If you followed the critical reactions out of Park City this year with our Sundance Review Reports, you probably could have predicted this one: Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight,” the third installment in his “Before” series after “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” topped our Criticwire Survey of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The long-awaited sequel ran away with the Best Narrative Feature category, nearly doubling the point total of the runner-up, David Lowery’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” From the documentary side of the festival, the winner was “After Tiller,” a sensitive portrayal of the four doctors left in America who still perform third-trimester abortions. In a much closer race, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s film narrowly edged “Stories We Tell” by Sarah Polley, a doc about her own family’s curious past.
Our Best First Feature category was won by “Fruitvale” by Ryan Coogler; it also won the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize and the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award at Sundance 2013. The title refers to a train station in Oakland where, in 2009, a young man was killed by police in the midst of an arrest gone horribly wrong. Michael B. Jordan from TV’s “The Wire” and “Friday Night Lights” plays the young man, Oscar Grant, and he came in third in our Best Lead Performance poll, behind runner-up Julie Delpy in “Before Midnight” (Ethan Hawke in “Before Midnight” came in fourth) and winner Miles Teller from “The Spectacular Now,” a well-reviewed drama about a relationship between a pair of high school students. “Spectacular Now” placed third on our Best Narrative Feature survey and Teller’s co-star Shailene Woodley came in second in our Best Supporting Performance survey, which was topped by Ben Foster from “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.”
At the link below, you’ll find the full survey results along with lists of which critics voted for what movies and performances. On a related topic: we all need to come up with a better name for the “Before” series than “the ‘Before’ series.” That can’t be it. I’m throwing down the gauntlet; let’s brainstorm it out, folks. Report back to me on Twitter.