Philadelphia Film Critics Circle names Poor Things the best film of 2023.

December 17, 2023

The Philadelphia Film Critics Circle on Sunday voted on its seventh annual year-end awards, and the choice for Best Film of 2023 was Yorgos LanthimosPoor Things. It was one of four awards for Poor Things, which also won for Best Director (Yorgos Lanthimos), Best Script (Tony McNamara), and Best Actress (Emma Stone.)

In addition, Oppenheimer won five awards: For Best Actor (Cillian Murphy), Best Supporting Actor (Robert Downey, Jr.), Best Ensemble, Best Cinematography (Hoyte van Hoytema), and Best Soundtrack/Score (Ludwig Göransson). The Boy and the Heron, by Hayao Miyazaki, was the winner of both Best Animated Film and Best Foreign Language Film.

The Philips Cheesesteak Award, sponsored by Philips Steaks in Philadelphia, meant to recognize a blockbuster that’s hard to ignore, went to Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One. It was the second year of the award, and the second straight year that it went to a Tom Cruise-starring film, with Top Gun: Maverick winning in 2022. Cruise better have an A-list film ready to go for 2024.

In addition, the Circle presented its Elaine May Award, for a deserving person or film that brings awareness to a story from women’s perspective, to Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig.

Other winners included Da’Vine Joy Randolph, for The Holdovers, for Best Supporting Actress; Celine Song, for Past Lives, for Best Directorial Debut; Charles Melton, for May December, for Best Breakthrough Performance; and 20 Days in Mariupol for Best Documentary.

Full list of winners: 

Best FilmPoor Things (Runner-up: Oppenheimer)

Philip’s Steaks Cheesesteak AwardMission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning Part One (Runner-up: Godzilla Minus One)

Best Director: Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer)

Best Actress: Emma Stone, Poor Things (Runner-up: Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon)

Best Actor: Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer (Runner-up: Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction)

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers (Runner-up: Julianne Moore, May December)

Best Supporting Actor: Robert Downey, Jr., Oppenheimer (Runner-up: Charles Melton, May December)

Best Foreign FilmThe Boy and the Heron (Runner-up: Anatomy of a Fall)

Best Animated FilmThe Boy and the Heron (Runner-up: Robot Dreams)

Best Documentary20 Days in Mariupol (Runner-up: Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie)

Best Cinematography: Oppenheimer (Runner-up: Poor Things)

Best Breakthrough Performance: Charles Melton, May December (Runner-up: Abby Ryder Fortson, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret.)

Best Directorial Debut: Celine Song, Past Lives (Runner-up: Cord Jefferson, American Fiction)

Best ScriptTony McNamara, Poor Things (Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer)

Best Score/SoundtrackOppenheimer (Runner-up: Poor Things)

Best Ensemble: Oppenheimer (Runner-up: Poor Things)

This was the seventh year of awards since the Circle’s inception in 2017. Get Out was the 2017 winner for Best Film, while Roma was the choice in 2018, Knives Out won in 2019, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won in 2020, and The Power of the Dog was the winner in 2021. Everything Everywhere All At Once won in 2022.

This year’s voting, for the second year, utilized the resilient STAR voting system, an instant runoff approach that streamlines the process while adding more value to each member’s ballots.

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