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Tom McCarthy’s “Spotlight” has added another accolade in the lead up to its award season release with an Audience Choice Award at the Chicago Film Festival for Best Narrative English Language Feature. The 51st installment of the festival ran October 15-29.
The other Audience Choice Award winners this year were Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s “Mustang,” which is France’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, and Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next,” which also won the festival’s Founders Award. Atsuko Hirayanagi ‘s “Oh Lucy!” won in the Best Short Film category.
Here are the synopses for the four winning films, courtesy of the Chicago Film Festival.
Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative English-Language Feature: “Spotlight”
Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James and Stanley Tucci, “Spotlight” tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious Spotlight team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Directed by Academy Award nominee Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight” is a tense investigative dramatic-thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest cover-ups in modern times.
Audience Choice Award for Best Narrative Foreign-Language Feature: “Mustang”
At the start of this stark, meditative drama that recalls “The Virgin Suicides,” five sisters play in the sea with their male classmates. As punishment for such immoral behavior, the grandmother and uncle raising the girls imprison them at home to maintain their “purity” until marriage. Submission or defiance seems to be the only options, as each sister, one by one, finds her own personal escape route.
Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary Feature: “Where to Invade Next”
What has lured Michael Moore, the documentary genre’s most entertaining rabble-rouser, back to feature films after a six-year hiatus? Only the future of his country, naturally. “Where To Invade Next” is an expansive, rib-tickling, and subversive comedy in which Moore, playing the role of “invader,” visits a host of nations to learn how the U.S. could improve its own prospects. The creator of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine” is back with this hilarious and eye-opening call to arms. “Where To Invade Next” shows the solutions to America’s most entrenched problems already exist in the world.
Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film: “Oh Lucy!”
A chain-smoking, corporate Japanese woman develops a crush on her English teacher in this ingenious comedy of manners and Americanization.
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