Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

The Dublin Film Critics Circle plumps for Boyhood and Frank

Like virtually every other critics circle throughout the western world, the reviewers in the capital went for Richard Linklater’s moving saga.

Wed, Dec 17, 2014, 14:54


Has a film ever been on a roll like this? Boyhood will fail to win with a few guilds and at the odd red-carpet bash, but Richard Linklater’s quiet epic of adolescence is currently triumphing with virtually all the critics’ circles: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Toronto.  Our own Tara Brady, President of the Dublin Film Critics Circle, who has been bravely tallying votes for the last 24 hours, is prepared to reveal that the picture was ahead from the beginning and never looked in danger of being caught. This was, apparently, more Reagan in 1984 than Bush in 2000 (not that Mr Linklater would relish either comparison).

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Second place was taken by Jonathan Glazer’s still-divisive Under the Skin (does that make Scarlett Johansson Walter Mondale?). I can confirm that, following the press screening, at least two members of the DFCC made unimpressed puffing noises. A look under the bonnet confirms that the picture secured several number one spots (including my own), but also missed out entirely on a few top tens. Pawel Pawlikowski’s lauded Ida finished close behind in third place. Who knows if 12 Years a Slave, the number five film, would have fared better if we weren’t working to the compromised and confusing release patterns dictated by Oscar-hungry distributors? In the event it couldn’t quite outpace the delightful The Lego Movie.

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The race for Irish film was very interesting indeed. We should not be altogether surprised to see Lenny Abrahamsson’s cracking Frank win with the Dublin critics. That fine, funny, unsettling picture has received raves throughout the world and has propelled our Lenny to ever greater heights. (I remember him when he could barely lift a video camera onto his adolescent shoulders.) The big — and very welcome — shock was the arrival of Pat Collins’s Living in a Coded Land at number two. We all loved that spooky reverie on the Irish midlands. Donal Foreman’s brilliant Out of Here took the third place.

Most intriguingly, John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary could only manage the number four spot. The film received more mixed reviews here than it did in the US and the UK, but Mr McDonagh’s distancing of himself from the Irish film industry in that notorious interview cannot have helped the cause much. “I’m trying to get away from the description of the movie as an Irish film in a way,” he said. We allowed it to compete in this race anyway.

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What else? The director of our winning film, Mr Linklater, took the best director prize, which makes sense. Marion Cotillard, another frequent winner at this year’s critics’ circles, won best actress for her turn in the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night Jake Gyllenhall took best actor for the cult hit Nightcrawler.

It was a great year for documentaries and no tipster would have bet serious money on the outcome. In the event, the critics went for Finding Vivian Maier. The film on that distinguished photographer did very healthy business at the Light House in Dublin for many weeks.

By way of contrast, the race for best breakthrough saw (we think) the biggest landslide in the Dublin Film Critic Circle’s decade-long history. Who voted for Jack O’Connell? Who didn’t vote for the star of ’71, Unbroken and Starred Up? That Derbyshire actor ended up taking two spots in the race for best actor. Get out of the way. Jack is looking unstoppable

The Dublin Film Critics Circle invites all professional Irish critics who have been in the job for a year or more to submit their choices for best of the year. The full list of winners is below. Now Tara is going for a little lie down.


Best Film: Boyhood

Best Director: Richard Linklater

Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)

Best Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)

Best Irish Film: Frank

Best Documentary: Finding Vivian Maier

Best Breakthrough: Jack O’Connell (Starred Up, Unbroken, ‘71)



1. Boyhood

2. Under the Skin

3. Ida

4. The Lego Movie

5. 12 Years a Slave

6. Grand Budapest Hotel

7. Two Days, One Night

8. Her, Leviathan

9. Wolf of Wall Street

10. Blue Ruin, The Lunch Box


1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood

2. Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin

3. Pawel Pawlikowski – Ida

4. Spike Jonze – Her

5. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel

6. Andrey Zvyagintsev – Leviathan

7. Steve Mc Queen – 12 Years a Slave

8. Yann Demange – ’71

9. Phil Lord and Chris Miller – The Lego Movie, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne – Two Days, One Night

10. Jennifer Kent – The Babadook


1. Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

2. Scarlett Johnasson – Under the Skin

3. Essie Davis – The Babadook

4. Julianne Moore – Maps to the Stars

5. Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

6. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

7. Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins

8. Agata Kulesza – Ida

9. Agata Trzebuckowska – Ida, Mia Wasikowska – Tracks

10. Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle, Emmanuelle Devos – Violette


1. Jake Gyllenhall -  Nightcrawler

2. Ralph Fiennes -  The Grand Budapest Hotel

3. Jack O’ Connell – ’71

4. Jack O’Connell -  Starred Up

5. Phillip Seymour Hoffman-  A Most Wanted Man

6. Benedict Cumberbatch -  The Imitation Game

7. Chadwick Boseman – Get On Up, Timothy Spall – Mr Turner

8. Michael Fassbender – Frank

9. Irrfan Khan – The Lunchbox

10. Tom Hardy – Locke, Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years A Slave, Joaquim Phoenix, Her, Bill Hader, The Skelton Twins


1. Frank

2. Living in a Coded Land

3. Out of Here

4. Calvary

5. Run & Jump

6. One Million Dubliners

7. Gold

8. Standby

9. Noble

10. Unbreakable


1. Finding Vivian Maier

2. One Million Dubliners

3. Citizenfour

4. Concerning Violence

5. 20 feet from Stardom

6. The Known Unknown

7. Night Will Fall, All this Mayhem

8. Life Itself, Dinosaur 13

9. 20,000 Days on Earth, Next Goal Wins, Living in a Coded Land

10. The Missing Picture, The Overnighters, The Case Against 8, Showrunners


Jack O’Connell