By Clint Holloway | Indiewire December 14, 2013 at 10:48AM
6. Critic's Picks: The Top 10 Best Female Lead Performances of 2013 According to Indiewire's Film Critic
Awards season reduces a lot of people to smiling objects, but actresses experience this dilemma worse than most. No other field places greater pressure on the potential winners with veiled misogyny disguised as expectations of politically correct behavior: If they don't dress nice and talk pretty, they don't get a prize. Not for nothing are all the major candidates for the best actress Oscar this year previous winners.
7. Critic's Picks: The Top 10 Best Male Lead Performances of 2013 According to Indiewire's Film Critic
The American movie star has been facing a crisis for several years now. It's been ages since Tom Cruise or Will Smith took on a widely acclaimed role, and box office receipts suggest that few celebrity faces have the power to elevate a movie's profile on the strength of their screen presence alone. These days, it's the content that matters more than the people who bring it to life: Genre, subject matter, and other granular details tend to overwhelm discussions about great performances. The male star, that hallowed archetype that sustains the iconic weight of faces ranging from James Dean to John Wayne, has largely become a fossil. Indeed, the only significant male performance this year in which an actor's recognizable face played into the strength of his role -- Robert Redford in "All Is Lost" -- focused on the possibility of his imminent death at any moment.
8. Watch: Shia LaBeouf in a Very NSFW Clip From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'
Lars von Trier, who has refrained from doing press following his 2011 Cannes gaffe, has been teasing his latest work, the two-part sexual epic "Nymphomaniac," with a lot of ingredients: a sly poster, a mysterious website, and four tantalizing clips. This is a fifth scene hit the web, this one NSFW.
9. The 10 Biggest Surprises of the Golden Globe Nominations
The 71st Annual Golden Globe Award nominations were announced this week, with "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave" leading the pack. While that wasn't particularly surprising, there were definitely a few shockers amidst the rest of the nominees. Here are 10 of note.
10. Critic’s Picks: The Top 5 First Features Released In 2013 According to Indiewire’s Film Critic
My own list of noteworthy debuts includes a couple of familiar names alongside some of the sleeper hits of the festival circuit. They’ve been ranked, but it goes without saying that it’s an inexact science, and every filmmaker represented by these works stands a good chance of producing more work deserving a place on more year-end accolades. I've only selected debuts that stand more than anything else because they announce potential above all else ("The Act of Killing," a brilliant first feature not mentioned here, is much more than that). The placement of certain films here not only singles them out in the present -- it points to a couple of promising futures at once.