Miami Film Awards 2017: Local Critics Pick Their Favorites
Courtesy photos

Miami Film Awards 2017: Local Critics Pick Their Favorites

In the waning days of 2017, it seemed like every viewer in the world dished out their opinions of films released in the past year. Some of them were awful, and others were wonderful — but it's all subjective anyway, so who cares? Miami has had a tradition of polling a collection of local film experts including critics and programmers who work for numerous publications, festivals, and cinemas in the city. Published on the website Dim the House Lights for 2015 and 2016, the winners of the Miami Film Awards have now made their way to New Times.

The voters for 2017's films were Lucas Leyva, Javier Chavez, Dana Keith, Ruben Rosario, Hans Morgenstern, James Profetto, Michelle Soloman, Jaie Laplante, Diliana Alexander, Nat Chediak, Andres Castillo, Salim Garami, Dan Hudak, Igor Shteyrenberg, Lauren Cohen, Trae DeLellis, Alfred Soto, and Juan Barquin. Each voter was asked to provide the following nominations and categories: 10 nominations for Best Feature Film, Best Lead Performance, and Best Supporting Performance; five nominations for Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematic Moment; and three nominations for Best Ensemble, Best Breakthrough Performance, Best First Feature as Director, and Best Cinematography. There was no ranking system, resulting in equal votes for all nominees, and voters could abstain from using the full amount of nominees given to them.

In recent years, Moonlight and Carol won big. Now, it's time to see what films Miami voters decided were the best of 2017.

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out.EXPAND
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out.
Universal Pictures

Best Picture

Get Out (with 13 votes)
Lady Bird (with 11 votes)
Call Me By Your Name (with 10 votes)
The Shape of Water (with 8 votes)
The Big Sick (with 6 votes)

Below this clean-cut five nominee situation, numerous features tied with five and four votes for Best Picture. Tied with five votes were A Ghost Story, Blade Runner 2049, Faces Places, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. With four votes: A Quiet Passion, Dunkirk, Good Time, and The Ornithologist.

At three votes, six films tied: Baby Driver, Paris 05:59, Phantom Thread, The Florida Project, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and The Disaster Artist. A total of 17 films received votes from two individuals: BPM, Dawson City: Frozen Time, The Death of Louis XIV, Frantz, God's Own Country, Ingrid Goes West, Lady Macbeth, The Lost City of Z, mother!, Mudbound, Okja, Personal Shopper, Staying Vertical, The Post, The Square, Wonder Woman, and Wonderstruck.

And a whopping total of over 30 films were nominated by at least one voter, including 1945, A Ciambra, Atomic Blonde, Battle of the Sexes, Brigsby Bear, City of Ghosts, Coco, Felicite, First They Killed My Father, I Am Not Your Negro, I Just Don't Feel At Home in this World Anymore, I Tonya, In This Corner of the World, Jane, John Wick: Chapter 2, Last Days in Havana, My Friend Dahmer, Nocturama, Pop Aye, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, Raw, Split, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Starless Dreams, The Beguiled, The Girl Without Hands, The Meyerowitz Stories, The Salesman, The Untamed, Thor: Ragnarok, Wind River, and Your Name.

Greta Gerwig directing Lady Bird.EXPAND
Greta Gerwig directing Lady Bird.
A24

Best Director

Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird (with 11 votes)
Jordan Peele - Get Out (with 7 votes)
Luca Guadagnino - Call Me By Your Name (with 6 votes)
Yorgos Lanthimos - The Killing of a Sacred Deer (with 5 votes)
Patty Jenkins - Wonder Woman (tied with 4 votes)
Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk (tied with 4 votes)
Edgar Wright - Baby Driver (tied with 4 votes)

Following this, tied with three votes, were directors Terence Davies for A Quiet Passion, Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water, and David Lowery for A Ghost Story. Five filmmakers made it in with two votes a piece, including Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread, James Franco for The Disaster Artist, Bong Joon-ho for Okja, Francois Ozon for Frantz, and Ben and Josh Safie for Good Time.

Over 20 additional nominees for director included Woody Allen, Darren Aronofsky, Olivier Assayas, Sean Baker, Bertrand Bonello, Robin Campillo, Jonas Carpagiano, Sofia Coppola, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Julia Ducournau, James Gray, Alain Guiraudie, Francis Lee, Martin McDonagh, Bill Morrison, Ruben Östlund, Angela Robinson, João Pedro Rodrigues, Albert Serra, M. Night Shymalan, Steven Spielberg, Ferenc Torok, Agnes Varda and JR, Gore Verbinski, and Denis Villeneuve.

Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name.
Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name.
Sony Pictures Classics

Best Lead Performance

Timothée Chalamet - Call Me By Your Name (with 13 votes)
Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird (with 11 votes)
Sally Hawkins - The Shape of Water (with 10 votes)
Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (with 9 votes)
Robert Pattinson - Good Time (with 8 votes)
James Franco - The Disaster Artist (tied with 6 votes)
Cynthia Nixon - A Quiet Passion (tied with 6 votes)
Aubrey Plaza - Ingrid Goes West (tied with 5 votes)
Kristen Stewart - Personal Shopper (tied with 5 votes)

Four votes were given to actors Daniel Day-Lewis for Phantom Thread, Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out, Jean-Pierre Leaud for The Death of Louis XIV, and Kumail Nanjiani for The Big Sick. Six individuals received three votes: Jessica Chastain for Molly's Game, Michael Fassbender for Alien: Covenant, Nicole Kidman for The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Gary Oldman for The Darkest Hour, and Emma Stone for Battle of the Sexes.

Eleven nominees were given two votes a piece: Claes Bang, Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Judi Dench, Colin Farrell, Ryan Gosling, Charlie Hunnam, Diane Kruger, James McAvoy, Florence Pugh, Margot Robbie, and Kate Winslet.

Over 30 additional actors were nominated, including Kirsten Dunst, Paula Beer, Agnes Varda, Stephanie Beatriz, Sally Hawkins (for Maudie, in addition to her aforementioned role), Carla Gugino, Ross Lynch, Jake Gyllenhaal, Andrew Garfield, Tiffany Haddish, Anya Taylor-Joy, David Oyelowo, Andy Serkis, Ben Stiller, Charlize Theron, Damien Bonnard, Dolores Fonzi, Doug Jones, Fabrice Luchini, Garance Marillier, Harry Dean Stanton, Jennifer Lawrence, Kyle Mooney, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman (for The Beguiled, in addition to her aforementioned role), Noée Abita, Oscar Martinez, Rachel Weisz, Ricardo Darin, Rooney Mara, Samuel Jackson, Seo-hyun Ahn, Tom Hanks, Veronique Beya Mputu, Vicky Krieps, and "whoever was under the sheet in A Ghost Story."

Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird.EXPAND
Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird.
A24

Best Supporting Performance

Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird (with 14 votes)
Holly Hunter - The Big Sick (with 9 votes)
Willem Dafoe - The Florida Project (tied with 8 votes)
Armie Hammer - Call Me By Your Name (tied with 8 votes)
Barry Keoghan - The Killing of a Sacred Deer (tied with 8 votes)
Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (with 6 votes)
Allison Janney - I, Tonya (tied with 5 votes)
Michael Stuhlbarg - Call Me By Your Name (tied with 5 votes)
Tiffany Haddish - Girls Trip (tied with 4 votes)
Lesley Manville - Phantom Thread (tied with 4 votes)
Robert Pattinson - The Lost City of Z (tied with 4 votes)

Only five actors were handed three votes a piece: O'Shea Jackson Jr. for Ingrid Goes West, Richard Jenkins for The Shape of Water, Nicole Kidman for The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Tracy Letts for Lady Bird, and Elizabeth Olsen for Ingrid Goes West.

Julianne Moore (for Wonderstruck), Allison Williams, Jennifer Ehle, Tilda Swinton, Ray Romano, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges, Jon Hamm, Javier Bardem, Elisabeth Moss, Dave Franco, Bria Vinaite, and Ana de Armas all received two votes a piece.

More supporting performances were nominated than any other category this year, with over 40 nominees being thrown into the ring. They included Adèle Haenel, Amira Casar, Andrea Riseborough, Anne Heche, Beanie Feldstein, Ben Safdie, Bob Odenkirk, Bryan Cranston, Cathy Moriarty, Christoph Waltz, Christopher Plummer, Daniel Craig, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Marvel, Elizabeth Olsen (for Wind River, as opposed to her aforementioned role), Esther Garrel, Ethan Hawke, Gil Birmingham, Idris Elba, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Mitchell, John C. Reilly, John Lloyd Cruz, Julianne Moore (for Kingsman: The Golden Circle, as opposed to her aforementioned role), Julianne Nicholson, Keith Carradine, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lily James, Lois Smith, Lulu Wilson, Mark Rylance, Mary J. Blige, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg ("in everything" as stated by one voter), Millicent Simmonds, Octavia Spencer, Patrick Stewart, Raph, Riley Keough, Rooney Mara, Sarah Silverman, Steve Carell, Tatiana Maslany, Terry Notary, Teruyuki Kagawa, and Woody Harrelson.

Barry Keoghan in The Killing of a Sacred Deer.EXPAND
Barry Keoghan in The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
A24

Best Screenplay

Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird (with 11 votes)
Jordan Peele - Get Out (with 9 votes)
Yorgos Lanthimos - The Killing of a Sacred Deer (tied with 6 votes)
James Ivory, adapting André Aciman's novel - Call Me By Your Name (tied with 6 votes)
Martin McDonagh - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (with 5 votes)
Terence Davies - A Quiet Passion (with 4 votes)

Three votes were given to two nominees: Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water and Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani for The Big Sick. Six films received two votes, including Good Time, The Disaster Artist, The Lost City of Z, The Meyerowitz Stories, The Ornithologist, and The Square.

Over 20 films were included on ballots for their screenplays this year, with one vote each: The Woman Who Left, Brigsby Bear, Phantom Thread, Ingrid Goes West, Girls Trip, Split, A Ghost Story, Wonderstruck, Beatriz at Dinner, Raw, Brad's Status, Okja, Baby Driver, Wind River, The Florida Project, Wonder Wheel, It Comes At Night, Molly's Game, Dunkirk, mother!, In This Corner of the World, John Wick: Chapter Two, The Boss Baby, and Mudbound.

Holly Hunter, Ray Romano & Kumail Nanjiani in The Big Sick.
Holly Hunter, Ray Romano & Kumail Nanjiani in The Big Sick.
Amazon Studios

Best Ensemble

Lady Bird (with 7 votes)
The Big Sick (with 6 votes)
BPM (tied with 3 votes)
The Beguiled (tied with 3 votes)
The Florida Project (tied with 3 votes)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (tied with 3 votes)

Two votes were given to five films, including Call Me By Your Name, Girls Trip, Ingrid Goes West, The Post, and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

The films that received one vote were Good Time, Nocturama, A Quiet Passion, Last Flag Flying, Battle of the Sexes, Okja, Dunkirk, Baby Driver, Logan Lucky, Molly's Game, My Friend Dahmer, The Shape of Water, mother!, The Women's Balcony, The Disaster Artist, Get Out, Marjorie Prime, and Landline.

Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip.EXPAND
Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip.
Universal Pictures

Best Breakthrough Performer

Timothée Chalamet - Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird and Hostiles (with 11 votes)
Barry Keoghan - The Killing of a Sacred Deer & Dunkirk (with 6 votes)
Tiffany Haddish - Girls Trip (with 4 votes)

There were two three-way ties for performers who received three votes and two votes. With three were Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out, Florence Pugh for Lady Macbeth, and Millicent Simmonds for Wonderstruck. With two were Kelly Marie Tran for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Brooklynn Prince for The Florida Project, and Alec Secareanu for God's Own Country.

The one-vote nominees included Noée Abita, Abby Quinn, Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Stephanie Beatriz, Garance Marillier, Veronique Beya Mputu, John Lloyd Cruz, Vicky Krieps, Ana de Armas, Zoe Kazan, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Hong Chau, Bria Vinaite, Dave Bautista, Danielle MacDonald, Beanie Feldstein, and Sally Hawkins.

Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu in God's Own Country.EXPAND
Josh O'Connor and Alec Secareanu in God's Own Country.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

Best First Feature as Director

Jordan Peele - Get Out (with 13 votes)
Francis Lee - God's Own Country (with 6 votes)
Matt Spicer - Ingrid Goes West (with 5 votes)

Both Julia Ducournau's Raw and William Oldroyd's Lady Macbeth received four votes each, while Kogonada's Columbus and Léa Mysius' Ava received two votes each.

Other films that received a vote were The Light of the Moon, In Between, Loving Vincent, The Girl Without Hands, Menashe, Molly's Game, and Brigsby Bear. It should also be noted that Lady Bird received numerous votes, but was disqualified due to Gerwig having co-directed a feature before, and Loving Vincent was included because it was the debut of one of the two filmmakers.

Blade Runner 2049EXPAND
Blade Runner 2049
Warner Bros.

Best Cinematography

Roger Deakins - Blade Runner 2049 (with 10 votes)
Dan Laustsen - The Shape of Water (with 7 votes)
Hoyte van Hoytema - Dunkirk (with 6 votes)
Edward Lachman - Wonderstruck (with 4 votes)

Three votes were given to both Andrew Droz Palermo for A Ghost Story and Sayombhu Mukdeeprom for Call Me By Your Name. Two votes were given to both Toby Oliver for Get Out and Darius Khondji for The Lost City of Z.

The numerous films that received votes for cinematography this year were Frantz, The Untamed, A Quiet Passion, Phantom Thread, The Beguiled, Columbus, Mudbound, mother!, Wonder Wheel, Good Time, Okja, The Death of Louis XIV, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Slack Bay, and Staying Vertical.

Robert Pattinson in Good Time
Robert Pattinson in Good Time
A24

Best Score/Soundtrack

Oneohtrix Point Never - Good Time (with 7 votes)
Jonny Greenwood - Phantom Thread (with 5 votes)

Four films each received four votes for their respective scores and/or soundtracks, including Baby Driver, Dunkirk, Jane, and The Shape of Water. Two films, Lady Bird and Blade Runner 2049, received three votes each. Both Call Me By Your Name and A Ghost Story received two votes each.

Other films nominated in the category that received one vote were Coco, Dawson City: Frozen Time, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Post, Get Out, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Girl Without Hands, Atomic Blonde, and BPM.

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman.
Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman.
Warner Bros.

Best Cinematic Moment

Only four scenes from four different films this year received enough votes to be highlighted this year. Each received 3 votes: Call Me By Your Name's widely talked about peach scene, the Good Time sequence that takes place in Adventureland, the reconciliation between Lady Bird and Danny outside her job in Lady Bird, and the No Man's Land set piece in Wonder Woman.

We won't list every single scene that was nominated this year, but many did manage to get multiple votes for different scenes, including The Florida Project, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Call Me By Your Name, Blade Runner 2049, and Faces, Place.

Some other favorites: Luke brushing dirt of his shoulder in Star Wars: The Last Jedi; lost women in the woods tying up a man in his underwear in The Ornithologist; the Vegas fight scene in Blade Runner 2049, complete with its Elvis holograms; the tender haircut that Billie Jean King gets from her soon-to-be lover in Battle of the Sexes; the incredibly arousing first bondage scene in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women; the 18-minute orgy that leads into a whirlwind romance in Paris 05:59; the appropriately M Night Shyamalan-style grand reveal of Split; the musical number that adds even more fantasy to The Shape of Water; and, most importantly, the CGI Kangaroo from The Young Pope (yes, it's television, who cares).

Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee in Twin Peaks: The Return.
Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee in Twin Peaks: The Return.
Showtime

Noteworthy Moments in Cinema This Year

We also asked voters what noteworthy things happened in cinema this year. Some people mentioned industry-wide trends like actresses playing mothers and twins, while others went more local and highlighted the growth of repertory cinema in Miami. One person even made note of just how great Cate Blanchett's hair was in both Thor: Ragnarok and Manifesto.

Much like the Best Cinematic Moment category, four things turned up more than anything else. The first was the prominence of American Sign Language (ASL) in mainstream cinema, from Baby Driver to Wonderstruck and The Shape of Water. Next up was the downfall of numerous men in the industry due to sexual harassment and assault, highlighting the whistleblowers who are changing things.

Moviepass featured prominently in this category and it's no surprise, considering their price drop to $9.95 a month to be able to watch one movie per day has become an efficient way of viewing films for many a moviegoer.

But the one thing that appeared the most was none other than the work of art that's had people fighting on Twitter about whether it's film or television: Twin Peaks: The Return. To quote one of our voters, the series "trumps this whole list and all the winners of this survey because it opens the mind in a way no narrative experience on screen comes close to."

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