Oh the Critics Choice. It’s right about this time of year when awards watchers, stars and people in general begin complaining about awards fatigue.

It isn’t really the BFCA’s fault that they’re always used as a predictor/influencer of the Oscars. Okay, it’s partly their fault; they, like the DGA and the NYFCC like to point out how many times they’ve matched with Oscar.  But for the most part, I have found, that the BFCA is reflective of what the internet at large things/believes about the Oscar race.  They are the only major group, as far as I can tell, that has given Drive or Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close major placement.  Given how much they love Drive, it will be interesting to see if that movie will pick up any heat here – although ballots for Oscar are due to be turned in tomorrow, so it’s unlikely anything that happens here can change the ultimate outcome of the race.

Buzz can change on a dime, as you can see, and we still don’t yet know the outcome of this year’s race, whether War Horse will be an Oscar nominee or not, whether Dragon Tattoo will or won’t.  We have our various ideas based on the critics and the guilds but no way of knowing for sure until the nominees are announced almost two weeks from today.

Herewith, our predictions for the Critics Choice awards.


The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

It’s unlikely any film will win here except The Artist.  The only other film in competition for the win would be The Descendants.   It is down to those two.
Prediction: The Descendants (but probably The Artist will win)


George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Leonardo DiCaprio – “J. Edgar”
Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
Michael Fassbender – “Shame”
Ryan Gosling – “Drive”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”

Prediction: Brad Pitt, Moneyball — his only competition is Clooney.  Pitt walks away with it, and the year I suspect.


Viola Davis – “The Help”
Elizabeth Olsen – “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady”
Tilda Swinton – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Charlize Theron – “Young Adult”
Michelle Williams – “My Week With Marilyn”

Here is your tough call.  People on Twitter are saying Meryl Streep always wins but never wins alone so they’re thinking she’ll win alongside Viola Davis.  I hope Viola Davis wins, needless to say, for reasons I’ve gone over and over about.  Therefore, because I can’t do anything but predict Ms. Davis — whom I believe gave the year’s best and most memorable performance, whose own career has the kind of track record that earns her overdue status – to win.  But I really think they’ll overwhelmingly give it to Streep.  Still—

Prediction: Viola Davis, The Help


Kenneth Branagh – “My Week With Marilyn”
Albert Brooks – “Drive”
Nick Nolte – “Warrior”
Patton Oswalt – “Young Adult”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”
Andy Serkis – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

Albert Brooks wins this by a long way.  His competition is Christopher Plummer (who will probably win the Oscar).  Hint to Mr. Brooks – use the stage wisely.  A great speech can sometimes mean the win in the end.   Don’t worry, though, no pressure.



Berenice Bejo – “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain – “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
Carey Mulligan – “Shame”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”
Shailene Woodley – “The Descendants”

While my hope is that Octavia Spencer wins — and if they are inclined to award Streep they might award Spencer to make up for not awarding Davis (I will be predicting both Spencer and Davis to win the Oscars).  Still, because the BFCA is the internet and critics one can’t help but think Jessica Chastain will win it.  Therefore
Prediction: Jessica Chastain (Spencer or Melissa McCarthy could win here too, though).


Asa Butterfield – “Hugo”
Elle Fanning – “Super 8”
Thomas Horn – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Ezra Miller – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Saoirse Ronan – “Hanna”
Shailene Woodley – “The Descendants”

Prediction: Shailene Woodley for The Descendants, since she’s nominated twice.


The Artist
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
Prediction: They might be totally lame and give The Help ensemble so as not to give them any major acting prizes  – and anyway, The Help kind of deserves this one.  Bridesmaids would be the alt.  Or The Descendants if it decides it’s gonna sweep.


Stephen Daldry – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist”
Alexander Payne – “The Descendants”
Nicolas Winding Refn – “Drive”
Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”
Steven Spielberg – “War Horse”

Prediction: Martin Scorsese, Hugo – how do you not? 


“The Artist” 
– Michel Hazanavicius
 – Will Reiser
“Midnight in Paris”
 – Woody Allen
“Win Win”
 – Screenplay by Tom McCarthy, Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni
“Young Adult”
 – Diablo Cody
Prediction: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris — though truthfully any of them could win. 


“The Descendants” 
– Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
 – Eric Roth
“The Help” 
– Tate Taylor
 – John Logan
 – Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin

This is a tough one. There are three that could get in here – Moneyball, The Descendants and Hugo.  I’m gonna bet it’s down to either Descendants or Moneyball and I’m gonna bet Moneyball wins it.  But it could be The Descendants in a sweep.


“The Artist” 
– Guillaume Schiffman
– Newton Thomas Sigel
 – Robert Richardson
“The Tree of Life”
 – Emmanuel Lubezki
“War Horse” 
– Janusz Kaminski

Tree of Life, no contest.


“The Artist”
 – Production Designer: Laurence Bennett, Set Decorator: Robert Gould
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
 – Production Designer: Stuart Craig, Set Decorator: Stephenie McMillan
– Production Designer: Dante Ferretti, Set Decorator: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“The Tree of Life”
 – Production Designer: Jack Fisk, Set Decorator: Jeanette Scott
“War Horse” 
– Production Designer: Rick Carter, Set Decorator: Lee Sandales

Hugo ought to walk out the door with it. But The Artist will give it a run for its money.


“The Artist”
 – Michel Hazanavicius and Anne-Sophie Bion
 – Matthew Newman
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
 – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
– Thelma Schoonmaker
“War Horse” 
– Michael Kahn

I’m gonna guess that Drive wins this, although if it were me I couldn’t not award Ms. Schoonmaker


“The Artist”
 – Mark Bridges
“The Help” 
– Sharen Davis
– Sandy Powell
“Jane Eyre”
 – Michael O’Connor
“My Week With Marilyn”
 – Jill Taylor

The Artist or My Week with Marilyn should clean up here is my guess.


Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Iron Lady
J. Edgar
My Week With Marilyn

Harry Potter is my guess as a way to honor that film (albeit it a lame way). Iron Lady is the alternate.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
The Tree of Life

Planet of the Ape better win.  That’s alls I gotta say on that.  But Harry Potter could win, Tree of Life if they’re trying to push it into the race.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Super 8
The Tree of Life
War Horse
Gonna bet War Horse wins here.   


The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Rango — with a teeny bit of competition from TinTin


Fast Five
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8

Drive will win.  Planet of the Apes would have gotten my vote.  And how is Drive an action movie?


Crazy, Stupid, Love
Horrible Bosses
Midnight in Paris
The Muppets

Bridesmaids with a smidge of competition from The Muppets, yes, the Muppets.  Both should beat Midnight in Paris which is, well, let’s just leave it at that.


In Darkness
Le Havre
A Separation
The Skin I Live In
Where Do We Go Now

A Separation, no contest


Cave of Forgotten Dreams
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Page One: Inside the New York Times
Project Nim

This is a tough one.  Really tough. Project Nim would be my choice but Buck is my prediction and is deserving.



“Hello Hello” – performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga/written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin –Gnomeo & Juliet
“Life’s a Happy Song” – performed by Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Walter/written by Bret McKenzie –The Muppets
“The Living Proof” – performed by Mary J. Blige/written by Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman and Harvey Mason, Jr. and Damon Thomas – The Help
“Man or Muppet” – performed by Jason Segel and Walter/written by Bret McKenzie – The Muppets
“Pictures in My Head” – performed by Kermit and the Muppets/written by Jeannie Lurie, Aris Archontis and Chen Neeman – The Muppets

I can’t. I just can’t.  But if forced, I guess I’ll say The Living Proof wins.


“The Artist” 
– Ludovic Bource
– Cliff Martinez
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” 
– Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
 – Howard Shore
“War Horse”
 – John Williams

Dragon Tattoo should walk away with this because it is just an unbelievable masterpiece of music composition. I also love Hugo’s score in a big way.  The Artist too.  My preference is Dragon Tattoo but I think the BFCA will go with Drive.



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  • glope

    Williams or Streep will win actress. Plummer will win supp actor. Chastain or Spencer will win supp actress. Pitt will win actor.

  • Noah

    Any music award that goes to Drive will be a disservice in my opinion, considering how the score samples Reznor’s Social Network score and the soundtrack is so dependent on the songs. I do love Martinez and I ADORE Drive and its music, but it shouldn’t cockblock Reznor for GWTDT with his prior work.

    And Sasha, what do you mean about Midnight in Paris for Best Comedy? I’m not sure what you meant? At any rate, Midnight, Bridesmaids, and Muppets are all wonderful.

    (And here’s hoping Descendants shows up in a big way tonight. Shailene/Clooney/Payne ’12!)

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    Sasha, your obsession with Viola Davis and The Help is hysterical. You seriously don’t believe Viola Davis gave the best female performance of the year now do you??

  • Faux

    Davis’ win will not happen. Not over Williams or Streep.

  • Noah

    Davis easily gave the best performance of the year, male or female. And she easily deserves to win in her category. Swinton is the only one who comes close.

  • Lenny

    Don’t know if it’s too late to change this but categories of Acting Ensemble and Original Score are missing in the Critics Choice contest. Just thought I’d let you guys know.

    Don’t like The Descendants for the win here at all. I think it’s basically gonna be The Artist vs. Hugo all night long. In fact, I see something along the lines of what we saw last year from this group where Hugo collects most of the technical awards but loses out on the big awards, which will go to The Artist.

    Like Pitt for the win here, same with Davis in a possible tie with Streep, torn between Brooks and Plummer for Supporting Actor, and I haven’t got a clue in Supporting Actress so why not Melissa McCarthy. For directing, torn mightily between Hazanavicius and Scorsese…I think The Artist takes Best Picture which would help Hazanavicius but they might go for a split and reward Scorsese…tough call there.

  • mecid


  • Vivi

    Sasha, your obsession with Viola Davis and The Help is hysterical. You seriously don’t believe Viola Davis gave the best female performance of the year now do you??

    Amen Deena Jones Wig.

    I love Viola Davis and for me she is the best think in the movie, but she dont gave the best performance of the year!!!

    I love you too Sacha lol

  • Rashad

    Noah, I take it you watched Drive online with the temp tracks? Because Martinez’s score does not sample Reznor at all.

  • A.J

    I don’t understand the love for Rise of the Planet of the Apes’s visual effects. Either you think it should be nominated for Visual Effects or you think it should be nominated for (Supporting Actor) for Andy Serkis. There is nothing spectacular about the clearly CG monkeys in the film outside of Caesar which the credit belongs to Serkis, not the VFX team.

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    I’m also a huge fan of Davis, been for years. I desperately wanted her to win for Doubt because I believed she was better than Cruz in VCB. However, I am not blind to the obvious. To call her work in The Help the best female performance of the year, ahead of Swinton, Streep, Knightley etc, is laughable, simply laughable. Some of you are obsessed with the idea of a black woman winning an Oscar to atone for the wrongdoings of the past. We all want more representation of female minorities in Hollywood but this type of incentive only backfires. Look at what happened to Halle Berry. Now she is up there with Reese Witherspoon, Paltrow and Cher as one of the most ridiculed best actress winners of all time. If the movie industry is not ready to offer black women quality roles then they shouldn’t hand out token awards to black women. The simply truth is Viola Davis is not the best of 2011 and her campaign is strictly race-based, an affirmative action type deal which only increases the disdain towards black actresses.

  • murtaza

    why won’t michael fassbender win and why brad pitt, he showed off too much in the film, he was better in tree of life. should have nominated and made him win there.
    michelle williams may topple the race.

  • Vivi

    Deena Jones Wig

    I am brasilian and my english is bad, but in my text i agree with you…

    Agree a 100%.

    I dont think Viola Davis deserve win the critics choice neither the oscar…

    She is wonderful, but Tilda and Meryl gave for me best perfomances…

  • GoOnNow

    @ Noah, are you really serious about that? I mean… Viola Davis in “The Help” – best performance of the year? male or female? honestly?

  • Zach

    Clooney will win Best Actor without a doubt.

  • Roel

    Deena and Vivi,

    You guys have it all wrong………….you need to know your civil rights and social justice history to know how “dead on” Sasha is regarding Viola Davis’ performance. Michelle was good, but several actresses could have played the role. Rooney was also great, but not breathtaking. Meryl, which I love, is just Meryl with another accent in a poorly received film. Swinton and Theron have won before and Close, a surprise nomination is her victory. When I saw “The Help” both times in the theater, you could not find a dry eye in the room: male, female, young, old and from various ethnic backgrounds…..I do not think that any other female’s performance was more impacting. I have shown the film to my undergrad students and they were in tears, males included. It should not be about race, but we all know that Whoopi Goldberg should have won for “The Color Purple”–instead of honoring Geraldine Page for her lifetime of films for the “Trip to Bountiful”, Diana Ross for “Lady Sings the Blues” or Cicely Tyson for “Sounder” instead of Liza Minnelli, who is—well Judy Garland’s daughter and most shamefully Angela Bassett for “What’s Love Got to Do With It” to Holly Hunter, who was wonderful in “The Piano,” but she was nominated twice and I guess the Academy had to give her one. It’s too bad they didn’t do the same for Julianne Moore for “The Hours” or “Far From Heaven,” who is overly overdue for an Oscar—even more than Glenn Close, in my opinion.

  • moviec

    Sasha, last year you told us how The Social network should win Oscar because critics agree its best film of the year and The king’s speech is film we feel, but its not great film. This year critics agree that Meryl and Michelle gave best performances, but Viola’s you feel. Why you don’t have consistent opinion? Can you explain how Viola is more overdue than Williams?

  • AnthonyP

    With all the praise Adepero Oduye is getting for Pariah, howcome she isn’t on your list of Best Actresses in the side column?

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    Your English is flawless. I’m in agreement with you once again. After watching all the acclaimed female performances of the year, Swinton and Streep are at the top of my list. Anyone who disagrees needs to learn a thing or two about acting.

  • Vivi


    For the record i am black…

    I say again, i love love love Viola Davis but in my modest opinion, she dont gave the best performance of the year…

    I love sacha and her blog, but my i have a different opinion right??

  • Roel

    Actually———true justice would be the following breakdown for this years’ Best Actress Race…..by simply spreading the wealth:

    Critics Choice Awards-Michelle Williams and/or Meryl Streep (they have won the most critics awards anyway with Viola Davis in third);

    Golden Globe Awards-Michelle Williams(comedy); Rooney Mara (drama);

    Screen Actors’s Guild Awards-Glenn Close; and

    Academy Awards (tie) Viola Davis and Meryl Streep (it’s been since 1968 since the last tie and this year would be very fitting)–although Glenn Close should have tied with Cher for her role in “Fatal Attraction.”

  • Noah

    @Rashad. Well shit. I may or may not have torrented it after seeing it in a theatre. That makes much more sense. I’m going back to my ignorant hole in the ground now. Thank you sir. (Still want TGWTDT for the win!)

    @GoOnNow. Purely on a personal level I find her performance the had the most impact and was the most effective. It is, in my eyes, the best. The material is nothing noteworthy, but the performance elevates it. I don’t know. It’s been a very strong year for lead female performances, and I certainly won’t complain if Williams or Streep walks away with it. I’d truly love to say “two time Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton” but that’s neither here nor there.

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    What does civil rights history and social justice have to do with the best female performance of 2011? using the race card so aimlessly is the paramount reason why people don’t take racism seriously. So because Cicely Tyson was robbed for Sounder, Viola Davis should win an undeserved award? you are proving my point. When black actresses give truly phenomenal performances, they are ignored. When they fill out stereotypical roles like a maid for white women or a mentally unstable woman having orgasmic sex with a white man, we feel the need to be overly sentimental about the black cause. As I said, awarding the wrong black actress simply for the sake of tokenism does not help the cause.

  • steve50

    I’m with you on Midnight in Paris, Sasha. After viewing it a couple of times, I found the reality bits annoying. The fantasy sequences were great, and I have to say that Corey Stoll made me laugh harder and more often than anyone else on screen this year. It’s a stretch, but I hope Ampas feels the same

  • akumax

    @ Deena

    Cher is an Icon and in Moonstruck was fenomenal. Paltrow is one of the best actresses ever (quoting Sir Anthony Hopkins) she is just underrated after her win but every time she is casted she delivers a fine, great performance: look her Emmy winning role in Glee, and her cameo in Contagion, a few minutes and she stays with you till the end… Stop blaming her just because she won an Oscar in her 20s and cried! From Seven to Sliding Doors to Emma and Shakespeare in Love she

  • Powell

    When I was watching The Help, I felt that Davis’ character was overacted while Spencer’s acting was more believable. Maybe it’s because I’ve known her since Traveler in which she gave a terrible performance. Though I’m happy for her getting this much recognition as I can feel that she’s working very hard.

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    If being an “icon” is the criteria for winning Oscars then Madonna should have about 7 or 8 trophies by now. Monstruck was nothing but ordinary. Close acted circles around Cher in Fatal Attraction. Anyone who says otherwise knows nothing about acting.

    Gwyneth Paltrow’s face hardly moved in Shakespeare in Love and this was before the botox phase of her career. I rest my case.

  • Blue

    “consistent opinion”?

    Opinions are opinions. They don’t have to be consistent.

    I don’t think Davis will win, but I think she should. I don’t know how people say Williams and Streep are more overdue than Davis. Streep already has two trophies. And, frankly, a white actress is going to have more opportunities for strong roles than black actresses, regardless of talent. So even though Williams has one more nomination than Davis, I think Davis is just as overdue, if not more because Davis is a longtime talented actress who unfortunately rarely has the opportunity to show it. After her first nominations, Davis did a Tyler Perry movie. A TYLER PERRY MOVIE! She’s still did a great job in it…but she deserved/deserves more.

    Only one black lead actress and she gets the most hate in these comments. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not saying anymore. I’m just glad Sasha Stone is standing strong with her OPINION and isn’t be bullied by people here.

  • Nick

    Despite what one thinks about War Horse, I dont see how anyone couldn’t find that the best music of the year. And the sole win for WH.

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    You might want to save the race card for when you really need it. As a black person, I am disgusted when people cry racism for anything and everything. Such irresponsible behaviour is the reason why people don’t take racism e s. seriously. No one is bashing Davis because she is black. People, like my VERY BLACK SELF, have an issue with people wanting Davis to win solely because she is black. How does tokenism solve the problem? does tokenism create more opportunities for black actresses? how many lead roles for black women have been nominated since Halle Berry won her Oscar????????????? SMDH!!

  • peymank

    sashaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa، I can only hope Scorsese Best Director

    I am a huge fan of Scorsese in Iran. He deserves this award and is the second Oscar.

  • Blue

    Deena Jones Wig
    I think you’re reading too much into what I wrote. I never cried racism. I just made an observation that Davis was the only black lead actress. Don’t put words in my mouth.

    But am I wrong in saying that generally talented black actors don’t get the same opportunities as white actors? I should also say this applies to every other race besides white (asian, latina, middle eastern). Does that make you feel better?

  • akumax

    “Paltrow and Cher as one of the most ridiculed best actress winners of all time.”

    I was responding to that phrase, that I find silly as I found shallow your comments on Paltrow’s face.
    I don’t see Cher or Miss Paltrow as ridiculed all around the world…
    Cher is an Icon but I never said that it is the reason she won the Oscar.

    Rest your case… and your anger…

  • moviec

    @ Blue…Just because Davis rarely has opportunities and because Williams will probably have more chances in the future than Davis doesn’t mean she’s overdue or that she deserves Oscar. Hollywood should be blamed because black actresses (and actresses in general) don’t have more opportunities and better roles. Williams gives great performance after great performance and she is overdue. Viola Davis is great cameo/supporting actress with one borderline supporting nothing special performance and is not best of the year. About ‘consistent opinion’ i meant same criteria for conclusions.

  • Patrick R

    Wow! The Best Actress race always seems to spur the most heated debates. My hat’s in the ring for Meryl from a completely sentimental standpoint. I haven’t seen her performance yet – so I’ll admit it’s subject to change as of this weekend.

    I loved Viola Davis, and all the ladies in the Help, but I didn’t see it as a standout role. She was good, but hardly great. In fact, since the argument about civil rights has come up in this thread, I don’t really think that movie tells us anything that hasn’t been said in movies before. I recall the 1989 race when Driving Miss Daisy won the BP, and the real groundbreaker, Do the Right Thing, wasn’t even nominated. The Help is sort of like a Driving Miss Daisy type effort, IMHO.

    Tilda Swinton’s performance is still gnawing at me and Michelle Williams totally surprised me as Marilyn. I’m torn between those two performances in the event that Streep disappoints. I would love to see Glen Close finally get some love, but while her performance was standout – it paled compared to the others.

  • Sasha Stone

    @moviec – I absolutely did NOT think The Social Network should have won because the critics awarded it; I think it should have won because it was the best film of the year, full stop. The critics merely agreed with that opinion. Do I think either Streep or Williams gave the best performance of the year, female? I do not. Do I think Viola Davis did? Hell yeah. And if it isn’t Davis, it drops down to Rooney Mara and after that Tilda Swinton. I loved Williams and Streep – both are great. I would lean more towards Williams as best than Streep – not because I didn’t think Streep gave a great performance, she did, but because she has been so much better in other roles — like Julia Child, like Miranda Priestly, like Sophie. Michelle Williams took it to a new level. Better than Tilda? No way. And the critics? This year looking at the critics awards has been like herding cats. I think racism is wide and far reaching. I think racism is so ingrained in our culture that we are unable to celebrate an actress like Viola Davis in that part because we haven’t carved out a place yet for her as one of the great character actresses. Oh, but folks have no problem saying Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane in Moneyball is the best performance of the year when he is essentially playing himself. So give it a rest, will ya? What do we judge great performances on? Well, half of the time it’s the performance itself, but half of the time and most of the time, frankly, it’s the actor him or herself. Well why should that same courtesy not be afforded to Viola Davis who turns in great performance after great performance?

    Hell, Meryl Streep could wipe her own ass with the parts they would never offer Davis. Think of how many projects Streep turns down that would never, in a million years, get offered to Viola Davis. If you think it’s hard to get parts for a over 50 Meryl Streep, think of how hard it is to get leading roles if you’re over 40 and BLACK?

    And you say this isn’t a good role for a black actress to win for – two of you said that – and guess what I say? You want better stories for black actresses? Better parts? Where are they? Cause from where I sit, Kathryn Stockett and Tate Taylor are the ONLY ONES WHO WANTED TO TELL ONE. Is it Viola Davis’ fault that the one leading role that comes along, that she fucking hits out of the park by the way, isn’t PC enough for white folk and doesn’t portray black people well enough for black folk? Give me a break! Okay, let’s sit around for another twenty years until it’s JUST RIGHT. Denzel makes a movie – oh, it’s too sappy. Tyler Perry makes a movie, yeah right. Spike Lee makes a movie – sorry Spike, you’re too radical and we don’t want radical black directors in Hollywood. Do you know that only one black director has ever been nominated by the DGA? ONE!

    You want me on my soap box, baby, I’ll proudly stand up on it. I got no problem with that. The Oscar race is a fucking joke. It’s a popularity contest at best. It’s the homecoming dance where they crown queen and king – and let me tell you – it’s always always always always always white people getting the parts, winning the Oscars. Well I say, it’s time for change. I’m not going to watch as a movie like The Help gets shafted because it doesn’t relieve white people of their guilt and it doesn’t feel activist enough for black people. So they award Meryl Streep her 3rd Oscar – great. Wonderful. In 84 years one black actress has won the Oscar. One. Give me a break, people. Give me a break.

  • Blue


    I guess we have to disagree. I’m looking at the raw talent each actress possess, not the specific roles they’ve been given. And in that case, I think Viola Davis has as much talent (if not more) than Williams.

    And you’re right. Hollywood should be punished…not the actual actress who suffers because of it. In that case, I still stand by Davis being overdue.

  • Bette

    Everything that Deena Jones says is true, about reverse racism and otherwise. Viola Davis is a truly great actress, from her cameo in Antoine Fisher to her remarkable Tony winning performance in Fences. But her work in The Help just wasn’t as complex as Michelle as Marilyn or Tilda or Kirsten Dunst or Olivia Coleman in Tyrannosaur or Meryl as Maggie.

    As for the comment about Gwyneth’s face not moving, that’s just too funny, and too true. For her to have defeated Fernanda Montenegro in Central Station (or any of the other nominees for that matter) was a disgrace. But the Academy is used to disgracing itself, a la Brokeback losing since homophones like Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine saying that they and their friends wouldn’t even watch the overwhelming frontrunner. The Oscars are about politics, not art.

    As a final aside, Gwyneth is possibly the nastiest person I’ve ever met. Perhaps she is talented (and I’m not conceding that either, certainly not based upon Shakespeare), and I realize one’s personality should have nothing to do with awards, but I’m just putting it out there. Most Hollywood and Broadway stars I’ve been fortunate enough to meet have been lovely, but she is a glaring exception. Its hard not to effect one’s outlook when one knows that, but I met her long after Shakespeare in Love and knew enough in 1998 that all those films’ major awards were bought, pure and simple. Over Saving Private Ryan??? No way.

    Sorry for the digressions. Go Deena Jones!

  • akumax

    I believe Jessica Chastain is going home with Oscar for the Help and that’s the only Award the film will get that night. I would prefer her winning for the Tree of life but anyway… she is great in both, and in take shelter. Viola Davis should have pushed herself in supporting and pull a deserved win. I don’t see how she can win in Leading Role up against Meryl or Williams (who is my bet). Viola Davis should not win or lose because only one actress got that Award in 84 years and even if I agree on the statement that Oscar is a white people game but I’d refine that statement saying it is a white old men game. That said I don’t think it’s something that is playing against Miss Davis, it’s much more subtle and less racist in a strict sense… remember Brokeback Mountain?!

  • moviec

    @Sasha….Is it Michelle Williams’ or Meryl Streep’s fault that black actresses don’t have better/leading roles? Racial issues should not interfere in awards season. Same for box office. There are Blockbuster entertainment awards for that (btw, Blind side was hit because of Bullock, people didn’t go to see Help because of Davis). Hollywood should give equal opportunities to black actor/actresses and should not be hypocritical to award them when they don’t deserve it.

  • Lenny

    Sasha is right in that the Oscars have become nothing more than a grand popularity contest. The voters don’t necessarily reward the best films of a particular year. Sometimes they reward films and people based on several other mitigating factors that essentially have nothing to do with the film they’re nominated for. They can reward people based on their overall body of work. They can reward films that appeal to their hearts rather than their minds, films that appeal to their humanity and the sentimental value within themselves. We saw this last year when The King’s Speech upset The Social Network, when Shakespeare in Love upset Saving Private Ryan, Chariots of Fire over Reds, etc. etc. The Oscars have, for the majority of their existence, been more politically correct and conservative with their choices than they should be. That’s why when one truly wants to look for a celebration of film, you don’t really look towards the Oscars as the glowing beacon of hope. Any of the film festivals in Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, etc. do more for cinema nowadays but still we look towards the Oscars as a representation of everything good about cinema because of their authority and because of their glamour.

  • akumax


    Shakespeare in Love bought awards? Shut up, please… be decent and serious, please.

  • Lenny

    As for my Critics Choice predictions, here we go…

    Best Picture: The Artist
    Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius = The Artist
    Best Actor: Brad Pitt = Moneyball
    Best Actress: Viola Davis = The Help (possible tie with Meryl Streep = The Iron Lady)
    Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks = Drive
    Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy = Bridesmaids
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Moneyball
    Best Original Screenplay: The Artist
    Best Cinematography: The Tree of Life
    Best Film Editing: Hugo
    Best Original Score: The Artist
    Best Original Song: The Help
    Best Art Direction: Hugo
    Best Costume Design: Hugo
    Best Sound: Hugo
    Best Acting Ensemble: The Help
    Best Young Actor: Shailene Woodley = The Descendants
    Best Animated Feature Film: Rango
    Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
    Best Documentary Feature: Project Nim

  • Lenny

    Forgot these two…

    Best Action Movie: Drive
    Best Comedy Movie: Bridesmaids

  • Aaron

    @Roel…so, in your opinion, EVERY black woman who has EVER been nominated for best actress should have won, because you give passionate pleas to every one of them, even if the said woman that won–including Liza Minnelli and Holly Hunter–both give iconic performances that many consider some of the best ever.

    And I guess because The Help and Viola Davis’s performance “makes you cry” then it has done its job and deserves the Oscar. The fact that it’s an overtly sentimental and emotional movie does not alter the level of difficulty of the film’s performances, in my opinion. Do you really think it was easy for Tilda Swinton to do what she did in We Need to Talk About Kevin? But I guess since she didn’t have a long monologue about how horrible her life is and make the audience cry, then she is unworthy? And anyone could have played Monroe? You sure you want to imagine Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, or Megan Fox in this role? Because if the casting director was simply going off sex appeal, then they would have chosen one of these actresses but luckily Williams brought a fragile sensitivity and a detailed psychological insight to the role. And, sorry, but you bring up civil rights and social justice as if The Help has valiantly handled these issues when in fact they have been quickly washed over with a sappy, manipulative narrative about a young, white woman “trying to find herself”. The movie exists to tug a tear or two–not to be historically or socially accurate.

  • Blue

    Go Sasha! 100% agree with everything she says!

  • Akim

    Even Meryl Streep has admitted recently that THIS is Viola Davis’ year. So suck it haters!

  • vlad

    Sasha, you think problem for black actors will be solved when academy gives them Oscar when they don’t deserve it? LOL Problem will be solved when Hollywood gives them better roles.

  • Alper

    such a boring year 😀

    best actress: Viola Davis and Meryl Streep
    best act

  • Alper

    best actor :George Clooney

    predictable year, boring films,same same same actors

  • Mohammed

    Will it ever happen a year when a Streep movie is out and everyone doesn’t seem to think like it’s the best of the year ? I don’t realy know what kind of secret Streep has on everyone in Hollywood, but there is something there. And who-ever said Oscar and awards generally are about quality ? I lost my last hope when No Country swept over There Will Be Blood.

    This much is true: If Spielberg is out with a drama, Streep does anything ,the Coens direct and someone makes a movie about someone coming coming out of the closet in a funny but cute way, they will be nominated.

    Also, put your money on any weird stuff the Weinstiens are backing. Those are the golden rules in Hollywood.

  • Alper

    and hell yes Meryl Steep….

    please Academy give her a third statue,it’s boring every year every year Meryl Streep oggggh ENOUGH AND BORING!!!!!

  • bd74

    “We saw this last year when The King’s Speech upset The Social Network”

    I find it ironic that no one has referred to the current three Best Picture frontrunners (The Artist, Hugo, and The Descendants) as “feelgood” movies, given that all three of them are feelgood movies. No one’s pointing the finger at those movies the way that they pointed it at The King’s Speech last year. Any one of the current three frontrunners can win Best Picture, yet ironically no one’s complaining that a “movie that made them feel” is going to win.

  • bd74

    “best actor :George Clooney
    predictable year, boring films,same same same actors”

    The Best Actor race seems the most anticlimactic. All this buildup and all this speculation about who will actually land an Oscar nomination (Fassbender, Shannon, Bichir). But all for what? So that Clooney can end up winning?

  • AJ

    Iron Lady wins make-up in a walk.

    Hugo is a definite BP contender here, but since I think they’re going to give Marty BD, they’ll probably give something else BP.

  • Jim

    Since we’ve gone back to ’87 Holly Hunter should have won for “Broadcast News”. Which is why it was so great when she won for “The Piano” even if I would have gone with Emma Thompson for “The Remains of the Day”. But such is Oscar.

  • “…ironically no one’s complaining that a “movie that made them feel” is going to win.”

    Nobody is complaining because all the movies that “make us feel” this year happen to be the best movies we have to choose from.

  • Roel

    Well said, Sasha! Totally agree…….the Oscars are a popularity contest! Therefore, this may help Michelle Williams win the Oscar: nominated last year, 3rd nomination, plays Marilyn, is nude in the film, and has the Weinstein guy behind her, etc. Streep has been making the rounds on television, winning many more lifetime achievement awards and this could obviously help her for the Oscar as well. But I have to agree with Sasha that a strong female role that the Academy will embrace may take many more years to come around and this may be the year to award Viola, plus she may have some previous supporters, who felt she should have won for “Doubt” a few years ago for her powerful performance.

    @Aaron, no I don’t agree that all the black actresses nominated that I mentioned should have won, but some of them should have—-Goldberg and Bassett, for example. Unfortunately, as Sasha mentioned, Viola Davis’ performance cannot be celebrated because everyone is worried about the race card. Honestly, she would be a more worthy receipient of the title, “Academy Award winner Viola Davis” than some of the other recent beauty queen winners: Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock and Cher.

  • knee play

    how is viola david overdue? she was fantastic in “doubt” but that’s about it. i’d say michelle williams is way more overdue. at 30, she’s already worked for great directors like todd haynes, wim wenders, ang lee, charlie kaufman, martin scorsese, kelly reichardt and sarah polley. she’s starred alongside some of the best actors today leonardo dicaprio, kenneth brannagh, judi dench, phillip seymour hoffman, etc. and at such a young age, she’s about to earn her 3rd oscar nomination. what has viola davis done? 2 of the sappiest movies of 2011, madea goes to jail, eat pray love, knight & day. she was definitely the best part of “the help” but she’s not even close to the best performance by a woman in 2011.

  • John Oliver

    Sasha, I love how you defended your choice of Davis. You go girl. Viola doesn’t give you flamboyance, what she gives in her performance is soul, from the heart, and you can see it in her face. It’s a subtle, ingrained performance that digs deep within.
    As far as her screen time, I feel she’s a co-lead, and she narrates the film. She has as much screen time as Kate Winslet in The Reader.

  • mecid

    Tintin best animated film and Spielberg best director

  • Vivi

    For the record, when Halle Berry wins the oscar i was so so happy… Why? Because i really think she was the best of the nominnes, not because she is black and deserve wins the oscar because her colour…

  • mecid

    after ? hours they will announce?

  • John

    If I was voting, I’d say it’s a toss-up between Viola Davisand Michelle Williams. I found them both brilliant.

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    LOL at Sasha and her racism rant. The nice white lady saves the day again. Where was your outrage when Davis did not win for Doubt? you, like everyone else, was drunk on Cruz’s passable performance in VCB. Davis was the best supporting performance that year but as you clearly stated, critics and awards are like sheep. Someone anointed Penelope as the winner and everyone followed suit.

    Now Davis delivers a formulaic performance as a maid to white children and you guys are enthusiastic? where was this level of intensity when she was snubbed for Doubt? I want to know. Hattie McDaniel won as Oscar as a maid in the 1930s and people want Viola Davis to win an Oscar as a maid in 2012? unbelievable. How progressive right? Putting the maid issue aside, what extraordinary emotions did Davis’ performance in The Help tap into? besides the obvious overly sentimental tricks carefully crafted by the formulaic screenplay? The movie should have been renamed as The Blind Side 2. This campaign is nothing but TOKENISM. It reeks of TOKENISM because it is TOKENISM. Good luck changing race relations in Hollywood by awarding black actresses accolades for being crack heads and maids. Good luck with that!!!!

  • Deena Jones’ wig

    and by the way how can you accuse Brad Pitt of playing himself in Moneyball but have nothing to say about George Clooney? since when has Clooney not played himself??? Clooney is a personality actor. People don’t writers characters for him; they write/adjust characters to fit his personality. I’m a big time Pitt basher but I will give him credit for making an effort to play characters and not a personality. Pitt in Burn After Reading, Babel and Moneyball are different characters. Clooney in everything is Clooney: same scratchy voice, same mannerisms, same walking posture, same bug-eyed stare, same everything. So tell me how is it ok for Clooney to sweep all these awards while Pitt is being accused of playing himself? I do not seriously get critics and film bloggers. I just don’t.

  • I’m glad Deena Jones loaned you her wig, since your hair is always on fire.

  • Rick

    If Meryl Streep ties for the third time with someone – especially former onscreen adversary Viola Davis (a la Anne Hathaway) – I will be convinced that it’s rigged.

  • Vivi

    Deena Jones Wig

    100% agree with you about Davis and Clooney…

    When Viola Davis was nominated for Doubt i really want she wins the oscar for that film, for me she was the best in that year…

  • @ Deena Jones’ wig:

    I’m curious to know where you learned “a thing or two about acting”, because even though I agree with your sentiment towards Tilda Swinton’s performance and it’s deservedness, dressing down others in such a snide manner just because you don’t share their opinions makes you look myopic and close-minded. That you didn’t even rationalize your own preferences while debasing those of another doesn’t help make your comments look particularly credible either.

  • Iamthenewblack

    I must say I appreciate this sites Passion towards the lack of representation of minorities in movies and as far as the oscars are concerned. Very few Oscar bloggers ignore or deny this issue.

    As far as the performances go Viola Davis’ is right up there. It is a quiet but full performance in the sense that she is Abileen Clark. Every step Abileen makes to internal freedom is handled brilliantly by Davis . In contrast to the look, I’m changing school of acting, it is evident Davis is discovering more about Abileen and iinfusing the character with all of the layers befitting of a woman in that situation. Her last scene with Howard is revelatory and imo throws out any notion of Davis being supporting. In the context of the movie Skeeter’s book is merely a vehicle for Abileen to find her gift, her voice and her freedom.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Aren’t we supposed to be able to watch some red carpet now? I mean, the show starts in two hours, right?

    Do you have some good live stream links? I couldn’t even find VH1 now, haha.

  • Iamthenewblack

    Having said that I don’t know how ppl pick whose better, I mean you almost have to use other metrics than performance esp in this best actress race when each one is remarkable. Swinton Mara Williams are all great and have even greater canons. HOW DOES ONE CHOSE!??!

  • Aaron

    @Rick…me too. I blame the Critics Choice for steamrolling the Sandra Bullock bandwagon two years when they crowned her best actress when she hadn’t won a SINGLE critics award. What the hell?? And the year before when they tried to make the Meryl/Kate Winslet narrative happen when Penelope Cruz and Marisa Tomei were dominating the supporting actress critics awards? In all honesty, these should be easy awards to predict–Michelle Williams SHOULD win best actress based on the monumental amount of best actress awards she has won from CRITICS so far…but the BFCA has become shameless recently in setting up the season’s Oscar narrative, so I won’t be surprised if Meryl/Viola tie best actress when in reality all logic points to Williams and/or Tilda winning.

  • Gentle Benj

    If I’ve been reading the race correctly so far, the acting frontrunners are Pitt, Streep, Plummer and Chastain. They’ll all win tonight, except Plummer–this group obviously has much love for DRIVE, so I’ll call Albert Brooks there. Plummer will win the Globe.

    Best Picture must be down to the nomination-leaders, right? HUGO and THE ARTIST? I’ll say HUGO by a smidge. I love the fact that they are both love letters to the olden days of the medium, though. In fact, there has been a lot of self-referential nostalgia and good feeling in the movies this year, and I think it’s a great place for the industry to be as it tries to pick itself up and starting making money again.

  • Zach

    Of course, who am I to have a better gauge of what the BFCA wants to do any more than the next person, but my own predictions vary widely from Sasha’s and I would be surprised to see wins by Chastain, let alone Chastain, Brooks, and Pitt (none of whom are the frontrunners and the BFCA likes frontrunners, not just critical darlings).

  • I just got home and they’re already giving out awards on the red carpet. They just gave DRIVE Best Action Movie and Janusz Kaminski Best Cinematography.

  • Andy Serkis is on the red carpet now. I have it on Reelz channel.

  • kerchee

    Best Cinematography: War Horse

  • Asa Butterfield on the red carpet. Come on peeps. Is anyone home? *shakes AD*

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Yeah, I found that link, too.

    But where’s the actual show then? I don’t have VH1.

  • Gentle Benj

    A note on Cinematography: I am puzzled that so many are talking about THE TREE OF LIFE as the obvious, deserving winner. Yes, it’s breathtakingly pretty, but I don’t see how it even competes with HUGO. Scorsese did exactly what he set out to do: he established 3D as a viable artistic form, and accomplished a sense of cinematic space that has never existed in any other film. Ever. This is revolutionary, medium-changing stuff, and TREE’s images, though stunning, are not in the same league. If HUGO doesn’t win the Oscar, the industry will shake its head in embarrassed bewilderment in the future.

    But Antoinette tells us neither HUGO nor TREE won? WAR HORSE did? Hmmm… I mean, there have been worse winners, but given the competition this year… bleah.

  • PaulH

    Avatar 2 delayed until…2016?? Apparently. :((


  • Like I said I missed pretty much the whole show last year. I never found a VH1 stream except for their alternate cam which I think the red carpet cam will turn into. Just keep looking for one.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    War Horse won something? And in the place where something else was expected. Funn-eh.

  • Chris

    I wish Viola had won when she so deserved to for Doubt, classic supporting performance, no category collusion. Then this conversation wouldn’t even be happening. I was watching Far From Heaven the other night and I thought she was also good in that, also playing a maid though this time in suburban Connecticut, more or less same time period. Interesting to compare and contrast. Smaller part but still she resonates.

  • Gentle Benj

    “Avatar 2 delayed until…2016?? Apparently.”

    It takes a long time to polish a turd until it’s shiny enough to earn 3 billion dollars.

  • They’re giving out another award. Best song to The Muppets. Life’s a Happy Song. Segel is chewing gum while the other guy makes a speech.

  • Didn’t think it started for another hour. Thanks for being on top of it, Antoinette!

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Why are these reporters always so awful? And so irrelevant?

  • OCO300

    @Aaron no only me but alot of people hated the ritics choice awards, plus not nominating Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, I mean it got a 93% on BFCA/Critic’s Choice the highest score this year on those sites.

  • @OCO300 yeah but I think you mean Best Picture, cause it definitely deserve a BP nod after it got many good reviews and did acceptionally well at the box office…..which still is kinda odd and surprising how many sequels did better than major movies in the box office.

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