12 YEARS A SLAVE Tops 2013 Chicago Film Critics Association Winners
"12 Years A Slave," the harrowing adaptation of the memoir of a once-free black man from the North who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Deep South in the years leading up to Civil War, was the big winner of the annual year-end awards voted on by the Chicago Film Critics Association. The group, now in its 24th year, gave the film five awards, including Best Picture, Best Director to Steve McQueen, Best Actor to Chiwetel Ejiofor, Best Supporting Actress to newcomer Luptia Nyong'o for her role as a slave who becomes the obsession of her increasingly deranged owner and Adapted Screenplay to John Ridley.
The runner-up in terms of awards received was "Gravity," Alfonso Cuaron's visionary thriller about an outer space mission Gone terribly wrong, which received three awards for Best Cinematography to Emmanuel Lubezki, Best Art Direction/Production Design to Mark Scruton and Andy Nicholson and Best Editing to Cuaron and Mark Sanger. The other multiple-award winners were "The Act of Killing," the startling documentary in which former Indonesian death squad leaders gleefully reenact their crimes in highly cinematic terms, which received awards for Best Documentary and Best Foreign-Language Film, and "Her," the oddball romantic comedy-drama about the relationship that develops between a lonely man and his new computer operating system, won Best Original Screenplay for writer-director Spike Jonze and Best Original Score for best-selling rock band Arcade Fire.
Among the others cited by the 53-member group, Cate Blanchett received Best Actress for her performance as a former member of the 1% coping badly with her newly reduced circumstances in "Blue Jasmine" while Jared Leto's work as an HIV-positive transgender in "Dallas Buyers Club" earned him the Best Supporting Actor prize. "The Wind Rises," the latest and apparently last film from world-renowned animator Hayao Miyazaki, was awarded Best Animated Feature. Destin Cretton was named Most Promising Filmmaker for his acclaimed directorial debut "Short Term 12" and French actress Adele Exarchopoulos was awarded Most Promising Performer for her electrifying lead performance in the controversial drama "Blue is the Warmest Color."
The CFCA awards were announced at a ceremony held on December 16, 2013.
Best Picture: "12 Years a Slave"