Washington, D.C.-area Film Critics Like ParaNorman

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Para­Nor­man” was named Best Ani­mated Fea­ture of 2012 by the Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Area Film Crit­ics Asso­ci­a­tion on Mon­day morning.

The movie defeated fel­low nom­i­nees Brave, Franken­wee­nie, Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph.

WAFCA hon­ored a wide sweep of films, rang­ing from musi­cals to sci­ence fic­tion. And while only three films gar­nered more than one award, it was clear that historical/political dra­mas res­onated most with the crit­ics from America’s capital.

Zero Dark Thirty, the account of United States intel­li­gence spe­cial­ists’ and Army spe­cial forces’ pur­suit and elim­i­na­tion of ter­ror­ist Osama bin Laden, won Best Film. In 2009, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to ever win the WAFCA prize for Best Direc­tor for her Iraq War film, The Hurt Locker. Just three years later, Bigelow has won the same award again for Zero Dark Thirty.

In a year full of strong films,” said WAFCA pres­i­dent Tim Gor­don, “direc­tor Kathryn Bigelow’s bold and auda­cious vision, rep­re­sented in our Best Pic­ture win­ner, is the per­fect polit­i­cal story for our mem­bers in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia. This story, told with steely, cold effec­tive­ness, is a wor­thy entry into WAFCA’s Best Pic­ture canon and a cin­e­matic achieve­ment that we are proud to honor.”

Zero Dark Thirty also net­ted Jes­sica Chas­tain her first Best Actress award. Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for his riv­et­ing por­trayal of Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln in the year’s other out­stand­ing his­tor­i­cal drama, Lin­coln. Best Sup­port­ing Actor went to Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man for The Mas­ter, and Best Sup­port­ing Actress went to Anne Hath­away for Les Mis­er­ables, which also scooped the Best Act­ing Ensemble.

The screen­play awards cov­ered two very dif­fer­ent films: Best Adapted Screen­play went to David O. Rus­sell for his story of love and shared neu­roses in Sil­ver Lin­ings Play­book, and Rian John­son won Best Orig­i­nal Screen­play for his time travel mind-bender, Looper.

The award for Best Doc­u­men­tary went to Bully, while that for Best For­eign Lan­guage Film was pre­sented to Michael Haneke’s Amour. Best Art Direc­tion went to Cloud Atlas, while Clau­dio Miranda won Best Cin­e­matog­ra­phy for Life of Pi, and Jonny Green­wood took Best Score for The Mas­ter.

New this year, WAFCA proudly insti­tuted The Joe Bar­ber Award for Best Youth Per­for­mance, named in honor of beloved D.C. film critic and long­time WTOP arts edi­tor Joe Bar­ber, who died just over a year ago. The award, which high­lights the best per­for­mance from an actor or actress under 20, went to Quven­zhane Wal­lis for Beasts of the South­ern Wild.

It’s a shame Joe was not able to see Quvenzhane’s fierce and com­pas­sion­ate per­for­mance in this gem of a film,” said Gor­don. “It’s exactly the sort of role Joe would have loved, and we are so thank­ful to be able to remem­ber him going for­ward with this very spe­cial award.”

The Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Area Film Crit­ics Asso­ci­a­tion is com­prised of nearly 50 film crit­ics from TV, radio, print and the Inter­net based in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia, Vir­ginia and Mary­land. Vot­ing was con­ducted from Fri­day to Sunday.

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About Paul Anderson

Paul is an old-timer here at BCDB- his contributions go back to before the site! Paul is widely regarded as a Disney historian, and is also on staff at the Disney Museum in San Francisco. Paul is also a contributing historian for D23, the Disney Club. Paul has published several books and magazine articles on Disney history, too. You are welcome to drop Paul a line here.

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