The National Society of Film Critics Announces Awards for 2015 films

The National Society of Film Critics has weighed in with its choices for the best of film in 2015. With Academy members having received their ballots for the prospective nominations for the 87th Academy Awards, this list of winners has the potential to sway Academy voters as they deliberate over their personal choices, espcially in the acting categories.

The National Society of Film Critics counts among its members many of the country’s leading film critics. Its purpose is to promote the mutual interests of film criticism and filmmaking. Founded in l966, the Society differs from other critical associations in a number of significant ways. In the first place, it is truly national. Its members include critics from major papers in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Denver. Its members also include the critics not just of The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and The New Yorker, but also of The Village Voice, The Boston Herald, and prominent online sites. Second, membership is by election.

The Society represents movie criticism in the United States by supplying the official critic delegate to the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress and abroad by supplying the official American representative to FIPRESCI, the international federation of members of the film press. Besides responding to specific issues, such as imprisoned directors, film preservation, or the ratings system, the Society regularly meets early in January to vote on the Society’s awards for the finest film achievements of the year.

This annual voting meeting is usually scheduled for the first Saturday in January, except when that date is too close to New Year’s Day. In 2016 the meeting was held on Sunday, January 3rd. Submissions are not necessary; there is no nomination process. Any film that opens in the U.S. during the preceding year is eligible for consideration. Voting is conducted using a weighted ballot system. Scrolls suitable for framing are sent to the winners. There is no awards party. The 2015 Winners are:

BEST ACTOR:

*1. Michael B. Jordan (Creed) 29 points

Geza Rohrig (Son of Saul) 18

Tom Courtenay (45 Years) 15

BEST ACTRESS:

*1. Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) 57

Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) 30

Nina Hoss (Phoenix) 22

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

*1. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) 56

Michael Shannon (99 Homes) 16

Sylvester Stallone (Creed) 14

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

*1. Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria) 53

Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) 23

Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) 17

Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy) 17

BEST SCREENPLAY:

*1. Spotlight (Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy) 21

Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman) 15

The Big Short (Charles Randolph and Adam McKay) 15

CINEMATOGRAPHY:

*1. Carol (Ed Lachman) 25

The Assassin (Mark Lee Ping-bin) 22

Mad Max: Fury Road (John Seale) 12

PICTURE:

*1. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy) 23

Carol (Todd Haynes) 17

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller) 13

DIRECTOR:

*1.Todd Haynes (Carol) 21

Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) 21 (because he was on fewer ballots; a winner must be on a majority of ballots)

George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road) 20

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

*1. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako) 22

Phoenix (Christian Petzold) 20

The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien) 16

BEST NON-FICTION FILM:

*1. Amy (Asif Kapadia) 23

In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman) 18

Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke) 15

FILM HERITAGE AWARDS:

Film Society of Lincoln Center and the programmers Jake Perlin and Michelle Materre, for the series Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986

The Criterion Collection and L’Immagine Ritrovata for the restoration and packaging of the reconstructed version of The Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray

Association Chaplin for supervising the digital restoration of Charlie Chaplin’s Essanay Films

SPECIAL CITATION for a film awaiting American distribution: One Floor Below, a Romanian film directed by Radu Muntean.

This meeting was dedicated to the late Richard Corliss, longtime critic at TIME magazine, not just a writer of extraordinary intelligence, wit, and energy, but also a generous friend and colleague.