January 18, 2017

“The Artist” wins Audience Award in Austin – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: We don’t yet have a clear-cut frontrunner in the Oscar race. There is support in certain circles for such films as “Moneyball,” “The Descendants” and “The Help.” We’re still waiting to see “War Horse,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and Stephen Daldry’s “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” A lot can change between now and then.

One thing that hasn’t wavered, however, is the audience support for Michel Hazanavicius’s “The Artist,” which started charming patrons back at Cannes. The film’s latest conquest was The 2011 Austin Film Festival, which took home the Audience Award for the Out-of-Competition category at this year’s fest.

Totally understandable. It is an absolute crowd pleaser, and I expect it to play extremely well with Academy members this season. Well enough to win the Best Picture prize? Only time will tell.

Here are the rest of Austin’s Audience Award winners:

The winners are as follows:

Out of Competition Feature:
THE ARTIST
Writer/Director: Michel Hazanavicius

Narrative Feature Competition:
RESTIVE
Writer/Director: Jeremiah Jones

Documentary Feature Competition: (Tie)
ECSTASY OF ORDER: THE TETRIS MASTERS
Director: Adam Cornelius

STORIES FROM AN UNDECLARED WAR
Director: Dennis Rice

Texas Independents:
SIRONIA
Writers: Brandon Dickerson, Thomas Ward, Wes Cunningham
Director: Brandon Dickerson

Comedy Vanguard:
FRED & VINNIE
Writer: Fred Stoller
Director: Steve Skrovan

Narrative Short:
MWANSA THE GREAT
Writers: Rungano Nyoni, Gabriel Gauchet
Director: Rungano Nyoni

Narrative Student Short:
BENNY
Writers: Evan Ho, Huay Bing-Law
Director: Huay Bing-Law

Animated Short:
THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE
Writer: William Joyce
Directors: William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg

Documentary Short:
ELLIOTT ERWITT: I BARK AT DOGS
Director: Douglas Sloan

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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