Arts Express: The Women Film Critics Circle Awards Ceremony 2013

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The Women Film Critics Circle just held their Awards Ceremony 2013, voting for the best and worst movies of the year from a female perspective. The program has been broadcasting on Arts Express, across the Pacifica National Radio Network Affiliate Stations.

LISTEN TO THE WFCC AWARDS 2013 CEREMONY SHOW HERE

Listen to the Interview Here:

Here is a complete list of the WFCC Awards 2013:

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN

Philomena

RUNNER UP: Mother Of George

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN

Enough Said, Nicole Holofcener

RUNNER UP: Inch’ Allah, Anais Barbeau-Lavalette

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]

Julie Delpy: Before Midnight

RUNNER UP: Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said

BEST ACTRESS

Judi Dench: Philomena

RUNNER UP: Barbara Sukowa: Hannah Arendt

BEST ACTOR

Chiwetel Ejiofor: 12 Years A Slave

RUNNER UP: Michael B. Jordan: Fruitvale Station

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS

Onata Aprile: What Maisie Knew

RUNNER UP: Waad Mohammed: Wadjda

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS

Melissa McCarthy: The Heat

RUNNER UP: Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

Wadjda

RUNNER UP: Inch’ Allah

BEST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Philomena

RUNNER UP: Girls In The Band

WORST FEMALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

The Bling Ring

RUNNER UP: Machete Kills

BEST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

12 Years A Slave: Chiwetel Ejiofor

RUNNER UP: Enough Said: James Gandolfini

WORST MALE IMAGES IN A MOVIE

Only God Forgives

RUNNER UP: Out Of The Furnace

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

Stories We Tell

RUNNER UP: Girls In The Band

BEST SCREEN COUPLE

Before Midnight: Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke

BEST THEATRICALLY UNRELEASED MOVIE BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

Hellen Mirren in Phil Spector

RUNNER UP: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES

Before Midnight

RUNNER UP: Enough Said

BEST ANIMATED FEMALES

Frozen

RUNNER UP: The Croods

BEST FAMILY FILM

The Wind Rises

RUNNER UP: Black Nativity

WOMEN’S WORK/BEST ENSEMBLE

Ginger & Rosa

RUNNER UP TIE:

Winnie Mandela

August: Osage County

SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

EMMA THOMPSON: For her eclecticism in switching from period films to fantasy genre, to contemporary settings. And embodying all kinds of women with raw and pure interpretations.

ACTING AND ACTIVISM AWARD

CHARLIZE THERON: For her work for The Global Fund, and for starting the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project. Which educates young people about HIV/AIDS

COURAGE IN FILMMAKING

LAURA POITRAS: For bringing the Edward Snowden NSA revelations to light, driven into exile in Germany for doing so, and currently making a documentary about it.

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: A film that most passionately opposes violence against women

Augustine

RUNNER UP: Lovelace

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America

12 Years A Slave

RUNNER UP: Go For Sisters

KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity

Winnie Mandela

RUNNER UP: Wadjda

COURAGE IN ACTING: [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]

Soko: Augustine

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]

Sandra Bullock: Gravity

BEST SONG: Would You Bleed For Love. Jennifer Hudson, Winnie Mandela

MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD:

Kristin Scott Thomas

Only God Forgives

JUST KIDDING AWARD: Best Male Images In A Movie: Last Vegas

WFCC HALL OF SHAME

Blue is the Warmest Color: I went in knowing almost nothing except general buzz but I hated the sex scenes which were way too long and midway thru I couldn’t wait to flee the theater. Coming out I read how many takes Kechiche required and I was thoroughly repulsed. Who was this for? Then I read the graphic novel and discovered that critical plot points were deleted. Like the fact that Adele’s parents find her in bed with Emma which is why she has to move out – and I was enraged. A three hour movie, and Kechiche is so busy salivating over his actresses that he can’t bother telling a coherent story. Hype for this film makes me nauseous!

Blue is the Warmest Color: It’s so obvious a dude with a fetish directed this, it’s not only unappealing, it’s creepy. His overcompensating hubris isn’t worth the praise this is receiving.

The Canyons: Women depicted as powerless and manipulative. Plus, the acting is horrid.

Captain Phillips: The whole might of the USA coming down on 3 starving Somalis?! Repulsive. When the obscenely beefy SEALS arrived and the audience started to cheer, I felt I was watching a ‘macho’ director brainwash audience members into blindly accepting the worst stereotypes of jingoistic male behavior.

Dallas Buyers Club: Shame on Dallas Buyers Club for completely ignoring the LGBT as a group who drove the fight against AIDS to the forefront. The only time gays were mentioned was to let Matthew McConaughey’s homophobic redneck character get a laugh at the expense of Jared Leto’s transsexual character. The film made it seem as if the whole AIDS community stood on the shoulders of Ron Woodruff when in fact, groups like Act Up were starting the war for proper testing and more drugs way before Ron entered into the picture. It completely demeaned the backdrop Dallas Buyers Club was utilizing for their own characterizing “hero” agenda. Also the film took an extreme opinion against the AZT drug in favor for a plot line when in fact it was helping some patients. The only saving grace was Jared Leto’s fantastic performance but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.

Enough Already: Why is it that when actresses and even screen goddesses hit a certain age, they’re all cast as nags and shrews. No matter how accomplished any of these films may be, the tally of older actress shrewish nags on board is really high this year, as usual. Including Oprah Winfrey in The Butler, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County, Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine, June Squibb in Nebraska, Kristin Scott Thomas in Only God Forgives, and Julianne Moore in Carrie. Refreshing exceptions being Judi Dench in Philomena, Yolonda Ross in Go For Sisters, and Mary Steenburgen in Last Vegas.

Gravity: The women in this group make meaningful choices each year so they speak for me in these areas, the lone exception being Sandra Bullock’s performance in Gravity. She’s a fine actress, but I found the character to be whiny, cowardly, and full of the wrong stuff – a damsel in distress who needed a man (even if it was just her imagination) to pull her out of danger. I can hardly believe they’d send someone so panicky into space. Give me Sigourney Weaver any day.

Les Salauds [Bastards]: All of the women in this film are depicted as complicit in their own oppression and exploitation. Though it’s a patriarchal system that they exist within, they refuse to fight for themselves or each other, even when a minor is involved. The indictment then is not of the men but of the women. I found this problematic and disappointing from Denis.

Spring Breakers: No depth, little plot and a pitiful depiction of today’s college kids. Gratuitous in nothing more than flesh and violence. A grossly and dangerously skewed depiction of young women and their values in today’s America.

Please Note: The WFCC Top Ten Hall Of Shame represents the ‘don’t tell me to shut up’ sidebar contribution of individual members, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Circle. Or may even dissent from an awarded nomination. Also, members may be objecting to particular characters in a film, and not the entire movie. Clarification: If an aspect of the movie is intentionally negative to make a point, rather than offensive, that is not under consideration for this category.

ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower20rack in her bathroom, to make it look like a suicide. He later confessed that he was having a “bad day.” Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.

JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

Women Film Critics Circle

WFCC Critical Women On Film Journal

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.