Mad Max, Spotlight big winners in WAFCA awards

These past couple of weeks have been pretty busy for myself and the other members of the Washington Area Film Critics Association. We’ve been narrowing down our choices for our 2015 awards and made our nominations and final votes this weekend.

Today the winners were announced and I’m pretty ecstatic a lot of my nominees made the final cut.

THE 2015 WAFCA AWARD WINNERS:

Best Film:
Spotlight
best filmWith more and more critic groups lending their backing to this film, Spotlight is taking center stage as the film to beat on the road to the Oscars.

Best Director:
best directorGeorge Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Actor:
best actorDiCaprio has been nominated for five Oscars and this may be his best chance now at earning the elusive statue.

Best Actress:
best actressSaoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
In a mild upset, Ronan beat out perennial favorite, Room’s Brie Larson, for the win here. I voted for Larson, but Ronan’s performance was just as worthy of recognition.

Best Supporting Actor:
best supporting actorAssuming the Spotlight cast cancels each other out, this incendiary performance from Elba looks like it is going to result in many more award wins.

Best Supporting Actress:best supporting actressAlicia Vikander (Ex Machina)
Vikander may get nominated for an Oscar from her performance in The Danish Girl, but her work here was stronger and more challenging and I was happy to see my choice won out in this challenging category.

Best Acting Ensemble:best acting ensemble

Best Youth Performance:best youth performanceJacob Tremblay (Room)
I kind of cheated on the Best Supporting Actor category as my choice came down to Elba and Tremblay, but with our youth category, I knew I could give Tremblay his due here.

Best Adapted Screenplay:best adapted screenplayJust like I voted for Gillian Flynn for her work adapting her novel Gone Girl, I did the same with Donoghue handling the script for her novel.

Best Original Screenplay:
best original screenplayInside Out is one of my favorite films of 2015. I had it among my five Best Picture nominations so it was a lock for me in pretty much every other category.

Best Animated Feature:
best animated featureAfter I saw Inside Out (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack + Digital Copy) every other animated film was going to have to seriously bring it to come close to topping it. While some did, they weren’t enough to make me get over my feelings for this Pixar gem.

Best Documentary:
best documentary

Best Foreign Language Film:
best foreign language film

Best Production Design:
best production designPart of what makes Mad Max: Fury Road (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) such a mesmerizing viewing experience is the amazing production design. This is a lived-in world and it’s stunning. Another well-deserved win for Mad Max.

Best Cinematography:
best cinematography

Best Editing:
best editing

Best Original Score:
best original score Sicario is one of those great films that’s got an uphill battle simply because it came out so early in the year. It’s a solid contender for Best Supporting Actor (Benicio del Toro), Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Editing so I was glad to see it came away with one win.

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