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Surreal 'A Ghost Story' is best movie of 2017, says Utah Film Critics Association
Surreal 'A Ghost Story' is best movie of 2017, says Utah Film Critics Association avatar

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“A Ghost Story,” a surreal drama about death and grief, is the best movie of 2017 — so say the members of the Utah Film Critics Association, who voted Sunday on the group’s major awards.

The movie, directed by David Lowery (“Pete’s Dragon”), stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara as a young married couple whose lives are altered when he is killed in a car crash. The husband, played by Affleck wearing a sheet, continues to haunt their home, even years after she has moved away.

Runner-up for Best Picture was Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” a visually arresting chronicle of the retreat of 400,000 Allied troops from a French beach in World War II. In a hotly contested battle, the Utah critics gave Nolan the award for Best Director, and Lowery was the runner-up.

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(Andrew Droz Palermo | A24 Films) Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck star in David Lowery's "A Ghost Story." The surreal drama w… This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows a scene from "Dunkirk." The Utah Film Critics Association named Christophe… This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Sally Hawkins, left, and Doug Jones in a scene from the film "The Shape… | 20th Century Fox Caesar (performed by Andy Serkis) must lead his followers away from human danger in the action thriller… Andy Serkis, left, and director Matt Reeves attend a "War for the Planet of the Apes" screening at SVA Theatre on Monday, Jul… (Scott Garfield | Roadside Attractions / Lionsgate) Jake Gyllenhaal (left) plays Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in bombing … This image released by A24 shows Willem Dafoe, left, and Brooklynn Prince in a scene from "The Florida Project." The Utah Fil… | Universal Pictures Daniel Kaluuya stars in "Get Out," a horror movie written and directed by Jordan Peele. The Utah Film C… This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ryan Gosling, left, and Harrison Ford in a scene from "Blade Runner 2049."… This image released by Disney-Pixar shows a scene from the animated film, "Coco." The Utah Film Critics Association gave "Coc… (Hugo van Lawick | National Geographic Films / Abramorama) Jane Goodall interacts with David Greybeard, the first chimp to … (photo courtesy The Orchard) Eili Harboe plays a college student who discovers she has extraordinary powers and desires, in …

(Andrew Droz Palermo | A24 Films) Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck star in David Lowery's "A Ghost Story." The surreal drama was named the best picture of 2017 by the Utah Film Critics Association, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017.This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows a scene from "Dunkirk." The Utah Film Critics Association named Christopher Nolan best director for his work on the film. (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows Sally Hawkins, left, and Doug Jones in a scene from the film "The Shape of Water." Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fantasy tale received two awards from the Utah Film Critics Association, for Hawkins' performance and for Alexandre Desplat's score.. (Kerry Hayes/Fox Searchlight Pictures via AP)| 20th Century Fox Caesar (performed by Andy Serkis) must lead his followers away from human danger in the action thriller "War for the Planet of the Apes." The Utah Film Critics Association gave Serkis the award for lead actor, male, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017.Andy Serkis, left, and director Matt Reeves attend a "War for the Planet of the Apes" screening at SVA Theatre on Monday, July 10, 2017, in New York.The Utah Film Critics Association gave Serkis the award for lead actor, male, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)(Scott Garfield | Roadside Attractions / Lionsgate) Jake Gyllenhaal (left) plays Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in bombing at the Boston Marathon, and Tatania Maslany plays Erin Hurley, his girlfriend, in the drama "Stronger." The Utah Film Critics Association gave Maslany the award for supporting actor, female, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017.This image released by A24 shows Willem Dafoe, left, and Brooklynn Prince in a scene from "The Florida Project." The Utah Film Critics Association gave Dafoe the award for supporting actor, male, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017. (A24 via AP)| Universal Pictures Daniel Kaluuya stars in "Get Out," a horror movie written and directed by Jordan Peele. The Utah Film Critics Association gave Peele the award for original screenplay, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017.This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Ryan Gosling, left, and Harrison Ford in a scene from "Blade Runner 2049." The Utah Film Critics Association gave the movie two awards — for Roger Deakins' cinematogaphy, and for the adapted screenplay by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green — in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017. (Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)This image released by Disney-Pixar shows a scene from the animated film, "Coco." The Utah Film Critics Association gave "Coco" the award for animated feature, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017. (Disney•Pixar via AP)(Hugo van Lawick | National Geographic Films / Abramorama) Jane Goodall interacts with David Greybeard, the first chimp to lose its fear of the naturalist in her studies of chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania. The image is part of footage shown in the documentary "Jane." The Utah Film Critics Association gave "Jane" the award for best documentary, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017.(photo courtesy The Orchard) Eili Harboe plays a college student who discovers she has extraordinary powers and desires, in director Joachim Trier's Norwegian horror thriller "Thelma." The Utah Film Critics Association gave "Thelma" the award for best non-English language movie, in a meeting Dec. 17, 2017.

Top acting honors went to Andy Serkis, who donned a performance-capture suit to portray the ape uprising leader Caesar in “War for the Planet of the Apes,” and Sally Hawkins, who portrayed a mute cleaning woman who falls in love with a sea monster in Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.”

Supporting-acting awards went to Tatiana Maslany, portraying the guilt-stricken girlfriend of a Boston Marathon bombing survivor in “Stronger,” and Willem Dafoe, as a tough-but-tender motel manager in “The Florida Project.”

“The Shape of Water” also received top honors for composer Alexandre Desplat’s score. The only other multiple award winner was the futuristic thriller “Blade Runner 2049,” which won for Hampton Fancher and Michael Green’s adapted screenplay and Roger Deakins’ cinematography.

Here is the full list of winners chosen by the Utah Film Critics Association:

Best Picture: “A Ghost Story”; runner-up: “Dunkirk.”

Director: Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”; runner-up: David Lowery, “A Ghost Story.”

Lead Actor, Female: Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”; runner-up: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Lead Actor, Male: Andy Serkis, “War for the Planet of the Apes”; runner-up: James Franco, “The Disaster Artist.”

Supporting Actor, Female: Tatiana Maslany, “Stronger”; runner-up: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya.”

Supporting Actor, Male: Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”; runner-up: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele, “Get Out”; runners-up: Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird,” and Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (tie).

Adapted Screenplay: Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, “Blade Runner 2049”; runner-up: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, “The Disaster Artist.”

Cinematography: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”; runner-up: Hoyte van Hoytema, “Dunkirk.”

Documentary: “Jane”; runner-up: “Chasing Coral.”

Score: Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water”; runner-up: Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch, “Blade Runner 2049.”

Animated Film: “Coco”; runner-up: “The LEGO Batman Movie.”

Non-English Language Film: “Thelma” (Norway); runners-up: “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile) and “Raw” (France/Belgium) (tie).

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