It was a very good day for Bret Easton Ellis in Los Angeles yesterday – although he hates Michael Haneke and Amour almost as much as he thinks Kathryn Bigelow is overrated and praised only because she’s a woman, he got some backing by the LA Film Critics yesterday when they shut out Zero Dark Thirty for the top two prizes.
As the awards watchers hunched over their Tweetdecks, and publicists watched hoping for a win, and contenders waited it out to see who won, the Los Angeles Film Critics, one of the oldest critics groups in the country, waged war against the general consensus. At the same time, the Boston Film Critics Society, formed back in the 1980s, quietly announced their winners without fanfare. The New York Film Critics Online, like LA, were tweeting their reactions to the voting, to the winners, and to those who didn’t win. This happened in one day, over a span of a few hours, the drama unfolded on Twitter echoing the good, the bad and the ugly of the human nature we’re all stuck with.
The Los Angeles Film Critics tried so hard to come out from among them and be ye separate and it almost worked. They were almost able to pull off the claim that they just liked these other films better. They would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for a few pesky tweeters who betrayed (some of their) true motivations from behind closed doors. Was it the champagne they were drinking? Is it Twitter’s freeform style that allows us to admit much more than we otherwise would? Or was their desire to strike back stronger than their need for credibility? Does the awards race not matter to them until it suddenly does matter? It’s hard to say. But when you start reading tweets like “at least it wasn’t Zero Dark Thirty” or “anything but “Daniel Day-Lewis” the clouds begin to part and the angels sing. It wasn’t really a vote for anything, was it. It was a vote AGAINST something else.