'Inside Llewyn Davis' is U.S. critics' choice for best film

Sun Jan 5, 2014 12:22pm EST
 
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By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) - "Inside Llewyn Davis," the Coen brothers' tale of a struggling folk singer in early 1960s Greenwich Village, was named the year's best film by the National Society of Film Critics on Saturday, with star Oscar Isaac winning best actor and the filmmaking brothers sharing the award for best director.

The group, made up of 56 prominent movie critics from newspapers, magazines and other media outlets nationwide, chose Cate Blanchett as best actress for Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," in which she plays the troubled wife of a financial fraudster.

Best supporting actress went to Jennifer Lawrence for the 1970s-set "American Hustle," and James Franco won best supporting actor for his portrayal of a gangster drug dealer in the comic drama "Spring Breakers."

In choosing "Inside Llewyn Davis," the critics broke away from choices by other groups such as the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle, which respectively chose the quirky "Her" and "American Hustle" as best film. Earlier this week, the Producers Guild left the well-reviewed film off its list of nominees for the year's best film.

In the film, which also won the critics' prize for best cinematography and also stars Carey Mulligan, Isaac plays the title character Llewyn Davis, a struggling folk musician on a weeklong odyssey set against a musical score of T-Bone Burnett.

The film was chosen as the year's best by the Boston Society of Film Critics and is nominated for several Golden Globe awards, including best musical or comedy.

The critics awards are among the last in the run-up to the Oscar nominations, to be announced on January 16 in Los Angeles. The Academy Awards ceremony is slated for March 2.

Joel and Ethan Coen are a filmmaking team known for producing, writing and directing movies from their 1984 debut "Blood Simple," "Fargo" and "True Grit." to their Oscar winning best picture, "No Country For Old Men."   Continued...

 
Directors Joel Coen (L) and Ethan Coen pose for a photo in Los Angeles, California, November 15, 2013. REUTERS/David McNew