Now that the National Board of Review has rung in as early as possible to beat real critics to the first punch, tomorrow we wait out the very long and somewhat agonizing sit for the New York Film Critics Circle wherein we watch them as their awards trickle out, hens laying very particular eggs one at a time. They take a lunch break. They come back and finally, the debate and argue and debate and argue and finally come up with their winner for Best Picture. Whew!
The NBR and the Golden Globes sit on one side, as rather less snooty film journos generally seen to be more populist/publicist/studio friendly. The more formal critics groups are on the complete opposite side and of those critics, LA is the most obtuse and rambunctious while New York tends to be the more Oscar friendly. Go figure. Their stats with matching (and perhaps influencing) Oscar are impressive indeed. Check out Marshall Flores’ chart below. Way on the far end of scholarly but not quite as far as Sight & Sound stands the National Society of Film Critics. You can’t say they aren’t all involved somehow in influencing the Oscar race because they do try to “help” movies that are being ignored, like Inside Llewyn Davis when it wasn’t winning anything, for instance. I think it is just our nature to see the Oscars as the end result of each awards cycle, and the culmination that we hope reflects what we think Hollywood should stand for.
Either which way, the fact is that the New York Film Critics Circle have a pretty great track record with their Best Picture choices:
Year Winner Director(s)
2000 Traffic, Steven Soderbergh
Mulholland, Drive David Lynch
Far from Heaven, Todd Haynes2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, * Peter Jackson
2004 Sideways, Alexander Payne
2005 Brokeback Mountain, Ang Lee
United 93 Paul Greengrass
2007 No Country for Old Men, * Joel and Ethan Coen
2008 Milk, Gus Van Sant
2009 The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow
Year Winner Director(s)
2010 The Social Network, David Fincher
2011 The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
2012 Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow
2013 American Hustle, David O. Russell
2014 Boyhood, Richard Linklater
There is a pretty good chance that what NYFCC choose will at least get a Best Picture nomination.
Let’s do a quick poll, although it probably seems a bit moot at this point since we all know Spotlight is an AD reader favorite. But just for the hell of it, let’s give it a try.