Michael C. here. The Gotham Awards announced its slate of nominees yesterday. The National Board of Review and the NYFCC are generally considered the starting pistol to Awards Season, but The Gothams slip in a few weeks early with their tiny pool of voters and eclectic mix of nominees. This year's roster is no different:
- Bernie (Richard Linklater)
- The Loneliest Planet (Julia Loktev)
- The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
- Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay)
- Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)
The Gotham have proved themselves a fair indicator of which titles will end up the year's critical darlings highlighting such past films as A Serious Man, The Hurt Locker and Winter's Bone. Ever since the Best Picture category expanded at least two of the Gotham's five nominees have gone on to Oscar nominations. Last year it was The Descendants and Tree of Life. This year The Master is clearly the big dog in this category, but is it wishful thinking to hope that Moonrise won't be overlooked in the deluge of year end accolades?
As for snubs it is tough to say... [Continue]
...considering the voting parameters aren't entirely clear. Beasts of the Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook scored mentions elsewhere, so their absence is notable. Some expected The Sessions to make a strong showing but it was completely shut out.
- Detropia (Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady)
- How to Survive a Plague (David France)
- Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present (Matthew Akers)
- Room 237 (Rodney Ascher)
- The Waiting Room (Peter Nicks)
A strong lineup. I still expect Queen of Versailles to do well with the critics groups even if it missed here.
Best Ensemble Performance:
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Safety Not Guaranteed
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Your Sister’s Sister
Safety Not Guaranteed is the choice that stands out. Kudos to the nominating committee for having memories which reached back to the strong cast of that goofy little indie. Moonrise and Silver Linings are obvious ensemble achievements, so the winner will likely come down to these two. It is too bad the nomination for Bernie only lists the big stars since that film's sprawling cast of Texas locals was such a big part of its success.
- Zal Batmanglij, Sound of My Voice
- Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, Francine
- Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin, Now, Forager
- Antonio Méndez Esparza, Aquí y Allá (Here and There)
- Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Beasts of the Southern Wild makes its first appearance. Zeitlin would appear to be the clear favorite here, but the Gothams have proved resistant to predictions. Last year in this category they bypassed more prominent choices like Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene in favor of Dee Rees for tiny, under-the-radar Pariah.
- Mike Birbiglia, Sleepwalk with Me
- Emayatzy Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere
- Thure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights On
- Melanie Lynskey, Hello, I Must Be Going
- Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Melanie Lynskey was aces in Hello, I Must Be Going, but how far do you have to stretch the definition of "breakthrough" to include this performance when everyone knows her big breakout was Heavenly Creatures nearly twenty years ago? Beasts' Dwight Henry, Aubrey Plaza, or one of the Moonrise kids would have all been less baffling choices.
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You:
- An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
- Red Flag
- Sun Don’t Shine
- Tiger Tail in Blue
In addition to the nominees Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, David O. Russell and Participant Media founder Jeff Skoll will receive career honors. The ceremony will be held in NYC on November 26th.
What does everybody else make of this? Any surprises? Signs?
Like I said, the nomination process here is so vague that it's tough to read these for omens, but that said, I will take any positive signs for Moonrise I can get. Also, I think this is a good indication that divisive reaction be damned, the majority of critics are going to rally around The Master.