The Forbidden Room (2015), Guy Maddin

The San Francisco Film Critics Circle picked SPOTLIGHT as the Best Picture of 2015, and gave three awards to MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, two to BROOKLYN and two to LOVE & MERCY.

Paul Dano and Saoirse Ronan collected Best Actor and Best Actress, the former for his portrayal of Brian Wilson’s youthful but troubled musical genius in LOVE & MERCY and the latter for essaying delicate, nuanced emotional detail as a young immigrant woman coming of age and facing the choice of her life in BROOKLYN. The same films were also recognized for their screenwriters: Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner for the thoughtfully structured biopic LOVE & MERCY and Nick Hornby for locating the emotion and internal struggle of an immigrant experience in his screen adaptation of the novel BROOKLYN.

Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress honors went, respectively, to Michael Shannon for his utterly credible work as a fiery real-estate exploiter in 99 HOMES and Mya Taylor for powerfully grounding, with heart and humor, TANGERINE, a tale of transgender sex workers navigating a nighttime odyssey on the streets of L.A.

The SFFCC recognized SON OF SAUL as Best Foreign Language Film, ANOMALISA as Best Animated Feature, and LISTEN TO ME MARLON as Best Documentary. Finally, the SFFCC’s annual Special Citation Award for an underappreciated independent film went to Guy Maddin’s THE FORBIDDEN ROOM (pictured above).

Best Picture
WINNER – SPOTLIGHT
BROOKLYN
CAROL
LOVE & MERCY
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Best Director
WINNER – George Miller, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
John Crowley, BROOKLYN
Todd Haynes, CAROL
Alejandro González Iñárritu, THE REVENANT
Tom McCarthy, SPOTLIGHT

Best Actor
WINNER – Paul Dano, LOVE & MERCY
Bryan Cranston, TRUMBO
Leonardo DiCaprio, THE REVENANT
Michael Fassbender, STEVE JOBS
Ian McKellen, MR. HOLMES

Best Actress
WINNER – Saoirse Ronan, BROOKLYN
Cate Blanchett, CAROL
Brie Larson, ROOM
Rooney Mara, CAROL
Charlotte Rampling, 45 YEARS

Best Supporting Actor
WINNER – Michael Shannon, 99 HOMES
Paul Dano, LOVE & MERCY
Benicio Del Toro, SICARIO
Mark Rylance, BRIDGE OF SPIES
Sylvester Stallone, CREED

Best Supporting Actress
WINNER – Mya Taylor, TANGERINE
Elizabeth Banks, LOVE & MERCY
Helen Mirren, TRUMBO
Alicia Vikander, THE DANISH GIRL
Alicia Vikander, EX MACHINA

Best Screenplay, Original
WINNER – LOVE & MERCY, Oren Moverman; Michael Alan Lerner
EX MACHINA, Alex Garland
SICARIO, Taylor Sheridan
SPOTLIGHT, Tom McCarthy; Josh Singer
TANGERINE, Sean Baker; Chris Bergoch

Best Screenplay, Adapted
WINNER – BROOKLYN, Nick Hornby
CAROL, Phyllis Nagy
DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL, Marielle Heller
45 YEARS, Andrew Haigh
THE MARTIAN, Drew Goddard
ROOM, Emma Donahue

Best Cinematography
WINNER – MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, John Seale
THE ASSASSIN, Ping Bing Lee
CAROL, Edward Lachmann
THE REVENANT, Emmanuel Lubezki
SICARIO, Roger Deakins

Best Production Design
WINNER – CAROL, Judy Becker; Heather Loeffler
BRIDGE OF SPIES, Adam Stockhausen; Rena DeAngelo; Bernard Henrich
BROOKLYN, François Séguin; Suzanne Cloutier
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Colin Gibson; Katie Sherrock; Lisa Thompson
THE REVENANT, Jack Fisk; Hamish Purdy

Best Film Editing
WINNER – MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, Margaret Sixel
THE BIG SHORT, Hank Corwin
LOVE & MERCY, Dino Jonsater
THE REVENANT, Stephen Mirrione
SICARIO, Joe Walker

Best Animated Feature
WINNER – ANOMALISA
BOY AND THE WORLD
INSIDE OUT
THE PEANUTS MOVIE
SHAUN THE SHEEP

Best Foreign Language Picture
WINNER – SON OF SAUL
THE ASSASSIN
GOODNIGHT MOMMY
A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE
TIMBUKTU

Best Documentary
WINNER – LISTEN TO ME MARLON
AMY
BEST OF ENEMIES
THE LOOK OF SILENCE
MERU

Marlon Riggs Award for courage & vision in the Bay Area film community
Frank Lee For his lifelong dedication to film culture in San Francisco—in particular his twenty-plus-year film stewardship of the 4 Star Theatre in the tradition of the family-run independent art house and his attention to Hong Kong film, both marked by his astute taste and knowledge.

Special Citation for under-appreciated independent cinema
THE FORBIDDEN ROOM Guy Maddin’s haunted scream, full of artfully recreated, vinegar-eaten celluloid, is a rat’s nest of affairs too strange to recall and too troubling to forget

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