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”

National Board of Review: 2010 Winners

The National Board of Review announced their awards for the 2010 film season today. These are the unofficial kick off to the awards season and are the first real predictors of the potential Oscar nominees and winners. In 2008, Slumdog Millionaire was named the Best Film.

But the NBR awards also show that the Oscar race is still young. Last year, Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air was named Best Film and seemed like an early front runner. Until a film called The Hurt Locker caught momentum and Up in the Air was ultimately shut out at the Oscars.

David Fincher’s The Social Network has swept the awards, receiving four awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Without awards for the much-buzzed about 127 HoursBlack Swan and The Kids Are All Right, The Social Network has emerged as the early Oscars front runner.

Other winners I am excited about: Jennifer Lawrence winning breakthrough performance for Winter’s Bone, Fish Tank being named among the best independent films and best ensemble for The Town.

And as always with the NBR, there is one film named among the best of the year that makes me scratch my head. I’m looking at you, Hereafter.

Here are the winners:

Best Film
The Social Network

Best Director
David Fincher, The Social Network

Best Actor
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Best Actress
Lesley Manville, Another Year

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Fighter

Best Supporting Actress
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Best Foreign Film
Of Gods and Men

Best Documentary
Waiting For “Superman”

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3

Best Ensemble Cast
The Town

Breakthrough Performance
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Spotlight Award for Best Directorial Debut
Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, Restrepo

Best Original Screenplay
Chris Sparling, Buried

Best Adapted Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Special Filmmaking Achievement Award
Sofia Coppola, for for writing, directing, and producing Somewhere

William K. Everson Film History Award: Leonard Maltin

NBR Freedom of Expression
Fair Game, Conviction, Howl

Top Eleven Films:
Another Year
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
Shutter Island
The Social Network
The Town
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Top Ten Independent Films:
Animal Kingdom
Fish Tank
The Ghost Writer
Let Me In
Please Give
Youth in Revolt

Top Six Foreign Films:
I Am Love
Life, Above All
Of Gods And Men
Soul Kitchen
White Material

Top Six Documentary Films:
A Film Unfinished
Inside Job
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
The Tillman Story
Waiting For “Superman”

National Board of Review: Best of 2008

Let the award season begin! The National Board of Review announced its selections for the best films, performances, directors and screenplays of 2008.

Slumdog Millionare is quickly becoming this year’s Little Miss Sunshine/Juno; it received three prizes: Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay and Breakthrough Performance by an Actor. The other big winner is Clint Eastwood, who won Best Actor for his role in Gran Torino (a sign that the Best Actor race might be his this year) and he directed two films (Gran Torino, Changeling) in the Top 10. After its big wins at the Gotham Awards and six Independent Spirit nominations, Sundance favorite Frozen River continues to collect awards.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Film:
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director:
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Actor:
Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino

Best Actress:
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married

Best Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin, Milk

Best Supporting Actress:
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Foreign Language Film:

Best Documentary:
Man on Wire

Best Animated Feature:

Best Ensemble Cast:

Breakthrough Performance by an Actor:
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

Breakthrough Performance by an Actress:
Viola Davis, Doubt

Best Directorial Debut:
Courtney Hunt, Frozen River

Best Original Screenplay:
Nick Schenk, Gran Torino

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire and Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Spotlight Award:
Melissa Leo, Frozen River and Richard Jenkins, The Visitor

The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression:

Top Ten Films:
Burn After Reading
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Gran Torino
The Wrestler

Top Five Foreign Language Films:
Edge of Heaven
Let the Right One In
Roman de Guerre
A Secret
Waltz with Bashir

Top Five Documentary Films:
American Teen
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Dear Zachary
Encounters at the End of the World
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

Here We Go! Awards Season Has Started!

This morning, the National Board of Review announced its selections of the year’s best movies.

Here they are:

Best Picture
No Country For Old Men

Top 10 of 2007
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bucket List
Into the Wild
The Kite Runner
Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton
Sweeney Todd

Best Foreign Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Top 5 Foreign Films
4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days
The Band’s Visit
The Counterfeiters
La Vie En Rose
Lust, Caution

Best Documentary
Body of War

Top Five Documentaries
Darfur Now

In The Shadow of the Moon
Taxi To The Darkside

Top Independent Films
Away From Her
Great World of Sound
In The Valley of Elah
A Mighty Heart
The Namesake
The Savages

Starting Out In The Evening

Best Director
Tim Burton – Sweeney Todd

Best Actor
George Clooney – Michael Clayton

Best Actress

Julie Christie – Away From Her

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck – Jesse James

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Ryan – Gone Baby Gone

Best Ensemble Cast
No Country For Old Men

Breakthrough Performance by an Actor
Emile Hirsch – Into The Wild

Breakthrough Performance by an Actress
Ellen Page – Juno

Best Directorial Debut
Ben Affleck – Gone Baby Gone

Best Adapted Screenplay
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – No Country For Old Men

Best Original Screenplay
Diablo Cody – Juno and Nancy Oliver – Lars and the Real Girl

Best Animated Feature

Career Achievement Award
Michael Douglas

William K. Everson Award For Film History
Robert Osborne

Career Achievement in Cinematography
Roger Deakins

The Bvlgari Award for NBR Freedom of Expression
The Great Debaters and Persepolis


And what does all this mean for the upcoming Oscar season?

From “Last year, four of the five eventual best picture nominees were first part of the NBR Top 10 (only The Queen wasn’t). So while today’s news doesn’t necessarily sound the death knell for any particular film, it’s certainly not good news for American Gangster, Charlie Wilson’s War, or There Will Be Blood. And as always, the NBR list, which last year included head-scratchers like The History Boys, features a few surprise inclusions, like Bourne (yay!) and the upcoming Jack Nicholson dramedy The Bucket List, which seemed to be a Golden Globe contender at best. But at this point, it cemented films like No Country, Atonement, Jiuno, Kite Runner, Claiyton, and Sweeney as movies to watch in the coming months.

Of these films, I’ve seen: Michael Clayon, No Country for Old Men, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Lars and the Real Girl. (I’m going to see No Country again tonight, it was that good!)

I plan on seeing: Juno, Sweeney Todd, The Kite Runner, and Atonement, as soon as they come out.

As for the other films mentioned, I’ll see them… eventually.

But I am looking foward to J-Term, so that Cinefille’s Oscar Fest (explanation forthcoming)can officially begin.

National Board of Review Awards 2006

Letters From Iwo Jima, Clint Eastwood’s companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers, received top honors from the National Board of Review.

Letter From Iwo Jima is a Japanese-language film. Originally slated for a spring 2007 release, the film’s new release date is December 20.
The National Board of Review usually awards movies that you wouldn’t expect. In this case, The Devil Wears Prada over Dreamgirls. Or maybe that means that the hype surrounding Dreamgirls is a bit over the top.
So really, who knows what all this says about the AcademyAwards and upcoming Golden Globe nominations (December 14).
Best Film
Letters From Iwo Jima
Top Ten Films
Blood Diamond
The Departed,
The Devil Wears Prada
Flags Of Our Fathers
The History Boys
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
Notes On A Scandal
The Painted Veil

Best Foreign Film
Top Five Foreign Films
Curse Of The Golden Flower
Days Of Glory
Pan’s Labyrinth
Best Documentary
An Inconvenient Truth
Top Five Documentaries
51 Birch Street
An Inconvenient Truth
Iraq In Fragments
Shut Up & Sing

Top Independent Films

(in alphabetical order)
Akeelah And The Bee
Catch A Fire
Copying Beethoven
A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints
Half Nelson
The Illusionist
Lonesome Jim
10 Items Or Less
Thank You For Smoking

Best Actor
Forest Whitaker The Last King Of Scotland
Best Actress
Helen Mirren The Queen
Best Supporting Actor
Djimon Hounsou Blood Diamond
Best Supporting Actress
Catherine O’Hara For Your Consideration

Best Acting By An Ensemble
The Departed
Breakthrough Performance – Male
Ryan Gosling Half Nelson
Breakthrough Performance – Female
Jennifer Hudson Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi Babel
Best Director
Martin Scorsese The Departed
Best Directorial Debut
Jason Reitman Thank You For Smoking
Best Adapted Screenplay
Ron Nyswaner The Painted Veil
Best Original Screenplay
Zach Helm Stranger Than Fiction
Best Animated Feature