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Picking Winners: The 2013 Village Voice Film Poll

Oscar Isaac in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, winner of "Best Film" in the 2013 Village Voice Film Poll.
Oscar Isaac in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis, winner of "Best Film" in the 2013 Village Voice Film Poll.
Photo: Alison Rosa ©2012 Long Strange Trip LLC

In 2013 there were a thousand bright lights and no strong center — even with Gravity, which ranked No. 8 on our tally of almost 100 critics’ bests. The results in this year’s Village Voice Film 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.

View the full 2013 Village Voice Film Poll

Inside Llewyn Davis, the best film winner, appeared on the ballots of only 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 10s that look more like playlists than authoritative declaration 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. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave — points: 81; mentions: 39
2. Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis — points: 79; mentions: 39
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

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 (tie)
Inside Llewyn Davis

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

Movie Everyone’s Wrong About

1. American Hustle — mentions: 5 (tie)

12 Years a Slave

Nebraska

This year, 96 critics from across the country voted for their favorite films, performances, and filmmakers in 13 categories. Films were awarded five points each. A film is eligible only in the year that it was first distributed in the U.S.


CORRECTION, December, 19: A correction — and an upset! We originally listed Oscar Isaac of Inside Llewyn Davis as the winner in our film poll's best actor category. According to our first round of poll math, he had just barely edged out Chiwetel Ejiofor of 12 Years a Slave . After publishing the results, we discovered that we had missed a three misspellings of Ejiofor's name in critics' ballots, which meant three Ejiofor votes weren't added to the actor's official total.


After a few more rounds of bug-stomping -- you wouldn't believe how many ways critics can spell names like "Scarlett Johansson" or "Adèle Exarchopoulos" -- we're pleased to announce that Ejiofor has edged out Isaac by two votes, proving once again that poor Llewyn Davis just can't win. Thanks again to everyone who voted. The Voice regrets the error.


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