Two Texas directors fought it out for the No. 1 spot in the Southeastern Film Critics Association’s (SEFCA) annual poll of the year’s best films, with Wes Anderson’s highly stylized comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel edging Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in the making meditation on male adolescence Boyhood, with Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman finishing a close third.“This was one of the closest races I can remember,” SEFCA president Philip Martin, the chief film critic at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said. “I believe Boyhood was actually mentioned on more ballots.”In the Best Director race, Linklater edged out Anderson, while Budapest won for both “Best Ensemble” and “Best Original Screenplay.” (Birdman was the runner-up in the two latter categories.)As far as the chief individual awards, Michael Keaton took Best Actor honors for his role as the troubled movie star trying to re-invigorate his career on Broadway in Birdman, while Julianne Moore won Best Actress for her turn as a linguists professor afflicted by early onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice.The group’s Wyatt Award, named in memory of SEFCA charter member Gene Wyatt and awarded annually to the film that best captures the spirit of the South, went to Selma.“Probably not more than 25 percent of the membership had the opportunity to see Selma before voting,” Martin said. “But those who had seen it voted for it in overwhelming numbers.”The SEFCA Awards are bestowed annually by the Southeastern Film Critics Association, which is made up of professional film critics in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. This year, 54 critics cast votes.2014 SEFCA RESULTSTop Ten1. The Grand Budapest Hotel2. Boyhood3. Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)4. Whiplash5. The Imitation Game6. Gone Girl7. Snowpiercer8. Nightcrawler9. Foxcatcher10. The Theory of EverythingBest Actor1. Michael Keaton, Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)2. Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of EverythingBest Actress1. Julianne Moore, Still Alice2. Reese Witherspoon, WildBest Supporting Actor1. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash2. Edward Norton, Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)Best Supporting Actress1. Patricia Arquette, Boyhood2. Tilda Swinton, SnowpiercerBest Ensemble1. The Grand Budapest Hotel2. Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)Best Director1. Richard Linklater, Boyhood2. Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest HotelBest Original Screenplay1. The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness2. Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando BoBest Adapted Screenplay1. Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn2. Wild: Nick HornbyBest Documentary1. Life Itself2. CitizenFourBest Foreign Language Film1. Force Majeure2. IdaBest Animated Film1. The Lego Movie2. Big Hero 6Best Cinematography1. Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Emmanuel Lubezki2. The Grand Budapest Hotel: Robert YeomanThe Gene Wyatt Award for the Film that Best Evokes the Spirit of the South1. Selma2. Cold in July
Marci for passing along the press release.