Film Bitch History
Oscar History

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Directors of For Sama

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...And the 3rd Annual Team Experience Award Goes To: 

Amir here, to welcome you to the third edition of Team Experience Awards, one of the most prestigious critics’ prizes around the world, bestowed on the best in cinema by members of this website sans Nathaniel. We previously honoured Leos Carax’s Holy Motors (with a lot of support for The Master) and Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (with several awards for Gravity). There was a similar situation this year, with two films gaining most of our attention across the categories. Our pick for best picture, however, was a clear consensus favourite and won by a very comfortable margin. 

As always, individual ballots proved a lot more interesting than the final results, making the otherwise tedious process of making up spreadsheets really exciting for me. Though there is no sign of it on the list of winners here, there was passionate support for films as varied as We Are the Best!, Norte, the End of History, The Babadook, Godzilla, A Most Wanted Man and The Last of the Unjust. We will get to some of those titles in the trivia section at the bottom of the post, but for now, here are the Team Experience Awards’ winners:

Under the Skin
Runner-up: Selma

Under the Skin
(Jonathan Glazer) Runner-up: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)

Obvious Child
Runner-up: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Gone Girl
Runner-up: Edge of Tomorrow

Ralph Fiennes
(The Grand Budapest Hotel) Runner-up: Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)

Marion Cotillard
(Two Days, One Night) Runner-up: Marion Cotillard (The Immigrant)

Ethan Hawke
(Boyhood) Runner-up: Edward Norton (Birdman)

Marisa Tomei
(Love Is Strange) Runner-up: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Runner-up: Selma

Mr. Turner
Runner-up: The Immigrant

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Runner-up: Snowpiercer

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Runner-up: The Immigrant

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Runner-up: Only Lovers Left Alive

Under the Skin
Runner-up: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Edge of Tomorrow
Runner-up: Under the Skin

Under the Skin
Runner-up: Birdman

Under the Skin
 Runner-up: Begin Again

National Gallery
Runner-up: Citizenfour

Runner-up: Two Days, One Night

The LEGO Movie
Runner-up: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Tie: The Look of Silence; Silvered Water: Syria Self Portrait

• Interested in our collective full top ten? Here are our films ranked:

  1. Under the Skin
  2. Selma
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. Pride
  5. Birdman
  6. Love Is Strange
  7. Boyhood
  8. The Immigrant
  9. Edge of Tomorrow
  10. Force Majeure.

• Fourteen members of Team Experience voted for this poll. (Nathaniel does not because you can see his choices over the Film Bitch Awards and his top ten here.) Overall, 163 different films received votes across all categories. 56 different films received best picture votes.

• There were two lonely passions, films placed at number one on a ballot that received no other best picture votes from other contributors: Glenn put A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night at the top of his ballot; I – Amir – chose The Strange Little Cat. My choice turned out to be even less popular than Glenn’s, given that it received no votes in any categories from other voters, not just best picture. Girl, on the other hand, was a popular choice in cinematography and music. On the other hand, only one film placed first on two different ballots: Pride.

• As with previous years, several films fell victim to the release date limbo, that void between NY, LA and festival releases. Chief among these were Mommy, The Missing Picture (which would have surely been a top five entry if we combined its votes from this year and last) and Gloria. Blame the Oscar qualifying run, The Film Experience’s number one pet peeve.

• Widest margin of victory: The Grand Budapest Hotel gained three times as many points as the second placed film in production design. 10 of our 14 contributors put the film at number one on their ballots!

• Narrowest miss: Ava DuVernay (Selma) was one point shy of a runner-up place in best director. Essie Davis (The Babadook) was in a similar position in the best actress race.

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Reader Comments (39)

I love best actor and actress. Actress is perfect.

Can you release the top ten for the acting categories? Or top five? My heart needs to
Know Tilda and Imelda got some love ha. Next year you should do
Nominees first to build a bigger picture but awesome work team! Clearly Nathaniel associates with similar minded people!

January 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMorganisaqt

God I wish you had an edit feature - apologies, am on my phone and driving haha

January 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMorganisaqt

Morganisaqt- Sorry about Staunton!
Actor: Fiennes, Gyllenhaal, Oyelowo, Spall, Kuhnke
Actress: Cotillard, Cotillard, Davis, Johansson, Slate
Supp. Actor: Hawke, Norton, Pine, Mendehlson (Starred Up), Scott (Pride)
Supp. Actress: Tomei, Arquette, Swinton (Snowpiercer), Russo, Moss (Listen Up Philip)

January 21, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Suspicious of the Tomei victory. How did she come out of nowhere to be acknowledged?

January 21, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

3rtful: Probably because she's amazing in it.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

3rtful- Not sure what's suspicious? Glenn, Jose, Tim, Matthew, Nick, Abstew and Teo all had her on their ballots. That's half of our voters.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

I love Tomei but she had almost nothing to do in Love is Strange. I'm never mad at her winning something though. ;)

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Amir, you didn't let Jack Palance read off Supporting Actress again did you? You just have to say no to that man, or he'll never stop!

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJA

Love that Marion beat herself.

Someone will have to explain the Force Majeure love here. I liked it but, in the first time in a long time, was kind of baffled by the plaudits.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

Two Days, One night opens here this weekend. Finally.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema
January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Love the double Cotillard, surprised by the Lego love and intrigued by the Simmons snub.

I'm with Caroline on Force Majeure. I liked it, but seeing it the day before Wild Tales didn't do it any favors. I thought it would have packed a bigger punch if it had been confined to the length of one of the Tales.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night) Runner-up: Marion Cotillard (The Immigrant)

Thank you guys!

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I came out guns ablaze for Edge Of Tomorrow, but alas, I am no Emily Blunt and my ploy was easily defeated.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTB

If only all critics awards could yield such lovely results.
Great, great choices. Happy to see Hawke on top. And Fiennes! And those five-wide lineups!

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

At least Marion won for the less depressing of her two utterly despair-filled performances from 2014. She's so good in Two Days, One Night (and The Immigrant). But it's too bad both movies are merely so-so in comparison to her work.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Bless Amir not just for compiling all these but for the fantastic bits of trivia, background, and stat analysis at the end. I am so proud of our list!

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Particularly huge hoorays for Tomei, Cotillard/Cotillard, Silvered Water, and all the Edge of Tomorrow recognition. Wonder if Blunt's votes were spread across lead and supporting? Not that I'm assuming she'd have won otherwise, just curious.

@Sad Man: I thought Tomei had lots to do in Love Is Strange, and found even more to do in her brilliant execution.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Wonderful to see! We did good, guys. That Marisa Tomei nod is like when... well, when Marisa Tomei won her Oscar.

As for Amir's passion of THE STRANGE LITTLE CAT? Well, I'm not a fan of it. But lonely passions are worth it sometimes. It's what makes us individual. For what it's worth, THE MISSING PICTURE would have been my number one, but I think it was my number one last year. I can't tell what movies get released where and when these days.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

That best actress prize could only be better if Her performance in The Immigrant were the winner, and not the runner-up. But it's fair. She gave the two best performances of the year and that's it.

Would you mind sharing the ballots?

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Amir: I also had Tomei in there! Cheering to see her win, though I did suspect she might be a favourite.

A generally superb lot of selections, well done team! Delightful to see Cotillard dominate; I refrained from giving her two slots just for the sheer amount of other worthy candidates. Actor was even more stacked, so much so that though I'm a big fan of the two leaders, I didn't vote for either of them! Thought Spall might get a foothold here.

Mainly wondering by what kind of landslide Under the Skin won Music. And who my partner in picking Pride was.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

David- you're right about the vote. I missed that. Eight of us voted for her then.
As for score, the margin was pretty big. Begin Again would have needed four number 1 placements to match it for points, which is a huge margin considering there are 14 voters only.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Love these winners and seeing who the runners up were.

And yes, Tomei is definitely deserving of top 5 or even no. 1 placement. She had a lot to do, it was a subtly tricky role and she aced it.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

out of curiosity, how many performances were the Team members allowed to vote for and was it weighted ballots?

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Great winners, but isn't Obvious Child adapted from the short of the same name? Or is it another Whiplash situation?

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMYS

*checks to see if Under The Skin, Pride, and Marion were properly rewarded*

*is pleased*


January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

Amir--great review. I guess I should have clarified that I've read several reviews and they all seem to have a consensus on what the movie's merits are, and I cognitively *get* it, but I still have no idea if anyone actually really enjoyed that movie, which seems to stretch fairly simple insights into an unnecessarily prolonged "dramedy." (Even more baffling is the fact that people are referring to it as a comedy. It's a little satirical at points but the general tone is hardly comedic.) I felt like the movie had just as many shortcomings as it did positives. I guess that puts me in the boat of the average Oscar voter, sigh.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

Nathaniel - Everybody was given a full ballot of five in every category.
Our methodology for annual awards is always the same (and the monthly team polls work roughly the same too) and is weighed in favour of both passion votes and consensus favourites. So number 1 picks get bonus points. Choices that are picked on several different voters' ballots also get bonus points.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Favorites: Double the Cotillard! Under the Skin score/sound and VFX! Edge of Tomorrow Editing! Fiennes and Hawke (neither my #1 but both under-recognized for great performances this year)! PRIDE (my #1 of the year)!

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Birdman, GBH, Love Is Strange and Selma all made my Top Ten as well. That honor for Tomei--fantastic.

Still not getting Under the Skin. Never will. LOL

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Slay, Marion, slaaaaaaay!

I have to say I don't understand the Under the Skin love at TFE--it was way too opaque for me--but I can appreciate that it is well-made.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBD

We really are awesome. I have nothing else constructive to say in this moment, but that's a hell of a list.

January 22, 2015 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

Tim- We Are the Best!

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Legend Marisa Tomei was a real surprise. Had Sony Pictures Classics not had its hands full in ten ways this year, I think she, Lithgow, and Molina could've made a mark on the season.

The screenplay choices are bold, but only The Grand Budapest Hotel would be my potential picks of the 4 (including runners-up). Nightcrawler as a shot for original with then Inherent Vice, Snowpiercer, and Under the Skin (2 of those 3 are massive improvements on their source material, and I haven't read Under the Skin) for Adapted. Gone Girl was also strong, however.

It's strange about The Edge of Tomorrow. Good Cruise, great Blunt, great Bill Paxton, strong editing, yet I find moments so flat and generic everywhere else.

Force Majeure is a grower for me. People are so mad at its static compositions, but it echoes Kubrick, Tati, and Haneke, sometimes simultaneously. Incredibly strong and a reminder that family vacations can expose anybody at their most vulnerable. Ostlund did joke it is 'The Discreet Charm of The Bourgeoisie' when talking about Buñuel recently.

I am so alone in Inherent Vice love. Seen it several times, never feeling confused. Joaquin, the ensemble, and Joanna Newson with Elswit and the Screenplay would be owning these awards.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Proud to be a part of this! I'm glad Essie Davis came so close to the top. She was my #1 but MAN what a tough job it was trimming my Best Actress list! Some real gems this year. :)

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

Hahah Marion is truly something else, being both the winner and runner-up. Amazing.

I would've chosen Birdman for ensemble and runner-up for score (agree with Under the Skin winning) but other than that it's a pretty great crop of nominees and winners. I'd even be interested in seeing who was third and fourth and fifth in some categories.

I'm also glad y'all still appreciated Patricia Arquette and didn't let her real awards season dominance act as backlash here because I do love her performance. And yay for Ethan Hawke, as many have noted its wonderfully understated work.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I mostly just love this because it doesn't feel like lazy voting at all. You guys really spread the wealth, instead of choosing the best ___ of the same five movies, you really voted for films that were the best in respective areas. It's refreshing when I'm so used to seeing lazy group thinking constantly during awards season.

January 22, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I am so alone in Inherent Vice love.

This will not cheer you up. But you have me. Inherent Vice is a movie I defend wherever I am.

January 23, 2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Such a handsome list, guys. Well done to us and thank you to Amir for compiling it altogether

January 23, 2015 | Registered CommenterManuel Betancourt

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