GET OUT and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Dominate the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards

 

GET OUT, writer/director Jordan Peele’s darkly funny horror film and CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the story of a young boy who meets a visiting American while on vacation with his family, took home the lion’s share of prizes as the Kansas City Film Critics Circle handed out their 52nd Annual James Loutzenhizer Awards for the best in film for 2017.  Media Mikes writers Mike Smith and Jeremy Werner are members of the group.
GET OUT took home the prize as the Best Film of 2017.  In addition, Jordan Peele won for his Original Screenplay and the film was also named the winner of the Vince Koehler Award as the year’s best Science Fiction/Horror/Fantasy film.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME earned recognition for Timothée Chalamet, who was named Best Actor as well as for it’s Adapted Screenplay, written by James Ivory (based on the novel by Andre Aciman).  The film also received the groups Dr. Tom Poe Award as the year’s best LBGT film.  The film shared the Adapted Screenplay award with LOGAN, written by Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold, based on the popular Marvel Comics character.
Guillermo del Toro was named winner of the Robert Altman Award as the year’s Best Director for THE SHAPE OF WATER,  which also won the Best Actress award for Sally Hawkins.
The Kansas City Film Critics Circle is the second oldest film critics group in the country, founded in 1967 by Dr. James Loutzenhizer.  The group’s annual awards were named for Dr. Loutzenhizer after his passing in November 2001.
Here is a complete list of winners:
BEST FILM –  GET OUT
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR – Guillermo det Toro, THE SHAPE OF WATER
BEST ACTOR –    Timothée Chalamet – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR –  Willem Dafoe – THE FLORIDA PROJECT
BEST ACTRESS –  Sally Hawkins – THE SHAPE OF WATER
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Laurie Metcalf – LADY BIRD
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY –  Jordan Peele – GET OUT
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY –  James Ivory – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME/Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold – LOGAN
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE –  COCO
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM –  IN THE FADE (Germany)
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE –  JANE
VINCE KOEHLER AWARD –  GET OUT
DR. TOM POE AWARD –  CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Kansas City Film Critics Name “Manchester by the Sea” the Best Film of 2016 During Presentation of 51st Annual James Loutzenhiser Awards

Manchester by the Sea was chosen as the Best Film of 2016 by the Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest critics group in the country. MediaMikes film critics Michael Smith and Jeremy Werner are members of the group. Smith also serves as the groups secretary and is a member of the governing board. The film was also recognized with the Robert Altman Award for Direction and the film’s star, Casey Affleck, was chosen as the year’s Best Actor. The winners were announced today during a ceremony for the 51st Annual James Loutzenhiser Awards at the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet Theatre in Kansas City.

Manchester by the Sea led all films with three wins, while Arrival, Hell or High Water and Moonlight each received two awards. Natalie Portman was named Best Actress for her portrayal of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in Jackie while Jeff Bridges was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his work as a grizzled Texas Ranger in Hell or High Water. For the 13th time at least one category resulted in a tie when Viola Davis (Fences) and Naomie Harris (Moonlight) tied in the Best Supporting Actress category. Zootopia was named the year’s Best Animated Feature.

This year the group also awarded the inaugural Tom Poe Award for Best LGBT Film. A beloved associate professor of film and media arts in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Poe, who passed away in November at the age of 70, was a long-time member of the Critics Circle. His reviews were inevitably astute and well-informed yet just as naturally considered and kind, in keeping with his sympathies for both filmmaker and audience. It was Poe’s belief that “great film reviews give rise to thinking about films.” As such, he supported many members of KCFCC through encouragement and dialogue. Tom Poe was our colleague and friend, and it is our intention that this annual award honor his legacy as an advocate for LGBT rights and promote his desire for justice by way of accurate and beneficial representation. The inaugural recipient is Moonlight.

The full list of winners is below:

BEST FILM

Manchester by the Sea

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea

BEST ACTOR

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea

BEST ACTRESS

Natalie Portman – Jackie

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Viola Davis – Fences and Naomie Harris – Moonlight

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Eric Heisserer – Arrival

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The Handmaiden – South Korea

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

OJ: Made in America

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Zootopia

VINCE KOEHLER AWARD FOR BEST SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY or HORROR FILM

Arrival

TOM POE AWARD FOR BEST LGBT FILM

Moonlight

Our Critics Pick Their Best (and Worst) Films of 2015

Now that the calendar has turned over to 2016, some of our critics decided to compile their annual “Best of/Worse of” lists of the films of 2015. You can listen to them list their choices, as well as their reasons, on this week’s “Behind the Mikes” Podcast – http://behindthemikes.podomatic.com/entry/2016-01-03T02_32_33-08_00

Michael Smith

Before I list my favorites, I have an honorary film, “Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” It narrowly missed being a part of my Top 10 but, as the most anticipated film of the year, it delivered everything I wanted and more. My “Best of” choices:

1. The Revenant
2. Bridge of Spies
3. The Connection
4. Creed
5. The Gift
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
7. Sicario
8. Spotlight

9. Here I chose (3) smaller films that didn’t gain a wide release but are still “must sees” in my book:

5-7 – A sweet, May-December romance starring Anton Yelchin and Berenice Marhloe that I called, “cleverly acted by a cast that believes in the material.”

The Looking Glass – A well written, thoughtfully directed character directed film, featuring strong performances by veteran actress Dorothy Tristan, who also wrote the script, and newcomer Grace Tarnow.

Radio America – the story of two men, friends since childhood, who pursue their musical ambitions and learn that sometimes having your dreams come true is costly. Also has a great soundtrack of original music.

10. Straight Outta Compton

Thankfully I was spared many of this years stinkers. My bottom four:
1. Love the Coopers
2. The Last Witch Hunter
3. The Kingsman: The Secret Service
4. Tomorrowland

Jeremy Werner’s Top 10
1. Inside Out
2. Mad Max: Fury Road
3. Sicario
4. Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens
5. It Follows
6. The Look of Silence
7. Spotlight
8. The Martian
9. Room
10. Carol

And the stinkers:
1. Point Break
2. The Human Centipede 3
3. Hitman: Agent 47
4. The Fantastic Four
5. The Ridiculous Six

Lauren Damon’s Top 7:
1. (tie) Crimson Peak and Ex Machina
2. The Hateful Eight
3. What We Do In the Shadows
4. The Martian
5. Jurassic World
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
7. Cinderella

And Lauren’s terrible 2:
Self/Less
Blackhat

Podcast Contributor Loey Lockerby’s Top 10:
1. Room
2. The Martian
3. Inside Out
4. The Big Short
5. It Follows
6. Ex Machina
7. The Hateful Eight
8. Carol
9. Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens
10. Mad Max: Fury Road

Loey says they were spared having to watch anything horrible this past year. You can read Loey’s full reviews at www.suchacritic.com

[Editor’s note, an earlier version of this post had Lauren lacking worst picks. She had them.]

Kansas City Film Critics Name “Mad Max: Fury Road” the Best Film of 2015 During Presentation of 50th Annual James Loutzenhiser Awards

Mad Max: Fury Road was chosen as the Best Film of 2015 by The Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the 2nd oldest critics group in the country. The winners were announced this afternoon during a ceremony at the Alamo Drafthouse Theatre in Kansas City. Among the voters were MediaMikes own Michael Smith and Jeremy Werner.

The film, which had been nominated in four categories by the group, also took home the Robert Altman Award for Best Director for George Miller and Best Actress for Charlize Theron. The film was the only multiple winner announced by the group. The directing award is named in honor of seven-time Academy Award nominee and Kansas City native Robert Altman.

Leonardo DiCaprio was named Best Actor for his work in The Revenant. In the supporting categories, Michael Shannon received the Best Supporting Actor prize for 99 Homes while Alicia Vikander was named Best Supporting Actress for Ex Machina. PIXAR’s Inside Out was named the year’s Best Animated Feature.

Below is a complete list of winners:

BEST PICTURE: Mad Max: Fury Road

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

BEST ACTRESS: Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Michael Shannon – 99 Homes

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Inside Out

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Phoenix (Germany)

BEST DOCUMENTARY: Amy

VINCE KOEHLER AWARD FOR BEST SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY or HORROR FILM: Ex Machina

Kansas City Film Critics Announces Nominees for the 50th Annual James Loutzenhiser Awards

Kansas City, Missouri – The Kansas City Film Critics Circle, of which both Moviemike and Jeremy Werner are members, and the second oldest film critic organization in the country, released their nominees for the 50th Annual James Loutzenhiser Awards, recognizing the best in film for 2015.

Sicario, a fall release that addressed the war on drugs in both the United States and Mexico, led all films with five nominations including Best Picture and Best Director for Denis Villenueve. The film also earned nods for Emily Blunt for Best Actress, Benicio Del Toro for Best Supporting and Original Screenplay.

Right behind are the summer action film Mad Max: Fury Road and the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Revenant, which each earned four nominations, including Best Picture. Also earning Best Picture nominations: Room and Spotlight. DiCaprio was nominated as one of the year’s Best Actors, along with Steve Carell (The Big Short), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) and last year’s Academy Award winner in this category, Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl).

Charlize Theron was nominated as Best Actress for her role as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. Nominated alongside her and Blunt are Cate Blanchett (Carol), Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl) and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn).

Besides Del Toro, the list of nominees for Best Supporting Actor include Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Michael Shannon (99 Homes) and Sylvester Stallone, reprising his role of Rocky Balboa in Creed. In 1976 the group named Stallone the year’s Best Actor for playing Balboa in Rocky.

Blanchett’s Carol co-star, Rooney Mara, earned a nod for Best Supporting Actress, alongside Elizabeth Banks (Love and Mercy), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) and Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs).

Directors joining Villenueve in competition for the Robert Altman Award for Best Director are Alex Garland (Ex Machina), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) and George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road).

The group also handed out nominations for Best Animated Feature, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Foreign Film, Documentary Feature and for the Vince Koehler Award, which is chosen as the year’s best Science Fiction, Horror or Fantasy Film.

Winners will be voted on and the results released this Sunday, December 20th.

Below is a complete list of nominees:

BEST PICTURE: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Sicario, Spotlight

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTOR: Alex Garland (Ex Machina), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant), Denis Villenueve (Sicario), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

BEST ACTOR: Steve Carell (The Big Short), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

BEST ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Emily Blunt (Sicario), Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Benicio Del Toro (Sicario), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Michael Shannon (99 Homes), Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Elizabeth Banks (Love and Mercy), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Ex Machina, The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, Sicario, Spotlight, Trainwreck

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: The Big Short, Carol, The Martian, Room, Steve Jobs

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Anomalisa, Inside Out, Minions, The Peanuts Movie, Shaun the Sheep

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: The Assassin, Goodnight Mommy, Phoenix, Son of Saul, The Tribe, White God

BEST DOCUMENTARY: Amy, Best of Enemies, The Look of Silence, Where to Invade Next, The Wrecking Crew

VINCE KOEHLER AWARD FOR BEST SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY or HORROR FILM: Ex Machina, Goodnight Mommy, It Follows, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian

Kansas City Film Critics Name The Year’s Best

December 14, 2014

The Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest organized critics group in the country, held their annual end-of-the-year award gathering this afternoon, with “Birdman” and “Boyhood” taking home the lion’s share of the major awards. This is the 48th year the group has awarded their annual James Loutzenhiser awards.

Michael Keaton’s big return to the big screen, “Birdman,” won four awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (for Keaton), Best Supporting Actor (Edward Norton) and Best Original Screenplay. Richard Linklater’s 12-year in the making “Boyhood” received the Robert Altman Award for Achievement in Directing (for Linklater) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette). Other films earing awards include “Gone Girl,” “Obvious Child” and “The Lego Movie.”

Here is a complete list of winners:

BEST PICTURE: “Birdman”
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD FOR BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING: Richard Linklater – “Boyhood”
BEST ACTOR: Michael Keaton – “Birdman”
BEST ACTRESS: Rosamund Pike – “Gone Girl”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Edward Norton – “Birdman”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Arquette – “Boyhood”
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicholas Glocobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo – “Birdman”
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Gillian Robespierre – “Obvious Child”
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: “The Lego Movie”
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: “CitizenFour”
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Ida” (Poland)
VINCE KOEHLER AWARD FOR BEST SCI-FI, FANTASY or HORROR FILM: “The Babadook”

For more information on the Kansas City Film Critics Circle and previous year’s awards go to www.kcfcc.org

“MovieMike” to Participate in 2nd Annual “Oscar vs. Critics” Free For All

Media Mikes own Mike Smith will join other Kansas City area film critics this Wednesday night, February 26, as they declare their choices for the upcoming Academy Awards at the Screenland Crown Center Theatre.

The annual event, a benefit for CINEMAKC, allows moviegoers to attend a program consisting of clips and trailers from films nominated for the upcoming 86th Annual Academy Awards and then ask their favorite critics what their choices are and why.

The event begins at 7:00 pm, with a “meet the critics” mixer beginning at 6:00 pm.

Media Mikes Critics Choose the Years Best Films (and the Worse)

With voting almost over for the 2013 Media Mikes.com awards, the site’s main critics got together and chose their favorite films of the past year. And a few that weren’t anyone’s favorite. As always, it’s a rather diverse grouping of movies. Agree? Disagree? Let us know below!

Mike Gencarelli’s Top 5

FROZE
GRAVITY
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
PACIFIC RIM
THE CONJURING

and

Worse 5
MOVIE 43
BYZANTIUM
AFTERSHOCK
BEAUTIFUL CREATURES
THE HOST

Lauren Damon’s Top 4
Lauren’s original list contained a film that she actually saw this year but will not be released until some time in 2014. Rather than possibly give a look at next year’s list, here are her top four:

12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE WORLD’S END
AMERICAN HUSTLE
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Phillip Smith’s Top 5
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
MANDELA
12 YEARS A SLAVE
AMERICAN HUSTLE
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

Jeremy Werner’s Top 5
12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE WORLD’S END
GRAVITY
THE SPECTACULAR NOW
FRUITVALE STATION

and

Worse 5
MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: THE CITY OF BONES
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
ONLY GOD FORGIVES

Michael Smith’s Top 8
I couldn’t stop at five so I thought I’d do my five favorite mainstream titles as well as three more independent features.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
AMERICAN HUSTLE
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
PRISONERS
THE CONJURING
AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS
THE WAY, WAY BACK
THE SAPPHIRES

and

Worse 5
THE HOST
CARRIE
OUT OF THE FURNACE
A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES
21 AND OVER

"Critics vs Oscars Free-For-All" Coming to Kansas City

If you haven’t already got your Oscar ballots marked you may want to attend the annual “Critics vs Oscars Free-For-All” slated for Wednesday, January 23 at the Screenland Crossroads Theatre in Kansas City.

During the program trailers for films Oscar-nominated in all major categories will be screened, as will scenes from all nine Best Picture nominees. Each trailer will be followed by a sure to be impassioned discussion from some of Kansas City’s best known film critics.

The event starts at 7:00 p.m. but there will be a pre-show mixer starting at 6:00 p.m. in which those in attendance can rub shoulders and share opinions with KC’s cinema scribes. A donation of $10 is requested from those in attendance, which goes to support CinemaKC and it’s efforts to serve the movie community in 2013. Your donation not only gets you 90 minutes of film and discussion but also a raffle ticket for a chance to win some great movie memorabilia and passes to the Screenland Theatre and the Boulevard Drive-In. For more information on the event or CinemaKC go to www.CinemaKC.com

Kansas City Film Critics Name Best of 2012

The Kansas City Film Critics Circle, the second oldest critics group in America, held their annual end of year award voting on Sunday and, like in most years, the diversity of the group meant that all genre’s of films were recognized. Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” leading the films selected with three awards, including Best Film of the Year. Two races came down to a single vote, with Ang Lee, director of “Life of Pi,” edging out Anderson to win the Robert Altman Award for Achievement in Directing and “Lincoln” star Daniel Day Lewis narrowly beating “The Master’s” Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor. The only runaway win went to Anne Hathaway, Best Supporting Actress for playing the doomed Fantine in the musical “Les Miserables.” Here is a complete list of winners:

BEST PICTURE: “The Master”
BEST DIRECTOR: Ang Lee for “Life of Pi”
BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day Lewis in “Lincoln”
BEST ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Philip Seymour Hoffman in “The Master”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway in “Les Miserables”
BEST FOREIGN FILM: “Amour”
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: “Frankenweenie”
VINCE KOEHLER AWARD FOR BEST SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY OR HORROR FILM: “The Cabin In the Woods”
BEST DOCUMENTARY: “The Imposter”
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: “The Master”
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: “Argo”

Kansas City Critics name “The Descendants” Best Film of 2011


“The Descendants” narrowly defeated “Drive” to win the top prize as the Kansas City Film Critics Circle held their annual end of year vote Sunday evening. The Alexander Payne directed film also took home the Best Actor award for star George Clooney. Best Actress went to Kirsten Dunst in Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia. Reclusive filmmaker Terrence Malick was named Best Director for “The Tree of Life.” Here is a complete list of winners:

Best Film: “The Descendants”
Robert Altman Award for Direction: Terrence Malick – “The Tree of Life”
Best Actor: George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst – “Melancholia”
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”
Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain – “The Tree of Life”
Best Animated Feature: “Rango”
Best Foreign Film: “A Separation” (Iran)
Best Documentary: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” (Werner Herzog – Director)
Best Original Screenplay: “Beginners” (Mike Mills)
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Moneyball” (Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin)
Vince Koehler Award for Best Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror Film: “Hugo”

This was the 45th annual vote by the organization, which was founded by Dr. James Loutzenhiser in 1966. The KCFCC is the second oldest critics group in the nation.