Better than a bandit’s ears. Zama, the brilliant satire of Spanish colonialism, captured four top prizes at this year’s ICS Awards, taking home best picture, best director for Argentinian maestro Lucrecia Martel, non-English language film, and lead actor for Daniel Giménez Cacho as the clueless corregidor.
Formed in 2003, the International Cinephile Society is an online group made up of approximately 110 accredited journalists, film scholars, historians and other industry professionals who cover film festivals and events on five continents. Led by ICS president Cédric Succivalli, each year the ICS honors the finest in American and international cinema.
In spread-the-wealth mode, voters bestowed only one or two awards each on a bevy of other outstanding films. Case in point, Lee Chang-dong’s Burning – despite its runner-up status in best picture and three other categories – finished with just one win for Lee and Oh Jung-mi’s tensely unnerving adapted screenplay. Meanwhile, First Reformed auteur Paul Schrader nabbed the original screenplay prize with his Bergman/Bresson-inspired tale of faith undone in the modern world.
Shoplifters’ multigenerational cast managed to form an entire family out of society’s rejects, while stealing our hearts and our ensemble award. Sakura Andô, in an emotionally stunning performance, tied for lead actress as a woman who must pit her maternal instinct against her survival instinct. And in a surprise twist, the other lead actress award went to the sensational Helena Howard for Madeline’s Madeline, as she fully immersed us in a young drama student’s mental turmoil.
If Beale Street Could Talk won supporting actor for Brian Tyree Henry’s wrenching monologue on the jail trauma of an unjustly accused man, while composer Nicholas Britell, with his warm jazz score, persuaded us to trust love all the way. And Rachel Weisz, playing wily politician Lady Sarah in The Favourite, schemed her way to the supporting actress trophy against formidable opposition.
Innovative filmmaker RaMell Ross earned two awards, for best documentary and film editing, with his lyrical journey into the lives and community of Hale County This Morning, This Evening. Previous ICS winner Wes Anderson charmed us again with those shaggy ex-pet-riates from the top animated film, Isle of Dogs. Alfonso Cuarón’s panoramic, light-infused street scenes earned Roma the cinematography prize. Finally, production designer Astrid Tonnelier metamorphosed a surreal island setting into a well-deserved win for The Wild Boys.
In addition to award winners for the previous year announced each February, the ICS revealed a Top 100 Films of the 1990s in the first half of 2010. ICS has been accredited at the Festival de Cannes in 2010-2018, and also covers a number of other film festivals including Berlin, Toronto, New York, Vancouver, Rome, Venice, San Sebastian, San Francisco, AFI, Seattle, Rotterdam and TCM.
Here is the full list of winners and runners-up for the 16th International Cinephile Society (ICS) awards.
04. The Wild Boys
06. The Rider
07. A Bread Factory
07. If Beale Street Could Talk
09. Madeline’s Madeline
10. First Reformed
11. The Favourite
12. The Other Side of the Wind
Lucrecia Martel – Zama
runner-up: Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
04. The Wild Boys
06. A Paris Education
07. Happy as Lazzaro
09. Sicilian Ghost Story
10. Cold War
Honorable Mentions: The Day After, Lover for a Day, 24 Frames, Let the Sunshine In, Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, On Body and Soul, Claire’s Camera, Border, Museo, Mrs. Hyde.
Daniel Giménez Cacho – Zama
runner-up: Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
Sakura Andô – Shoplifters (tie)
Helena Howard – Madeline’s Madeline (tie)
Brian Tyree Henry – If Beale Street Could Talk
runner-up: Steven Yeun – Burning
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite
runner-up: Lola Dueñas – Zama
First Reformed – Paul Schrader
runner-up: Shoplifters – Hirokazu Kore-eda
Burning – Oh Jung-mi, Lee Chang-dong
runner-up: Zama – Lucrecia Martel
Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
runner-up: Zama – Rui Poças
Hale County This Morning, This Evening – RaMell Ross
runner-up: The Other Side of the Wind – Bob Murawski, Orson Welles
The Wild Boys – Astrid Tonnelier
runner-up: Zama – Renata Pinheiro
If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell
runner-up: Burning – Mowg
runner-up: A Paris Education
Isle of Dogs
runner-up: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
runner-up: Minding the Gap
BEST PICTURE NOT RELEASED IN 2018
• 3 Faces
• Asako I & II
• Ash is Purest White
• Birds of Passage
• An Elephant Sitting Still
• High Life
• The Image Book
• Knife + Heart
• La Flor
• Long Day’s Journey Into Night
• Manta Ray
• Memories of My Body
• Ray & Liz
• Real Love
• What You Gonna Do When the World’s On Fire?
• The Wild Pear Tree