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Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Deems Spotlight Best Film of 2015

This morning the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association (DFWFCA) announced the winners of its 22nd annual film critics awards. 

If you somehow missed the headline: Thomas McCarthy’s based-on-a-true-story newsroom drama Spotlight won Best Picture, as well as a few other awards. 

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter (@chasewhale), you already know I have been louder than a bomb about how hard Benicio Del Toro chews up the screen in the fierce and intense Sicario, which had my votes for Best Supporting Actor and Best Film, respectively. Neither won but Del Toro still has my heart, and that’s what’s really important here.

I am pleased to report that Leonardo DiCaprio was voted Best Actor for his transcendent performance in the beautifully shot The Revenant, which also took Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki, the maestro who shot Birdman, Children of Men and Gravity), Best Director (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, director of Birdman) and Best Score (Bryce Dessner, Carsten Nicolai and Ryûichi Sakamoto).

The Revenant opens in Dallas January 8, 2016. Make sure not to miss it in theaters. It’s one hell of a spectacle and it looks like Iñárritu and Lubeski could take home Oscars two years in a row (they both won the golden statue last year for Best Director and Best Cinematography for Birdman, respectively). The Academy usually ignores DiCaprio because they are dumb, but there’s no ignoring that he gave the best performance of 2015. No other leading performance rivaled DiCaprio’s in The Revenant this year. None.

Below is the full list of winners. The asterisks indicate my nominations.

Best Picture:

Spotlight (director — Thomas McCarthy)

Best Animated Feature:

Inside Out (director — Pete Docter)*

Best Foreign-Language Film:

Son of Saul (Hungary)*

Best Documentary:


Best Director:

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu (The Revenant)*

Best Actor:

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)*

Best Actress:

Brie Larson (The Room)

Best Supporting Actor:

Paul Dano (Love and Mercy)

Best Supporting Actress:

Rooney Mara (Carol)

Best Original Screenplay:

Spotlight (Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy)*

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Carol (Phyllis Nagy)

Best Cinematography:

Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)*

Best Musical Score:

The Revenant (Bryce Dessner, Carsten Nicolai and Ryûichi Sakamoto)

Russell Smith Award (named for the late Dallas Morning News film critic. The honor is given annually to the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.)

Tangerine (director — Sean Baker)*
This year’s awards is dedicated to the late Philip Wuntch, the very first Dallas Morning News film critic, who died in October.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association consists of 31 broadcast, print and online journalists from throughout North Texas. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @dfwfilmcritics.
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Chase Whale
Contact: Chase Whale

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