Best Picture: Boyhood
Best Director: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Best First Film: Jennifer Kent (The Babadook)
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (for The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night)
Best Actor: Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner)
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Best Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Cinematography: Darius Khondji (The Immigrant)
Best Animated Film: The Lego Movie
Best Foreign Language Film: Ida
Best Nonfiction Film: Citizenfour
Special Award: Adrienne Mancia
Best Picture: Boyhood
On Monday, the New York Film Critics will begin voting. Tuesday, the following day, will be the National Board of Review’s announcement. The New York Film Critics are probably the most Oscar friendly of the big critics groups, for whatever reason, but have, in the last two years, picked films no one else has yet seen, or seen but not yet reviewed. Zero Dark Thirty in 2012 and last year’s American Hustle. Will they do that again this year? There are really only two films they could do that with and that’s Unbroken, which has been seen by SOME but has a strict embargo enforced until December 1. They could do that with Selma, which has been seen but hasn’t yet been reviewed.
Either way, I expect, and probably most people expect, the New York Film Critics to go for either Boyhood or Birdman – making Oscars 2015 officially Boyman. Or Birdhood. Is there an American Hustle that might there to interrupt the flow of the two favorites so far? Not sure. Either way, it’s your turn to tell me. Your prize for winning this is $50 gift card at Amazon.
What really matters, as far as critics are concerned, these four groups, New York, LA, and the NBR (we’ll deal with the Golden Globes in a separate post). They matter for various reasons. First, why do any awards matter at all, from critics, to industry, to Oscar? They matter to studios for two reasons, leaving off gratification of earned career high. 1) they lend prestige, and 2) they can make the difference between someone deciding to buy a ticket or not. The Oscar brand is, right now, the most expensive of these because it’s by far the most valuable. This is why the Academy works so hard not to dilute that brand, especially where Best Picture is concerned.
In order to address the changing face of the film industry they could, for example, have a separate category for Best Effects Driven Film. But that almost always leads to diluting the brand. Look at the Broadcast Film Critics that birthed so many new categories (to ensure more stars attended their shows and perhaps to make it easier to pick winners across the board). Is anyone going to care if a film wins Best Action Movie by the BFCA? Similarly, who is going to care if a film wins Best Effects Driven Picture? One award, Best Picture, means everything.
The first Academy Awards in 1928 had a marvelous division of “best production overall” and “artistic achievement.” That is how Sunrise and Wings both won. What a marvelous idea that is. It addresses the continual conflict between popular entertainment/money makers and artistic daring. For instance, this year, you could give Best Production to, say, Interstellar and artistic achievement to Boyhood. But that isn’t happening any time soon, so we have to deal with what is, not what should be.
December 1st is fast approaching. The New York Film Critics deliberately pushed their awards back to be “first” in the awards race and indeed, they have taken back power from the National Board of Review in a rushed season. Before Oscar pushed their own date back a month, the National Board of Review came out so early, too early. They could push a film into the race but they were considered too early to matter. Later, the New York and Los Angeles Critics would take center stage and really drive the race (most of the time). But the date change smushed everything together, so that Telluride became the most important film festival (over Toronto, for instance) and the NBR had the cat bird’s seat with early critics awards. The New York Film Critics then pushed their own date back to be first. And so it goes.
Los Angeles doesn’t seem to care to be first but they like to be different, especially these days. They seem to want to vote against what New York and the Oscar pundits have decided. In other words, they don’t feel like wasting their time merely confirming what everyone else has to say. Rather, they seem eager to be different, more challenging, to go against the grain a bit. One of the strange side effects from an abundance of supply without corresponding demand is that writers, bloggers, critics and journalists are desperate for any sort of drama in the race and often concoct their own to keep things humming along.
The National Board of Review names a Best Picture and ten more best films. The Best Picture matters, and it’s nice to see some titles on their top ten, but their top ten matters less than, say, the AFI’s top ten. Their Best Picture DOES matter, it seems. The New York and LA Film critics also have power to influence the acting and directing categories, perhaps more than any other group in the early part of the race. Which director is named best by New York and LA really does count for something.
These announcements will come just before the DGA, PGA, SAG and Oscar voters fill out their nominees. Human nature dictates that most of us, except the most confident and assured among us, don’t know what is really the best, or what is thought of as the best. We like what we like but we also like to get along with our fellow humans. While some of us delight in being “different,” generally speaking human beings are inclined towards harmonious agreement, a sense of belonging to something. This is often how consensus votes are formed: what unites, rather than divides, voters?
So when the early awards come down, many humans feel inclined to agree, in order to get along and find harmonious sense of belonging. This consensus builds and becomes hard to shake. That was why 2010 was so odd, with the entire film critic community backing the Social Network while the industry rejected it outright — they didn’t want t belong to a group that admired such cold and calculating characters. They’d much rather belong to the group that admired a sweet, cuddly, stuttering King with his cute little family and a while bunch of cute British people uniting against Hitler. It remains the most interesting Best Picture race that I’ve ever seen, with the possible exception of the year 2000, when Gladiator, Traffic and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were headed for the big prize. There was division in the ranks for various reasons, most of them good.
When you think about what New York is going to do, you have to think: big statement. The past two years they’ve picked movies most people hadn’t seen. How dramatic that they named American Hustle Best Picture when everyone already knew that the two movies that could win were either Gravity or 12 Years a Slave (both films divided the consensus, uniting them over separate issues and objectives). That prize launched American Hustle squarely in the race at a time when no one knew if the movie would land or not. When I saw it at a SAG screening I thought it went down badly. I thought: what a sloppy mess of a movie – while “fun” and entertaining, it is not going to have a shot against the other two films. Boy was I wrong. All it took was the anointing of “best” from the New York Film Critics OVER Gravity and 12 Years a Slave for that movie to suddenly become a powerful player. The Emperor’s New Clothes look mighty pretty today. But here’s the question, did those critics really think American Hustle was better than Gravity or 12 Years a Slave, two films they reviewed as best of the year? Or did they merely want to stand out in a season that stuffs the turkey to the point of bursting?
12 Years a Slave Metacritic rating: 97
Gravity’s Metacritic rating: 96
American Hustle’s Metacritic rating: 90
90 is still very respectable. To me, that movie is about a 70, or a 75 to be charitable. But that just shows how little I know about what critics like.
Did they think it was best or did they want to stand out? Hard to say. The National Board of Review then named Her Best Picture. They like to pick movies that no one else has chosen, thus making sure they also stand apart. That film was launched into the race in a big way.
Los Angeles then went for a tie between Gravity and Her, eliminating any big city critic’s approval of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. The film had been declared the Best Picture winner by Kyle Buchanan early in the race, which put a giant target on its back. Though it won, it was touch and go for a while there, with even the BAFTA awarding it their top prize but not screenplay, actor, etc.
In predicting these major awards, one has to factor in the desire to be different, not just from other critics but from what the predicted Oscar winner. That’s a tough one. In the old days, before the awards-as-overstuffed-turkey days, they would merely pick “best” of the year.
They sometimes unite, as they did in 2012 with Zero Dark Thirty. Named “best picture and director” early, by the New York Film Critics, the film went on to be named best by the National Board of Review. But remember, the Los Angeles Film Critics mostly like to set themselves apart, so they went with Amour instead, which likely pushed Amour into the race, which also then gave Michael Haneke a Best Director nod instead of Kathryn Bigelow. It wouldn’t matter in the end because people like Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan would help lead a charge that demolished Zero Dark Thirty’s chances and pit film critics against political journalists until the movie was destroyed, perception wise. I remember one Los Angeles Film Critic member saying on Twitter, “we’re not going to vote for Zero Dark Thirty, I can tell you that.” It wasn’t because they thought the film celebrated torture or admitted Americans got information from torturing (that is exactly what the movie says and exactly what really happened) but because the movie was winning everything and LA likes to stand apart.
The last time they were united in holy matrimony was – say it with me now:
2010 – The Social Network
But let’s do a quick chart of the last ten years since the date for Oscar changed to see how the three groups align for Best Picture:
Two things should be immediately apparent. 1) The Social Network is the only film in the last ten years to win all three critics groups, and the only film in their entire history to win all three groups and not win Best Picture other than LA Confidential (if you factor in the Golden Globes for Best Film Social Network is the only one to manage that).
2) since the Academy expanded their Best Picture category from 5 to 10, and then from 10 to a number between 5 and 10, all of their winners have gone on to be nominees.
Now, let’s get on to predictions. We’ll be putting up our contest in the coming days but let’s start with a preliminary cheat sheet.
New York Film Critics
Top choices: Birdman, Boyhood or Foxcatcher
Would drastically change the race: Unbroken
Would really shift things: Selma
Los Angeles Film Critics
Top choices: Birdman, Boyhood or Foxcatcher
Depending on what New York decides, but we’re probably still looking at these.
The Scott Feinberg/Jeff Wells dream come true: CitizenFour
Big shocker that would change the race: A Most Violent Year
National Board of Review
Top choices: American Sniper, Selma, Unbroken
But would not surprise me if: Birdman, Boyhood or Foxcatcher
As you can see by the chart, it’s extremely rare to have the critics determine WHAT WILL WIN Best Picture but they are crucial in deciding which films start the proper race on top. They generally pick films that are well reviewed, so you have to start there. So many films this year are surprisingly not that well reviewed as you’d think but Boyhood, Birdman and Foxcatcher seem to be the critics’ darlings thus far.
Unbroken is really the big question mark – if the New York Film Critics wanted to pull a third rabbit out of their hat they might pick that movie, which would then give the pundits further ammo to keep predicting a film they haven’t seen to win. That still doesn’t mean it wins Best Picture at the Oscars, but it would sure help.
What they probably will shy away from overall? Gone Girl (except maybe the NBR that might name it as one of their top ten). It earned mixed reviews from the critics and after the Social Network he’ll have to make a movie critics, not the ticket buying public, approve of. If it were me voting, it would be a toss up between the films I think are the best of the year: Gone Girl, Selma, Boyhood, Inherent Vice.
How about you? How do you think they’re going to go?
Armond White tossed from the New York Film Critics
The story goes that contrarian film critic Armond White was heckling Steve McQueen as he took the stage for the New York Film Critics – this, being the first time any black director has ever won the honor. White, being one of the few black critics in any film critics group, had panned 12 Years a Slave while simultaneously losing his shit for American Hustle.
“The New York Film Critics Circle deeply regrets any embarrassment caused its guests or honorees by any member’s recent actions,” Stephen Whitty, critic for the Star-Ledger and the group’s new chairman, said in the statement “Sadly, disciplinary measures had to be taken, to prevent any reoccurrence.”
The moment was soured by White and others. There are many witnesses who can confirm what was said and by whom. But nonetheless, White has denied the allegations:
“The allegations are flat out untrue,” Mr. White said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “There was no heckling from my table.”
He also said that he suspected the expulsion was fueled by animosity from other critics. “I don’t cozy up to the hype machine,” he said. “I think other film critics are embarrassed by the way they cozy up. So they attack me.”
Well, it’s one thing to cozy up — he thinks the NYFCC are bad, try checking out the Broadcast Film Critics. Everybody mostly likes to rub up against celebs. But it’s a whole other thing to bring dishonor not just to the critics group, which has been around since the 1930s, but to McQueen himself. I am sure it bothered us a lot more than it bothered him but nonetheless.
Astonishingly, it looks as if the NYFCC might be impotent when it comes time to scold their star weasel, Armond White. The group could try to claim that there’s no way to deal with the exhibitionist prick stinking up their reputation. As long as White stops short of actually physically assaulting filmmakers with a salad fork, we’re all forced to watch whenever the grandiose Ass of the New York Critics Circle feels like slinging poop at anyone close to his cage?
NYFCC chairman Joshua Rothkopf has said the group will be taking “disciplinary action” against White.
But another source with close ties to the organization questioned if that’s possible, since the Critics Circle’s bylaws don’t include a method for expelling one of its members. In other words, they might have to write a law about heckling and see what happens next year.
Nice. Be sure to include a bylaw that forbids critics from spitting phlegm in the faces of actresses or stabbing cinematographers in the eye with a pencil. I mean, just so the New York critics understand how much they can get away with in the future. Variety reports:
The New York Film Critics Circle is reeling today after its annual gala made headlines for a heckling incident between one of its members and “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen. The organization has set an emergency meeting for Monday, Jan. 13 at Lincoln Center to discuss what to do about the situation.
The New York Film Critics pushed back their dates (now voting December 3) so that they could announce before the National Board of Review (December 4). They did it to be out front of awards season and to be the first “important” voice of the season. Or perhaps they did it to dampen the impact of the National Board of Review. Both have been around a very long time but the date change is a fairly recent development, borne out of awards season hysteria where every city with a population of more than 500 has a critics group that votes on awards. At some point you just tune it out because it hardly feels like it matters anymore who wins what where. What you look at is the consensus building around certain films. It is also pointless to say the NYFCC are more prestigious than the NBR. As you’ll see from the chart at the end of this article, it really makes no never mind who they are. Their choices are not that different. Perception and positioning is what matters. Very few films that won either the NBR or the NYFCC did not go on to win Best Picture.
The New York Film Critics want to be first — but they will pay a price for that. Yes, they will be out front. There is a good chance their choice for Best Picture will go on to be nominated for Best Picture. This year, they will likely miss seeing The Wolf of Wall Street and perhaps American Hustle. Maybe they will be screened in time, maybe they won’t. But either way, it is not supposed to be their jobs to influence the awards race. They are supposed to carefully consider the films of a given year and decide which film deserves to be called best. Therefore, their choice to push back their date threatens their whole purpose of existing in the first place.
The New York Film critics pushed their voting date far back enough so that they would be “first,” ahead of the National Board of Review. The NYFCC will announce a day before the NBR, on December 3, 2013.
You will note as we comb through these early awards how one film was dominating (Zero Dark Thirty) and another right on its heels (Lincoln). NYFCC last year:
Best Picture, Zero Dark Thirty
Best Director, Kathryn BigelowZERO DARK THIRTY
Best Screenplay, Tony Kushner, LINCOLN
Best Actress, Rachel Weisz, THE DEEP BLUE SEA
Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, LINCOLN
Best Supporting Actress, Sally Field, LINCOLN
Best Supporting Actor, Matthew McConaughey, BERNIE, MAGIC MIKE
And the National Board of Review:
Best Picture: Zero Dark Thirty
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings
Actress: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd, Compliance
Director: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Adapted: Silver Linings Playbook
Probably the biggest mistakes I saw being made yesterday, whether on a blog or on Twitter, were observers who read too much into the National Board of Review’s choices and omissions. The National Board of Review are a great group to push through either obscure and/or borderline contenders. Because they’ve been around so long they have an air of importance about them but no one really knows who they are and, since a lot of students vote on the award, it skews younger. This is, perhaps, why they have a pretty good track record pushing through nominees but not so much when it comes to matching the Academy’s tastes.
The New York Film Critics, on the other hand, skew older. To become a critic writing in New York one assumes you have some credentials under your belt. You are ostensibly a published writer and you’ve likely finished college and long since been there, done that. That makes the New York critics’ tastes, to my mind, somewhat more akin to Oscar voters. The Los Angeles critics are a more rowdy, rebellious bunch. To date, they haven’t ever awarded the Coen brothers Best Picture. One of their members, Glenn Whipp, pointed this out to me the other day. It almost invalidates them completely, doesn’t it?
J. Hoberman talks up the NYFCC – some interesting information:
In the acting awards, Sally Fields (“Lincoln”) finally defeated initial front-runner Anne Hathaway (“The Dark Knight Rises” and “Les Miserables”) for Best Supporting Actress on a fourth ballot while, in a rare second ballot win, Matthew McConaughey (“Magic Mike” and “Bernie”) beat outChristoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”) and Tommy Lee Jones (“Lincoln”). The closest and most surprising race sawRachel Weisz (“The Deep Blue Sea”) edged Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games” and “The Silver Lining Playbook”) and Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”). Last year’s winner Jessica Chastain (“Zero Dark Thirty”) was a factor throughout, tying for the lead on several ballots. (This race was by far the most polarized; only three of the 16 ballots cast for Lawrence or Chastain cited both actresses.) By contrast Daniel Day Lewis (“Lincoln”), possibly the most feted actor in NYFCC history, led on every ballot but still required three rounds of voting to best the closely bunched trio of Jack Black (“Bernie”),Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”), and Denis Lavant (“Holy Motors”).
Greig Fraser was named Best Cinematographer for “Zero Dark Thirty,” beating the initial favorite, “The Master” on the third ballot. (In a simple, up and down vote, the critics declined to acknowledge Fraser for his work on “Killing Them Softly.”) Although heavily favored, Tony Kushner’s “Lincoln” screenplay needed four ballots to win over those for “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” “The Master”’s relatively poor showing in this race presaging its ultimate fate. An early favorite for Best Director, Paul Thomas Anderson was overwhelmed by Kathryn Bigelow on the second ballot, with Ben Affleck(“Argo”) finishing a distant third. (Strikingly, Steven Spielberg, who failed to get a single first ballot votes, was never in contention.) By this time, it was evident that “Zero Dark Thirty” would run the table and, indeed, “The Master” finished third for Best Picture behind “Argo,” although it took three ballots for the obviously exhausted voters to decide the winner.
Buzz is a funny thing. Just because Oscar pundits think they know the buzz before the buzz starts, there’s no mistaking it once it gets here. Right now, the movie that has all of the buzz is Zero Dark Thirty, right behind it is Lincoln. Both films won three awards at the New York Film critics today. Steven Spielberg has never won the New York Film Critics award, not for Schindler’s List, not for Saving Private Ryan and not for Lincoln. However, there was a record broken today — no Spielberg film until now has ever won more than a single NYFCC acting award (Ralph Fiennes for Schindler’s), nor screenplay. Schindler’s List won three categories — Picture, Supporting Actor and Cinematography. Saving Private Ryan won a single award for Picture. So, even without winning Picture and Director, Lincoln’s wins at the New York Film Critics are something to pay attention to.
Lincoln and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty. Without the white noise at play, I would say the race feels like its down to those two right now. When two strong movies duke it out for the big win, either the awards at the Oscars end up splitting up, or a third movie swoops in and steals their thunder. We don’t know what will happen yet but right now we have to go with what we know today.
- Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty
- Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
- Best Actress: Rachel Weisz, Deep Blue Sea
- Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
- Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field, Lincoln
- Best Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Bernie and Magic Mike
- Best Screenplay: Tony Kushner, Lincoln
- Best Cinematography: Greig Fraser, Zero Dark Thirty
- Best Foreign Language Film: Michael Haneke, Amour
- Best First Film: David France, How To Survive a Plague
- Best Nonfiction Film: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon, The Central Park Five
- Best Animated Film: Frankenweenie
Tomorrow morning, starting at 7am Pacific, believe it or not, the New York Film critics will announce. We then have two days before National Board of Review and Los Angeles Film critics. The next two weeks are going to be interesting. Some contenders might shift forward in unexpected ways. No, the critics don’t vote for Oscars. But they can shift momentum, especially for a film or actor who hasn’t really been “in the conversation,” as they irritatingly say. I guess I can’t it off any longer so here are my predictions for the NYFCC. Would like to hear yours.
Best Film: Zero Dark Thirty (alt. The Master)
Best Director: Steven Spielberg, Lincoln (alt. Bigelow)
Actor: Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln (alt. Joaquin Phoenix)
Actress: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty (alt. Jennifer Lawrence)
Supporting Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master (alt. Robert DeNiro)
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miz
Screenplay: Lincoln (alt. Silver Linings Playbook)
Cinematography: The Master
Documentary: Queen of Versailles (alt. Central Park Five)
Foreign film: Amour
Membership after the cut.
It’s hard to believe a whole year has flown by that we were all studiously predicting The Tree of Life and Hugo to win Best Picture at the New York Film Critics only to then see that award go to The Artist. They aren’t as off base with Oscar as you might think. For instance, our trusty Nate Silver Oscar wonk, Marshall Flores has compiled nominees chart that says if you win the New York Film Critics you have a 90% chance of getting of nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. 90% if you win Best Actor, and 90% if you win animated feature. Winning both, the percentage drops to 40%. Best Actor has a slightly better percentage, 42%.
To see how the winners have matched up with Oscar check out our handy dandy chart at the bottom of this post, which also features Los Angeles. Last year LA went a different way than the entire universe and chose The Descendants. But Oscar, well, he went with the status quo on down the line.
You can see that LA and NY can agree and still Oscar might go a different way but if you had to pick between the two groups, New York has a better batting average than Oscar, which means, their taste is far more aligned with the steak eaters than they probably care to admit. Well, it’s either that or they have greater influence, you know, the whole “New York is smarter than Los Angeles” mentality. Either way, we will be finding out on Monday morning what they pick for Best Film. Their awards will trickle down beginning at 7am LA time. They vote and announce, vote and announce.
Now on to the predictions. Last year I ended up going with Hugo, changing my predictions from Tree of Life at the last minute. It didn’t matter because the NYFCC picked The Artist. They usually go for the best reviewed film of the year, though not always. Let’s take a quick look at the Metacritic scores for their recent winners going back five years:
2011: The Artist – 89
2010: The Social Network – 95
2009-The Hurt Locker-94
Indiewire reports that the NBR will take place December 5, 2012, two days after the New York Film Critics and three days after their announcing date last year. What is the significance of this? There isn’t one except that the NYFCC will be the ones with their asses hanging out first. That’s a good thing for them, as Glenn Whipp reported earlier, “An NYFCC press release notes that the group’s awards are often viewed as harbingers of the Oscar nominations’. The circle’s awards are ‘also viewed — perhaps more accurately — as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring aesthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures.”
Whipp then adds, “It’s curious that the author of the press release somehow fails to grasp that if you view yourself as a sort of (ahem) “principled alternative to the Oscars,” you probably shouldn’t mention the Oscars at all in your press release, much less tout your prizes as a precursor to those very same awards.”
December 3, 2012 – NYFCC
December 5, 2012 – NBR
December 7 – LAFCA (LA Film Critics)
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:
You can follow their twitter feed, @NYFCC2011 for updates. But we’ll be posting the winners here.
- Best Picture: “The Artist”
- Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius for “The Artist”
- Best Screenplay: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin for “Moneyball”
- Best Actor: Brad Pitt for “Moneyball,” and “Tree of Life”
- Best Actress: Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady”
- Best Supporting Actor: Albert Brooks for “Drive”
- Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Chastain for Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter
- Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki for “Tree of Life”
- Best First Feature: Margin Call
- Best Documentary: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
- Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation
The New York Film critics will announce their awards tomorrow. The last film to screen for them was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close was not ready in time and the filmmakers chose not to rush it — as in, what many of us on the web are calling, a needless pressure cooker invented by the New York Film Critics just to get there first. First isn’t always best, as losing my virginity back in 1983 will confirm. One of the problems with the National Board of Review, I might inform my friends in the NYFCC, is that they are premature in their choices for what is best of the year and often reflect back the earlier Oscar scenario.
It was extremely rare for the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics, the LA Film Critics, the National Society of Film Critics, the Southeastern Film Critics, the Critics Choice, the Golden Globe all to pick one film last year. In all of the years I’ve been on the Oscar beat I’ve never seen it happen. As time wears on, it’s already abundantly clear that the critics were right; the industry was wrong. Of course, as David Fincher himself says, it was apples and oranges. Some people like oranges and some like apples. Some people just have different tastes. It was so rare for a filmmaker to have the nerve to make a movie about an unlikable hero with no redeeming character traits – it hit straight into the heart of human nature to a profound and elegant degree; it remains a perfect film. However, what it lacked was the emotional component. The Oscar race is like a love affair. You fall briefly but passionately in love. A relationship, even if it’s the “right one” without passion feels wrong somehow. So it’s no wonder the PGA, the DGA and the Academy all voted with their hearts last year. But that was a story that’s already been told. 2011’s hasn’t.
Tom O’Neil’s Gold Derby has released a set of predictions for the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, however, for how a group of Oscar pundits think the awards might go. My only problem with The Descendants being the first choice here is that two prominent NYFCC members panned it. But they could be voted down too. You just never know. I decided to go with Guy Lodge’s choice for this, Tree of Life for Picture and Martin Scorsese, director for Hugo. But it must go without saying that this is a shot in the dark, a total spitball…
These are predictions I don’t feel all that confident about – I went with Glenn Close for Actress because, what the hell, right? And for Supporting Actor I went with Albert Brooks as maybe the only hat tip to Drive. I do think Christopher Plummer is the one in line for the Oscar presently. He’s way overdue and this seems like a very good chance to reward him.
“The Artist” – Douglas, Rosen
“The Descendants” – Karger, Lewin, Musto, O’Neil, Thompson, Walton, Wloszczyna
“Tree of Life” – Lodge, Stone
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo” – Stone
Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist” – Douglas, Musto,
Terrence Malick, “Tree of Life” – Lodge
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants” – Karger, Lewin, O’Neil, Rosen, Thompson, Walton, Wloszczyna
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist” – Lodge, Stone, Thompson, Walton, Wloszczyna
Michael Fassbender, “Shame” – O’Neil, Rosen
George Clooney, “The Descendants” – Clooney, Douglas, Lewin, Musto
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball” – Karger
Glen Close, “Albert Nobbs” — Stone
Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia” – Musto, Thompson
Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene” – Douglas, Lodge
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady” – O’Neil, Rosen, Walton, Wloszczyna
Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin” – Karger, Lewin
Check out the rest of predictions over at Gold Derby. Over the weekend we’ll be posting our preview that looks back at the history of the NYFCC and what many of its members have favored so far this year.
Their press release:
New York Film Critics Circle
2011 Twitter Handle and Voting Date Shift
November 21, 2011 — The New York Film Critics Circle announced today that they will be announcing their awards during their annual vote via twitter, please follow the handle @NYFCC2011. Also, the vote has been shifted back a day and will now take place the morning of Tuesday, November 29th, at the Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center. The awards will be handed out at a ceremony on Monday, January 9, 2012.
Says chairman John Anderson, “We were looking forward to voting on Monday, November 28th, but due to conflicting schedules, we have made the decision to move back a day to ensure all of our voters have the opportunity to see all of the eligible films.”
Founded in 1935, the New York Film Critics Circle is the oldest and most prestigious in the country. The circle’s membership includes critics from daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, magazines and the Web’s most respected on-line publications. Every year the organization meets in New York to vote on awards for the calendar year’s films. The Circle’s awards are often viewed as harbingers of the Oscar nominations. The Circle’s awards are also viewed — perhaps more accurately — as a principled alternative to the Oscars, honoring aesthetic merit in a forum that is immune to commercial and political pressures.
The NYFCC has just announced it will no longer vote in mid-December but will instead get this party started earlier, on November 28. This cock-blocks the National Board of Review, which announces December 1, 2011.
New York, NY – October 19, 2011 — The New York Film Critics Circle announced today they will hold their annual vote for the 2011 Film Critics Circle Awards on Monday, November 28th, at The Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center. The awards will be handed out at a ceremony to be held on Monday, January 9, 2012.