Today is all about the critics as the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) is the last critics group to chime in with their pick for Best of the Year. More so than any other critics group, they definitely try to predict the Oscars but it's also been a mixed process since they are NOT Oscar voters and their need to predict the Oscars also makes them do stupid things like add a Best Picture nominee after they'd finalized their nominations.
But neither here nor there. I actually want to talk less about the BFCA picks and more about what all of the other critics groups had to say these past few weeks. I love compiling all the results like this year after year just to see which films coalesce into favorites and especially which out-of-field choices, as few as they may be, critics end up championing.
This final list of 36 critics groups include the Alliance of Women Journalist (AWFJ), African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), National Society of Film Critics (NSFC), Online Film Critics (OFCS), Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) as well as critic groups from the following regions: Los Angeles (LAFCA), New York (NYFCC), Boston (BSFC), Washington D.C (WAFCA), New York Online (NYFCO), Boston Online (BOFCA), Southeastern (SEFCA), Indiana (IFJA), San Francisco (SFFCC), Austin (AFCA), San Diego (SDFCS), Toronto (TFCA), Dallas-Forth Worth (DFWFCA), Las Vegas (LVFCS), Utah (UFCA), Detroit (DFCS), Houston (HFCS), Chicago (CFCA), Denver (DFCA), Florida (FFCC), St. Louis (SLFC), Phoenix (PFCS), Oklahoma (OFCC), Kansas City (KCFCC), Central Ohio (COFCA), North Texas (NTFCA), Nevada (NFCS), Iowa (IFCA), Georgia (GFCA), North Carolina (NCFCA), Vancouver (VFCC), and Seattle (SFCA). Meanwhile, the National Board of Review (NBR) winners are marked with an asterisk.
- Spotlight (22) - LAFCA, BSFC, NSFC, NYFCO, WAFCA, SFFCC, DFWFCA, PFCS, SEFCA, IFJA, SLFC, DFCS, LVFCS, HFCS, NFCS, COFCA, OFCC, AWFJ, DFCA, VFCC, IFCA, NCFCA
- Mad Max: Fury Road* (10) - BOFCA, OFCS, KCFCC, CFCA, AFCA, FFCC, UFCA, SDFCS, GFCA, SFCA
- Carol (2) - NYFCC, TFCA
- The Martian - NTFCA
- Straight Outta Compton - AAFCA
- Creed - BFCC
It's a bit perplexing to me how much Spotlight became such a runaway favorite with critics, but that passion coupled with the movie being about Something Important has catapulted it as the front-runner for most of this awards season. But it's also wonderful to see Mad Max with such a strong showing with them. Saddened to see not one group go to bat for other films though like Inside Out, Room, etc. And in light of #OscarsSoWhite it is noteful that Straight Outta Compton and Creed were picked by the African American Film Critics Association and Black Film Critics Circle.
- George Miller (22) - LAFCA, BOFCA, OFCS, WAFCA, SFFCC, KCFCC, CFCA, PFCS, SEFCA, IFJA, DFCS, AFCA, BFCC, FFCC, UFCA, OFCC, SDFCS, DFCA, GFCA, VFCC, NCFCA, SFCA
- Thomas McCarthy (7) - NSFC, NYFCO, SLFC, LVFCS, COFCA, AWFJ, IFCA
- Todd Haynes (3) - NYFCC, BSFC, TFCA
- Alejandro G. Iñárritu (3) - DFWFCA, HFCS, NFCS
- Ridley Scott* - NTFCA
- Ryan Coogler - AAFCA
What's most interesting here are critics splitting Picture/Director with George Miller getting the majority of love. Will more industry types like the guilds and Oscars go for the same? Or will Iñárritu sneak in for both as he did at the Globes? And where's Oscar-nominated Abrahamson? Critics loved his film, but not so much his direction?
- Leonardo DiCaprio (17) - BSFC, WAFCA, KCFCC, DFWFCA, CFCA, SLFC, LVFCS, NFCS, UFCA, COFCA, OFCC, AWFJ, SDFCS, NTFCA, DFCA, GFCA, SFCA
- Michael Fassbender (8) - LAFCA, OFCS, PFCS, HFCS, AFCA, VFCC, IFCA, NCFCA
- Paul Dano (4) - BSFC, NYFCO, SFFCC, FFCC
- Michael B. Jordan (3) - NSFC, BOFCA, BFCC
- Bryan Cranston - SEFCA
- Will Smith - AAFCA
- Michael Keaton - NYFCC
- Tom Hardy - TFCA
- Jacob Tremblay - IFJA
- Michael Caine - DFCS
- Matt Damon*
Leonardo DiCaprio receives the same number of critic wins as last year's Michael Keaton, though we know what happened to him at the Oscars. DiCaprio should be in a better place though, but it is surprising to see that Fassbender is 2nd place especially since his film has seemed to leave people's consciousness give or take the surprise Globe wins. Category confusion rears its head with Dano, Hardy, and Keaton getting notices here and in Supporting. And look at Indiana being awesome giving young Jacob Tremblay his well-deserved kudos.
- Brie Larson* (22) - NYFCO, DFWFCA, CFCA, PFCS, SEFCA, IFJA, SLFC, LVFCS, HFCS, NFCS, AFCA, BFCC, FFCC, UFCA, COFCA, OFCC, SDFCS, NTFCA, DFCA, GFCA, VFCC, IFCA
- Saoirse Ronan (6) - NYFCC, BOFCA, WAFCA, SFFCC, DFCS, NCFCA
- Charlotte Rampling (4) - LAFCA, NSFC, BSFC, AWFJ
- Nina Hoss (2) - TFCA, SFCA
- Cate Blanchett - OFCS
- Charlize Theron - KCFCC
- Teyonah Parris - AAFCA
Early on it was Ronan vs. Larson, but the latter really ran away with it in the end. It is curious that Larson wasn't able to pick up the more prestigious critic groups, but with a Globe win and her film's better-than-expected Oscar nom tally, she does have the momentum. Shout out to Kansas for their Theron pick.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
- Sylvester Stallone* (11) - BOFCA, PFCS, SEFCA, SLFC, LVFCS, AFCA, BFCC, UFCA, OFCC, DFCA, GFCA
- Mark Rylance (6) - NYFCC, NSFC, BSFC, NYFCO, TFCA, VFCC
- Mark Ruffalo (3) - IFJA, IFCA, NCFCA
- Michael Shannon (3) - LAFCA, SFFCC, KCFCC
- Benicio del Toro (3) - CFCA, COFCA, SFCA
- Tom Hardy (2) - HFCS, NFCS
- Idris Elba (2) - WAFCA, NTFCA
- Paul Dano (2) - DFWFCA, AWFJ
- Oscar Isaac (2) - OFCS, FFCC
- Jason Mitchell - AAFCA
- Liev Schreiber - DFCS
- Michael Keaton - OFCC
- Tom Noonan - SDFCS
What a difference a year makes! Last year J.K. Simmons steamrolled this category with three other guys being cited by critics. This year a whopping 13 actors were picked by critics (more than any of the main categories) with Stallone their pick, which I think is telling since I expected Rylance to give him more of a fight especially with this crowd. I personally prefer this to reflect better what a great year it has been. Sad that many of these aren't Oscar-nominated (especial Isaac and Elbda), but alas.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
- Alicia Vikander (17) - LAFCA, WAFCA, TFCA, KCFCC, CFCA, PFCS, SEFCA, SLFC, DFCS, NFCS, AFCA, COFCA, OFCC, DFCA, GFCA, VFCC, NCFCA
- Kristen Stewart (6) - NYFCC, NSFC, BSFC, BOFCA, FFCC, AWFJ
- Rooney Mara (4) - NYFCO, OFCS, DFWFCA, HFCS
- Jennifer Jason Leigh* (2) - SDFCS, NTFCA
- Tessa Thompson (2) - AAFCA, BFCC
- Mya Taylor (2) - SFFCC, SFCA
- Kate Winslet - IFCA
- Elizabeth Banks - LVFCS
- Greta Gerwig - IFJA
- Rose Byrne - UFCA
Category fraud alert! It's been the talk of the season with both Vikander and Mara campaigned here, but are debatable leads in their films. But everyone--the critics, the Oscars--bought it and here we are. This means actual supporting ladies like Stewart, Banks, Walters, etc. didn't get as much love as they should've though Stewart was right there with the critics as they kept batting for her and her early 2015 film. Lots of good stuff here though especially with inspired notices from San Francisco, Seattle, and Utah for Taylor and Byrne.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
- Spotlight (23) - LAFCA, NSFC, BSFC, NYFCO, BOFCA, OFCS, KCFCC, DFWFCA, CFCA, PFCS, SEFCA, IFJA, SLFC, DFCS, LVFCS, HFCS, NFCS, FFCC, COFCA, OFCC, AWFJ, DFCA, NCFCA
- Inside Out (4) - WAFCA, AFCA, UFCA, GFCA
- Ex Machina - SFCA
- Straight Outta Compton - BFCC
- Dope - AAFCA
- Love & Mercy - SFFCC
- What We Do in the Shadows - SDFCS
- The Hateful Eight*
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
- The Big Short (9) - TFCA, KCFCC, CFCA, FFCC, COFCA, OFCC, DFCA, GFCA, NCFCA
- Room (6) - WAFCA, SEFCA, IFJA, NFCS, AFCA, SDFCS
- The Martian* (5) - SLFC, LVFCS, NFCS, BFCC, UFCA
- Carol (4) - NYFCC, OFCS, AWFJ, SFCA
- Brooklyn - SFFCC
- Anomalisa - VFCC
It's a little annoying that many critics group only award one screenplay award (thus the uneven number between Original and Adapted). With that said, Spotlight again runs away with it and should be seen as the favorite while The Big Short edged out Room late into the season to be seen as the critics favorite. Really thought Carol and Steve Jobs would've figure more prominently to be honest.
BEST ANIMATED FILM
- Inside Out* (28) - NYFCC, BSFC, NYFCO, BOFCA, OFCS, WAFCA, KCFCC, DFWFCA, CFCA, PFCS, SEFCA, SLFC, LVFCS, HFCS, NFCS, AFCA, BFCC, FFCC, UFCA, COFCA, OFCC, AWFJ, NTFCA, DFCA, GFCA, IFCA, NCFCA, SFCA
- Anomalisa (5) - LAFCA, BSFC, SFFCC, IFJA, SDFCS
- The Peanuts Movie - AAFCA
- Shaun the Sheep - TFCA
And finally, Inside Out was the overwhelming favorite with Anomalisa a distant second. Sounds about right. The Oscars went with smaller GKids films which the critics really should try and promote more. I mean I loved Inside Out, but it's not exactly wanting of promotion and advocation.
So we'll see what the BFCA does tonight, but again it's important to note that critics are not Oscar voters. Last year the top picks amongs critic groups were Boyhood for Film, Richard Linklater, Michael Keaton, Rosamund Pike, and the screenplays for Grand Budapest Hotel and Gone Girl... none of which won their respective Oscars.