The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has unveiled the winners of the 2015 EDA Awards. As expected, “Carol” won big. The period romance, written by Phyllis Nagy and starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, scored three awards: Best Screenplay, Adapted (Nagy), Best Cinematography (Edward Lachman) and perhaps the sexiest-sounding award ever, Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality or Seduction.
The AWFJ awards, named EDA after AWJF founder Jennifer Merin’s mother, actress Eda Reiss Merin, are organized into two central categories: “Best Of” Awards that are presented to women and/or men (“Spotlight” took home many of these honors) and EDA Female Focus Awards, which honor women only.
We were pleased to see “Mad Max: Fury Road” editor Margaret Sixel recognized in the former category for her unforgettable work on the female-centric action flick.
Kristen Stewart is the well-deserved recipient of Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the great and underseen “Clouds of Sils Maria.” (Our fingers are crossed for an Academy Award nod for the former “Twilight” star, who has been taken on a number interesting indie projects after the end of her blockbuster franchise.)
Charlotte Rampling, who was snubbed by the Golden Globes but is expected to be on the ballot come Oscar day, came out victorious in the Best Actress category for “45 Years.”
Female-centric films “Amy” and “Inside Out” were named the Best Documentary and Best Animated Film, respectively. “Inside Out” was co-written by Meg LeFauve.
EDA Female Focus Awards winners include Marielle Heller for the delightfully funny and poignant “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” in the Best Woman Director category and “Room” screenwriter (and novelist) Emma Donoghue for Best Woman Screenwriter.
Charlize Theron landed the title of Best Female Action Star for her role of Furiosa in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” (As far as we’re concerned, this category had a clear-cut winner, and we can’t imagine anyone voted against Her Ass-Kicking Highness.)
Alicia Vikander’s ever-ascending star was recognized in the Best Breakthrough Performance category, which acknowledged the Swedish actress’s work in “Ex Machina,” “Testament of Youth” and “The Danish Girl.” (We’re happy to see her amazing performance in “Testament of Youth” included here. Many have overlooked the film and focused solely on Vikander’s higher-profile offerings.)
The late and great Chantal Ackerman was heralded Female Icon Of the Year. The AWFJ described the director as “a great filmmaker and an inspiration.”
And on a sour note, Emma Stone received the distinction of Actress Most in Need of a New Agent for her whitewashing role as Allison Ng (wince) in “Aloha.” We’re inclined to agree with this label. Stone is wonderfully talented (and she really wowed us with 2010’s “Easy A”), but besides her racially insensitive role in “Aloha,” she’s also starred in a number of other duds, like “Irrational Man,” “Gangster Squad” and “Movie 43,” to name a few. She deserves better. (And we’re optimistic that she finds it in 2017’s “The Favourite,” which will explore Queen Anne’s brief reign from 1702 to 1707. “La La Land,” a romantic musical co-starring Ryan Gosling, also looks promising.)
Check out all of the AWFJ’s EDA winners below. List courtesy of the Alliance.
AWFJ EDA ‘BEST OF’ AWARDS
These awards are presented to women and/or men.
Best Director (Female or Male)
Tom McCarthy for SPOTLIGHT
Best Screenplay, Original
SPOTLIGHT – Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy
Best Screenplay, Adapted
CAROL – Phyllis Nagy
AMY – Asif Kapadia
Best Animated Film
INSIDE OUT – Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Charlotte Rampling in 45 YEARS
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Kristen Stewart in CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
Leonardo DiCaprio in THE REVENANT
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Paul Dano in LOVE & MERCY
Best Ensemble Cast (tie)
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD – Margaret Sixel
CAROL – Edward Lachman
Best Film Music Or Score
THE HATEFUL EIGHT – Ennio Morricone
Best Non-English-Language Film
Son of Saul – Laszlo Nemes (Hungary)
EDA FEMALE FOCUS AWARDS
These awards honor WOMEN only.
Best Woman Director
Marielle Heller for DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL
Best Woman Screenwriter
Emma Donoghue for ROOM
Best Female Action Star
Charlize Theron for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
Best Breakthrough Performance
Alicia Vikander for EX MACHINA, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH and THE DANISH GIRL
Female Icon of the Year (presented to a woman whose work in film and/or in life made a difference)
Chantal Ackerman – In Memoriam, for being a great filmmaker and an inspiration.
EDA SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS
Best Depiction Of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction (Tie)
Actress Defying Age and Ageism (Tie)
Most Egregious Age Difference Between The Lead Character and The Love Interest
DANNY COLLINS – Al Pacino (born 1940) and Katarina Cas (born 1976)
Actress Most in Need Of A New Agent
Emma Stone for ALOHA
Movie You Wanted To Love, But Just Couldn’t
THE DANISH GIRL