After a startling premiere at Cannes back in May and now an impressive showing in the mountains of Colorado, “Son of Saul” continues to be a critical standout.
The debut feature from director László Nemes, following a harrowing tale of survival inside the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, was selected as the best film of the 2015 Telluride Film Festival by a collection of critics covering the festival in our Criticwire Network.
We asked a dozen writers to send us their favorite films and performances from the films from this year’s lineup. Using a simple scale (five points for a first-place mention, four for second-place, etc.), we were able to come to a mini-consensus.
On the acting side, Brie Larson was a near-unanimous selection, with her turn in the eerie “Room” mentioned on all but a single ballot as one of the top performances from the festival. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, anchoring the front-of-camera success of Todd Haynes’ “Carol,” also finished in the upper acting tier.
The top directing and supporting role slots both went to “Beasts of No Nation,” with Cary Fukunaga and Idris Elba finishing strong. Elba topped his respective category, while Fukunaga came in only second to Nemes.
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“Spotlight” established its bonafides as an ensemble piece, with four different cast members getting nods and three of them finishing in the top five. And while the film may not have landed at the top of the Telluride favorites, Danny Boyle’s “Steve Jobs” was the film that graced the most number of ballots.
Commendations in the documentary section were fairly spread out, but top films to appear on a handful of ballots include Kent Jones’ “Hitchcock/Truffaut” and Charles Ferguson’s climate change warning “Time to Choose.”
If you’re curious to sift through the individual ballots, we’ve collected them all on the following page. The top results are included below:
Critics’ Favorites of Telluride 2015
For a full list of critics’ ballots, see the next page.
Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net
Tomris Laffly, Film Journal International
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune