Pre-Oscars Round Up: AFI, LAFCA, NYFCO, Boston, SFFCC

The Artist is now the Oscars favorite. Even the American Film Institute gave it an award and it's a European production.

Sunday was a big day in the magical world of pre-Oscar awards. Mulitple critics groups announced their selections for the best films of 2011. Below are the winners picked by five groups, as not to overwhelm anyone. (Especially myself.)

The Artist continues to be the film to beat, picking up awards from the New York Film Circle Online (NYFCO), Boston Society of Film Critics (BSFC), and a special award from the American Film Institute. But if critics don’t go with The Artist, they choose The Tree of Life, which was named best film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle (SFFCC). The best picture race is turning into an East Coast-West Coast rivalry not unlike the Biggie-Tupac rivalry. I would pay good money to see film critics battle each other in the name of The Artist and The Tree of Life.

Michael Shannon (Take Shelter) is emerging as a contender for best actor. Brad Pitt received a best award from the BSFC for his performance in Moneyball. I’ve accepted that Brad Pitt will be nominated for an Oscar, even though he doesn’t do much in Moneyball except stare at statistics. (There is one great scene but that is a testament more to Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay than Pitt’s performance.)

Albert Brooks continues to dominate the best supporting actor category. If one thing is a sure bet at this point, it is Brooks’ nomination and that his biggest competition will be sentimental favorite, Christopher Plummer for Beginners. Jessica Chastain picked up a few wins for her many supporting roles this year as did Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids.

The Best Actress category has become a three-way race between Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams and Tilda Swinton. Okay, it is really a two-way race between Streep and Williams. (The Oscar Gods will bend over backwards to give Streep her third Oscar.) But Swinton should be winning all the awards for We Need To Talk About Kevin.

The best sign of things to come from this round of award winners is the rise of Bridesmaids. Can the comedy and Melissa McCarthy score Oscar nominations?  I hope so. Also, one of my favorite 2011 films, Martha Marcy May Marlene is still being slightly shortchanged, winning the New Generation Award from the LAFCA and best new filmmaker award (for director Sean Durkin) from the BSFC.

Speaking of the Boston Society of Film Critics, their support of Kenneth Lonergan’s film Margaret is simply awesome. (Read it here.) I stupidly did not see Margaret when it was briefly playing in NYC, even though it is about exactly what I am interested in: post-9/11 New York. (My undergrad thesis topic was post-9/11 American independent film.) So if anyone wants to help me see Margaret

Unpopular opinion: I'm convinced that I will hate My Week With Marilyn because I am sick of the Marilyn Monroe craze.

The round up of the critics awards winners is below. Share any of your thoughts on the awards season so far in the comments.

Continue reading “Pre-Oscars Round Up: AFI, LAFCA, NYFCO, Boston, SFFCC”

The Social Network Tops Boston Film Critics

It seems as though 2010 is the year of The Social Network. The Boston Society of Film Critics named the David Fincher film of the best film of 2010. Jesse Eisenberg and Aaron Sorkin also picked up prizes in their respective categories. Notably, though, Best Actor runner-up Colin Firth lost to Eisenberg by just one vote. Maybe the Best Actor race is not as clear cut as we think.

The complete list of winners is available here.

Best Picture The Social Network
Runner up: Toy Story 3

Best Director David Fincher for The Social Network
Runner up: Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan

Best Actress Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Runner up: Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right

Best Actor Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
Runner up: Colin Firth in The King’s Speech

Best Supporting Actress: Juliette Lewis in Conviction
Runner Up: Melissa Leo in The Fighter

Best Supporting Actor Christian Bale in The Fighter
Runner Up: Andrew Garfield in The Social Network

 

Best Screenplay Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Runner up: Nicole Holocener for Please Give

Critics Roundup: Boston and Detroit

Several front-runners emerging in this Oscar season: The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air, Mo’Nique in Precious.

Here are what some of the critics circles are picking as the best films of the year.

The Boston Society of Film Critics:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, Precious
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Best Cinematography: Barry Ackroyd, The Hurt Locker
Best Documentary: The Cove
Best Animated Film: Up
Best Film Editing: Bob Murawski and Chris Innis, The Hurt Locker
Best New Filmmaker: Neill Blomkamp, District 9
Best Ensemble Cast: Precious and Star Trek
Best Use of Music in a Film: Crazy Heart

Continue reading “Critics Roundup: Boston and Detroit”

The Race So Far: The Critics Have Spoken

his is just the beginnings of the critics picks. Based on their picks (listed below) the Oscar frontrunners are:

Best Picture
No Country for Old Me
There Will Be Blood

Best Director
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Actress
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marianne Cotillard, La Vie En Rose

Best Actor
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Frank Langella, Starting Out in the Evening

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men,

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone;

Best Foreign Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Best Documentary Film
No End in Sight
Sicko

Best Animated Film
Persepolis
Ratatouille

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The Critics’ Picks – New York Film Critics Circle

Best Foreign Film
The Lives of Others

Best Animated Film
Persepolis

Best First Film
Sarah Polley, Away from Her

Best Documentary
No End in Sight

Best Cinematographer
Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood

Best Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Best Actress
Julie Christie, Away from Her

Best Director
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Picture
No Country for Old Men

Lifetime Achievement
Sidney Lumet

Special Critics’ Award
Charles Burnett, Killer of Sheep

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San Francisco Film Critics Circle

Best Picture
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Director
Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Original Screenplay
The Savages

Best Adapted Screenplay
Away from Her

Best Actor
George Clooney, Michael Clayton

Best Actress
Julie Christie, Away from Her

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck , The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan Gone Baby Gone

Best Foreign Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Documentary
No End in Sight

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Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

Runner-up
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

Runner-up
Anamaria Marinca, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Best Actor:
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Runner-up
Frank Langella, Starting Out in the Evening

Best Screenplay
The Savages, Tamara Jenkins

Runner-up
There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Runner-up
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There

Best Supporting Actor
Vlad Ivanov, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Runner-up
Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild

Best Foreign Language Film:
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Runner-up
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Documentary Film
No End in Sight

Runner-up
Sicko
Best Production Design
Jack Fisk, There Will Be Blood

Runner-up
Dante Ferretti, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Best Animated Film
(tie) Ratatouille and Persepolis

Best Music
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, Once

Runner-up
Jonny Greenwood, There Will Be Blood

Best Cinematography
Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Runner-up
Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood

New Generation
Sarah Polley, Away From Her

Career Achievement
Sidney Lumet

Best Independent/Experimental
Colossal Youth,directed by Pedro Costa

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Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association

Best Film
No Country for Old Men

Best Foreign Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (dir. Julian Schnabel)

Best Documentary
Sicko (dir Michael Moore)

Best Director
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men

Best Actor
George Clooney, Michael Clayton

Best Actress
Julie Christie, Away from Her

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Ensemble
No Country for Old Men

Best Adapted Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin, Charlie Wilson’s War

Best Original Screenplay
Diablo Cody, Juno

Best Animated Feature
Ratatouille

Best Breakthrough Performance
Ellen Page, Juno

Best Art Direction
Dante Ferretti, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

——————————————————————————————————————–Boston Society of Film Critics

Best Picture

No Country For Old Men

Best Actor
Frank Langella, Starting Out in the Evening

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Best Director
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Screenplay
Brad Bird; Ratatouille

Best Cinematography
Janusz Kaminski; The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Documentary
Crazy Love

Best Foreign-Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best New Filmmaker
Ben Affleck for Gone Baby Gone

Best Ensemble Cast
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead