WAFCA Winners Announced

• December 8, 2017 10:43 am


As you may or may not know, I am a member of the world's most important and influential collection of critics, the Washington Area Film Critics Association. Each year we are tasked with deciding which movies are, objectively speaking, the best. It's a solemn duty, and one I take very seriously.

You can see the whole list of nominees and winners here. For the purposes of this post, I'm going to note who I nominated, who I voted for among the finalists, and who won. I may add a comment or two. Please feel free to yell at me about any of this on Twitter; we at Sonny Bunch, Inc. take all of your comments and concerns extremely seriously and will respond to them in the order they are received.

Best Film:

Blade Runner 2049
The Florida Project
Wind River

My vote: Dunkirk

WAFCA Winner: Get Out

Dunkirk is the best picture of the year and nothing else has come particularly close, but Get Out is a solid choice and will make the back end of my top ten, so I don't really have any complaints here.

Best Director:

Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049)
Sean Baker (The Florida Project)
Taylor Sheridan (Wind River)
Angelina Jolie (First They Killed My Father)

My vote: Christopher Nolan

WAFCA Winner: Christopher Nolan

If he doesn't win best director at the Oscars, we riot.

Best Actor:

Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger)
James Franco (The Disaster Artist)
Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)

My vote: Gary Oldman

WAFCA Winner: Gary Oldman

I made my "Case for Oldman" at the Washington Post. As an aside, that piece represents one of the few times that I've ever been a bit tongue-tied while interviewing an actor. Gary Oldman has been one of my favorites for so long that it took a lot of effort not to go full Chris-Farley-interviewing-Paul-McCartney. I'm just glad the essay came out mostly okay.

Best Actress

Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Jessica Chastain (Molly's Game)
Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project)
Sreymoch Sareum (First They Killed My Father)

My vote: Frances McDormand

WAFCA Winner: Frances McDormand

Best Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)
Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Dave Bautista (Blade Runner 2049)
Mark Rylance (Dunkirk)
Dustin Hoffman (The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected))

My vote: Willem Dafoe

WAFCA Winner: Sam Rockwell

I take issue with this because Rockwell doesn't even give the best supporting performance in his own movie; Woody Harrelson is light years better and more believable and the whole movie falls apart after he exits the stage. Whatever.

Best Supporting Actress

Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049)
Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner 2049)
Allison Williams (Get Out)
Catherine Keener (Get Out)

My vote: Laurie Metcalf

WAFCA Winner: Laurie Metcalf

Do you remember stupid people stupidly complaining that Blade Runner 2049  had no good roles for women? I do. Those people are stupidheads.

Best Acting Ensemble

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Disaster Artist
The Florida Project
Blade Runner 2049

My vote: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

WAFCA Winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Voice Performance

Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie)
Anthony Gonzalez (Coco)

My vote: Will Arnett

WAFCA Winner: Anthony Gonzalez

Best Motion Capture Performance

Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes)
Steve Zahn (War for the Planet of the Apes)
Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok)
Mark Ruffalo (Thor: Ragnarok)

My vote: Steve Zahn

WAFCA Winner: Andy Serkis

This is a weird category that I kind of hate. It might as well be titled the Andy Serkis Consolation Prize, since it only exists because he's never going to win a real award.

Best Youth Performance

Brooklyn Prince (The Florida Project)
Sreymoch Sareum (First They Killed My Father)
Finn Wolfhard (It)
Jaden Michael (Wonderstruck)
Sophia Lillis (It)

My vote: Brooklynn Prince

WAFCA Winner: Brooklynn Prince

Best Original Screenplay

Get Out
The Big Sick
The Florida Project
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

My vote: Get Out

WAFCA Winner: Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best Adapted Screenplay

Blade Runner 2049
The Disaster Artist
Molly's Game

My vote: Blade Runner 2049

WAFCA Winner: Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound

Best Animated Feature

Loving Vincent

My vote: Coco

Winner: Coco

I literally saw three animated movies this year, and one of them I hated so much I didn't even nominate. You suck, The Lego Batman Movie. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Best Documentary


My vote: n/a

WAFCA Winner: Jane

I, uh, didn't see a documentary this year. So, congrats, Jane! I guess?

Best Foreign Language Film

First They Killed My Father
The Square

My vote: First They Killed My Father

WAFCA Winner: BPM (Beats Per Minute)

I have to say: I was shocked by how good First They Killed My Father was. I wasn't expecting too much, in part because it was directed by Angelina Jolie whose previous directorial efforts have underwhelmed me. But man. This is a haunting, chilling movie about life in a totalitarian regime from the POV of a child. It's just confidently done from start to finish, entirely sure of itself. It's a shame that this isn't getting more buzz.

Best Production Design

Blade Runner 2049
The Shape of Water
Darkest Hour
John Wick 2

My vote: The Shape of Water

WAFCA Winner: Blade Runner 2049

Best Cinematography

Blade Runner 2049
The Shape of Water
Phantom Thread
Atomic Blonde

My vote: Blade Runner 2049

WAFCA Winner: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

By God, if he doesn't win the Oscar this year they should just shut the whole thing down.

Best Editing

Baby Driver
Lady Bird
Get Out

My vote: Dunkirk

WAFCA Winner: Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos, Baby Driver

Each of the films I chose was brilliantly cut in its own way: Dunkirk for stitching together its three time spans; Wonderstruck for coherently bringing together its two timelines and picking just the right moments, just the right looks to jump back and forth; Baby Driver for making the music match the action; Lady Bird for guiding us cleanly and clearly through a year or so in the life of its protagonist without ever having to tell us when and where we were; and Get Out for knowing just how long to linger on faces in a way that heightens the horror. Really great work to choose from this year and I have no complaints whatsoever about Baby Driver winning.

Best Score

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Wind River
Good Time

My vote: Dunkirk

WAFCA Winner: Blade Runner 2049

I would've voted for Carter Burwell's Wonderstruck soundtrack if it had been nominated; alas, it wasn't.

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, D.C.

The Post
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Last Flag Flying

My vote: The Post

WAFCA Winner: The Post