2016 ICS Award Nominees

Carol Takes the Driver’s Seat at 2016 ICS Award Nominations

Honoring films released in the USA in 2015.

In this purported Year of the Woman – which dismally failed to break the glass ceiling of most awards groups – the International Cinephile Society’s 2016 slate of nominees is refreshingly female-centric, and not at all #OscarsSoWhiteStraightMale. Carol, director Todd Haynes’ delicate masterwork detailing the love between two women trapped by 1950s social mores, collected 10 nominations, including both Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett for lead actress, Phyllis Nagy for her lean, nuanced screenplay, and Carter Burwell for his deeply resonant score.

Next in nomination count, with 7 apiece, came two more films led by women: Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s formalist wuxia piece The Assassin, gorgeously framing Shu Qi as an 8th-century warrior torn between love and politics; and George Miller’s arresting tale of post-apocalyptic mayhem, Mad Max: Fury Road, with Charlize Theron driving a feminist revolt through a cinematic fever dream.

By contrast, little indie Tangerine, shot on an iPhone in the donut shops and car washes of Los Angeles, came up big with nominations for best picture, director Sean Baker, and supporting actress Mya Taylor. And Bruno Dumont’s Li’l Quinquin hoisted picture, director, screenplay, ensemble and non-English language film nods for its terminally weird (and racially charged) view of small-town life in the French countryside, complete with a confused homicide inspector finding human corpses in the bellies of cows.

In keeping with ICS tradition, the Unreleased Films list features 16 underseen films that our members were lucky enough to catch at festivals on five continents, and for which they voted passionately, but which failed to receive theatrical distribution in the USA in 2015. It’s heartening to see that more than half of last year’s titles were finally released and are now represented among our 2016 nominees.

Winners of the 13th ICS Awards will be announced on February 21, 2016.


• 45 Years
• Arabian Nights
• The Assassin
• Carol
• Clouds of Sils Maria
• The Duke of Burgundy
• Inside Out
• Li’l Quinquin
• Mad Max: Fury Road
• A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
• Tangerine

• Sean Baker – Tangerine
• Bruno Dumont – Li’l Quinquin
• Todd Haynes – Carol
• Hou Hsiao-Hsien – The Assassin
• George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

• Amour Fou
• Arabian Nights
• The Assassin
• Hard to Be a God
• Jauja
• La Sapienza
• Li’l Quinquin
• Phoenix
• A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
• Saint Laurent
• Son of Saul

Honorable Mentions: In a great year for non-English language films, four made our Best Picture list, and the competition for slots on the non-English language list was truly fierce. This year it took many more votes to make it than in prior years. So we include here four honorable mentions: outstanding films that just missed, yet were passionately loved by a minority and certainly deserved this accolade.

• Horse Money
• Mustang
• Timbuktu
• The Tribe

• Christopher Abbott – James White
• Samuel L. Jackson – The Hateful Eight
• Géza Röhrig – Son of Saul
• Jacob Tremblay – Room
• Gaspard Ulliel – Saint Laurent

• Juliette Binoche – Clouds of Sils Maria
• Cate Blanchett – Carol
• Nina Hoss – Phoenix
• Rooney Mara – Carol
• Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

• Helmut Berger – Saint Laurent
• Emory Cohen – Brooklyn
• Benicio Del Toro – Sicario
• Walton Goggins – The Hateful Eight
• Oscar Isaac – Ex Machina
• Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

• Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
• Cynthia Nixon – James White
• Erica Rivas – Wild Tales
• Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria
• Mya Taylor – Tangerine

• Amour Fou – Jessica Hausner
• Clouds of Sils Maria – Olivier Assayas
• Inside Out – Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
• Li’l Quinquin – Bruno Dumont
• A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence – Roy Andersson

• 45 Years – Andrew Haigh
• Anomalisa – Charlie Kaufman
• The Assassin – Cheng Ah, T’ien-wen Chu, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Hai-Meng Hsieh
• Carol – Phyllis Nagy
• Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris

• The Assassin – Mark Lee Ping Bin
• Carol – Edward Lachman
• Hard to Be a God – Vladimir Ilin, Yuriy Klimenko
• Jauja – Timo Salminen
• Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
• The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki

• The Assassin – Ching-Song Liao, Chih-Chia Huang
• Carol – Affonso Gonçalves
• The Duke of Burgundy – Matyas Fekete
• It Follows – Julio Perez IV
• Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel

• The Assassin – Wen-Ying Huang
• Carol – Judy Becker
• Crimson Peak – Thomas E. Sanders
• Hard to Be a God – Sergei Kokovkin, Georgiy Kropachyov, Elena Zhukova
• Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson
• Saint Laurent – Katia Wyszkop

• Carol – Carter Burwell
• The Duke of Burgundy – Faris Badwan, Rachel Zeffira a.k.a. Cat’s Eyes
• The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
• It Follows – Rich Vreeland a.k.a. Disasterpeace
• Mad Max: Fury Road – Tom Holkenborg a.k.a. Junkie XL

• Brooklyn
• Carol
• Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
• The Hateful Eight
• Li’l Quinquin
• Spotlight

• Anomalisa
• Inside Out
• Shaun the Sheep Movie
• When Marnie Was There
• World of Tomorrow

• Amy
• Heart of a Dog
• In Jackson Heights
• The Look of Silence
• The Pearl Button

• Aferim!
• Blood of My Blood
• Cemetery of Splendour
• Closet Monster
• Embrace of the Serpent
• In the Shadow of Women
• Knight of Cups
• The Lobster
• Mia Madre
• Mountains May Depart
• My Golden Years
• No Home Movie
• Right Now, Wrong Then
• Sunset Song
• The Treasure
• The Witch