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.

BEST PICTURE

Nominees:
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
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)

BEST ACTOR

Nominees:
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.
BEST ACTRESS

 

Nominees:
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

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nominees:

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.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

 

Nominees:
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).

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Nominees:
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.


BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Nominees:
The Artist
Bridesmaids
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.


BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees:
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? 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Nominees:
“The Artist” 
– Michel Hazanavicius
“50/50”
 – 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. 


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Nominees:
“The Descendants” 
– Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
 – Eric Roth
“The Help” 
– Tate Taylor
“Hugo”
 – John Logan
“Moneyball”
 – 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.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

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

Tree of Life, no contest.


BEST ART DIRECTION

Nominees:
“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
“Hugo” 
– 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.

BEST EDITING

Nominees:
“The Artist”
 – Michel Hazanavicius and Anne-Sophie Bion
“Drive”
 – Matthew Newman
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
 – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
“Hugo” 
– 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

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Nominees:
“The Artist”
 – Mark Bridges
“The Help” 
– Sharen Davis
“Hugo” 
– 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.

BEST MAKEUP

Nominees:
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.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Nominees:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
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.

BEST SOUND

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


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

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

Rango — with a teeny bit of competition from TinTin

BEST ACTION MOVIE

Nominees:
Drive
Fast Five
Hanna
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?

BEST COMEDY

Nominees:
Bridesmaids
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.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

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

A Separation, no contest

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

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

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

BEST SONG

Nominees:

“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.

BEST SCORE

Nominees:
“The Artist” 
– Ludovic Bource
“Drive” 
– Cliff Martinez
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” 
– Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
“Hugo”
 – 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.