‘Get Out’ gets in with SEFCA
Get Out, the debut feature of writer/director Jordan Peele, which combined satirical social allegory with sci-fi horror trappings. It became a surprise critical darling and an even more surprising early-year box-office blockbuster. Get Out was selected as the best film of 2017 by the voters of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, with Peele also winning for Best Original Screenplay.
Gary Oldman won Best Actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s World War II drama Darkest Hour, with James Franco the runner-up for his turn as Tommy Wiseau, the unorthodox auteur whose independent feature The Room (2003) became an international cult sensation, in The Disaster Artist, which Franco also directed and co-produced.
Sally Hawkins, who scored earlier this year in the title role of Maudie (playing the artist Maud Lewis), was named Best Actress for her eloquent turn as the lonely but compassionate mute Elisa Esposito in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, with Frances McDormand the runner-up for playing the grieving, seething Mildred in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
The Shape of Water also won the Best Director prize for Del Toro, with Christopher Nolan the runner-up for the World War II epic Dunkirk. Sam Rockwell of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won Supporting Actor, with Willem Dafoe the runner-up for The Florida Project. Three Billboards … was also selected as Best Ensemble, with Steven Spielberg’s fact-based Pentagon Papers drama The Post the runner-up.
For Supporting Actor, a pair of tough mothers duked it out, with Laurie Metcalf winning for Lady Bird and Allison Janney the runner-up for I, Tonya. Lady Bird was the Original Screenplay runner-up for first-time writer/director Greta Gerwig. For Adapted Screenplay, James Ivory won for Call Me by Your Name, based on Andre Acimon’s novel, and the runner-up was Mudbound, which Virgil Williams and director Dee Rees adapted from Hillary Jordan’s novel. Hoyte Van Hoytema won Best Cinematography for Dunkirk, with Roger Deakins the runner-up for Blade Runner 2049.
Jane, writer/director Brett Morgan’s chronicle of the life and work of scientist Jane Goodall, was named Best Documentary, with the Agnes Varda/JR collaboration Faces Places named the runner-up. Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father won Best Foreign-Language Film, with writer/editor/director Ruben Ostlund’s The Square the runner-up.
The splashy Disney/Pixar extravaganza Coco earned the Mouse House top honors as Best Animated Film, with Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s Vincent van Gogh drama Loving Vincent the runner-up. The Wyatt Award, named for the late critic Gene Wyatt and given to the film that best exemplifies the spirit of the South, went to Mudbound, with The Florida Project the runner-up.
SEFCA’s Top 10 list for 2017
was as follows:
1. Get Out
2. The Shape of Water
4. Lady Bird
5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing,
6. The Post
7. The Florida Project
8. Call Me by Your Name
9. Darkest Hour
10. The Disaster Artist
Each year, the SEFCA awards are voted on by professional critics (radio, print, television, online media) in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.