Portrait of a Lady on Fire slays it for Florida Film Critics Circle

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Image used with permission from Neon

I’m really proud to see that The Florida Film Critics Circle really went against trends in their choices for the best of cinema in 2019. Most impressive was the nice representation for what I think is this year’s masterpiece in cinema: Portrait of a Lady on Fire. It won in some of the most prestigious categories: Best Picture and Best Director for Céline Sciamma. Her film will most likely end up as my favorite of the year. I’ll share that list before year’s end. For now on to a few thoughts on the FFCC picks, an organization I am currently serving as chairperson.

I truly thought the year’s most amazing acting performance belonged to Florence Pugh in Midsommar (A Midsommar beyond horror), so at least she was recognized as the Breakout award of the year. It was Marriage Story, the excellent new film by Noah Baumbach, that nearly swept all acting categories. Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson and Laura Dern, all won awards for their performances in the movie.

It was nice to see the love then spread out among some great films still to see release in theaters, including Little Women (Best Adapted Screenplay), 1917 (Best Cinematography) and Uncut Gems (Best Score). Some other major surprises included well-earned credit for Queen & Slim, a movie I caught up with only a little while ago and features incredible camera work and performances.

Here’s the full list of winners. I’ve added an star by the one I voted for. They all appeared as either winners or runners up, so no complaints from me this year.

Best Picture

Portrait of a Lady on Fire*

Runner up: 1917

Best Actor

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Runner up: Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory*

Best Actress

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Runner up: Florence Pugh, Midsommar*

Best Supporting Actor

Joe Pesci, The Irishman*

Runner up: John Lithgow, Bombshell

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Runners up: Margot Robbie, Bombshell and Isla Fisher, The Beach Bum*

Best Ensemble

Little Women*

Runner up: The Farewell

Best Director

Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire*

Runner up: Sam Mendes, 1917

Best Original Screenplay

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems*

Runner up: Lulu Wang, The Farewell

Best Adapted Screenplay

Greta Gerwig, Little Women*

Runner up: Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

Best Cinematography

Roger Deakins, 1917

Runner up: Claire Mathon, Portrait of a Lady on Fire*

Best Visual Effects

Alita: Battle Angel*

Runners up: Ad Astra and Avengers: Endgame

Best Art Direction/Production Design

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Ad Astra*

Best Score

Daniel Lopatin, Uncut Gems*

Runner up:  No clear runner up  

Best Documentary

Apollo 11

Runner up: Honeyland*

Best Foreign Language Film

Portrait of a Lady on Fire*

Runner up: Parasite

Best Animated Film

I Lost My Body*

Runner up: Toy Story 4

Best First Film

Queen & Slim*

Runner up: Honeyland

Pauline Kael Breakout Award

Florence Pugh, Midsommar, Fighting With My Family and Little Women*

Runner up: Lulu Wang, The Farewell

Jay Boyar Golden Orange Award

Tampa Theatre*

For the full press release regarding the winners and runners up, check out the FFCC’s website, but jumping through this link.

Hans Morgenstern

(Copyright 2019 by Independent Ethos. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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