Pre-Oscars Round Up: Gotham Awards, NYFCC, NBR

Hugo was named the best film of 2011 by the National Board of Review

Well, folks, the 2011 awards season is officially here. Now I can start obsessively writing about the Oscars and everything leading up to them.

Aside from Martha Marcy May Marlene and I guess, The Tree of Life, I have been rather underwhelmed by many 2011 releases so far. But there are still plenty of movies I need to see – BeginnersMelancholia, Shame, that movie about horses that shall remain nameless, and every other movie being released at the end of December.

During this first official week of pre-Oscars awards madness, some big and unexpected stories emerged from the Gotham Independent Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the National Board of Review.

For starters, The DescendantsFelicity Jones (she’s dominating all the breakthrough performer categories for Like Crazy), Shailene Woodley, Tilda Swinton, and George Clooney, and The Artist are receiving ample praise. But there still aren’t many clear front runners… yet.

Mike Mills’ dramedy Beginners is dominating the indie film circuit while Elizabeth Olsen and Martha Marcy May Marlene have been continually shut out. The National Board of Review didn’t even rank MMMM as one of the top indie films of the year. But somehow the NBR liked J. Edgar, which was one of the most boring movies I have seen recently.

The NBR surprisingly named Hugo and its director, Martin Scorsese as the best film and director of the year, respectively. And with The Artist topping the New York Film Critics Circle, it seems that critics will always praise any movie having do with cinephilia and nostalgia. (Don’t tell Armond White that.)

The Independent Spirit Award nominations were also announced this week. The Descendants, Drive, Margin Call, and The Artist are well-represented. It’s exciting to see Jessica Chastain (also a favorite so far) and Corey Stoll (for Midnight in Paris) also receive nominations. And I completely forgot that I saw 50/50, which was nominated for best feature and best first screenplay. That movie barely left an impact on me.

I cannot be the only person who didn't love 50/50

The round up of this week’s award shows and critics awards is below. Share any of your thoughts on the awards season so far in the comments.

Continue reading “Pre-Oscars Round Up: Gotham Awards, NYFCC, NBR”

The 2010 Gotham Awards

The 2010 IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards were presented tonight. Winter’s Bone, directed by Debra Granik, received two awards – Best Feature and Best Ensemble. Surprisingly, the Sundance favorite did not sweep the awards. Perhaps even a bigger surprise was how the much-praised The Kids Are All Right did not receive any accolades.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Film: Winter’s Bone
Best Documentary: The Oath
Best Ensemble: Winter’s Bone
Best Breakthrough Performance: Ronald Bronstein, Daddy Longlegs
Best Breakthrough: Director Kevin Asch, Holy Rollers
Best Film Not Playing At A Theater Near You: Littlerock
Festival Genius Audience Award: Waiting for “Superman”

With these notable wins, does Winter’s Bone have a shot at being one of the ten Best Picture nominees? As much I hope that it will be nominated, I think Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right will get more Academy love than Winter’s Bone when the Oscar nominees are announced in January.

2008 Gotham Awards: Winners

The Gotham Independent Films Awards were held last night in New York City.

The winners were:

Frozen River

Trouble the Water

Breakthrough Director:
Lance Hammer – Ballast

Breakthrough Actor:
Melissa Leo – Frozen River

Ensemble Performance Award:
Synecdoche, New York
and Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You:
Sita Sings the Blues

Here is David Carr’s report from the Gotham Awards: