Thursday, December 30, 2010

What About the New Shows?

Well, what about them?

So yesterday, when I posted my list of favorite shows from 2010, there were barely any new TV shows on it. Oh sure, things like The Walking Dead and Sherlock made it in, but I'm talking about shows from the big networks* (CBS, ABC, NBC, and FOX). Suffice it to say there have already been too many articles bemoaning the sad state of the fall line-up** this year. So since I didn't get a chance to talk about those shows, here's a post dedicated to them.

*Just realized that V premiered in the spring of 2010. So fine, that's one exception. Read on for the rest.

**I say "fall line-up" because that's what all the articles focused on, but I'm also going to include shows that premiered mid-season in the spring or in the dead of summer.

The Event - Still watching this and it's actually morphed into this weird guilty pleasure. The thing is, I'm not really invested in a lot of the characters which hurts a show like this. It's always being compared to LOST, but from the get-go that other show caught me with its characters, and not just its super duper concept, hook, line, and sinker.

The Gates - I was hoping for some campy fun about a gated neigborhood full of supernatural being living a Desperate Housewives kind of life. Despite the eye candy, the first episode was immensely dull and the second didn't spark at all.

Happy Town - Really wanted to like this because Amy Acker was on it, but ultimately it left much to be desired and I don't even think I finished watching the first episode.

Hawaii Five-0 - This is 1 of only 3 new fall shows I'm still currently watching (The Event and Raising Hope are the others) and I'm hoping for it to succeed because I really like the cast and the stories are good enough. I'm just so bad at keeping up with it!

Lone Star - I personally loved the two episodes that aired, but unfortunately no one else found a con man living two lives interesting. Guess people nowadays need to head over to cable for something like this. Too bad.

My Generation - This shouldn't even be here since I didn't even check out a minute of this show, but for me as much as I wanted to see it, it was put in a KILLER time slot. Fortunately, I heard it was as godawful as I expected so I didn't feel too bad.

No Ordinary Family - Have no idea where this show went wrong. I watched the first four episodes and just felt absolutely nothing. I didn't even hate it, I just felt blank when I thought about the show. Apparently it has gotten better, but I've missed so many episodes already.

Persons Unknown - NBC advertised this summer mystery series as a 13-episode miniseries which will be all wrapped up in the end. Unfortunately, I only lasted two episodes before I realized, I didn't care about knowing what happened.

Raising Hope - Okay, this show probably should've been in my Top 30 list somewhere. It's actually damn funny even with a few weak episodes (especially the first two) and the unfocused used of the Maw Maw character. Still, charming enough. And hope is the best TV baby since Lily last season.

Running Wilde - It's a half hour show and yet I couldn't even finish its first episode. That's how painful it was. The cast deserves better.

Undercovers - The two leads were incredibly pretty as were everything else. And yet, maybe that was the problem. There was never a sense of urgency or danger when it came to this show and I guess it'd be okay if it was a lightweight summer show on USA or something, but you sort of expect more from the team that brought you ALIAS, you know?

The Whole Truth - I saw this because I had nothing else to watch at that timeslot and it pleasantly surprised me. Loved the chemistry between the two leads and the cases were interesting enough. Unfortunately, it got canceled and that's all she wrote.

And that's that. Here's hoping the next year will bring a better crop of TV shows not as if I needed any more shows to get into.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Looking Forward To...

Another Year
December 29, 2010
Sony Classics
Mike Leigh
Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen, Peter Wight, and David Bradley

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

End-Of-Year: Favorite 2010 TV Shows

Couple of days ago, I talked about my favorite actors/performances. Now it's time to focus on the TV shows in 2010 that entertained me. First though quick honorable mention to Dollhouse which had its last few episodes at the beginning of the year, ending, IMO, on a high.

With that said, I present my Top 30 Shows of 2010...

30. Greek - Still fun and entertaining as ever. Totally enjoyed what the writers did to the Cappie/Casey/Evan triangle. Looking forward to its final season next year.

29. United States of Tara - Toni Collette is still superb, but most of the storylines not relating to Marshall dealing with his identity fell a bit flat to me.

28. Supernatural - Really good episodes here and there, but last season's finale was anti-climactic and the limited use of Castiel's character this season was a wasted opportunity.

27. Chuck - Show seems to be struggling with what sort of direction to go in, but for the most part, I'm still enjoying it. A little less Buy More and a bit more Ellie/Awesome in the future PLEASE.

26. The Walking Dead - Good, strong start for this new hit on AMC. Love the slow, deliberate pace they seem to be taking and I'm most definitely intrigued for what's to come.

25. True Blood - I applaud them for upping THE GAY this season as well as forcing all of their male cast to be half-naked most of the time. Plot-wise, I couldn't tell you what happened on the show though.

24. 24 - I'm being cute ranking this #24, but whatever! The show was quite consistent (minus anything to do with Freddie Prince Jr. and Katee Sackhoff). Thrillingly intense last few hours with the end making me cry. Going to miss it.

23. So You Think You Can Dance - Weird, but ultimately successful season. The All-Stars were a bit unnecessary until they weren't when all the girls got kicked off early. Plus THUMBS UP for the slew of guy-guy performances!

22. Party Down - Missed Jane Lynch, but Megan Mullally found her footing as the season progressed. Loved a few of the episodes and will miss this gang a bunch. R.I.P. show.

21. Ugly Betty - Unfortunately the show was canceled. Fortunately they had time to craft some of their strongest episodes in years letting the show end on top. Props to the accelerated, but nicely handled Justin coming out storyline.

20. V - My love for Morena Baccarin and Elizabeth Mitchell got me through some rough spots, but I really am loving the show by itself now. Lisa slowing developing human feelings, Joshua kicking ass... it all makes me happy.

19. White Collar - Matthew Bomer is ridiculously pretty. But the show works with or without the lead's unnatural beauty. Love the easy way the ensemble works with one another without making it all hokey.

18. Dexter - Not sure they could've followed up last season's amazing-ness, but they definitely tried! All of the Lumen/Jordan stuff were aces and really enjoyable. I could take or leave everything else, though Michael C. Hall delivers yet again as the title character. Now what?

17. Glee - Consistency and subtlety are not words you'll ever find someone use to describe this show. But when it hit its highs, it's one of the more amazing things on TV these days. Props to Colfer re: bullying storyline as well as the Emmy-winning Joss Whedon/NPH episode!

16. Big Bang Theory - Parsons is as wonderful as ever and the influx of female characters really upped my enjoyment of the show. Kaley Cuoco is still the glue that holds the show together IMO.

15. Parks & Recreation - Pretty much saw EVERY EPISODE of this show this past month. I really didn't know what I was missing. Hilarious characters put into hilarious situations. What else can you ask for?

14. Cougar Town - What I said for Parks & Rec, pretty much the same for this show except its ensemble is a tad more well-rounded and the show itself is a bit more cartoony, which I actually like.

13. Castle - The end of last season provided such a creative high for the show and the beginning of this season just continued that momentum with barely a clunker of an episode to speak of.

12. How I Met Your Mother - A few might say the show has seen better days, but while it's not creatively at its peak now, I've gotten to the level of comfort with these characters that I can't bear the thought of not watching them. And when the episodes are good, they are DAMN GOOD. Yay for their 100th episode milestone!

11. The Amazing Race - Another year and not one, but two wonderful seasons of this show. Both seasons saw worthy strategic winners, a fun/audience-favorite runner-up, and a viled team come in third place. Also WOO Nat/Kat for finally being the first all-female team to win the show!

And now here is my top ten list...

10. Misfits - This show, a mix between Skins and Heroes, was pretty much love-in-first-sight for me. It's not perfect and in fact is rather quite crude and irreverent, but those are parts of its charm. Those and the really talented ensemble just ground the more fantastical elements of this hidden gem. I'm so glad I checked this out.

9. Modern Family - My favorite comedy of last year continued its amazing run at consistently delivering wonderful episodes featuring its immensely talented ensemble this year. For me, there's just no weak link here even if other actors are more consistent week in, week out.

8. Sherlock - Even though it was only three episodes, those three episodes were as brilliant and epic as you can get. Written by storyteller extraordinaire, Steven Moffat, this show seamlessly adapted the character of Sherlock Holmes for our time in no small part thanks as well to the magnificent work by Benedict Cumberbatch. This is a must-watch for everyone.

7. Mad Men - A lot of things happened this season, but nothing as great as seeing Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss holding a master class in acting in almost every single episode. The show itself was reinvigorated by the big changes that happened at the end of last season, but man, who could've predicted such a strong season?

6. Being Human - I fell head over heels with this show last year and this year, in its second season, it somehow topped itself delivering darker stories and really putting the characters through an emotional and psychological wringer that was heaven to watch on screen. The finale was unforgettable as was the last shot. I'm dying to see what they do next. Though I'm a bit more wary about the planned American version.

5. The Good Wife - It already won my best ensemble award so it definitely has a strong cast. But the show succeeds, because that cast is playing such interesting and highly developed characters. Unlike most lawyer shows, this show is not just a case-of-the-week. The personal stuff gets just as much screen time and focus than the lawyering stuff, in fact probably even more so. All of that and a lead actress as engaging as Julianna Marguilies and you have a winning formula.

4. Doctor Who - When David Tennant's reign ended, I was apprehensive, but open-minded especially since new show-runner Steven Moffat is a damn genius. I shouldn't have wondered. The fifth season blew my expectations out of the water as well as new Doctor played by Matt Smith. While Smith is younger than Tennant, he sometimes comes across as older. His chemistry with new companion Karen Gillan is palpable and can I get an AMEN for finally having a regular male companion (RORY!!!). I also really loved the plot arc with the Silence, the Crack, the Pandorica, River, etc. Moffat and co. also delivered a high quality timey wimey Christmas episode. What can't they do?

3. Community - It was in the spring this past year when I realized how addicted I had become to this show. After laughing my ass off watching a new episode, I immediately wanted to see next week's episode and during the summer months, it was the one show I was aching to come back. And really, why not? The cast has incredible chemistry with one another and are up for whatever crazy thing the show asks of them. And it asks a lot since the show is never afraid to experiment and tinker weekly. One needn't look further than the most recent Christmas episode where the whole episode was done in stop-motion.

2. Fringe - Last year when I realized I loved the show when it was less about the freak-of-the-week and more about the big arc with the alternate universe, etc. So when the show became ALL ABOUT THE ARC this show suddenly was must-see-TV for me. Not only that, but it enabled most of the actors to stretch themselves playing two versions of their characters and no other actor took advantage of this than Anna Torv whose work this past year I CANNOT stop praising. With this arc coming to a close, however, I'm a bit worried where the show is going to go now, but hopefully the creative high they've experienced will continue.

1. Lost - I already consider this show my favorite of the decade, so it was a no-brainer for me to claim it the best of 2010 with its heartbreaking, wonderful, and lovely final season. Unlike a few people, I was quite satisfied with the series finale even if it under-served the island mythology. I've said from the first season, it's ALL ABOUT the characters for me and holy crap did we get that and then some this season. The flash sideways were both maddening and enjoyable nicely highlighting some of the series' best moments/relationships. I could probably say more, but just... I love it, okay? Do you need anything else?

Final Note: It's insane that there are four British shows in my top 10. I knew I was an Anglophile, but damn. My top 30 shows came from 13 different networks including PBS which aired Sherlock, but excluding Misfits which hasn't had an American premiere yet. ABC was on top with 6 shows, followed by FOX and CBS tieing with 4 shows. It's also worth noting that no new show offered by the big four networks made it into my list. That's... sad.


Here are the rest of the shows that I watched and somewhat enjoyed, but didn't rank: Raising Hope, The Event, Hawaii Five-0, 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy, American Idol, Skins, Weeds, Covert Affairs, Drop Dead Diva, Pretty Little Liars, Brothers & Sisters

Shows I've stopped watching for one reason or another: Caprica, The Mentalist, Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, Gossip Girl, Stargate: Universe, No Ordinary Family, Project Runway

Just a few dishonorable mentions: Running Wilde, Undercovers, Outsourced, My Generation, Happy Town, Big Brother, the viewers of Lone Star and The Whole Truth

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Movie Rush, Sort Of

It was a snow day today in New York as everyone tries to recover from the blizzard that hammered the area for most of the day yesterday and overnight. Suffice it to say, this weather event is cramping my usual year-end-holiday-movie-rush that I seem to do every year.

I saw The Fighter this past Friday before the storm hit, so I got that out of the way. I ended up quite liking it more than I thought I would! Had plans to see Somewhere and Tangled with some people sometime early this week, but the storm put those plans in limbo. I had vague plans to see Tron: Legacy sometime at the end of the month, but nothing is happening on that front and it's pretty much the end of the month already. I'm also curious about and thus might check out True Grit since it's playing near me. Oh, and there's also The Tempest, which a few of my friends want to see. I do, too, since it looks great even though the reviews for it dub it a hot mess. Oh well.

Then, of course, there's Blue Valentine which apparently comes out this Wednesday except I can't seem to find a theater who is playing it. Even if I don't see it this Wednesday, I'm really hoping I get to see it before I start work again next week.

Finally, I'm using my Netflix to catch up on a few films I missed out during the year. Just saw Robin Hood which wasn't as bad as I expected. Though maybe it was partly because I saw it at home and had a chance to pause if I felt it was getting a bit too long (and it did at parts) as well as having the opportunity to see the director's cut. I also checked out the fantastic documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop about street art/artists featuring Banksy. Very entertaining!

How about you? Are you spending the holidays/blizzard/vacation/whatever to catch up on films? If so, what have you seen or planning to watch? I'm always looking for recommendations!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

End-Of-Year: 2010 TV Winners

Hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas!

In any case, this past Wednesday, I posted a list of some of my favorite performances from the past TV year. Now, I present to you the winners...

Best Ensemble: Community, The Good Wife, Lost, Modern Family, Mad Men, Misfits

This was an impossible decision because the casts of each of these shows are just so damn perfect. And together, they work like a well-oiled machine. I could literally roll a die to pick a winner and probably be okay with the results. In the end I chose The Good Wife, mostly because I had to pick one. But I stress again how you really can't go wrong with any of these shows.

Best Actor, Drama
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Matthew Fox, Lost
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Kiefer Sutherland, 24

Sutherland and Fox have played their roles for years now and in the final season of both, they stepped up their games. Meanwhile, Hamm probably had his best season yet as Don Draper and Cumberbatch personified the modern Sherlock Holmes with brilliant ease. This year though, I'm giving it to Hall who somehow found it within himself to portray week in, week out such a complicated character as Dexter Morgan. From dealing with Rita's death to getting himself involve with Lumen, it was yet another roller coaster season of emotions which Hall delivered pitch perfectly.

Best Actress, Drama
Morena Baccarin, V
Julianna Marguilies, The Good Wife
Elizabeth Mitchell, V
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Anna Torv, Fringe

One of the best things about V is the palpable intensity that occurs when Baccarin and Mitchell are in a scene together. Separately, they also kick ass. One of the reasons I watch Marguilies and Moss in their shows is so I can go "YOU GO GIRL!" whenever they do something awesome, which they both do in a regular basis and Moss especially just continues to grow every season. I'd be remiss however not to award this to the amazing work that Torv did this season playing two characters--Olivia and Olivia from the alt-universe. The different make-up and hair helped, but it was Torv who made us believe these two characters. Such a long way from being dubbed "the weakest link" during earlier seasons.

Best Actor, Comedy
Matt Bomer, White Collar
Nathan Fillion, Castle
Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory
Adam Scott, Party Down
Matt Smith, Doctor Who

These men were nominated because they pretty much carried their respective shows. Even with the talented cast surrounding them, without their leading performances, their shows would fall flat. One need only see a scene to see how much charm both Bomer and Fillion bring to their roles playing the jovial foil to their more straight-edge partners. Scott excels as the straight-man to the wackiness around him while Parsons embodies Sheldon like no other. With that said, Smith just won me over for his spirited performance as The Doctor and to do it following someone as awesome as David Tennant is a great feat.

Best Actress, Comedy
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Courtney Cox, Cougar Town
Karen Gillan, Doctor Who
Stana Katic, Castle
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation

While I was a bit meh last year regarding the nominees, not so this year. Cox consistently delivered yet again which is why lack of awards attention just confuses me. Katic is greatly helped by her chemistry with Fillion, but she more than holds her own without him. Speaking of more than holding her own, Gillan is able to match the fierce energy of Smith making the new Doctor/Companion pair a match-made in heaven. Collette almost took the top award, because she was yet again brilliant with her various personalities, but I had to give it to Poehler who, along with her show, really found themselves in the second season.

Best Supporting Actor, Drama
Misha Collins, Supernatural
Alan Cummings, The Good Wife
Keir Gilchrist, United States of Tara
Denis O'Hare, True Blood
Iwan Rheon, Misfits

I totally watch Supernatural because of Collins' character Castiel and NOT because of the brothers, whic his crazy I know. And while I like Collette's Tara, most of the highlights from last season were due to storylines focused on Gilchrist's Marshall who was trying to figure out where he fit in as a gay teenager. This year, I also fell madly in love with Rheon and his show, but just in case it's just infatuation, I'm going to let it simmer a bit. Instead, I'll give it this year to a performance that I'm still thinking about. O'Hare's performance as Russell was one for the ages. It was visceral seeing how much he fused camp, horror, violence, and sadness all in one role.

Best Supporting Actress. Drama
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Cherry Jones, 24
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Mary Lynn Rajskub, 24
Julia Stiles, Dexter

Jones and Rajskub delivered great performances for the final season of their show highlighting some emotions we hadn't seen from either during earlier seasons. Hendricks, who so needed more material to work with, was magnificent as always. Panjabi had this award in the bag because her Kalinda is probably one of my favorite characters in network TV and she's just SO GOOD playing her. But then Stiles stupendously surprised me by her totally tour-de-force role as Lumen this season in Dexter. I'm actually speechless about what to say in order to convey how awesome she was. But that's all I have and everyone should just see it to make up their own minds.

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Chris Colfer, Glee
Donald Glover, Community
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Arthur Darvill, Doctor Who

Harris here isn't doing anything differently from what he has done in the past, so while it's getting a tad old, it's still great. Darvill may sometimes be the odd man out especially with the kind of chemistry Smith and Gillan have, but he holds his own and in fact does wonders with the little gets. Glover, too, could've been lost in such a talented ensemble, but instead he's way too engaging to forget. Colfer, is kind of like the diamond in the rough that is his show which is odd since I actually don't like his character most of the times. Colfer's performance as Kurt though, from his witty banter with Rachel to his harrowing emotions regarding getting bullied, is aces. But I'm giving it to Burrell who plays the doofy big-hearted Phil Dunphy with such wit, heart, and perfect timing. You can't help but love him.

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy
Alison Brie, Community
Alyson Hannigan, How I Met Your Mother
Jane Lynch, Glee
Heather Morris, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

I really should've made room somewhere here for Aubrey Plaza, because she rocks in Parks & Recreation. And the more I think about it, I could've even seen her winning this. But that's neither here nor there now. Last year, I gave it to Lynch and she still deserves it, but even her co-star Morris steals scenes from her, so moving on. Hannigan is great when given great material, but it hasn't been that consistent for her character, at least. Vergara is fantastic and hilarious always (though her co-star Bowen also deserves lots of kudos). And so we come to one last name that surprised me. Brie's character Annie could've been annoying and/or forgettable with the wrong actress. But to me she's slowly becoming the backbone of the show even more so than Jeff or Abed and if you've seen the show and its cast, that's really REALLY high praise.

I'm going to keep mum about which drama and comedy TV show I chose as the Best of 2010 until I post my list of my favorite TV shows of the past year in a day or two. Though it's probably not THAT difficult to suss out if you know me just a little bit.

To refresh your memories, the nominees were...
Best Drama: Being Human, Fringe, The Good Wife, Lost, Mad Men, Sherlock
Best Comedy: Castle, Community, Cougar Town, Doctor Who, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother

Any predictions? Which actors gave your favorite performances in 2010?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Jake

Jake wishes everyone a very merry Christmas. Special shout out to the troops not home for the holidays keeping us safe.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nadal and Federer Play for Charity

As an early Christmas present to tennis fans everywhere, top ranked players Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer put on a two-day two-match two-country exhibition event for their respective charities.

This past Tuesday, the two champions met up in Federer's home country of Switzerland and played at the Hallenstadion indoor arena in Zurich. Even though the match was not an official ATP match, it was still the first time the two have played in Switzerland. As expected, the Swiss prevailed in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. The match was dubbed as "The Match for Africa" to benefit the Roger Federer Foundation.

The next day, the two gathered in Nadal's home country of Spain and played another exhibition match to benefit Nadal's charity. Under the roof of the Caja Majica sports arena and amidst royalty, the two played a bit more intensely than expected the first two sets with Nadal expectedly coming out on top 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1.

All in all the two men raised around $5 million for their two-day event all the while whetting tennis fans' appetites for yet another year of dominance from these two.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

End-Of-Year: 2010 TV Nominees

People always say there's nothing good on TV. They have no idea what they are talking about. The following shows and performances brought much joy to me during the past year. Some categories were so difficult to narrow down, I literally flipped a coin to figure out who to leave out. Though I also tried to spread out the joy a bit as well as you can tell.

My nominees are...

Best Show, Drama
Being Human
The Good Wife
Mad Men

Best Show, Comedy
Cougar Town
Doctor Who
Modern Family
How I Met Your Mother

Best Ensemble
The Good Wife
Modern Family
Mad Men

Best Actor, Drama
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Matthew Fox, Lost
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Kiefer Sutherland, 24

Best Actor, Comedy
Matt Bomer, White Collar
Nathan Fillion, Castle
Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory
Adam Scott, Party Down
Matt Smith, Doctor Who

Best Actress, Drama
Morena Baccarin, V
Julianna Marguilies, The Good Wife
Elizabeth Mitchell, V
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Anna Torv, Fringe

Best Actress, Comedy
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Courtney Cox, Cougar Town
Karen Gillan, Doctor Who
Stana Katic, Castle
Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation

Best Supporting Actor, Drama
Misha Collins, Supernatural
Alan Cummings, The Good Wife
Keir Gilchrist, United States of Tara
Denis O'Hare, True Blood
Iwan Rheon, Misfits

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Chris Colfer, Glee
Donald Glover, Community
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Arthur Darvill, Doctor Who

Best Supporting Actress. Drama
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Cherry Jones, 24
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Mary Lynn Rajskub, 24
Julia Stiles, Dexter

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy
Alison Brie, Community
Alyson Hannigan, How I Met Your Mother
Jane Lynch, Glee
Heather Morris, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Nomination Tally: 5 - The Good Wife, Mad Men; 4 - Community, Doctor Who, Modern Family; 3 - 24, Castle, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Lost,; 2 - Cougar Town, Dexter, Fringe, Misfits, Sherlock, United States of Tara, V; 1 - Being Human, Parks & Recreation, Party Down, Supernatural, True Blood, White Collar

Most difficult to narrow down were the supporting categories. I watch so many shows with talented ensembles, that it was literally a toss up as to who I'd nominate and who I wouldn't. Look for the winners right around Christmastime and my ranked top 30 shows of 2010 soon after.

Looking Forward To...

Blue Valentine
Release: December 31, 2010
Distributor: Weinstein Company
Director: Derek Cianfrance
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, Reila Aphrodite, John Doman, Ben Shenkman, and Faith Wladyka

Critics Groups Rundown

With the end of the year coming hard and fast a few more critics groups have chimed in with their picks of the best in film. The groups represented below are the following:

San Diego Film Critics Society (SDFCS), African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA),Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association (DFWFCA), Las Vegas Film Critics Society (LVFCS), Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS), Houston Film Critics Society (HFCS), Chicago Film Critics Association (CFCA), Florida Film Critics Circle (FFCC), St. Louis Film Critics Association (SLFC)

You can check out last week's critics groups tally here.

  • Winter's Bone - SDFCS

  • Christopher Nolan - AAFCA
  • Darren Aronofsky - SDFCS
  • Danny Boyle - DFCS

  • Colin Firth - DFCS, CFCA, FFCC, SLFC
  • James Franco - DFWFCA, LVFCS
  • Jesse Eisenberg - HFCS,
  • Mark Wahlberg - AAFCA
  • Colin Farrell - SDFCS

  • Natalie Portman - DFWFCA, LVFCS, HFCS, CFCA, FFCC, SLFC
  • Jennifer Lawrence - SDFCS, DFCS
  • Halle Berry - AAFCA

  • John Hawkes - SDFCS
  • Michael Ealy - AAFCA

  • Melissa Leo - DFWFCA, FFCC, SLFC
  • Hailee Steinfeld - HFCS, CFCA
  • Amy Adams - LVFCS, DFCS,
  • Kimberly Elise - AAFCA
  • Lesley Manville - SDFCS

  • Inception - CFCA, FFCC
  • The King's Speech - SLFC
  • Four Lions - SDFCS

  • Night Catches Us - AAFCA


Last week's tally of critics put The Social Network, its director, and its writer ahead of the pack. It's pretty much the same story this week. The bigger story is probably the dominance of three actors--Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, and Christian Bale--in the acting races. Like I said last week, all will be nominated, but don't confuse critical dominance with automatic Oscar win. While Firth looks as if he has more competition than Portman and Bale, he's actually more likely to win based on the fact that his assumed competition are too "new" to win. Meanwhile, Portman and Bale should have stiffer competition for the gold statue in the form of veteran actors Annette Bening and Geoffrey Rush which may be more the Academy's bread and butter. As for the Best Supporting Actress race, it's damn competitive with Melissa Leo and Hailee Steinfeld leading the pack when coupled with last week's results.

All of the names I just mentioned were also honored with SAG nominations, so they all have lots of buzz and momentum going into the new year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

TV Report: Mother, Wife, Bang

Was it just me or was there nothing on this past week? I guess with the holidays just around the corner, networks are already hibernating. Thankfully, CBS bucked the trend and aired some new episodes giving me at least two hours of new TV to enjoy this week. And enjoy I did as all three shows delivered fantastically fantastic episodes.

How I Met Your Mother - They probably delivered their season-best episode this week (which is great since I didn't like last week's episode) as the gang had to re-evaluate their life choices when Lily/Marshall thought they were pregnant. If I were to say what I loved about the episode, I'd pretty much be talking about EVERYTHING that happened in the episode... from Lily/Marshall FREAKING OUT and learning everything about raising babies in one night to Ted using his "douchey" nature to good effect by kicking everyone's ass AND bringing along a gingerbread house to the movies. I LOVE HIM FOR THAT. There's of course Neil Patrick Harris looking fetching in his diamond suit and I got a little teary when he donates all of those suits to charity. Finally, Robin moves on from her dead end job finally and in the process opens up the possibility of Ted being her best man. Is that foreshadowing to the finale?!

The Good Wife - I hoped TV critics saw this episode BEFORE they came up with their "best episodes of the year" lists, because this should definitely be there. The talented cast show off their skills amidst a tightly written plot of the firm working against the clock to get a man in death row free. All of this is happening as Alicia's house is Command Center to prepare Peter for his debate so the family gets to meet Kalinda (Zach approves!). We even get Cary providing an assists to his old firm just like it was old times. We get a snippet of Kalinda's past as well as some forward movement (albeit teeny tiny) on the Alicia/Will front. Just an amazing hour of TV from start to finish.

Big Bang Theory - I've been a bit mixed about this show since the season began. Some of Sheldon's eccentricities have sort of played themselves out and when the plot revolves around just the guys, it's usually not funny. The season's saving grace for me has been the extra characters (Amy, Bernadette) as well as the realization that Penny is the glue that holds this show together. With that said, I enjoyed last night because Penny gets a good scene with Leonard and her new boyfriend was actually not bad as well. Plus seeing the cast in costume is reliably funny, so no harm there. Extra points for putting Stuart in a Doctor Who outfit.

The rest of the week was spent watching Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and ABC Family since my cousin's family (complete with an adorable four-year old) is visiting for the holidays. Best part was probably the Toy Story marathon we JUST finished watching. Oh and discovering that old school Magic School Bus plays on Saturday morning.

Birthday Boy: Jake Gyllenhaal

Why is birthday boy Jake Gyllenhaal happy? I mean for most people turning 30 is an opportunity for a freak out. Not exactly a mid-life crisis, but some people do crazy things. Oh wait, he's dating Taylor Swift now isn't he? 'Nuf said.

But in all seriousness, lots to be happy about if you're Jake Gyllenhaal. First of all, has he seen himself in a mirror lately? Yeah. Second, he got his first (!) Golden Globe nomination just a couple of days ago for co-starring in Love and Other Drugs with fellow Brokeback Mountain alumni Anne Hathaway. Third, um... he doesn't have to host the Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway?

In any case, Happy 30th Birthday Jake!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

SAG Awards Nominations

If someone is nominated for a SAG Award, there's a good chance that they are getting nominated for an Oscar next, thought NOT ALWAYS. That last part, I'm hoping is particularly true this year as the Screen Actors Guild left out some key names that I believe should be recognized.

With that said, here are the film nominations...

Best Ensemble
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network

The only shocker here might be the inclusion of an almost one-woman show film that is Black Swan as opposed to a film that had a big cast such as Inception or even The Town which had been getting a few ensemble prizes from the critics. With that said, these five nominees will all be nominated come Oscar-time barring something crazy.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Robert Duvall, Get Low
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

The omission of Ryan Gosling (and Michelle Williams in Best Actress) hurts. Not sure what that means in terms of their Oscar chances. Surely, they were never the front-runner of their categories, but it's still insane to think that after their powerhouse performances this year, that there's a chance neither might get their second Oscar nomination! Mark Wahlberg also was snubbed especially considering his film and his other co-stars were nominated.

Best Actress
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Hilary Swank, Conviction

I'll reiterate again... where's Michelle Williams?! With that said, where did Hilary Swank come from? Out of nowhere to torment poor Annette Bening once again. Just goes to show you that last spot is uber competitive this year. Just wish MIchelle Williams was a surebet like Portman or Lawrence, you know?

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

This will most likely be your Oscar lineup give or take Andrew Garfield replacing Hawkes, Renner, or Ruffalo. I'm actually a bit pissed that Garfield didn't get a nomination here, but what can you do, you know?

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Like its actor counterpart, it's looking like this will be the Oscar lineup with only Jacki Weaver playing possible "spoiler" to one of these ladies.

So remember two days ago when I was not too pleased with the Golden Globe nominees for TV? Somehow the Screen Actor's Guild made it worse. Seriously apart from the love bestowed upon Mad Men and the Good Wife, I'm pretty meh with everything.

Best Ensemble, Drama
Boardwalk Empire
The Closer
The Good Wife
Mad Men

Same list as last year except Boardwalk Empire replaced True Blood. Same list as this year's Globe nominations, except The Closer replace The Walking Dead. In other words, zzz. At this point, not shocked to see Lost unfairly snubbed once again, but I actually thought Breaking Bad might have made it in. Oh well.

Best Actor, Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House

Steve Buscemi replaces Simon Baker from last year and guess what? This list is also the exact same as the Golden Globes! How... dull. Apparently John Noble or Matthew Fox's performance were crap.

Best Actress, Drama
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

I need to stop being negative so I'll just congratulate Marguilies and Moss for a well-deserve nomination. I also thank the SAG for not nominating Piper Perabo the way the HFPA inexplicably did a few days ago.

Best Ensemble, Comedy
30 Rock
Hot in Cleveland
Modern Family
The Office

Hot in Cleveland. This is an even bigger WTF than Hilary Swank getting nominated. I mean where did this come from? I know Betty White is like THE.BEST.EVER. but damn. Weird how the actors have such an aversion to Big Bang Theory. Also COMMUNITY is better than all of these comedies. Truth.

Best Actress, Comedy
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland

Apart from the tired "everyone loves Betty White" meme, I actually am okay with these nominations. Though it sucks that someone like Courtney Cox or Alyson Hannigan can't be recognized. And what about Toni Collette? She's DAMN good in her role.

Best Actor, Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Steve Carell, The Office
Chris Colfer, Glee
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family

Despite the egregious snub for Neil Patrick Harris and Jim Parsons, I actually love this set of nominees. First of all, Charlie Sheen is nowhere to be found (unlike last year). Second, way to nominate the only male actor from Glee that should be getting nominated (sorry Matt Morrison). And finally, great job picking Burrell and O'Neill, both usually overshadowed by Eric Stonestreet in terms of awards attention.

Best Actor, Miniseries
John Goodman, You Don't Know Jack
Al Pacino, You Don't Know Jack
Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
Patrick Stewart, Macbeth (Great Performances)

I literally have no comment.

Best Actress, Miniseries
Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Catherine O'Hara, Temple Grandin
JUlia Ormond, Temple Grandin
Winona Ryder, When Love is Not Enough
Susan Sarandon, You Don't Know Jack

I saw Temple Grandin and loved it, but three female nominations? No. Could've made room for Hope Davis or something. Also Winona is nominated here and as part of the Black Swan ensemble. Nice little acting comeback there, Noni.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Looking Forward To...

Rabbit Hole
Release: December 17, 2010
Distributor: Lionsgate
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Starring: Sandra Oh, Aaron Eckhart, Nicole Kidman, Jon Tenney, Dianne Wiest, Giancarlo Esposito, and Miles Teller

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Golden Globes: Film Nominations

The King's Speech lead with 7 nominations followed by strong showings by prohibiive Oscar front-runner Social Network and underdog The Fighter, both with 6 nominations. In terms of the Academy Awards, most of the favorites were nominated, but the Comedy/Musical section is downright embarrassing.

And so the nominees are...

Best Director
  • Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
  • David Fincher, The Social Network
  • Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
  • Christopher Nolan, Inception
  • David O. Russell, The Fighter

The top four nominees are definitely the front-runners right now for Oscars with David O. Russell possibly fighting for the fifth spot with Danny Boyle or the Coen Brothers. The Academy could also nominate Lisa Cholodenko. As for who could win? Well, Fincher and his film has dominated the landscape so far, so bet against him if you dare.

Best Motion Picture, Drama
  • Black Swan
  • Fighter
  • Inception
  • King's Speech
  • Social Network

These five will easily be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards with Social Network the favorite to win as already it's been crowned as the critics' favorite. Still, last year the HFPA were one of the few organizations to go against The Hurt Locker tide so anything is possible.

Best Actor, Drama
  • Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
  • Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
  • James Franco, 127 Hours
  • Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
  • Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

The first three should get Oscar nominations especially with how their films and performances have been received so far. The winner will also come from those three with Firth probably the favorite here and at the Oscars. Wahlberg and/or Gosling most likely knocked off Jeff Bridges, Robert Duvall, or Leonardo DiCaprio for the last two spots. The snub of the latter, so far, is an intriguing, and odd, awards seasons development.

Best Actress, Drama
  • Halle Berry, Frankie & Alice
  • Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
  • Natalie Portman, Black Swan
  • Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Sure everyone's a bit surprised to see Halle Berry in the mix all of a sudden, but the HFPA do love those stars, probably at a cost for Lesley Manville. It's a testament to Lawrence, that she made it in at all among the big Hollywood names. Very happy for Michelle Williams (and Ryan Gosling up top) especially since ex-Dawson's Creek co-star Katie Holmes had to announce her name this morning! Too awesome for words. Portman is the front-runner here.

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Burlesque
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Red
  • Tourist

Did the HFPA not see enough comedies this year? How about Easy A, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Greenberg, Cyrus, or I Love You Phillip Morris? Instead they give us this embarrassing lineup which wouldn't be half-bad if these were the only films they could nominate. With that said, Kids Are All Right has this one in the bag.

Best Actor, Comedy or Musical
  • Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
  • Johnny Depp, The Tourist
  • Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Love & Other Drugs
  • Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack

Now it's getting silly. I love Johnny Depp, but two nominations and for THESE performances? Ben Stiller, Michael Cera, John C. Reilly and Jim Carrey must be screaming at their agents right now. Plus as much as I love Gyllenhaal, I actually didn't think much of his (or Hathaway's) performance. But their nominations were inevitable.

Best Actress, Comedy or Musical
  • Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
  • Anne Hathaway, Love & Other Drugs
  • Angelina Jolie, The Tourist
  • Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
  • Emma Stone, Easy A

See above about my thoughts on Hathaway and it's difficult to expect the HFPA not to nominate Angelina Jolie, so I won't say anything. However, kudos for nominating Moore alongside her more buzzed about Kids co-star. And FUCK YEAH on nominating Emma Stone. FINALLY a worthy nomination in a sea of WTF MAN? Though again, why ignore her delightful film?

Best Supporting Actor
  • Christian Bale, The Fighter
  • Michael Douglas, Wall Street 2
  • Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
  • Jeremy Renner, The Town
  • Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

Take out Michael Douglas and put in Mark Ruffalo and you probably have the Oscar line-up. Though I guess one can't totally count out Sam Rockwell nor any of the other guys (Hammer? Timberlake?) in Social Network. This race, as is the Oscar, is between Bale and Rush.

Best Supporting Actress
  • Amy Adams, The Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
  • Mila Kunis, Black Swan
  • Melissa Leo, The Fighter
  • Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Good solid list, especially for the Academy Awards, but one of them may have to go if the Oscars go for Hailee Steinfeld and her film True Grit in a big way, which they might. Weirdly enough Weaver might be in the weakest position since the other ladies will most likely be in Best Picture nominees. Then again Amy Adams shouldn't get too comfy either.

Best Animated Film
  • Despicable Me
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Illusionist
  • Tangled
  • Toy Story 3

If the Academy had five nominations this year, this would've been the five. As it is, we have to get rid of two of these films and most likely Despicable Me, Tangled, and The Illusionist will be fighting for that third spot. Toy Story 3 will still win though, here and at the Oscars. All hail Pixar!

Best Foreign Language Film
  • Biutiful (Mexico/Spain)
  • The Concert (France)
  • The Edge (Russia)
  • I Am Love (Italy)
  • In A Better World (Denmark)

I've only since I Am Love, which I really liked, so I'll cheer that on. Although if they chose to honor the film, why not the lovely Tilda Swinton as well? Also don't know which films are in the running for Oscars. I wished that whole thing was more transparent.

Best Screenplay
  • 127 Hours
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • Inception
  • The King's Speech
  • Social Network

The bulk of early awards have gone to Aaron Sorkin's work on The Social Network so that will be the overwhelming favorite. The others, save for 127 Hours, have won at least one award though so they're no slouch. All of these will easily make it into Oscars as they'll be divided int Original and Adapted.

Best Score
  • The King's Speech
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • 127 Hours
  • Social Network
  • Inception

I'm so not getting the Alice in Wonderland love the HFPA seem to have, but the others should be safe bets for Oscars barring a weird eligibility ruling, which can totally happen. I actually have no idea who is the front-runner year. Let's just say it was a good year for film scores and applaud them all.

Best Song
  • “Bound To You” (Burlesque)
  • “Coming Home” (Country Strong)
  • “I See The Light” (Tangled)
  • “There’s a Place For Us” (The Chronicles of Narnia)
  • “You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me” (Burlesque)

Too bad these won't be performed. Would have liked to have seen Cher up on stage or even Mandy Moore/Zachary Levi do their Tangled duet. Not sure who sings the others. I'm guessing a few bleached blonde babes... Christina Aguilera, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Carrie Underwood?

Golden Globes: TV Nominations

Glee once again leads the way with five nominations with a couple of shows tying for second place with three nominations. It's a quirky list with more than a few oddball choices and snubs. As much grief as I give the TV Academy whenever they dole out their Emmy nominations, at least they have some cred. The HFPA? Not so much. So take that as you will.

Best Television Series, Drama
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Dexter
  • Good Wife
  • Mad Men
  • Walking Dead

Can't really disagree with the choices here, but the outright snub everywhere for LOST for its final season rubs me the wrong way. It's also odd to see Walking Dead get in over Breaking Bad. Though I'm very happy to see the low-rated Good Wife make it in.

Best Actor, Drama
  • Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
  • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Michael C. Hall, Dexter
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Hugh Laurie, House

Apart from Buscemi's nomination which was a given since HBO is so loved by the HFPA, the list is pretty standard fare. Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston actually gets his first nomination here, so good for him. Genre shows don't get any loving as Matthew Fox and John Noble aren't mentioned.

Best Actress, Drama
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
  • Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs
  • Katey Segal, Sons of Anarchy
  • Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

This is actually a pretty good list until you see they've nominated Piper Perabo for a nice enough show in a nice enough role, but ugh. Are you kidding me? Over Anna Torv? Or anyone else? Props to Moss, Margulies, and Segal though. Well earned.

Best Television Series, Comedy
  • 30 Rock
  • Big Bang Theory
  • The Big C
  • Glee
  • Modern Family
  • Nurse Jackie

Community not being here means this list is worth shit. Also the fact that Covert Affairs is categorized as a Drama while Nurse Jackie and The Big C are categorized as Comedies hurt my brain. Great for Big Bang Theory to get its first nomination here. This is Modern Family's award to lose, sorry Glee.

Best Actor, Comedy
  • Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
  • Steve Carrell, The Office
  • Thomas Jane, Hung
  • Matt Morrison, Glee
  • Jim Parsons, Big Bang Theory

Yay for Emmy-winner Jim Parsons for getting his first Globe nomination! Also good for Alec Baldwin and I suppose Steve Carrell. I still don't get why people keep nominating Matthew Morrison though. I just don't.

Best Actress, Comedy
  • Toni Colette, United States of Tara
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Tina Fey, 30 Rock
  • Laura Linney, The Big C
  • Lea Michele, Glee

Same ol', same ol' from this group. Nothing too exciting or noteworthy to talk about. I'm not unhappy any of these are nominated, it's just the same people over and over again you know? Can't even muster up enthusiasm to root for anyone.

Best Mini-Series or TV Movie
  • Carlos
  • Pacific
  • Pillars of Earth
  • Temple Gardin
  • You Don't Jack

I've only seen Temple Grandin and I'm guessing that's going to win since it swept at the Emmys.

Best Actor, Mini-Series or TV Movie
  • Idris Elba, Luther
  • Ian McShane, Pillars of the Earth
  • Al Pacino, You Don't Know Jack
  • Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship
  • Edgar Ramirez, Carlos

Haven't seen any of these performances, but there's a few Hollywood names up there as per usual with the HFPA. With that said, great gets for Idris Elba and Edgar Ramirez.

Best Actress, Mini-Series or TV Movie
  • Hayley Atwell, Pillars of the Earth
  • Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
  • Judi Dench, Return to Cranford
  • Romola Garai, Emma
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt, The Client List

As Nathaniel points out, Judi Dench vs. Jennifer Love Hewitt? What kind of fuckery is that? Claire Danes seem to be the easy win here to go along with her Emmy win a few months back.

Best Supporting Actor
  • Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-0
  • Chris Colfer, Glee
  • Chris Noth, The Good Wife
  • Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
  • David Strathairn, Temple Grandin

No Neil Patrick Harris means this list is shit. They also missed Emmy-winner Aaron Paul. With that said, however, I actually don't hate this as I initially did? I mean Caan and Noth's nominations felt forced, but the other three totally deserved it. Go Kurt!

Best Supporting Actress
  • Hope Davis, The Special Relationship
  • Jane Lynch, Glee
  • Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire
  • Julia Stiles, Dexter
  • Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Jane Lynch will probably walk away with the prize, but I'm so happy to see Julia Stiles and Sofia Vergara nominated. Odd to see Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi snubbed, but she's not an established name or anything. Oh well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Critics Groups Rundown

The National Board of Reviews (NBR) already gave us their opinions on what they thought the best films and filmmakers were in 2010. Now the critics are starting to get in on the action especially with two of the most prominent critics groups, Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) and New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) announcing their winners the past two days. Including those two, nine groups have chosen their winners.

National Board of Reviews (NBR), New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC), Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO), Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC), Indiana Film Journalists Association (IFJA), Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC), Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA), Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA)

Here are the results for the major categories:


  • Christopher Nolan - IFJA
  • Darren Aronofksy - SFFCC
  • Olivier Assayas - LAFCA

  • Jesse Eisenberg - NBR, BSFC, TFCA
  • James Franco - NYFCO, IFJA

  • Natalie Portman - NYFCO, BSFC, IFJA, SEFCA
  • Jennifer Lawrence - WAFCA, TFCA
  • Annette Bening - NYFCC
  • Michelle Williams - SFFCC
  • Lesley Manville - NBR
  • Kim Hye-ja - LAFCA

  • Christian Bale - NBR, NYFCO, BSFC, IFJA, WAFCA
  • Geoffrey Rush - SEFCA
  • Mark Ruffalo - NYFCC
  • John Hawkes - SFFCC
  • Niels Arestrup - LAFCA
  • Armie Hammer - TFCA

  • Melissa Leo - NYFCC, NYFCO, WAFCA
  • Jacki Weaver - NBR, LAFCA, SFFCC
  • Hailee Steinfeld - IFJA, SEFCA, TFCA
  • Juliette Lewis - BSFC

  • The King's Speech - SFFCC, SEFCA
  • The Kids Are All Right - NYFCC
  • Inception - WAFCA
  • Buried - NBR


  • How to Train Your Dragon - IFJA, TFCA
  • The Illusionist - NYFCC

There are still about 20 or so critics group left to chime in, but even this early on it is abundantly clear that The Social Network is a force to be reckoned with, winning all 8 critics groups so far along with NBR. Its director (David Fincher) and screenwriter (Aaron Sorkin) also look to dominate. While this is all exciting (if you're a huge fan) or interminably dull (for everyone else), at least the other categories look to have some competition. But already some favorites are coalescing their front-runner status aka Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, and Christian Bale. Expect all of them to be nominated. Oh and of course Pixar is leading the possible nominees in Animated. And the sky is blue.

Even with a lot more groups to come, it's difficult to see Social Network falter, but tomorrow's Golden Globes nominations will further thin the herd for everything else. Then of course there's the all-important guild awards finalize everything before Oscar nominations.