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Thu. May 28th, 2020

National Society of Film Critics Names ‘Goodbye to Language’ Best Film of 2014

Jean-Luc Godard's 'Goodbye to Language' takes NSFC top honors
Jean-Luc Godard’s ‘Goodbye to Language‘ takes NSFC top honors

The National Society of Film Critics, one of the last major critics groups to announce their best of 2014 has revealed Jean-Luc Godard’s Cannes winner Goodbye to Language as the best film of 2014. Despite seeming like an odd choice, it was heavily favored as the probably winner or alternate by most AwardsWatch forum members participating in the Gold Rush contest this year. The NSFC’s tendency to buck the trend of other critics groups continued with this choice although the critics champ Boyhood only missed the top spot by a single vote and its director, Richard Linklater, managed a Best Director win.

The group’s love for all things Mike Leigh continued this year with Mr. Turner snagging wins for Timothy Spall in Best Actor, Dick Pope for Cinematography as well two runners-up mentions; in Best Picture and Best Director.

Marion Cotillard took yet another Best Actress honor (in a landslide) and again for her two 2014 films; The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) again took the Supporting wins. The pair have turned out to the be the Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique of 2014, marking a path to an Oscar that has become all but unbeatable.

From the NSFC website:

The Society, made up of many of the country’s most distinguished movie critics, held its 49th annual awards voting meeting, using a weighted ballot system, at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Center as guests of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Scrolls will be sent to the winners.

Fifty-nine members are eligible to vote, though a few disqualify themselves if they haven’t seen every film. Any film that opened in the U.S. during the year 2014 was eligible for consideration. There is no nomination process; members meet, vote (using a weighted ballot), and announce all on January 3rd. There is no awards party; scrolls are sent to the winners.

The full list plus voting totals below:

The full list of winners:
Picture: “Goodbye to Language” (25)
Runners-up: “Boyhood” (24); “Birdman” and “Mr. Turner” (tie, 10)

Director: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood” (36)
Runners-up: Jean-Luc Godard, “Goodbye to Language” (17); Mike Leigh, “Mr. Turner” (12)

Actor: Timothy Spall, “Mr. Turner” (31)
Runners-up: Tom Hardy, “Locke” (10); Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice” (tie, 9)

Actress: Marion Cotillard, “The Immigrant” and “Two Days, One Night” (80)
Runners-up: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice” (35); Scarlett Johansson, “Lucy” and “Under the Skin” (21)

Supporting actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash” (24)
Runners-up: Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher” (21); Edward Norton, “Birdman” (16)

Supporting actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood” (26)
Runners-up: Agata Kulesza, “Ida” (18); Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler” (9)

Screenplay: Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (24)
Runners-up: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Armando Bo, “Birdman,” and Paul Thomas Anderson, “Inherent Vice” (tie, 15)

Nonfiction film: “Citizenfour” (56)
Runners-up: “National Gallery” (19); “The Overnighters” (17)

Cinematography: Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner” (33)
Runners-up: Darius Khondji, “The Immigrant” (27); Fabrice Aragno, “Goodbye to Language” (9)

FILM HERITAGE AWARD
1. To Ron Magliozzi, associate curator, and Peter Williamson, film conservation manager, of the Museum of Modern Art, for identifying and assembling the earliest surviving footage of what would have been the feature film to star a black cast, the 1913 “Lime Kiln Field Day” starring Bert Williams.

2. To Ron Hutchinson, co-founder and director of The Vitaphone Project, which since 1991 has collected and restored countless original soundtrack discs for early sound short films and features, including the recent Warner Bros. restoration of William A. Seiter’s 1929 “Why Be Good?”

DEDICATION: The meeting was dedicated to the memory of two distinguished members of the Society who died in 2014: Jay Carr and Charles Champlin.

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