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.

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Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty
(tied for 2nd: Moonrise Kingdom and Amour)
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
(2nd: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master)
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
(2nd: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors)
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva , Amour
(2nd: Deanie Yip, A Simple Life)
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field, Lincoln
(2nd: Emma Watson, Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Best Supporting Actor: Ezra Miller, Perks of Being a Wallflower
(2nd: Christof Waltz, Django Unchained)
Best Screenplay: Tony Kushner,Lincoln
(2nd: Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom)
Best Cinematography: Mihai Malaimare Jr, The Master
(tied for 2nd: Moonrise Kingdon, Life of Pi)
Best Editing: William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor, Zero Dark Thirty
(2nd: Argo)
Best Use of Music: Moonrise Kingdom
(2nd: Django Unchained)
Best New Filmmaker: David France, How to Survive a Plague
(2nd: Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Best Documentary: How to Survive a Plague
(2nd: Queen of Versailles)
Best Animated: Frankenweenie
(2nd: ParaNorman)
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
(2nd: Holy Motors)

  • Best Picture: THE ARTIST (close seconds: HUGO and MARGARET)
  • Best Director: Martin Scorsese for HUGO. Close runner-up: THE ARTIST.
  • Best Actor: Brad Pitt for MONEYBALL Runners up: George Clooney for THE DESCENDANTS, Michael Fassbender for SHAME
  • Best Actress (another competitive one!): Michelle Williams for MY WEEK WITH MARILYN.
  • Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks for DRIVE
  • Best Supporting Actress: Melissa McCarthy for BRIDESMAIDS. Jeannie Berlin: close second for MARGARET

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Tomorrow, the New York Film Critics Online and the Boston Film Critics will announce, along with the Los Angeles Film Critics.   They should all drop around the same time.  The LA Film Critics have a twitter and they said they’ll be tweeting their awards LAFilmCritics they say it will be “category by category, approx. 10am to 2:30 p.m. PT tomorrow.”  The New York Film Critics Online also have a Twitter, @nyfco2011 and they are voting around 11am PT.  So it will be a busy morning.  Boston, I’m not sure what time their votes come down.   But their Twitter is @TheBSFC.

Starting with the New York Film Critics online, they have only matched Best Picture with Oscar once in their entire history and that was for Slumdog Millionaire. They picked The Social Network over the King’s Speech, Avatar over The Hurt Locker, There Will Be Blood and Diving Bell and the Butterfly over No Country for Old Men, The Queen over The Departed, The Squid and the Whale over Crash, Sideways over Million Dollar Baby, and Lost in Translation over Return of the King. So the chances of their picking a film that will go on to win Best Picture is mighty slim. I’m going to bet they go with either Melancholia or Tree of Life.

Meanwhile, Boston is a little more reliable, Oscar-wise.  Although they too opted for The Social Network over the King’s Speech last year, you have to go back to Brokeback to find a year they didn’t agree with Oscar about Best Picture.  They even went with The Departed (although how could they not).  The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire.  Prior to Brokeback, they rarely matched with Oscar – it was Sideways, Mystic River, The Pianist, Mulholland Drive, Almost Famous, etc. You have to go all the way back to 1993 when it was Schindler’s List to find a match.

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