Daily | Lists and Awards | WGA, NYT, H2N

Only God Forgives

Ryan Gosling in ‘Only God Forgives’

Zach Campbell‘s “Film Maudit of the Year” is Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives: “Through its imagery, its soundscape and lush score by Cliff Martinez, its sense of pace and flow, its cohesive range of acting styles emulating dreams of old viewings of 1980s action movies seen late at night, its beautifully jagged editing principles that tweak continuity and contiguity in ways the old Noël Burch might have appreciated—through all these things, Only God Forgives is a stunning achievement. If everything here were on the same level, this would easily be one of the very best films of the year. But it also doesn’t seem to direct these elements into very productive or interesting directions; it caves in on itself.” Following a round of notes and honorable mentions, his list goes to eleven. #1: Before Midnight.

Jordan Cronk‘s #1: Leviathan. But wait, there’s more. He’s also listed his top Best Undistributed Films (#1: Albert Serra’s Story of My Death), Avant-Garde Films (#1: Jodie Mack’s Let Your Light Shine), Blu-ray Releases (3 Films by Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman), DVDs (Out 1: Noli me tang ere / Out 1: Spectre), and Repertory (Warhol‘s Sleep and Imitation of Christ).

At Critics A Go-Go, Peter Keough‘s #1 is Her and Henry Sheehan‘s is Nebraska.

James McNally‘s “received 33 com­pleted bal­lots from film lovers in the Greater Toronto Area,” and Her tops the poll.

Meantime, Reverse Shot‘s annual Offenses list “is never designed to be a definitive compilation of the truly ‘worst’ movies of the year, but rather a reminder of the handful of movies that lodged in our heads like bundles of earwig larvae.” And yes, Only God Forgives is in there, but so, too, are such critical favorites as American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club.


Contributors to Hammer to Nail have voted up their top 14 American narrative features produced for $1 million or less. Topping the list is Computer Chess, and “for showing us what a truly original voice looks and sounds like, Andrew Bujalski is the very worthy recipient of our 2013 Golden Hammer award.” In at #4 is Sun Don’t Shine, and: “As a writer, as a director, as an actress, as the individual who delivered the most exhilarating one-two punch of 2013, we present our Silver Nail award to Amy Seimetz.” The H2N teams also lists all the films that received votes, adds three more “Not Made-In-America But Most Reflective Of The HTN Spirit” plus a list of “Films That Premiered In 2013 And Will Hopefully Be Seeing The Light of Day In 2014.”

The Writers Guild of America has announced its nominations for its film and television awards. Let’s stick to film, with five titles for each of three categories.

At In Contention, Kristopher Tapley lists the most notable shut-outs.

Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott: “While [Woody] Allen’s work has been the subject of learned analysis, and his private life an occasional source of tabloid sensationalism, what we offer in a graphic is something new and completely preposterous: an attempt, based on the emerging science of free-associative DNA testing, to establish a comprehensive Woody Allen genealogy.”

Also in the New York Times‘ “Awards Season” special: The critics’ Oscar ballots and excerpts from screenplays accompanied by clips (Enough Said, Her, Before Midnight, and Kill Your Darlings). Plus: Margy Rochlin talks with Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson about Saving Mr. Banks; Larry Rohter profiles Chiwetel Ejiofor and Steve McQueen discusses a scene from 12 Years a Slave; Charles McGrath interviews Alfonso Cuarón, who also narrates a scene from Gravity; Kathryn Shattuck talks with Ruth E. Carter, the costume designer for Lee Daniels’ The Butler; and a couple of more video interviews with Christian Bale (American Hustle and Out of the Furnace) and Catherine Martin, the costume and production designer for The Great Gatsby.

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