By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

2012 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards

“Zero Dark Thirty,” the drama chronicling the long ten-year hunt for Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11 hit its mark, according to the Chicago Film Critics Association. In voting for their annual awards, the film led with five awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Kathryn Bigelow, Best Original Screenplay for Mark Boal, Best Actress for Jessica Chastain and Best Editing for William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor. Interestingly, both Bigelow and Boal won in the same categories three years earlier with 2009′s “The Hurt Locker,” which the group also named Best Picture. As for Chastain, this marks the second year in a row where she has been cited by the CFCA, having won their Best Supporting Actress prize last year for “The Tree of Life.”

In second place with four awards was “The Master,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s complex drama about an aimless young man in post-war America who falls under the spell of a charismatic leader of a mysterious new movement. For his performance as that leader, Philip Seymour Hoffman was named Best Supporting Actor and as his equally determined wife, Amy Adams was named Best Supporting Actress. In addition, Mihai Milaimare Jr. won the award for Best Cinematography while Jonny Greenwood took the prize for Best Original Score.

Tying for third with two awards each were “Lincoln,” Steven Spielberg’s drama following the efforts of the 16th president to pass an amendment abolishing slavery in the face of enormous odds, and “Beast of the Southern Wild,” the visionary low-budget drama about a resourceful six-year-old girl living in a remote Louisiana floodplain who sets off on a journey to find her long-lost mother when her father becomes seriously ill. The former won awards for Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor and Tony Kushner for Adapted Screenplay while the latter took home the Most Promising Filmmaker prize for Benh Zeitlin, who received four individual nominations for his work on the film, and Most Promising Performer for young Quvenzhane Wallis for her extraordinary work in the central role.

Among the other films cited by the group, “Amour,” the heart-wrenching drama by Michael Haneke chronicling the physical and emotional horrors that befall an aging couple when one is beset by a cruel and debilitating illness, received the prize for Best Foreign-Language Film. Gerald Sullivan and Adam Stockhausen won the newly established Art Direction/Production Design award for their contributions to the whimsical pre-teen romantic comedy “Moonrise Kingdom.” “The Invisible War,” the eye-opening film focusing on rape in the military was named Best Documentary and “Paranorman,” the delightful stop-motion fantasy about an odd young boy with the ability to see and communicate with the dead, won for Best Animated Film.

Now in its 23rd year, the CFCA will be presenting their awards at a ceremony to be held on February 9, 2013.

Awards Tally
5–Zero Dark Thirty
4–The Master
2–Beasts of the Southern Wild
Lincoln
1- Amour
The Invisible War
Moonrise Kingdom
Paranorman

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DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato