Washington, DC Film Critics Name 12 Years a Slave Best of the Year


Hey Everyone, I’ve been sucked into the black-hole known as end of the year movie award madness – nearly 60 movies in four weeks. The Washington, DC Film Critics Association (WAFCA) announced this year’s crop of winners. For a change I can’t complain about our selections, every category featured at least one of my nominations and most of the eventual winners were some of my nomination picks (even if I may not have voted for them in the final balloting).

Twelve Years A Slave is one of the toughest, most uncomfortable, but important films to come out in years and deserves to be recognized as one of the year’s best. Other highlights for me include Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) getting Best Supporting Actor (although I ultimately voted for James Franco) and seeing The Great Gatsby snagging Best Art Direction. My only minor gripe is Emma Watson’s performance in The Bling Ring didn’t make it onto the ballot.

12 Years a Slave,” about a free black man ripped from his family and sold into more than a decade of bondage, won six awards including Best Film, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o), Best Ensemble, Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley) and Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer). Only the lauded sci-fi juggernaut “Gravity” dented its momentum, snatching the coveted Best Director award for Alfonso Cuaron, as well as two sought-after technical wins for Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

“This story of perseverance and the triumph of the human spirit over degradation and misery appealed to our members in a powerful way,” said WAFCA President, Tim Gordon, “and I’m proud of the choice that we collectively made.”

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler” won The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC, an award instituted last year in honor of the late, beloved D.C. film critic and WTOP’s longtime arts editor, Joe Barber.

The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association is comprised of 58 DC-VA-MD-based film critics from television, radio, print and the Internet. Voting was conducted from December 6-8, 2013.


Best Film:
12 Years a Slave

Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)

Best Actor:
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Best Supporting Actor:
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Supporting Actress:
Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

Best Acting Ensemble:
12 Years a Slave

Best Youth Performance:
Tye Sheridan (Mud)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)

Best Original Screenplay:
Spike Jonze (Her)

Best Animated Feature:

Best Documentary:

Best Foreign Language Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown

Best Art Direction:
Production Designer: Catherine Martin, Set Decorator: Beverley Dunn (The Great Gatsby)

Best Cinematography:
Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, A.M.C. (Gravity)

Best Editing:
Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger (Gravity)

Best Original Score:
Hans Zimmer (12 Years a Slave)

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC:
Lee Daniels’ The Butler

On the Web: www.wafca.com