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« Interview: Jessica Chastain's Big Year / Big Future | Main | 20:11 Water For Hanna's Insidious Code »
Monday
Dec262011

OFCS Nominations: The Drive of Life

The Online Film Critics Society is the latest group to chime in with their nominations for the best of 2011. They'll announce the winners on January 2nd but because they're a big group we deigned to feature their nominees this year. As in most years there are a couple of eyebrow raising choices (I really can't handle Editing and Screenplay nominations for We Need To Talk About Kevin! Shoot me now... with bow and arrow if you must.) but their Best Cinematography list is just... well, we should only pray we get an Oscar field that beautiful, that acclaimed, that challenging, that perfect, that War Horse evading.

The Tree of Life led their field of contenders with seven nominations including two for acting (Brad Pitt was honored there,  not for Moneyball) with Drive in hot pursuit with six. And for what seems like the first time in ages, Martha Marcy May Marlene was not left out in the cold, picking up three nominations including Original Screenplay for Sean Durkin (recently interviewed).

Full list of nominations with a few thoughts after the jump.

BEST PICTURE

  • The Artist
  • The Descendants
  • Drive
  • Hugo
  • The Tree of Life 

The three Oscar leaders and two hipper critical darlings (Drive & ToL)... which sounds about right for how the OFCS usually plays it.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
  • Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive
  • Martin Scorsese, Hugo
  • Lars von Trier, Melancholia

Von Trier is no longer "persona non grata" now that the Cannes hubbub has faded and the only thing left is that rather jaw dropping doomsday film.

BEST ACTRESS 

  • Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
  • Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  • Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
  • Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

The OFCS generally skews a bit younger / hipper than Oscar but that's good news for Kirsten Dunst who finally picks up a non European based honor.

BEST ACTOR

  • George Clooney, The Descendants
  • Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Michael Fassbender, Shame
  • Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

The Oldman mention doesn't surprise me at all given the critical hoopla... though the critical hoopla itself does surprise since Oldman has practically the least screen time of any male lead this year. But it's sad that it comes at the expense of Brad Pitt in Moneyball (one assumes) who does so much to elevate his movie. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life
  • Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
  • Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
  • Carey Mulligan, Shame
  • Shailene Woodley, The Descendants 

I wonder when the McTeer doubters will come around? I still think she's getting the Oscar nomination in a very very tight year for this category.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Albert Brooks, Drive
  • John Hawkes, Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Nick Nolte, Warrior
  • Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life
  • Christopher Plummer, Beginners

It's nice to see Brad Pitt honored for his other great performance this year. Though obviously Brooks will be winning this particular contest given the makeup of the voting body and their general Drive enthusiasm.

ANIMATED FILM

  • The Adventures of Tintin
  • Arthur Christmas
  • Kung Fu Panda 2
  • Rango
  • Winnie the Pooh

I tried to watch Winnie the Pooh the other day. I'm a Pooh fan but I just couldn't get into it. Why were people so enamored?

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Midnight in Paris
  • A Separation
  • The Tree of Life
  • Win Win

It's crazy to me that A Separation won enough votes to be included in this category but couldn't break into Best Picture where it belongs. It's interesting how well Win Win has been doing with precursors... at least in terms of nominations, yes?

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY 

  • The Descendants
  • Drive
  • Moneyball
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin

EDITING

  • Drive
  • Martha Marcy May Marlene
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  • The Tree of Life
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin

They did not let the Best Picture field control this field. Yay. Often the OFCS is as guilty as Oscar of just voting for the same movies for every category. 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • The Artist
  • Drive
  • Hugo
  • Melancholia
  • The Tree of Life

If the Oscar list is this good for Cinematography, I'm going to cry tears of joy. But it won't be.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • 13 Assassins
  • Certified Copy
  • A Separation
  • The Skin I Live In
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

DOCUMENTARY

  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams
  • The Interrupters
  • Into the Abyss
  • Project Nim
  • Tabloid

  

SPECIAL AWARDS

  • They're also honoring Jessica Chastain as "breakout performer of the year" and Martin Scorsese for "his work and dedication to the pursuit of film preservation" which we wholeheartedly concur is admirable... though isn't that why people are already honoring him for Hugo?

 

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Reader Comments (15)

Normally I find Supporting Actor the dullest acting category but I've seen all the nominees on this list and they're terrific. Be great to see Olsen & Hawkes get Oscar nominations but sadly it's looking very unlikely.

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

What a great list of nominees! I hope the Speilberg movie (Tin Tin) wins in all its nominations. :)

- Kevin W.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCheap Calendar Printing

-I don't know what's wrong with We Need to Talk about Kevin"s Screenplay and Editing nominations? Shoot me if you must, I think the film deserves it.

-They have the BP line-up exactly like Chicago's. It's just perfect list.

-My only concern is the snubbed of Shame for either BP or Best Director.

-3 out of Foreign Language nominees were from last year. I would like more films from this year get nominated

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertombeet

Elizabeth Olsen!!!

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonathon

tombeet -- but that's how foreign films are released (sigh). Those are all 2011 films to me.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Am curious as to why you are giving any credence to the OFCS. You say this group is "one of the biggest" - in what respect? Isn't this just a group of online bloggers and, if so, why should anyone care about them?

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDrood

Well, I guess I should have been more specific. I don't totally respect the OFCS more than other groups -- i mean, they did reject me and someone else even more brilliant than me. lol. -- but i do totally value consistency and they have been around awhile and they always announced nominees proper and then winners. In the early days of online film criticism, groups like OFCS were needed to legitimize the web which still in some minor ways is considered a bastard cousin to print even though you can find great and terrible writers in both modes.

so my point is they've always done it this way and they're not some new group of 15 critics in Omaha or something that decided to have two awards announcements. :)

i hope that makes more sense.

December 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Dunst also was shortlisted by the Chicago Film Critics Association, which handed Joan Allen its Best Actress award in 2005 (hallelujah!), so maybe she's getting more number one placements on AMPAS ballots than expected? Either way it's a magnetic performance that, like Pitt's in Tree of Life, surely in time will grow in esteem.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Of those films that I've seen so far, the "shoot me now" nomination here for me is Midnight in Paris for screenplay. Can't remember where I read it, but I agree with the reviewer who said that it mistakes allusion for comedy (not that the film doesn't have other problems). The way Allen threw Hemingway, Stein, etc. in there kind of reminded me of last year's Oscars, when they sent James Franco on stage in drag and that was supposed to be funny in itself.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Martin Scorsese for "his work and dedication to the pursuit of film preservation" which we wholeheartedly concur is admirable... though isn't that why people are already honoring him for Hugo?

No, Nathaniel. They're talking about actual 35mm film, the kind that you run through projectors. Scorsese has been a tireless champion for its preservation, at a time when most studios are not only giving up on the medium but are trashing many of their existing prints.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterColin Low

As some of these nominations show, they actually sorta do give a damn about honoring what they think is the year's best (really loving Drive, for example, when we're all mostly certain Oscar won't) and not just in it to predict the Oscar race. And if you look back at some of their past nominations, they've made some inspired calls as well -- The Incredibles and ESOTSM for their Best Picture back in 2004 immediately come to mind.

This year, the shout-outs for Melancholia in Cinematography, Mulligan in Supporting, Pitt + Chastain for Tree of Life (as it should be, imo) and MMMM for Screenplay are especially sweet to me. And how GOOD do Cinematography and Editing look?

Nate, all your love you send A Separation's way every time you write some small comment about it makes me wanna see it even more!

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Colin -- i'm aware.i was being facetious as in its the reason people love Hugo more than it earns itself is Scorsese's own cinephilia which we share. I say give him this special award for actual film preservation and skip the honors for his good but hardly BEST OF YEAR work on Hugo.

December 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@ Jan Ditto for Midnight in Paris. That movie is sooooo bad, poorly written.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Don't be snarky, Nathaniel. People might be honouring Hugo simply because they like it, it's sort of unfair to think that because you cooled on Hugo that no one might consider it worthy of "best of year" laurels.

I too am sort of surprised at the love for Win Win, I like the film and its sweet (Amy Ryan is sooooo good) but the script sort of peters out in the final act, but they could be doing so much worse in terms of nominations, so I'm fine with its inclusion. And, I liked We Need to Talk About Kevin but the editing citation does seem bizarre.

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Re. Janet McTeer: See, try as I will, I can't seem to find room for her in my nomination guesses. I only just found a space for Berenice Bejo, by (reluctantly) throwing out Melissa McCarthy (I think a crowded year will be the death of comedy nominations, sadly). So my five are the same as yours, except I have Bejo for McTeer.

Two things to note here: I haven't seen ALBERT NOBBS yet, and I currently do not have Glenn Close in my Best Actress final five prediction list. They are both probably affecting my decision.

At this stage, the most likely to lose their spot is Vanessa Redgrave. I've held on to her for so long, but I don't see her getting any other precursor love, so it might come down to a gut feeling as to whether they have seen their CORIOLANUS screeners or not. Or maybe McTeer starts winning SAGs and/or Golden Globes.

Hard decisions, which always make it more fun!

December 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWellington Sludge
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