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Critics Pick the Best Movies at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

Critics Pick the Best Movies at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival

The 2015 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival was one for good actress Alba Rohrwacher. A star of two different acclaimed films (“Sworn Virgin” and “Hungry Hearts“), she ended up as the most-recognized individual in our annual survey of critics at this year’s gathering.

As we do at the end of every major festival, we asked the members of our Criticwire Network for their favorite films, performances and cinematic achievements from the lineup. From the eight different categories, we received a variety of picks ranging from Best Documentary to Best First Feature.

Rohrwacher appeared on seven different ballots in the Best Lead Performance category and was the only person to be selected in the same category for two different films. Her role as the central figure in a sprawling story rooted in examinations of gender identity also drew notice at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.  While no film was a clear runaway winner, Laura Bispuri (for both herself as Best Director and “Sworn Virgin” as Best Narrative Feature), Paz Fábrega’s “Viaje” and Dagur Kári’s prize-winningVirgin Mountain” all had their share of recognition.

READ MORE: Meet the 2015 Tribeca Filmmakers: Paz Fábrega Shows the Lighter Side of Adults Acting Like Kids in ‘Viaje’

On the documentary side, the late Albert Maysles’ final film “In Transit” was the top selection. Observing one of the nations most-used train routes and completed with the assistance of four other filmmakers, “In Transit” found a home on over half the Best Documentary ballots. “Among the Believers,” Mohammed Naqvi and Hemal Trivedi’s look at the physical and ideological warfare in modern Pakistan was also a common selection. 

Plenty of household names peppered these picks, including Olivia Wilde’s star turn in Reed Morano’s “Meadowland,” Oscar Isaac’s work in William Monahan’s “Mojave” and Lily Tomlin’s role in Paul Weitz’s “Grandma.” 

A few films that debuted at Park City also found their way onto a handful of critics’ ballots. Of the non-world-premiere Tribeca films, John Maclean’s “Slow West,” Patrick Brice’s “The Overnight” and Leslye Headland’s “Sleeping with Other People” (all of which received votes in our Sundance poll as well).

The Screenplay, First Feature and Ensemble categories ended up representing an indicative cross-section of the selection, with no film reaching a real consensus. But if you’d like to look at all the critics’ ballots in detail, we’ve included them all on the next page.

Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
2. King Jack
4. Man Up
5. Maggie
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. In Transit
2. My Father’s House
3. The Wolfpack
4. (T)ERROR
5. dream/killer
BEST DIRECTOR
1. John Maclean, Slow West
2. Albert Maysles, In Transit
3. Zachary Treitz, Men Go to Battle
4. Saverio Costanzo, Hungry Hearts
5. Henry Hobson, Maggie
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Oscar Isaac, Mojave
2. Michael Fassbender, Slow West 
3. Olivia Wilde, Meadowland
4. Dianna Agron, Bare
5. Lily Tomlin, Grandma
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Ben Mendelsohn, Slow West
2. Abigail Breslin, Maggie
3. John Leguizamo, Meadowland
4. Zoë Kravitz, Good Kill
5. Dakota Fanning, Franny
BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Slow West
2. Man Up
3. King Jack
4. Grandma
5. Men Go to Battle
BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. Slow West
2. Men Go to Battle
3. King Jack
4. Maggie
5. Bare
BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Slow West
2. Come Down Molly
3. Maggie
4. Meadowland
5. Sleeping with Other People

Joe Bendel, Libertas Film Magazine

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Sunrise
2. Far From Men
3. Maggie
4. Wednesday 04:45
5. Wondrous Boccaccio
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Palio
2. Fastball
3. Angry Sky
4. Song of Lahore
5. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Partho Sen-Gupta, Sunrise
2. Cosima Spender, Palio
3. Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Wondrous Boccaccio
4. Alexis Alexiou, Wednesday 04:45
5. Adrián García Bogliano, Scherzo Diabolico

BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Stung
2. Far From Men
3. Hungry Hearts
4. Sunrise
5. Wednesday 04:45

Monica Castillo, International Business Times

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
2. Being 14
3. Meadowland
4. The Adderall Diaries
5. When I Live My Life Over Again
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. In Transit
3. Code: Debugging the Gender Gap
4. A Courtship
5. Havana Motor Club
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Brett Morgen, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
2. Mohammed Naqvi & Hemal Trivedi, Among the Believers
3. John Maclean, Slow West
4. Paz Fábrega, Viaje
5. Albert Maysles, In Transit
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Olivia Wilde, Meadowland

Casey Cipriani, Indiewire

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Crocodile Gennadiy
2. Among the Believers
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Oscar Isaac, Mojave
2. Kristen Stewart, Anesthesia

Diana Drumm, The Film Experience

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Men Go to Battle
2. Sworn Virgin
3. Bridgend
4. Viaje
5. Far From Men
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Monty Python: The Meaning of Live
2. In Transit
3. Gored
4. Very Semi-Serious
5. A Ballerina’s Tale
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Zachary Treitz, Men Go to Battle 
2. Laura Bispuri, Sworn Virgin 
3. Albert Maysles, In Transit
4. Jeppe Rønde, Bridgend
5. Paz Fábrega, Viaje
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Alba Rohrwacher, Sworn Virgin 
2. Hannah Murray, Bridgend 
3. Viggo Mortensen, Far From Men 
4. Lake Bell, Man Up
5. Simon Pegg, Man Up
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Flonja Kodheli, Sworn Virgin 
2. Emily Ferratello, Sworn Virgin  
3. Rachel Korine, Men Go to Battle 
BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Men Go to Battle
2. Sworn Virgin
3. Viaje
4. Bridgend
5. Far From Men
BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. Men Go to Battle
2. Sworn Virgin
3. Far From Men
BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Men Go to Battle
2. Very Semi-Serious
3. Man Up
4. Sworn Virgin
5. Viaje

Melissa Hanson, Reel News Daily

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Sleeping with Other People
2. Grandma
3. The Driftless Area
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. The Birth of Saké
2. Code: Debugging the Gender Gap
3. Orion: The Man Who Would Be King
4. dream/killer
5. Among the Believers
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Natalia Leite, Bare
2. Jeppe Rønde, Bridgend
3. Reed Morano, Meadowland
4. John Maclean, Slow West
5. Hélène Zimmer, Being 14
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Lily Tomlin, Grandma 
2. Dianna Agron, Bare 
3. Richard Gere, Franny
4. Alba Rohrwacher, Hungry Hearts
5. Gunnar Jónsson, Virgin Mountain
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Kodi Smit-McPhee, Slow West
2. Amber Heard, When I Live My Life Over Again
3. Kristen Stewart, Anesthesia
4. Marcia Gay Harden, Grandma
5. Jennifer Connelly, Aloft
BEST SCREENPLAY
1. The Overnight
2. Sleeping with Other People
3. The Driftless Area
4. Man Up
5. Anesthesia
BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. Bare
2. Being 14
3. The Birth of Saké
4. The Driftless Area
5. The Overnight
BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. The Overnight
2. When I Live My Life Over Again
3. Anesthesia
4. Sleeping with Other People
5. Meadowland

Kyoko Hirano, Shukan NY Seikatsu

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE

1. We Are Young. We Are Strong.
2. Aferim!
3. The Cut
4. Far From Men
5. Sworn Virgin
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Among the Believers
2. Democrats
3. Toto and His Sisters
4. The Song of Lahore
5. Down in the Valley
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Fatih Akin, The Cut
2. Burhan Qurbani, We Are Young. We Are Stong.
3. Camilla Nielsson, Democrats
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE 
1. Tahir Rahim, The Cut 
2. Barry Ward, Jimmy’s Hall
3. Charlie Plummer, King Jack
4. Alba Rohrwacher, Sworn Virgin
5. Gunar Jonsson, Virgin Mountain
BEST ENSEMBLE
1. Wondrous Boccaccio
2. Aferim!
3. We Are Young. We Are Strong.

Gary Kramer, Gay City News

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Viaje
2. Slow West
3. Bad Hurt
4. Necktie Youth
5. El Cinco
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. In Transit
2. A Courtship
3. TransFatty Lives
4. Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict
5. Very Semi-Serious
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Albert Maysles, In Transit
2. John Maclean, Slow West
3. Paz Fábrega, Viaje
4. Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, Necktie Youth
5. Mark Kemble, Bad Hurt 
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Christopher Walken, When I Live My Life Over Again
2. Karen Allen, Bad Hurt 
3. Lily Tomlin, Grandma 
4. Chris Kylka, Dixieland
5. Oscar Isaac, Mojave
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Faith Hill, Dixieland
2. Sam Elliott, Grandma
3. Judith Godrèche, The Overnight
4. Giovanni Ribisi, Meadowland
5. Natasha Lyonne, Sleeping with Other People
BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Necktie Youth
2. Bad Hurt
3. Slow West
4. The Overnight
5. Grandma
BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. Necktie Youth
2. Bad Hurt
3. Slow West
4. Dixieland
5. Meadowland
BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Bad Hurt
2. When I Live My Life Over Again
3. Necktie Youth
4. Viaje
5. The Overnight

Joey Magidson, The Awards Circuit

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Sleeping with Other People – One of the best romantic comedies in some time, complete with an underpinning of realism.
2. Slow West – Dark, but not without some welcome moments of black comedy.
3. Grandma – Lily Tomlin is great and Sam Elliot steals his one moving scene.
4. Tenured – The comedy that Bad Santa wanted to be.
5. Good Kill – Well acted and timely.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Misery Loves Comedy
2. The Wolfpack – Fascinating.
3. (T)ERROR
4. Thank You for Playing
5. Prescription Thugs
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Leslye Headland, Sleeping with Other People – Headland adds incredible realism to the romantic sex comedy genre, with terrific results.
2. John Maclean, Slow West – Maclean mixes drama and violence with bursts of welcome comedy.
3. Kevin Pollak, Misery Loves Comedy – Pollak establishes himself as a filmmaker with a lot to say.
4. Andrew Niccol, Good Kill – Niccol manages not to get political, while still hitting you hard.
5. Paul Weitz, Grandma – Weitz’s best film in years.
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Jason Sudeikis, Sleeping with Other People – Sudeikis has never been better, showing off some newfound dramatic chops.
2. Michael Fassbender, Slow West – Fassbender is perfect for this role.
3. Alison Brie, Sleeping with Other People – Brie gets an incredibly complicated part to play and absolutely nails it.
4. Lily Tomlin, Grandma – Tomlin’s best performance to date.
5. Anton Yelchin, The Driftless Area – Yelchin makes you believe in this character’s poeticism.
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Sam Elliott, Grandma – Elliott’s one scene brought me to tears.
2. Ben Mendelsohn, Slow West – You can’t help but pay a little more attention whenever Mendelsohn shows up on the screen.
3. Zooey Deschanel, The Driftless Area – Evidence that Deschanel should be making more indie films, as she’s a welcome sight here.
4. Adam Scott, Sleeping with Other People – Among the most dramatic performances of Scott’s career so far.
5. John Hawkes, The Driftless Area – Hawkes is as menacing as ever, but you laugh at him a bit here as well.
BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Sleeping with Other People – Brilliantly mixes comedy, drama, and romance in almost equal measure.
2. Slow West – The instances of humor perk this up.
3. Tenured – Quiet laughs are sprinkled throughout.
4. Grandma – Mixes the comedy and drama quite well.
5. The Overnight – Packed with awkward laughs.
BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. Slow West
2. Tenured
3. Misery Loves Comedy
4. The Driftless Area
5. The Wolfpack
BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Sleeping with Other People – Everyone is at the top of their game.
4. Grandma – All around excellent acting.
2. Slow West – Well done everywhere.
5. The Overnight – The quartet all mesh well together.
3. The Driftless Area – The cast is the highlight here.

Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye for Film

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Hungry Hearts
2. Far From Men
3. Sworn Virgin
4. Virgin Mountain
5. The Wannabe
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did
2. Requiem For the American Dream
3. The Birth of Saké
4. Monty Python: The Meaning of Live
5. Havana Motor Club
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Saverio Costanzo, Hungry Hearts 
2. David Evans, A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did 
3. Laura Bispuri, Sworn Virgin 
4. David Oelhoffen, Far From Men 
5. Erik Shirai, The Birth of Saké 
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Alba Rohrwacher, Sworn Virgin 
2. Adam Driver, Hungry Hearts 
3. Patricia Arquette, The Wannabe 
4. Viggo Mortensen, Far From Men 
5. Richard Gere, Franny 
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. January Jones, Good Kill 
2. Ben Mendelsohn, Slow West 
3. Flonja Kodheli, Sworn Virgin 
4. Bruce Greenwood, Good Kill 
5. Oscar Isaac, Mojave 
BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Far From Men 
2. Hungry Hearts
3. A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did
4. Sworn Virgin
5. Virgin Mountain
BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. Sworn Virgin
2. Far From Men
3. The Birth of Saké
4. Slow West
5. Being 14
BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Monty Python: The Meaning of Live
2. Hungry Hearts
3. Far From Men
4. Virgin Mountain 

5. Slow West 

Kent Turner, Film Forward

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Virgin Mountain
2. Viaje
3. Aferim!
4. Sworn Virgin
5. The Survivalist
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. In Transit
2. Among the Believers
3. A Courtship
4. Peggy Guggenheim – Art Addict
5. Palio
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Dagur Kári, Virgin Mountain
2. Paz Fábrega, Viaje
3. Radu Jude, Aferim!
4. Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, Wondrous Boccaccio
5. Hélène Zimmer, Being 14
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Gunnar Jónsson, Virgin Mountain
2. Charlie Plummer, King Jack 
3. Viggo Mortensen, Far From Men 
4. Athalia Routier, Being 14
5. Alba Rohrwacher, Hungry Hearts 
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Galatéa Bellugi, Being 14
2. Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, Virgin Mountain 
3. Reda Kateb, Far from Men
4. Dajana Selimaj, Sworn Virgin
5. Roberta Maxwell, Hungry Hearts
BEST SCREENPLAY
1. Virgin Mountain
2. Viaje
3. Aferim!
4. The Survivalist
5. Sworn Virgin
BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. King Jack
2. The Survivalist
3. Sworn Virgin
4. Being 14
5. Men Go to Battle
BEST ENSEMBLE 
1. Virgin Mountain
2. Viaje
3. Being 14
4. Aferim!
5. Sunrise

Daniel Walber, Nonfics

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Sworn Virgin
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. In Transit
2. Palio
3. Uncertain
4. Democrats
5. (T)ERROR
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Cosima Spender, Palio
2. Ewan McNicol & Anna Sandilands, Uncertain
3. Crystal Moselle, The Wolfpack
4. Laura Bispuri, Sworn Virgin
5. Radu Jude, Aferim!
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Alba Rohrwacher, Sworn Virgin
BEST FIRST FEATURE
1. Uncertain
2. Sworn Virgin
3. The Wolfpack
4. (T)ERROR
5. Democrats

Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Sworn Virgin
2. Virgin Mountain
3. The Survivalist
4. Slow West
5. Men Go to Battle
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Cartel Land
2. TransFatty Lives
3. The Armor of Light
4. Toto and His Sisters
5. Prescription Thugs
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Laura Bispuri, Sworn Virgin
2. Dagur Kári, Virgin Mountain
3. Stephen Fingleton, The Survivalist
4. Reed Morano, Meadowland
5. Patrick O’Brien, TransFatty Lives
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Alba Rohrwacher, Sworn Virgin
2. Olivia Wilde, Meadowland
3. Gunnar Jónsson, Virgin Mountain
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Flonja Kodheli, Sworn Virgin
2. Michael Fassbender, Slow West 

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