After all of their drama about changing their date and forcing the Dragon Tattoo to be screened too early, in the end the awards, for the most part, were fairly predictable. The Artist was my early prediction, I then switched it to Tree of Life and then to Moneyball! All three films figured prominently. Getting the biggest boost, though, is Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life and Bennett Miller’s underdog, Moneyball. Along with the Artist, you’re looking at three of the best reviewed films of the year (not counting Harry Potter, which would be among them). That Moneyball earned an acting award for Pitt and a screenwriting prize for Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zallian puts it into contention where it was only a hopeful contender prior to that. Now people will look at it differently, pay more attention to it, and hopefully understand why it earned such high praise.
My third viewing of Moneyball the other night affirmed what I thought the first time I saw it. It is a tightly written script, an elegantly acted ensemble and Bennett Miller’s best directing to date. It’s too much to hope it actually WINS Best Picture, but to see it nominated would almost be reward enough.
Tree of Life, which I personally felt was down for the count, comes roaring back with the Sight and Sound critics poll, and now, the major awards at the New York Film critics – Supporting Actress, Cinematography and Actor.
But of course, the winner of the day was Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Co. as The Artist showed up on the Spirit Awards list and collected Picture and Director at the New York Film Critics. Imagine that. It is surely to win the Los Angeles Film Critics too and join that list of films that won both — we’re then left to ponder certain scenarios. Does The Artist win big like The Hurt Locker, taking all three, including the Artist? Or does it become the critics darling, like Social Network last year where another film takes the top prize at the Oscars? We’ll have to wait and see.
The Weinstein Co. also got a nice showing for Meryl Streep for the Iron Lady and Michelle Williams, nominated for a Spirit Award.
Here are the films that have won both Director and Picture at the NYFCC: