'Her' Tops AFCA 2013 Awards


Before Midnight

The Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA) not only awarded honors today to 2013 films like Her, 12 Years a Slave and Gravity, but also recognized several films with local and Texas ties.

Her, the latest film from Spike Jonze (which topped my own personal list of the year's best) won't be released in Austin until Jan. 10, but AFCA considered all films that had (or will have) a US release in 2013. Her also won Best Original Screenplay, by Jonze, and Best Score, by Arcade Fire. And AFCA created a special honorary award for Scarlett Johansson to recognize her voice work in the movie.

I've included the press release as well as the full list of awards and the group's Top Ten list below. A few notes about Austin and Lone Star connections:

  • Best Austin Film went to Before Midnight (Elizabeth's review), from local filmmaker Richard Linklater. This is Linklater's fourth Best Austin Film award from AFCA.
  • The Top Ten list includes Mud (Debbie's review) from Austin director Jeff Nichols at #7 and Before Midnight at #8.
  • Three films in the Top Ten feature performances from local(ish) actor Matthew McConaughey: The Wolf of Wall Street, Mud and Dallas Buyers Club.
  • SXSW 2013 awardwinner Short Term 12 (Don's review) was also an AFCA favorite. It was #6 on the Top Ten list. Brie Larson was awarded Best Actress for Short Term 12, and the Robert R. Bobby McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award for her roles in Short Term 12, The Spectacular Now and Don Jon.
  • Drafthouse Films released the Best Documentary winner, The Act of Killing (Elizabeth's review).

Here's the full press release:

The Austin Film Critics Association announced its 2013 awards today, with Spike Jonze's futuristic feature Her winning Best Film as well as two other awards, and leading the group's Top Ten list. Gravity and 12 Years a Slave also won multiple awards this year.

In addition to Best Film, Her took home awards for Best Original Screenplay, by Jonze, and Best Score, by Arcade Fire. Scarlett Johansson was recognized with an honorary award for her voice work in the movie.

Another speculative-fiction feature, Gravity, won in two categories: Alfonso Cuaron received Best Director, and Emmanuel Lubezki's work earned the film Best Cinematography. Gravity was third on the group's Top Ten List, behind Her and 12 Years a Slave.

Steve McQueen's historical drama 12 Years a Slave won three awards: Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor, Lupita Nyong'o for Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay by John Ridley.

Actress Brie Larson was honored in two categories: Best Actress, for Short Term 12, and the Robert R. Bobby McCurdy Memorial Breakthrough Artist Award, for her roles in Short Term 12, The Spectacular Now, and Don Jon. Best Supporting Actor went to Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club.

The Austin Film Award, for movies shot locally or by Austin-based filmmakers, went to Before Midnight this year. This is the second year in a row that a Richard Linklater film has won the award, which Bernie won in 2012. In addition, Linklater won Best Austin Film for Me and Orson Welles in 2009, and for A Scanner Darkly in 2006.

Before Midnight is also on the AFCA Top Ten list this year, along with another feature by an Austin filmmaker, Jeff Nichols' Mud.

Other winners include The Act of Killing for Best Documentary, Fruitvale Station for Best First Film, Blue is the Warmest Color for Best Foreign Language Film, and Frozen for Best Animated Film.

The full list of winners, plus the AFCA Top Ten Films of 2013 list, is detailed below. You can also find details at the AFCA website, www.austinfilmcritics.org.

The Austin Film Critics Association is a group dedicated to supporting the best in film, whether at the international, national, or local level. AFCA members contribute to publications and outlets as diverse as Ain't It Cool News, the Austin American-Statesman, the Austin Chronicle, Badass Digest, The Daily Texan, DVDActive, Fandango, Film.com, Film School Rejects, Hill Country News, Horror's Not Dead, KOOP Radio, Movies.com, One Of Us, Paste, ScreenCrush, Slackerwood, Smells Like Screen Spirit, Spill.com, and YNN Austin, among others.

Best Film: Her (Spike Jonze)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress: Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, Her
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Best Score: Arcade Fire, Her
Best Foreign Language Film: Blue is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche)
Best Documentary: The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer)
Best Animated Film: Frozen (Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck)
Best First Film: Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler)
Breakthrough Artist: Brie Larson, Short Term 12
Best Austin Film: Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
Special Honorary Award: Scarlett Johansson, for her outstanding voice performance in Her

AFCA 2013 Top Ten Films:

1. Her
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Gravity
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
6. Short Term 12
7. Mud
8. Before Midnight
9. Dallas Buyers Club
10. Captain Phillips