Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best 'Behind the Camera' Work of 2013

Best Score
To me, the score is one of the most important aspects of a film.  A great score can make an otherwise average film seem great.  (Case in point: last year's amazing score for Beasts of the Southern Wild and this year's Gravity).  There weren't a lot of scores that stood out to me, but I very well may have overlooked a great one.  So if your favorite isn't represented here, please let me know!  Now click on the links below and give these a listen!
  1. Gravity - Steven Price
  2. Star Trek into Darkness - Michael Giacchino
  3. Rush - Hans Zimmer
  4. Hunger Games: Catching Fire - James Newton Howard
  5. Short Term 12 - Joel P. West
  6. 12 Years a Slave - Hans Zimmer

Best Song
Just like with a great score, a great song can really make a scene or trailer memorable.  When I judge a song in a movie, it isn't just about the song itself.  It's about how that song fits the movie or the scene it's in.  It should forever be linked to that movie.  Otherwise it doesn't qualify for me.  Click on the links below and enjoy these great songs.
  1. Here it Comes by Rick Smith and Emeli Sande, featured in Trance.  (My fellow BFCA member Erick Weber championed this for our Critics Choice nominations, but unfortunately other members didn't go for it.)
  2. Song for Zula by Phosphorescent, featured in The Spectacular Now.
  3. Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men, featured in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
  4. Let it Go by Idina Menzel, featured in Frozen.
  5. The Moon Song by Karen O, featured in Her.

Best Director
Most award voters seem to think that the best directors are the ones who made the best films.  And it's hard to argue with that logic.  But let's face it.  If you're blessed with the perfect script and the perfect cast, you could theoretically just place a camera in front of them and yell action and it will be genius.  Conversely, I feel that sometimes a director really shows that he/she added a lot of value and brought something unique to a film, even if the film didn't turn out to be one of the Top 10 of the year.  So I'm thinking outside the box of those directors who really did something special.
  1. Danny Boyle - Trance
  2. Richard Curtis - About Time
  3. Richard Linklater - Before Midnight
  4. Michael Bay - Pain & Gain
  5. Ben Stiller - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  6. Woody Allen - Blue Jasmine
  7. Nicole Holofcener - Enough Said
  8. Martin Scorsese - The Wolf of Wall Street
  9. James Ponsoldt - The Spectacular Now
  10. Henry Alex Rubin - Disconnect

Best Screenplay
  1. The East - Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling
  2. About Time   - Richard Curtis
  3. Before Midnight  - Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
  4. August: Osage County - Tracy Letts
  5. Some Velvet Morning - Neil LaBute
  6. Trance   - Joe Ahearne, John Hodge
  7. Side Effects - Scott Z. Burns
  8. Some Girl(s)  - Neil LaBute
  9. In a World ... - Lake Bell
  10. Blue Jasmine  - Woody Allen
  11. Enough Said  - Nicole Holofcener
  12. Short Term 12 - Destin Cretton
  13. The Spectacular Now  (adapted) - Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, Tim Tharp (novel)

Best Return to Form
  1. Peter Jackson - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug *
* This very special award goes to Peter Jackson for not f-ing up the second installment of the Hobbit like he did the first.  I particularly appreciate him showing the press advanced screenings in 24 fps.  Last year he showed it to us in 48 fps and it ruined the experience.


  1. Where is the love for the Philomena screenplay?

    1. It is a pretty great screenplay. But what I loved even more about it were the performances and chemistry between Coogan and Dench. I'll keep your suggestion in mind and once I have a chance to see it again I might add it, thanks.

  2. It was nominated for a Critics Choice so it must be good. Those guys are usually spot on

    1. Ha! Funny. Alas, my colleagues rarely get it right no matter how much I try to convince them to see the light.