January 8, 2014 by Jorge Ignacio Castillo
12 YEARS A SLAVE WINS BEST FILM AT VANCOUVER FILM CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS; THE DIRTIES LEADS CANADIAN WINNERS
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave has won Best Film at the 14th Annual Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards, held at the Railway Club in Vancouver on Tuesday night. And while the harrowing account of a free man sold into slavery walked away with the top prize, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis was the only film in the international section to score multiple awards. The melancholic comedy set in the ’60s New York City folk scene earned a Best Actor win for Oscar Isaac and a Best Screenplay nod for the Coen brothers.
Alfonso Cuarón won his second VFCC Best Director award for his work on the sci-fi survival thriller Gravity. Meanwhile, the remainder of the acting awards went to Blue Jasmine‘s Cate Blanchett for Best Actress, Dallas Buyers Club‘s Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor and American Hustle‘s Jennifer Lawrence for Best Supporting Actress. Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt was named Best Foreign Film, while Joshua Oppenheimer’s devastating The Act of Killing was selected as Best Documentary.
The Dirties, a conceptually daring story of two film geeks plotting a high school shooting, led all winners in the Canadian section. Matt Johnson’s debut feature earned accolades for Best Canadian Film and Best First Film by a Canadian Director (a new VFCC award this year). Johnson also picked up Best Actor in a Canadian Film for his efforts in front of the camera.
Best Director of a Canadian Film was awarded to Jeff Barnaby for Rhymes for Young Ghouls, a druggy revenge drama set in Canada’s residential school era. Best Actress in a Canadian Film went to Sophie Desmarais of Sarah Prefers to Run, while Gabrielle‘s Alexandre Landry won Best Supporting Actor in a Canadian Film and Tom at the Farm‘s Lise Roy scored Best Supporting Actress in a Canadian Film.
Best Canadian Documentary was awarded to Chelsea McMullan’s My Prairie Home, an evocative portrait of transgender musician Rae Spoon. Best British Columbia Film went to Ben Ratner’s Down River, a heartfelt drama inspired by the beloved late Vancouver actress Babz Chula.
Ratner was presented with a cash prize by The Gentlemen Hecklers, one of the award event’s sponsors. The comedy troupe also paid tribute to Worst Film “winner” After Earth by providing live commentary for a clip from M. Night Shyamalan’s much-derided film.
Animation pioneer Al Sens was named this year’s recipient of The Ian Caddell Award for Achievement (named in honour of the VFCC’s late cofounder and presented to a British Columbian who has made a significant contribution to the province’s film industry). The self-taught animator founded the city’s first animation studio in 1958 and has served as a mentor to generations of artists. The VFCC also recognized the contributions of Corinne Lea, operator of the Rio Theatre. By mobilizing community and political support for her single-screen multi-purpose venue, Lea has ensured that the Rio is an essential part of East Vancouver’s thriving cultural scene, offering innovative programming and an atmosphere that ensures that moviegoing is a vibrant experience.
The Vancouver Film Critics Circle is composed of Vancouver-based film writers and critics from print, radio, online and television.
A complete list of winners follows.
12 Years a Slave
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis
BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Act of Killing
BEST CANADIAN FILM
BEST ACTOR IN A CANADIAN FILM
Matt Johnson, The Dirties
BEST ACTRESS IN A CANADIAN FILM
Sophie Desmarais, Sarah Prefers to Run
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A CANADIAN FILM
Alexandre Landry, Gabrielle
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A CANADIAN FILM
Lise Roy, Tom at the Farm
BEST DIRECTOR OF A CANADIAN FILM
Jeff Barnaby, Rhymes for Young Ghouls
BEST CANADIAN DOCUMENTARY
My Prairie Home
BEST FIRST FILM BY A CANADIAN DIRECTOR
BEST BRITISH COLUMBIA FILM
IAN CADDELL AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT
AWARD FOR ACHIEVEMENT
The Vancouver Film Critics Circle would like to thank its sponsors, whose generosity makes our awards ceremony possible: