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The Films of 2013. The 14th annual FiLM BiTCH Awards
PICTURE | TRADITION ACTING CATEGORIES | VISUALS | SOUND 

 

Best Actor in a Cameo or Limited Role
more on this category and commenting here

F Murray Abraham
"Bud Grossman"
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Kyle Chandler
"Tommy"
THE SPECTACULAR NOW
David Dastmalchian
"Bob Taylor"
PRISONERS
Jean Dujardin
"Jean Jacques Saurel"
WOLF OF WALL STREET
Matthew McConaughey
"Mark Hanna"
WOLF OF WALL STREET
A triumph of casting, yes. You need his gravitas. But Abraham nails a line the whole movie can't avoid

Nice to see an actor so skilled at righteous authentic good man nobility piss that out in a casual loser about face.

So moving, "off", and weirdly sympathetic as a key suspect that I wish his role was larger.
A triumph of casting, yes. But what great use of his sophisticated charm that can tilt to self-satisfied smarm.
In the year of the McConaissance this may well be your rosetta stone: all of this stars onanastic, multi-tasking and newly eccentric starpower
 

Finalists: Toby Huss brings just the amount of remove and familiarity to the ex-husband in Enough Said, Spike Jonze the perfect multi-hyphenate to teach us about penny stocks (his work always adds up) in Wolf of Wall Street
Semi-Finalists: Sam Shephard sets the scene for August Osage County well and then wisely vacates  Chen Chang in The Grandmaster but mostly just because I love looking at him, Michael Esper suddenly single with cats in Frances Ha, Stark Sands so humorlessly robotic or simple that he really gets Inside Llewyn Davis rubbing him the wrong way... and can I say virtually anyone with a tiny part in American Hustle

 

Best Actress in a Cameo or Limited Role
more on this category and commenting here

Hillary Baack
"Eve"
THE EAST
Robin Bartlett
"Lillian Gorfein"
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Polly Draper
"Emily's Boss"
SIDE EFFECTS
Kaitlyn Olson
"Tatiana"
THE HEAT
Alfre Woodard
"Mistress Shaw"
12 YEARS A SLAVE
A subtle curious note of fragility in the hardened ensemble but not so fragile that you don't worry she's still a danger
The Gorfeins loom so large in what there is of a plot that it's easy to forget we only see them twice. Robin is always memorable.
This is how you do it! Somehow she makes the somewhat stock 'tough boss' role and adds texture and specificity
So tetchy, entitled and crude that even McCarthy can't wrestle the  scene from her. Formidably memorable and funny
Handed the film's trickiest scene she finds the perfect dichotomousness notes of hospitality and fury; an obsequious mask dropped
 

Finalist: Orly Silbersatz Banai gives good layered subtext as a self-deluding mom in Yossi, Angela McEwan is one of Nebraska's loveliest humanizing notes as a newspaper woman, Joanna Lumlay has a rich funny cameo in Wolf of Wall Street
Semi-Finalists: Portia Doubleday & Olivia Wilde add complicating romantic colors to Her's palette saving it from insularity, Rosie Perez could give Malika a run for her mercilessness in The Counsellor, and Grace Gummer is a great counterpart to Frances Ha's clumsy warmth with her Ivy league prickliness

...and special shout outs to Jacki Weaver in Stoker and Elisabeth Röhm in American Hustle but I figured their roles are just a smidge too large. The cameo/limited role is an inexact science! Apologies

...

 

Breakthrough

Israel Broussard
THE BLING RING 

Elizabeth Debicki
THE GREAT GATSBY
Kaitlyn Dever
SHORT TERM 12 (and THE SPECTACULAR NOW)
Adèle Excarchopoulus
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (and I USED TO BE DARKER)
Tye Sheridan
MUD
This 19 year old was perfect at the kind of glacial pop intuition and mood osmosis that a Coppola demands. More filmmakers should line up!
Next up
a thriller called H8RZ Haters with Jeremy Sisto & Cary Elwes
This willowy 23 year-old from Australia was a total standout in The Great Gatsby, not buried by the party but the life of it. We want more!
Next up
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the Macbeth with Fassbender 
Raw and angry but totally sympathetic in Short Term 12 and just as adept at lighter supporting gigs as in The Spectacular Now. Also a TV regular so this is one busy 17 year old
Next up:
Jason Reitman's next Men, Women and Children and Grass Stains with Tye Sheridan (also featured here)
The 20 year Palme D'Or winning sensation from the erotic drama Blue is the Warmest Color was all primal feeling. Can she repeat it elsewhere?? (...not the character but the potency)
Next up
Two French films Qui Vivre and Carré blanc with Sami Bouajila
The 17 year old actor, first spotted in The Tree of Life, really excelled and broke out with his engaging authentic star turn in Mud. 
Next up
Four movies on the way! Grass Stains, The Forger with John Travolta, Dark Places with Charlize Theron, and Last Days in the Desert with Ewan McGregor
 

Finalist: Barkhad Abdi- Captain Phillips
Semi-Finalist: Katie Chang - The Bling Ring and Onata Aprile - What Maisie Knew

If a performer is nominated for a regular acting category they are ineligible here (see Lupita Nyongo and Keith Stanfield in supporting categories). I know that a lot of critics organizations were going for Michael B Jordan (Fruitvale Station) for breakthrough honors but he's far too familiar to me to consider him a breakthrough having loved his work for years now on Friday Night Lights and Parenthood

 

Best Ensemble

 
12 YEARS A SLAVE
The story is horrific but the acting is transcendent... Especially between its unimproveable central quartet (Ejiofor, Fassbender, Paulson, & Nyong'o)
AMERICAN HUSTLE
It's rare to get so many top actors assembled that all seem to be peaking. You expect nothing less than fireworks and they give 'em to you. pow pow pow 
FRANCES HA
People think of this as a showcase for Greta (and it is that) but it's so much more than a mere "star vehicle" with a rich and funny swirl of support
PRISONERS
Never more alone than when they're together, each trapped in their own personal grief and grievances, and terror of what they themselves and any of their friends are capable of.
SHORT TERM 12
Gorgeously observed group dynamics, individual baggage, and eggshell empathy. I love all these characters so much. 
 

Finalists: the lumpy folksy irritable denizens of Nebraska and the committed bacchanalia of Wolf of Wall Street
Semi-Finalists: August: Osage County, The Bling Ring, The East, Inside Llewyn Davis and The Past

DISCUSS ON THE BLOG 
or read other Ensemble Articles

 

Best Casting

Nicole Daniels & Courtney Sheinin 
THE BLING RING 
Douglas Aibel
FRANCES HA
Stéphanie Doncker, Elsa Pharaon, Camille Tillier
THE PAST
Rich Delia
SHORT TERM 12 
an impressively cohesive collection of famous and new actors all with the right style and stylistic aptitude  a beautiful mix of stage / film /tv actors, all in synch or out of synch, chemistry-wise to humorous effect. some of the most believable family units I've ever seen onscreen. bonus points for the leading lady's "type" surely a difficult / rewarding gig. so many young actors for tough parts, none bankable, so cast for the right person! A cast of hundreds, real bodied hookers, bland everyman jerks, and multiple ingeniously cast stars - Lumley! Dujardin! McConaughey!
 

Finalists: The East an interesting and surprising assembly by Ronna Kress with recognizable stars getting a bit of wiggle room from their usual typecasting | Alexander Payne & John Jackson's fascination with non-actors is hit and miss but Nebraska mostly hits | Russell just reuses his favorites but they're all firecrackers in American Hustle with casting by Lindsay Graham & Mary Vernieu

Semi-Finalists: The Spectacular Now, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Blue is the Warmest Color

DISCUSS ON THE BLOG 
or read other Casting Articles