Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.
Official press release
The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association voted the newsroom drama SPOTLIGHT as the best film of 2015, according to the results of its 22nd annual critics’ poll released today. This year’s awards are presented in memory of Philip Wuntch, the longtime Dallas Morning News film critic who passed away in October.
Rounding out the composite list of the top 10 films of the year were THE REVENANT (2), CAROL (3), SICARIO (4), MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (5), THE BIG SHORT (6), THE MARTIAN (7), ROOM (8), THE DANISH GIRL (9) and BROOKLYN (10).
For Best Actor, the association named Leonardo DiCaprio for THE REVENANT. Runners-up included Michael Fassbender for STEVE JOBS (2), Eddie Redmayne for THE DANISH GIRL (3), Matt Damon for THE MARTIAN (4) and Johnny Depp for BLACK MASS (5).
Brie Larson was voted Best Actress for ROOM. Next in the voting were Cate Blanchett for CAROL (2), Saoirse Ronan for BROOKLYN (3), Charlotte Rampling for 45 YEARS (4) and a tie between Charlize Theron for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and Carey Mulligan for SUFFRAGETTE (5).
In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was Paul Dano for LOVE AND MERCY. He was followed by Mark Rylance for BRIDGE OF SPIES (2), Tom Hardy for THE REVENANT (3), Idris Elba for BEASTS OF NO NATION (4) and Benicio del Toro for SICARIO (5).
For Best Supporting Actress, the association named Rooney Mara for CAROL. Runners-up were Alicia Vikander for EX MACHINA (2), Kate Winslet for STEVE JOBS (3), Alicia Vikander for THE DANISH GIRL (4) and Jennifer Jason Leigh for THE HATEFUL EIGHT (5).
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu was voted Best Director for THE REVENANT. Next in the voting were Thomas McCarthy for SPOTLIGHT (2), George Miller for MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (3), Todd Haynes for CAROL (4) and Denis Villeneuve for SICARIO (5).
The association voted SON OF SAUL as the best foreign-language film of the year. Runners-up included THE ASSASSIN (2), THE SECOND MOTHER (3), MUSTANG (4) and GOODNIGHT MOMMY (5).
AMY won for Best Documentary over THE LOOK OF SILENCE (2), THE WOLFPACK (3), GOING CLEAR: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF (4) and THE HUNTING GROUND (5).
INSIDE OUT was named the best animated film of 2015, with ANOMALISA as runner-up.
Thomas McCarthy and Josh Singer shared the Best Screenplay award for SPOTLIGHT over Emma Donoghue for ROOM.
The award for Best Cinematography went to Emmanuel Lubezki for THE REVENANT, followed by Edward Lachman for CAROL. The association gave its award for Best Musical Score to Bryce Dessner, Carsten Nicolai and Ryuichi Sakamoto for THE REVENANT, beating out Ennio Morricone for THE HATEFUL EIGHT.
The association voted TANGERINE as the winner of the Russell Smith Award, named for the late Dallas Morning News film critic. The honor is given annually to the best low-budget or cutting-edge independent film.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association consists of 31 broadcast, print and online journalists from throughout North Texas. For more information, visit www.dfwcritics.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @dfwfilmcritics.