A substantial increase from last year's voting pool of 162 critics (when "The Tree of Life" won the same prize), this year's results mark the unveiling of Criticwire's new survey feature, which visualizes the voting results across hundreds of pages. Overall, 1,862 ballots were cast across 10 categories. View the results for all the categories here.
None of them, however, have followed quite the same winding path as "Holy Motors." Compared to 2011 poll champion "The Tree of Life," which started its public life on a high note by winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes, "Holy Motors" has endured a more complex route that has garnered it cult appeal. The film played in competition at Cannes to critical acclaim but failed to win any prizes at the festival. However, Carax's first feature-length effort in 12 years continued to sustain strong word of mouth and additional ahead of its theatrical release this fall, generating strong responses from audiences as far reaching as the New York Film Festival and Fantastic Fest. It also topped a poll conducted by Film Comment, which revealed its results last week.
Above: One of two musical sequences in "Holy Motors."
The continuing support for the movie may even surprise its director. "I thought it would be really difficult, that it would be too strange for people," he told Indiewire in an interview earlier this year. However, Carax expressed an enthusiasm similar to numerous critics with respect to the performance by the chamelonesque Lavant, who plays a peculiar man named Monsiuer Oscar as he embodies a wide variety of characters in vaguely defined situations over the course of a single day. "He became a greater actor while I wasn't making my films," Carax said, recalling his collaborations with Lavant over the course of 30 years. "I don't know what happened to him in real life or in his work or both that made him an actor who could play any part, but now he can."
Next page: More details from the poll results along with a sampling of this year's voters.