember the true story of a ship captain held hostage by Somali pirates and once again the topic would not have been my cup of tea but this was a gripping, tense drama.  Tom Hanks was good in “Saving Mr. Banks” but he is phenomenal in “Captain Phillips” as was his arch nemesis and acting newbie Barkhad Abdi.)

"Gravity"                                                                                                                                               (5.  Flick Chick Pick:  “American Hustle”  I loved “The Sting” in 1973 and if you did, too, you will love “American Hustle”.  Great storytelling with lots of twists and turns and an incredible acting ensemble of some of the best talent working today, in spite of my feeling that Jennifer Lawrence was way too young for her part.)

"Mud"                                                                                                                                                    (6.  Flick Chick Pick:  “The Book Thief”  Wonderful, heartwarming and heartbreaking tale of a family in Germany when the Nazi’s rise to horrific power.  Geoffrey Rush is amazing as are Emily Watson and newcomer Sophie Nelisse as his family)

"Nebraska"                                                                                                                                           (7.  Flick Chick Pick: “12 Years a Slave”  A wonderful movie that is almost too hard to watch.)

"Philomena"                                                                                                                                          (8.  Flick Chick Pick:  “Mud”  A little gem of a movie that reminded me of a modern day Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn adventure.  Mathew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon are at the very top of their game!)

"Saving Mr. Banks"                                                                                                                              (9.  Flick Chick Pick:  “Dallas Buyers Club”  Based on a true story about a straight man who contracts AIDS and works around the system to help himself and others live longer, Mathew McConaughey and Jared Leto give performances of a lifetime.)

"Short Term 12"                                                                                                                                  (10.  Flick Chick Pick:  A tie between “Austenland” and “The Conjuring”  Okay, if pressed I would have to admit there are better movies out there but these are the two movies I probably enjoyed and talked about the most.  One made me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt, the other scared me out of my mind!  Fun!  Fun!  Fun!)

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"  (Flick Chick Pick:  Ditto!)

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"  (Flick Chick Pick:  Ditto!)


BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"  (Flick Chick Pick:  Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”!)

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"  (Flick Chick Pick:  Ditto!)


BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"  (Flick Chick Pick:  Ditto!)


BEST ENSEMBLE ACTING
"American Hustle"

BEST SCREENPLAY - ORIGINAL
"Nebraska"

BEST SCREENPLAY - ADAPTATION
"12 Years a Slave"

BEST LIVE ACTION FAMILY FILM (Rated G or PG)
"Oz, The Great and Powerful"

THE OVERLOOKED FILM OF THE YEAR
(TIE)
"The Kings of Summer"
And
"The Spectacular Now"

BEST ANIMATED FILM
"Frozen"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 
"Blue is the Warmest Color"

BEST DOCUMENTARY
"20 Feet from Stardom"

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Let It Go, "Frozen"

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
"Frozen"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY 
"Gravity"

BEST FILM EDITING 
"Gravity"

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
"Gravity"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
"The Great Gatsby"

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
"Gravity"

BEST STUNTS
"Fast & Furious 6"

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE ON CAMERA
Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE BEHIND THE
CAMERA

Lake Bell, "In a World..."

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH IN A LEAD OR SUPPORTING ROLE – MALE
Tye Sheridan, "Mud"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH IN A LEAD
OR SUPPORTING ROLE – FEMALE

Sophie Nelisse, "The Book Thief"