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Critics Pick the Best Films and Performances from Telluride 2015

Critics Pick the Best Films and Performances from Telluride 2015

After a startling premiere at Cannes back in May and now an impressive showing in the mountains of Colorado, “Son of Saul” continues to be a critical standout.

The debut feature from director László Nemes, following a harrowing tale of survival inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, was selected as the best film of the 2015 Telluride Film Festival by a collection of critics covering the festival in our Criticwire Network.

We asked a dozen writers to send us their favorite films and performances from the films from this year’s lineup. Using a simple scale (five points for a first-place mention, four for second-place, etc.), we were able to come to a mini-consensus.

On the acting side, Brie Larson was a near-unanimous selection, with her turn in the eerie “Room” mentioned on all but a single ballot as one of the top performances from the festival. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, anchoring the front-of-camera success of Todd Haynes’ “Carol,” also finished in the upper acting tier.

The top directing and supporting role slots both went to “Beasts of No Nation,” with Cary Fukunaga and Idris Elba finishing strong. Elba topped his respective category, while Fukunaga came in only second to Nemes.

WATCH: Michael Keaton Takes on the Catholic Church in ‘Spotlight’ Trailer

Spotlight” established its bonafides as an ensemble piece, with four different cast members getting nods and three of them finishing in the top five. And while the film may not have landed at the top of the Telluride favorites, Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs” was the film that graced the most number of ballots.

Commendations in the documentary section were fairly spread out, but top films to appear on a handful of ballots include Kent Jones’ “Hitchcock/Truffaut” and Charles Ferguson’s climate change warning “Time to Choose.”

If you’re curious to sift through the individual ballots, we’ve collected them all on the following page. The top results are included below:

Critics’ Favorites of Telluride 2015

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
4. Anomalisa 
T5. 45 Years
T5. Beasts of No Nation
BEST DIRECTOR
1. László Nemes, Son of Saul
2. Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation 
3. Todd Haynes, Carol 
4. Lenny Abrahamson, Room
5. Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Brie Larson, Room
2. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
3. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
4. Rooney Mara, Carol 
5. Cate Blanchett, Carol 
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
2. Jacob Tremblay, Room
3. Liev Schreiber, Spotlight
4. Michael Keaton, Spotlight 
5. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

For a full list of critics’ ballots, see the next page.

Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Beasts of No Nation
2. Anomalisa
3. Steve Jobs 
4. Heart of a Dog 
5. Room
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation 
2. Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs  
3. Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
4. Todd Haynes, Carol 
5. Laurie Anderson, Heart of a Dog
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Carey Mulligan, Suffragette
2. Brie Larson, Room 
3. Tom Noonan, Anomalisa
4. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
5. Rooney Mara, Carol 
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
2. Cate Blanchett, Carol 
3. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
4. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs 
5. Seth Rogen, Steve Jobs

Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Beasts of No Nation
2. Steve Jobs
3. Spotlight
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Sherpa
2. Time to Choose
3. He Named Me Malala
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
2. Jennifer Peedom, Sherpa
3. Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
2. Johnny Depp. Black Mass
3. Brie Larson, Room
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
2. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
3. Jeff Daniels, Steve Jobs

Gregory Ellwood, Hitfix

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Son of Saul
2. Spotlight
3. Room
4. Beasts of No Nation
5. 45 Years
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
2. László Nemes, Son of Saul
3. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
4. Lenny Abrahamson, Room
5. Andrew Haigh, 45 Years
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Brie Larson, Room 
2. Cate Blanchett, Carol
3. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
4. Johnny Depp, Black Mass
5. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
2. Michael Keaton, Spotlight
3. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
4. Tom Courtenay, 45 Years
5. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

David Ehrlich, TimeOut

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Carol
2. Son of Saul
3. Anomalisa
4. 45 Years
5. Steve Jobs
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Todd Haynes, Carol
2. László Nemes, Son of Saul
3. Andrew Haigh, 45 Years
4. Jafar Panahi, Taxi
5. Jayro Bustamante, Ixcanul
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Cate Blanchett, Carol
2. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
3. Brie Larson, Room
4. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
5. David Thewlis, Anomalisa
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Rooney Mara, Carol
2. Michael Stuhlbarg, Steve Jobs
3. Jacob Tremblay, Room
4. María Telón, Ixcanul 
5. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Room
2. Spotlight
3. Carol
4. Steve Jobs
5. Beasts of No Nation
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Hitchcock/Truffaut 
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Todd Haynes, Carol
2. Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs 
3. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
4. Lenny Abrahamson, Room
5. Andrew Haigh, 45 Years
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
2. Brie Larson, Room
3. Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul
4. Rooney Mara, Carol
5. Jacob Tremblay, Room
6. Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
2. Denis Mpunga, Margeurite
3. Michel Fau, Margeurite 
4. Helena Bonham Carter, Suffragette

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Son of Saul
2. Anomalisa
3. Room
4. Beasts of No Nation
5. Steve Jobs
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Heart of a Dog
2. Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom
3. Time to Choose
4. Taxi
BEST DIRECTOR
1. László Nemes, Son of Saul
2. Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
3. Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
4. Lenny Abrahamson, Room
5. Todd Haynes, Carol
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Brie Larson, Room
2. Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
3. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
4.  Rooney Mara, Carol
5. Johnny Depp, Black Mass
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Michael Keaton, Spotlight
2. Seth Rogen, Steve Jobs
3. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
4. Tom Courtenay, 45 Years
5. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Tomris Laffly, Film Journal International

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Carol
2. Spotlight
3. Room
4. Steve Jobs
5. Suffragette
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Heart of a Dog
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Sarah Gavron, Suffragette
2. Todd Haynes, Carol
3. Grímur Hákonarson, Rams
4. Laurie Anderson, Heart of a Dog
5. Jayro Bustamante, Ixcanul
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Brie Larson, Room
2. Rooney Mara, Carol
3. Carey Mulligan, Suffragette
4. Charlotte Rampling. 45 Years
5. Michael Fassbender. Steve Jobs
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Jacob Tremblay, Room
2. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
3. Liev Schrieber, Spotlight
4. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
5. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Son of Saul
2. 45 Years
3. Carol
4. Steve Jobs
5. Spotlight
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
2. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
3. Cate Blanchett, Carol
4. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
5. Brie Larson, Room
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Jacob Tremblay, Room

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Anomalisa
2. Spotlight
3. Son of Saul
4. Beasts of No Nation
5. Room
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Sherpa               
2. Hitchcock/Truffaut
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
2. Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
3. Lenny Abrahamson, Room
4. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
5. László Nemes, Son of Saul
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
2. Brie Larson, Room
3. Rooney Mara, Carol
4. Michael Keaton, Spotlight
5. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Liev Schreiber, Spotlight
2. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
3. Joan Allen, Room

Nigel Smith, The Guardian

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. 45 Years
2. Son of Saul
3. Carol
4. Spotlight
5. Steve Jobs
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Mom and Me
BEST DIRECTOR
1. László Nemes, Son of Saul
2. Andrew Haigh, 45 Years
3. Ken Wardrop, Mom and Me
4. Todd Haynes, Carol
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
2. Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul
3. Rooney Mara, Carol
4. Michael Fassbender, Jobs
5. Johnny Depp, Black Mass
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Katherine Waterston, Steve Jobs
2. Michael Keaton, Spotlight
3. Liev Schrieber, Spotlight
4. Julianne Nicholson, Black Mass
5. Jacob Tremblay, Room

Fred Topel, Crave Online

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. Steve Jobs
2. Spotlight
3. Room
4. Tikkun
5. Anomalisa
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Lenny Abrahamson, Room
2. Sarah Gavron, Suffragette
3. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
4. László Nemes, Son of Saul
5. Avishai Sivon, Tikkun
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Brie Larson, Room
2. Michael Keaton, Spotlight
3. Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul
4. Hector Medina, Viva
5. Carey Mulligan, Suffragette
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Jacob Tremblay, Room
2. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
3. Jorge Perugoria, Viva
4. Michael Stuhlbarg, Steve Jobs
5. Seth Rogen, Steve Jobs

Chris Willman, The Playlist

BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
1. 45 Years
2. Son of Saul
3. Anomalisa
4. Steve Jobs
5. Spotlight
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Time to Choose
2. Hitchcock/Truffaut
3. Cocksucker Blues
BEST DIRECTOR
1. László Nemes, Son of Saul
2. Andrew Haigh, 45 Years
3. Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
4. Lenny Abrahamson, Room
5. Cary Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE
1. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
2. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
3. Catherine Frot, Margeurite
4. Brie Larson, Room
5. Tom Courtenay, 45 Years
BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE
1. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
2. Liev Schreiber, Spotlight
3. Joel Edgerton, Black Mass
4. Michael Stuhlbarg, Steve Jobs
5. Anne-Marie Duff, Suffragette

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