“Boyhood” may have become a major player in awards season, but the critics have now spoken louder than ever: Richard Linklater’s 12-year-in-the-making chronicle of a young boy growing up in Texas topped Indiewire’s ninth annual critics poll by a large margin. But there were also a few surprises among this year’s results.
Linklater’s movie appeared on more than half the ballots among the 220 critics from Indiewire’s Criticwire Network who participated in this year’s survey. Linklater also won best director, while Patricia Arquette scored best supporting actress. The movie also managed a landslide victory in the best editing category for editor Sandra Adair.
Notably, the best film category includes several critical favorites among the runner-ups, including “Under the Skin,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Birdman,” all of which figured prominently in other categories.
Most surprisingly, Ralph Fiennes topped the best actor category for his turn as the eccentric concierge Gustave H in Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Fiennes surfaced on 79 ballots, just ahead of runner-ups Jake Gyllenhaal (“Nightcrawler”) and Michael Keaton (“Birdman”).
In the best actress category, Marion Cotillard won for her turn as a working class woman struggling to save her job in “Two Days, One Night.” She also landed in the fifth runner-up slot for her role in “The Immigrant.” Other intriguing runner-ups in the category include “The Babadook” star Essie Davis in the fourth slot and Scarlett Johansson, for “Under the Skin,” in second place. Awards season favorite Julianne Moore wound up in sixth place for “Still Alice.”
Laura Poitras’ “CITIZENFOUR” scored the best documentary prize, just ahead of Steve James’ “Life Itself,” while “Nightcrawler” topped the best first feature category and Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s “Hill of Freedom” won for best undistributed film. “Birdman” director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki won best cinematography, while “Grand Budapest Hotel” topped best screenplay.
Participating critics ranged from stalwarts of the profession such as J. Hoberman, Amy Taubin, Molly Haskell and Jonathan Rosenbaum, major print critics including Variety’s Peter Debruge and Justin Chang, Time Out New York’s Josh Rothkopf and Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers, and online writers such as Buzzfeed’s Alison Willmore, The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde and Slate’s Dana Stevens.
As usual, our poll features a full listing of the top 50 films in each category. We encourage readers to peer beyond the films that received the largest number of votes to explore those that received only one or two. Explore the full results here or peruse the list of winners and runner-ups on the next page. Criticwire blogger Sam Adams offers a more detailed analysis of this year’s results here.
BEST FILM: BOYHOOD
RUNNER-UP: UNDER THE SKIN
BEST DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater, BOYHOOD
RUNNER-UP: Wes Anderson, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
BEST LEAD ACTRESS: Marion Cotillard, TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
RUNNER-UP: Scarlett Johansson, UNDER THE SKIN
BEST LEAD ACTOR: Ralph Fiennes, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
RUNNER-UP: Jake Gyllenhaal, NIGHTCRAWLER
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Arquette, BOYHOOD
RUNNER-UP: Tilda Swinton, SNOWPIERCER
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: J.K. Simmons, WHIPLASH
RUNNER-UP: Edward Norton, BIRDMAN
BEST DOCUMENTARY: CITIZENFOUR
RUNNER-UP: Life Itself
BEST FIRST FEATURE: THE BABADOOK
BEST UNDISTRIBUTED FILM: HILL OF FREEDOM
RUNNER-UP: JOURNEY TO THE WEST
BEST SCREENPLAY: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
BEST ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK OR SCORE: UNDER THE SKIN
RUNNER-UP: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: BIRDMAN
RUNNER-UP: MR. TURNER
BEST EDITING: BOYHOOD