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Criticwire at NYFF Poll: The Best Films and Performances

Photo of Steve Greene By Steve Greene | Indiewire October 16, 2012 at 12:39PM

The renewed appreciation for Leos Carax's "Holy Motors" might be the biggest takeaway from Criticwire's NYFF poll.
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What a difference four and a half months can make.

Denis Lavant in "Holy Motors."
Denis Lavant in "Holy Motors."

Back at the end of May, as the Cannes Film Festival was coming to a close, we asked the members of our Criticwire network to send in their lists of the best films and performances. Now, as we reach the middle of October, many of those same films have played at the New York Film Festival over the past two weeks. "Amour," Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or winner, continues to be a pillar of 2012 festivals, but the renewed appreciation for Leos Carax's "Holy Motors" might be the biggest takeaway from the 50th NYFF.

Denis Lavant turned in a Phoenix-like domination of the best performances list, earning more first-place votes than nearly all other performances had total mentions. Edith Scob and Kylie Minogue also earned high marks in the supporting performance realm for their "Holy Motors" roles of varying lengths.

In Criticwire end-of-festival poll tradition, we asked critics to submit their favorite films and performances from the respective festivals. There is some overlap between the coverage of Cannes and NYFF, as a handful of respondents participated in both polls. But, for the most part, this is a new wave of feedback. 

One key difference is the support for Abbas Kiarostami. The Iranian master's "Like Someone in Love" finished ahead of "The Paperboy" on the end-of-Cannes list of critics' Most Disappointing Films. Now, in the wake of NYFF, the Kiarostami's latest appeared on nearly half of critics' Best Narrative lists. One of its stars, Tadashi Okuno, made the top performances

Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Hoss in "Barbara."
Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Hoss in "Barbara."

cut despite garnering only a single vote out of Cannes.

Amid the enduring arthouse slate, the biggest NYFF triumph was Christian Petzold's "Barbara." The early-80s period tale of a young doctor trying to escape East Germany scored high in multiple categories, including top Supporting Performance honors for Ronald Zehrfeld for his turn as André.

The biggest issue with having these basic categories is that many of the NYFF offerings don't cater neatly to simple characterizations of narrative or documentary. Some are both and some are neither, as in the case of certain selections from the "Views from the Avant-Garde" sidebar. For this reason, we've reproduced the critics' ballots below so that films and performances that may not have made the top in the more traditional categories can still get some recognition.

[Note: Scores for individual categories were tabulated on a simple weighted scale, with a first-place vote earning five points, second place earning 4 points, and so on. Critics could list fewer than five for a particular category or abstain from one altogether.]

(LEGEND: Film or Performance: Number of Mentions - (First-Place Votes) - Aggregate Score - Criticwire Average)

Holy Motors
BEST FILM

1. Holy Motors – 23 – (10) – 88 - A-

2. Amour – 20 – (6) – 65 - A-

3. Something in the Air – 16 – (5) - 58 - B+

4. Like Someone in Love – 18 – (2) – 57 - B

5. Beyond the Hills – 17 – (4) – 48 - B

6. Tabu – 12 – (2) – 36 - A-

7. No – 12 – (0) – 35 - A-

8. Barbara – 10 – (2) – 31 - A-

9. Frances Ha – 9 – (1) – 28 - B+

10. Life of Pi – 5 – (3) – 22 - A-

Also Receiving First Place Votes: "Passion," "Caesar Must Die," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!" "Flight," "Our Children," "Here and There," "The Bay," "The Satin Slipper"

BEST DOCUMENTARY

1. Leviathan – 17 – (10) – 74 - A-

2. Room 237– 14 – (5) – 52 - A-

3. The Gatekeepers –12 – (6) – 49 - A-

4. First Cousin Once Removed – 8 – (3) – 33

5. Caesar Must Die – 5 – (1) – 19 - B

T6. Savoy King – 4 – (2) – 14

T6. Liv and Ingmar – 5 – (1) – 14

T6. Casting By – 7 – (0) – 14

Also Receiving First Place Votes: "Sans soleil," "Charlie is My Darling," "In the Stone House"

MOST DISAPPOINTING FILM

1. Not Fade Away – 10 – (5) – 42 - B+

2. Passion – 9 – (4) – 36 - C+

3. Flight – 11 – (2) – 33 - B-

4. The Paperboy – 9 – (2) – 27 - C

T5. Leviathan – 6 – (4) – 23 - A-

T5. Life of Pi – 7 – (2) – 23 - A-

7. Hyde Park on Hudson– 5 – (3) – 20 - B-

8. Lines of Wellington – 6 – (1) – 18 - C+

9. Lincoln – 4 – (2) – 16 - C

10. The Last Time I Saw Macao – 4 – (1) – 13 - A-

Also Receiving First Place Votes: "Our Children," "Memories Look at Me," "Night Across the Street," "Ginger and Rosa," "Beyond the Hills," "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!" "Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out," "Tabu," "Here and There," "The Gatekeepers," "Araf"

BEST LEAD PERFORMANCE

1. Denis Lavant, "Holy Motors" – 23 – (15) – 99

2. Jean-Louis Trintignant, “Amour” – 21 – (4) – 69

3. Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour” – 16 – (4) – 58

4. Nina Hoss, "Barbara" – 14 – (3) – 50

5. Greta Gerwig, "Frances Ha" – 16 – (1) – 38

T6. Elle Fanning, "Ginger and Rosa" – 10 – (1) – 32

T6. Tadashi Okuno, "Like Someone in Love" – 9 – (2) – 32

8. Denzel Washington, “Flight” – 6 – (3) – 24

9. Émilie Dequenne, “Loving Without Reason” – 6 – (0) – 20 

10. Gael Garcia Bernal, “No” – 8 – (0) – 18 

Also Receiving First Place Votes: Cristina Flutur, "Beyond the Hills"; Takeshi Kitano, "Outrage Beyond"; Pedro de los Santos, "Here and There"; Parviz Fanizadeh, "Downpour"; Macy Gray, "The Paperboy"; Peter Kubelka, "Monument Film"

BEST SUPPORTING PERFORMANCE

1. Ronald Zehrfeld, "Barbara" – 7 – (3) – 29

T2. Valeriu Andriuta, "Beyond the Hills" – 6 – (2) – 22

T2. Edith Scob, "Holy Motors" – 7 – (2) – 22

4. Niels Arestrup, "Our Children" – 5 – (3) – 19

5. Alessandro Nivola, "Ginger and Rosa" – 5 – (1) – 18

T6. Kylie Minogue, “Holy Motors” – 4 – (0) – 15

T6. Lola Creton "Something in the Air" – 4 – (2) – 15

8. James Gandolfini, "Not Fade Away" – 4 – (0) – 13

T9. Mickey Sumner, "Frances Ha" – 3 – (2) – 12

T9. John Goodman, “Flight” – 3 – (2) – 12 
 
T9. Alfredo Castro, “No” – 3 – (1) – 12 
 
Also Receiving First Place Votes: Richard Parker, "Life of Pi"; Zac Efron, "The Paperboy"; Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"; Isabelle Huppert, "Amour"; Nicole Kidman, "The Paperboy"; James Badge Dale, "Flight"; Karoline Herfurth, "Passion"; Tadashi Okuno, "Like Someone in Love"; Ozcan Deniz, "Araf"; The seagulls, "Leviathan"; Teresa Madruga, "Tabu"; David Strathairn, "Lincoln"; Christina Hendricks, "Ginger and Rosa"; Dominique McElligott, "Not Fade Away"
 
 

Individual ballots from this year's participants can be found on the following pages.

This article is related to: New York Film Festival, Criticwire, Critics' Poll, Holy Motors , Amour, Something In the Air, Beyond The Hills, Tabu, Barbara, Frances Ha, Life of Pi, Leviathan, Room 237, The Gatekeepers, First Cousin Once Removed, Caesar Must Die (Cesare deve morire), Liv & Ingmar, Casting By, Not Fade Away, Passion, Flight, The Paperboy, Leviathan, Life of Pi, Hyde Park on Hudson, Lines of Wellington, Lincoln, The Last Time I Saw Macao





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