Monday, December 12, 2011

Critics Groups Rundown

Awards season started in earnest a couple weeks ago when the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) chose their picks of the best films, filmmakers, and performers of 2011 ahead of the National Board of Reviews (NBR). I already went over those NBR wins, but I wanted to wait until a few more critic groups announced their winners before looking more closely at what the critics had to say, at least this early on. With seven to date, including yesterday's announcements from Los Angeles, New York Online, and Boston, I think it's time.

New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC), Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC), New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO), Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC), Indiana Film Journalists Association (IFJA)

The results for the major categories are below along with a few films/actors also in discussion. NBR winners are marked with an asterisk.

  • The Descendants - LAFCA
  • The Tree of Life - SFFCC
  • Hugo*
  • Moneyball
  • Take Shelter

  • Michel Hazanavicius - NYFCC, NYFCO, IFJA
  • Martin Scorsese* - BFCA, WAFCA
  • Terrence Malick - LAFCA, SFFCC
  • Alexander Payne
  • Nicholas W Refn
  • Woody Allen

  • Brad Pitt - NYFCC, BFCA
  • Michael Fassbender - LAFCA
  • George Clooney* - WAFCA
  • Michael Shannon - NYFCO
  • Gary Oldman - SFFCC
  • Paul Giamatti - IFJA
  • Jean Dujardin

  • Meryl Streep - NYCFF, NYFCO
  • Michelle Williams - BFCA, WAFCA
  • Tilda Swinton* - SFFCC
  • Yun Jung-Hee - LAFCA
  • Elizabeth Olsen - IFJA
  • Viola Davis
  • Charlize Theron
  • Glenn Close
  • Kirsten Dunst
  • Felicity Jones

  • Albert Brooks - NYFCC, BFCA, NYFCO, WAFCA, SFFCC
  • Christopher Plummer* - LAFCA, IFJA
  • Patton Oswalt
  • Andy Serkis
  • Kenneth Branagh

  • Jessica Chastain - NYFCC, LAFCA
  • Melissa McCarthy - BFCA, NYFCO
  • Vanessa Redgrave - SFFCC
  • Octavia Spencer - WAFCA
  • Viola Davis - IFJA
  • Shaileen Woodley*
  • Janet McTeer
  • Jeannie Berlin

  • A Separation - LAFCA
  • 50/50* - WAFCA
  • Margin Call - SFFCC
  • Win Win - IFJA
  • The Artist
  • Bridesmaids
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Beginners
  • Take Shelter
  • Margaret

  • The Descendants* - NYFCO, WAFCA, IFJA
  • Moneyball - NYFCC, BFCA
  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - SFFCC
  • The Help
  • Hugo

It's an actual race this year especially with most of the acting categories looking very competitive. The only slightly runaway categories so far are Best Picture (The Artist) and Best Supporting Actor (Albert Brooks) with more than 20 more critics groups left to weigh in so anything can still happen. At this point last year, eventual Oscar winners Aaron Sorkin, Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, and Christian Bale were already dominating. Though it's always good to note that The Social Network and its director David Fincher dominated the critics last year, but ended up losing to The King's Speech and Tom Hooper respectively during the Oscars. It was also just two years ago when Oscar winner Sandra Bullock ended up not getting any critical wins except from the Broadcast Film Critics.

Furthermore, there are a handful of films that are still relative unknowns due to late screenings/embargoes (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, War Horse, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, etc.) so who knows how they can impact the race. This week, nomination announcements from the Broadcast Film Critics, the Hollywood Foreign Press (Golden Globes), and the Screen Actors Guild will further inform how some of these categories will fall out in the end. It's definitely exciting times for Oscar enthusiasts and awards season obsessives!

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