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The 2013 Village Voice Film Poll

In 2013, there were a thousand bright lights and no strong center ― even with Gravity, which ranked No. 8 on our tally of nearly 100 critics’ bests. results in this year’s Village VoiceFilm Poll, like the decisions arrived at by critics’ circles around the country, suggest that consensus is the first thing to go when quality films are in such abundance. That is, quality films at the indie and international level. As usual, the top slots go to the best of studios’ parade of holiday hams, especially from old reliables like the Coen brothers (No. 1) and Spike Jonze (No. 2), but I defy you to find many wide releases from the first half of the year on this list ― or in your store of pleasurable memories. But the smaller films live on and still surprise: James Franco as best supporting actor? At spring break, anything can happen! And marvel at this: Andrew Dice Clay was in the running, too. Inside Llewyn Davis, the best-film winner, appeared on the ballots of just over half the critics, and in the directors’ category, the Coens didn’t crack the top five. The upshot: With more movies than ever released, and fewer good big movies than ever released, critics in 2013 assembled top-tens that look more like playlists than authoritative declarations of bests. Here’s what we discovered this year. What did you find?

Best Film 1. Inside Llewyn Davis― points: 347; mentions: 55 2. Her― points: 317; mentions: 46 3. 12 Years a Slave― points: 277; mentions: 44 4. Before Midnight― points: 256; mentions: 38 5. The Act of Killing― points: 189; mentions: 36 6. Leviathan― points: 171; mentions: 25 7. Upstream Color― points: 142; mentions: 24 8. Gravity― points: 139; mentions: 24 9. Frances Ha― points: 135; mentions: 29 10. Blue Is the Warmest Color― points: 132; mentions: 24

Best Actor 1. Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis― points: 79; mentions: 39 2. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave― points: 77; mentions: 36 3. Joaquin Phoenix, Her― points: 63; mentions: 29 4. Robert Redford, All Is Lost― points: 52; mentions: 25 5. Bruce Dern, Nebraska― points: 24; mentions: 12

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave.
Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave.
Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos in Blue Is the Warmest Color.
Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos in Blue Is the Warmest Color.
Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight.
Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight.

Best Actress 1. Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color― points: 81; mentions: 37 2. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine― points: 64; mentions: 28 3. Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha― points: 50; mentions: 25 4. Brie Larson, Short Term 12― points: 39; mentions: 21 5. Julie Delpy, Before Midnight― points: 38; mentions: 20

Best Supporting Actress 1. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave― points: 93; mentions: 38 2. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle― points: 48; mentions: 25 3. Léa Seydoux, Blue Is the Warmest Color― points: 41; mentions: 20 4. Scarlett Johansson, Her― points: 35; mentions: 16 5. June Squibb, Nebraska― points: 33; mentions: 19

Best Supporting Actor 1. James Franco, Spring Breakers― points: 99; mentions: 43 2. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave― points: 46; mentions: 22 3. James Gandolfini, Enough Said― points: 43; mentions: 19 4. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club― points: 27; mentions: 12 5. Andrew Dice Clay, Blue Jasmine― points: 17; mentions: 9

Best Documentary 1. The Act of Killing― mentions: 27 2. Stories We Tell― mentions: 16 3. Leviathan― mentions: 14 4. At Berkeley― mentions: 5 5. Let the Fire Burn― mentions: 4

Best First Feature 1. Fruitvale Station― mentions: 19 2. Wadjda― mentions: 8 3. Sun Don’t Shine― mentions: 5

Best Undistributed Film 1. Stray Dogs― points: 28; mentions: 13 2. What Now? Remind Me― points: 15; mentions: 7 3. The Strange Little Cat― points: 11; mentions: 6

Best Animated Feature 1. The Wind Rises― mentions: 29 2. Frozen― mentions: 9 3. Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?― mentions: 8

Best Director 1. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave― mentions: 15 2. Spike Jonze, Her― mentions: 12 3. Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity― mentions: 9 4. Shane Carruth, Upstream Color― mentions: 6 5. Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street― mentions: 4

Best Screenplay 1. Before Midnight ― mentions: 21 2. Her― mentions: 13 3. Inside Llewyn Davis― mentions: 13

Worst Film 1. Only God Forgives― mentions: 6 2. Pain & Gain― mentions: 4 3. A Good Day to Die Hard― mentions: 5

Movie Everyone’s Wrong About 1. American Hustle― mentions: 5 2. 12 Years a Slave― mentions: 5 3. Nebraska― mentions: 5

This year, 96 critics from across the country voted for their favorite films, performances and filmmakers in twelve categories. Critics had the option to either “rank” or “unrank” their votes. For example, in the Best Film category, where ten votes are possible, a ranked ballot’s No. 1 choice was awarded ten points, the No. 2 choice nine points, etc. On ballots designated “unranked,” films were awarded five points each. A film is eligible only in the year that it was first distributed in the U.S.

 
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