Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, ‘Snowpiercer’ and ‘Journey to the West’ Top 2014 Berlinale Critics Poll

Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, 'Snowpiercer' and 'Journey to the West' Top 2014 Berlinale Critics Poll

This year’s Berlin International Film Festival was a time for heavy hitters. While Golden Bear winner “Black Coal, Thin Ice” came from a relatively unknown Chinese filmmaker, additional prizes went to Richard Linklater and Wes Anderson, pointing to a program largely designed to showcase established auteurs.

To determine some of the more well-received titles from this year’s slate, we conducted a survey of our Criticwire Network from members who were at Berlin over the past few weeks. As the festival wound down, we asked respondents to send their picks in a number of categories, from Best Feature (both Narrative and Documentary) to Best Performance (Lead and Supporting) to Best First Feature.

Among the results, one title that appeared most frequently in a number of those areas was “Journey to the West,” from director Tsai Ming-liang. His last film, “Stray Dogs,” was a festival mainstay for the latter part of 2013, following its Venice debut. The follow-up, a 54-minute chronicle of a Buddhist monk’s travels through Marseille, stars Denis Lavant and frequent Tsai Ming-liang collaborator Lee Kang-sheng.

Many critics included a handful of large-scale high-concept films from this year’s program. Bong Joon-ho’s mystifying “Snowpiercer,” anchored by performances from Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton, received high marks as a shining example of world cinema science fiction, just in time for news that the director’s cut would hit U.S. theaters. Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1,” which has played internationally for months and at a surprise Sundance screening back in January, drew mentions in everything from Best Narrative Feature to Best Ensemble. And, once again, Linklater continues his magical festival run with another venue where his long-gestating “Boyhood” has screened to great acclaim.

The festival’s effective bookends, opening night entry “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Golden Bear winner “Black Coal, Thin Ice,” both merited inclusion on a number of lists. First-time Wes Anderson troupe member Ralph Fiennes found himself on nearly half the ballots for the former, while the director-actor pairing of Diao Yinan and Liao Fan brought plenty of attention to their prize-winning noir.

The debut feature that continues to wow critics is Eskil Vogt’s “Blind.” Telling the story of a woman recently left without her sight, the tonal blend between levity and drama has drawn attention for both Vogt and lead actress Ellen Dorrit Petersen. Another Berlin curiosity that caught the attention of a few writers is Guillaume Nicloux’s “The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq“: A fictionalized version of the “disappearance” of its titular author back in late 2011, Houellebecq plays himself (and as a result appeared on a trio of Best Lead Performance lists).

Among the other multiple acting mentions: Jack O’Connell for his role in the Northern Ireland period drama “’71” and Alfred Molina in Ira Sachs’ latest “Love is Strange.” 

For a full list of critic ballots, click through to the next page.

Beatrice BehnZino-Keit

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Boyhood

Alex Billington, FirstShowing.com

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Snowpiercer
2. Blind
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. In Order of Disappearance
5. Things People Do

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood
2. Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer
3. Hans Petter Moland, In Order of Appearance

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Chris Evans, Snowpiercer

2. Jack O’Connell, ’71
3. Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Blind

Adam Cook, MUBI

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Boyhood
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Black Coal, Thin Ice

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE 
1. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Boyhood

David Ehrlich, Fighting in the War Room

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Boyhood
4. Black Coal, Thin Ice
5. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 
1. Concerning Violence
2. Joy of Man’s Desiring

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Lars von Trier, Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1
2. Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Diao Yinan, Black Coal, Thin Ice
4. Richard Linklater, Boyhood 
5. David Zellner, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Rinko Kikuchi, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

2. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Liao Fan, Black Coal, Thin Ice
4. Alfred Molina, Love is Strange
5. Stacy Martin, Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE 
1. Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

2. Stellan Skarsgard, Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1

3. Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
4. F. Murray Abraham, The Grand Budapest Hotel

5. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1

BEST FIRST FEATURE 
1. Blind

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel

2. Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1
3. Boyhood
4. Life of Riley
5. Snowpiercer

Patrick Gamble, CineVue

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Snowpiercer
2. Boyhood
3. Shadow Days
4. Blind
5. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer
2. Richard Linklater, Boyhood

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Snowpiercer

2. Boyhood
3. Land of Storms
4. Stations of the Cross
5. Blind Massage

Andrew GrantTime Out New York

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
2. Blind
3. Journey to the West
4. Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1
5. The Midnight After

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 
1. 20,000 Days on Earth
2. Finding Vivian Maier

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Eskil Vogt, Blind
2. Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer
3. Guillaume Nicloux, 
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
4. Tsai Ming-liang, Journey to the West

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. 
Michel Houellebecq, The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
3. Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
4. Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Blind

BEST FIRST FEATURE 
1. Blind
2. 20,000 Days on Earth

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Boyhood
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Patrick HeidmannCineman

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Boyhood
2. Love is Strange
3. Snowpiercer
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Stations of the Cross

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood
2. Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer
3. Lars von Trier, Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1

4. Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Ira Sachs, Love is Strange

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Alfred Molina, Love is Strange

2. Stellan Skarsgard, In Order of Disappearance
3. Lea van Acken, Stations of the Cross
4. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Wagner Moura, Praia do Futuro

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE 
1. Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

2. Marisa Tomei, Love is Strange

3. Florian Stetter, Stations of the Cross
4. Rose Byrne, The Turning

5. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Boyhood
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1
4. Snowpiercer
5. The Little House

David HudsonFandor

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Boyhood
2. The Beloved Sisters
3. Life of Riley
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. 
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood
2. Dominik Graf, The Beloved Sisters
3. Alain Resnais, Life of Riley

4. 
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Corneliu Porumboiu, The Second Game

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel

2. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
3. 
Michel Houellebecq, The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
4. Hannah Herzsprung, The Beloved Sisters

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE 
1. Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

2. David Zellner, Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Boyhood

2. Life of Riley
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. The Beloved Sisters
5. Calvary

Tara Karajica, The Film Prospector

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Gabe Klinger, Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater 

BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. The Two Faces of January

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Boyhood

2. In Order of Disappearance
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. A Long Way Down
5. Two Faces of January

Robert KoehlerArts Meme

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Ice Poison
2. The Lamb
3. Nagima
4. Blind Massage
5. Stations of the Cross

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 
1. The Second Game
2. Iranian
3. Everything That Rises Must Converge

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Midi Z, Ice Poison
2. Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

3. Lou Ye, Blind Massage

4. 
Dietrich Brüggemann, Stations of the Cross

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Lea van Acken, Stations of the Cross

2. Franziska Weisz, Stations of the Cross
3. Vangelis Mourikis, Stratos
4. Mert Tastan, The Lamb

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Blind Massage

2. The Beloved Sisters
3. Stations of the Cross
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. The Lamb

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. ’71
2. Jack
3. She’s Lost Control
4. In Order of Disappearance
5. 
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 
1. Concerning Violence
2. Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?
3. The Dog
4. Joy of Man’s Desiring
5. The Square

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Yann Demange, ’71
2. Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer
3. Anja Marquardt, She’s Lost Control

4. Edward Berger, Jack
5. Hans Petter Moland, In Order of Disappearance

BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. She’s Lost Control
2. ’71

3. History of Fear
4. Things People Do

BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. The Midnight After

2. In Order of Disappearance
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Boyhood
5. Snowpiercer

Vince Mancini, Film Drunk

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Blind

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 
1. The Dog

BEST DIRECTOR 
1. Eskil Vogt, Blind

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Brendan Gleeson, Calvary

2. Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Blind

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE 
1. Uma Thurman
, Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1

Kiva ReardonCléo

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Boyhood
2. The Second Game 
3. Journey to the West
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Butter on the Latch

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. The Airstrip
2. Is the Man Who is Tall Happy?
3. Joy of Man’s Desiring

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood
2. Tsai Ming-liang, Journey to the West
3. 
Corneliu Porumboiu, The Second Game
4. Wes Anderson, The 
Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Lee Kang-sheng, Journey to the West
2. Gwei Lun Mei, 
Black Coal, Thin Ice
4. Rushana Sadikova, 40 Days of Silence

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Patricia Arquette, 
Boyhood
2. Denis Lavant, Journey to the West
3. Jeff Goldblum, The Grand Budapest Hotel 

BEST ENSEMBLE
1. The Second Game

Neil YoungJigsaw Lounge

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE 
1. Journey to the West
2. The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
3. Black Coal, Thin Ice
4. Los Angeles
5. The Third Side of the River

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. The Airstrip
2. And There We Are, In the Middle
3. The Second Game
4. The Guests
5. Velvet Terrorists

BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tsai Ming-Liang, Journey to the West
2. Yinan Diao, Black Coal, Thin Ice
3. Guillaume Nicloux, 
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
4. Heinz Emigholz, The Airstrip
5. Sebastian Brameshuber, And There We Are, In the Middle

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. 
Michel Houellebecq, The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
2. Liao Fan, Black Coal, Thin Ice
3. Denis Lavant, Journey to the West
4. Alian Devetac, The Third Side of the River
5. Lee Kang-Sheng, Journey to the West

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Luc Schwarz, 
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
2. Mathieu Nicourt, 
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
3. Francoise Lebrun, The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
4. Maxime Lefrancois, 
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
5. Unnamed elderly female passer-by, Journey to the West

BEST ENSEMBLE
1. 
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq
2. Journey to the West
3. Black Coal, Thin Ice
4. The Third Side of the River
5. Los Angeles

This Article is related to: Festivals


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