Critics Pick Their Favorite Films and Performances from the 2013 Locarno International Film Festival

Critics Pick Their Favorite Films and Performances from the 2013 Locarno International Film Festival

It’s not very often that one of our end-of-festival polls prominently features a film that will be released in theaters within that week. (In fact, it’s never happened before.) 

Short Term 12” is set to open in New York and LA on Friday, but it was audiences in Switzerland that were singing the film’s praises over the past few days. When we asked critics at the Locarno International Film Festival to single out some of their favorite films and performances from the fest, Destin Cretton’s sophomore feature was a top vote-getter in all categories. Brie Larson, who plays Grace, one of the main staff members at the titular specialized care facility, appeared on the most overall ballots. (Her near-unanimous selection as one of the festival’s best performance comes just days after winning the Locarno’s Best Actress Palmare.) Cretton finished atop the Best Director category and John Gallagher, Jr. did the same among the Best Supporting Performance picks. 

Berlinale favoriteGloria” also continued its successful festival run, earning mentions for director Sebastian Lelio and cast members Paulina Garcia and Sergio Hernandez. The increasingly prolific Korean director Hong Sang-soo also drew some acclaim for his latest effort, “Our Sunhi,” which follows a young woman who encounters important figures from her past on her way to post-graduate work in the US.

But perhaps the most notable Locarno debut this year was Joaquim Pinto’s “What Now? Remind Me,” an autobiographical look at a year in the life of an AIDS and Hepatitis C survivor. Indiewire’s Eric Kohn explains that the film “drifts from moments of abstract observations and reminiscences with the ease of a Chris Marker diary film, the closest precedent for Pinto’s self-reflexive approach.” With a slew of fall festivals just beyond the horizon, Locarno won’t be the only place to showcase Pinto’s story.

For the rest of the notable films from the 2013 Locarno slate, here’s a sampling of the overall results from our poll:

BEST FILM
1. Short Term 12
2. What Now? Remind Me
3. Gloria
4. The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears
5. The Green Serpent: Of Vodka, Men and Distilled Dreams
6. Our Sunhi
7. The Dirties

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Destin Cretton, Short Term 12
2. Joanna Hogg, Exhibtion
3. Joaquim Pinto, What Now? Remind Me
4. Hong Sang-soo, Our Sunhi
5. Sebastian Lelio, Gloria

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
2. Paulina Garcia, Gloria
3. Carla Juri, Wetlands
4. Viv Albertine, Exhibition
5. Vincenç Altaió, Story of My Death
6. Fernando Bacilio, El Mudo

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. John Gallagher, Jr., Short Term 12
2. Sergio Hernandez, Gloria
3. Owen Williams, The Dirties

To see full ballots from everyone polled, see the next page.

James Berclaz-Lewis

The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears included some mass walk-outs but is singular enough to no doubt stir up the interest of horror fans everywhere. It’s an astounding sensory experience to have watched it in a cinema (surely the only way to truly appreciate what the filmmakers tried to do) and unfortunately though its probable NC-17 will keep it from succeeding in cinemas, I fully expect it’ll find a strong audience when it returns in DVD. Think Berberian Sound Studio’s final 20 minutes for an hour and a half and you have Strange Colour…
Short Term 12 has enough attention overseas as it is, but a powerful emotional rollercoaster nonetheless.
Mary Queen Of Scots might find itself an audience as an arthouse take on that French-British section of history. Very lean and UN-period drama.

BEST FILM
1. Exhibition
2. The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears
3. When Evening Falls On Bucharest
4. L’Expérience Blocher
5. What Now? Remind Me 

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Corneliu Porumboiu, When Evening Falls On Bucharest or Metabolism
2. Joanna Hogg, Exhibition
3. Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, The Strange Colour Of Your Body’s Tears
4. Joaquim Pinto, What Now? Remind Me
5. Jean Stéphane Bron, L’Expérience Blocher

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Carla Juri, Wetlands 
2. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
3. Camille Rutherford, Mary Queen Of Scots
4. Viv Albertine, Exhibition
5. Mark Burnham, Wrong Cops

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Liam Gillick, Exhibition 
2. Tom Hollander, About Time
3. Edward Hogg, Mary Queen Of Scots
4. Owen Williams, The Dirties
5. Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Gabrielle

Adam Cook, MUBI

BEST FILM
1. On Death Row II
2. What Now? Remind Me
3. Short Term 12
4. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
5. Manakamana 

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Werner Herzog, 
On Death Row II 
2. Joaquim Pinto,
 What Now? Remind Me
3. Raya Martin, 
La última película
4. Destin Cretton, Short Term 12
5. João Pedro Rodrigues, Mahjong; The King’s Body 

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
2. Robert A.A. Lowe, A Spell 
to Ward Off the Darkness

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. John Gallagher Jr., Short Term 12
2. The cast of The King’s Body

Ronan Doyle, Next Projection

BEST FILM
1. Distant
2. What Now? Remind Me
3. The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears
4. By the River
5. Short Term 12 

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Zhengfan Yang, Distant
2. Nontawat Nombenchapol, By the River
3. Joanna Hogg, Exhibition
4. Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, The Strange Colours of Your Body’s Tears
5. Lois Patiño, Coast of Death 

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
2. Cho Dong-in, The Stone
3. Viv Albertine, Exhibition
4. David Merabet, Mouton
5. Nicole Garcia, Gare du Nord 

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. John Gallagher Jr, Short Term 12
2. Marilyn Manson, Wrong Cops
3. Park Won-sang, The Stone
4. Diana Dumbrava, Roxanne
5. Kim Sang-joong, Our Sunhi

Adriana Floridia

BEST FILM
1. Short Term 12
2. The Dirties
3. Gloria
4. The Special Need
5. Wetlands 

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Destin Cretton, Short Term 12
2. David Wnendt, Wetlands
3. Matt Johnson, The Dirties
4. Joanna Hogg, Exhibition
5. Sebastian Lelio, Gloria 

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Carla Juri, Wetlands 
2. Paulina Garcia, Gloria
3. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
4. Matt Johnson, The Dirties
5. Camille Rutherford, Mary Queen of Scots 

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Sergio Hernandez, Gloria
2. Owen Williams, The Dirties
3. Kaitlyn Dever, Short Term 12
4. John Gallagher Jr., Short Term 12
5. Mark Burnham, Wrong Cops

Laya Maheshwari

You should definitely see, along with the titles I have mentioned, Los Insolitos Peces Gato, Tonnerre and Master of the Universe.

BEST FILM
1. Short Term 12
2. Gloria
3. Our Sunhi 
4. Tomogui
5. The Strange Color of your Body’s Tears

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Hong San-Soo, Our Sunhi
2. Sebastian Lelio, Gloria
3. Destin Cretton, Short Term 12
4. Shinji Aoyama, The Backwater
5. Marc Bauder, Master of the Universe

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Paulina Garcia, Gloria
2. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
3. Rainer Voss, Master of the Universe
4. Ximena Ayala, 
Los insólitos peces gato
5. Vincent Macaigne, Tonnerre

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE >
1. Bill Nighy, About Time
2. John Gallagher, Jr., Short Term 12
3. Solène Rigot, Tonnerre
4. Sergio Hernández, Gloria

Michael Pattison

I began the festival by watching ‘Chinatown’ on Europe’s biggest cinema screen, and ended it with ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ on 35mm. In between, I saw the year’s best film three times and the worst film once. There’ll be an index to all of my coverage at idFilm soon.

BEST FILM 
1. Story of My Death 
2. Short Term 12 
3. El futuro 
4. The Green Serpent: Of Vodka, Men and Distilled Dreams 
5. Sense of Humor 

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Joanna Hogg, Exhibition 
2. Adrián Villar Rojas, What Fire Brought Me 
3. Albert Serra, Story of My Death 
4. Destin Cretton, Short Term 12 
5. Lois Patiño, Costa da Morte 

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Vincenç Altaió, Story of My Death 
2. Viv Albertine, Exhibition 
3. Brie Larson, Short Term 12 
4. Lolita Chammah, Cherry Pie 
5. Liam Gillick, Exhibition 

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE 
1. Lluis Serrat, Story of My Death 
2. Samson Dajczman, Sense of Humor 
3. Diana Avramut, When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism 
4. Eliseu Huertas, Story of My Death 
5. Antoine Chappey, Sense of Humor

Pablo Sulzer

BEST FILM 
1. Short Term 12 
2. El Mudo 
3. U ri Sunhi (Our Sunhi) 
4. The Dirties 
5. Shu jia zuo ye (A Time in Quchi) 

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Destin Cretton, Short Term 12 
2. Hong Sangsoo, Our Sunhi 
3. Daniel and Diego Vega, El Mudo 
4. Albert Serra, 
Story of My Death 
5. Tso-chi Chang, A Time In Quchi

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Fernando Bacilio, El Mudo 
2. Brie Larson, Short Term 12 
3. Sunkyun Lee, Our Sunhi 
4. Matt Johnson, The Dirties 
5. Liang-yu Yang, A Time In Quchi

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE 
1. Soren Pilmark, The Keeper of Lost Causes 
2. Yukiko Shinora, Tomogui 
3. Yun-Ioong Kuan, A Time In Quchi
4. François Damiens, Gare du Nord 
5. Juan Luis Maldonado, El Mudo

Neil Young, Jigsaw Lounge

BEST FILM
1. The Green Serpent – Of Vodka, Men and Distilled Dreams 
2. 
What Now? Remind Me
3. Gloria 
4. Õlimäe õied  
5. Chigger Ale 

BEST DIRECTOR
1. 
Benny Jaberg, The Green Serpent – Of Vodka, Men and Distilled Dreams
2. 
Joaquim Pinto, What Now? Remind Me
3. 
Sebastián Lelio, Gloria 
4. 
Heilika Pikkov, Õlimäe õied  
5. 
Fanta Ananas, Chigger Ale 

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Paulina García, Gloria
2. Daniel Tadesse, Chigger Ale
3. Vincenç Altaió, 
Story of My Death 
4. Boris Karloff, A Masque of Madness
5. Bruce Graham, Forty Years from Yesterday 

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Nuno Leonel, What Now? Remind Me
2. Rufus, 
What Now? Remind Me
3. Sympetrum fonscolombii, 
What Now? Remind Me

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