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Do the NYFCC Hustle

The New York Film Critics Circle, the oldest such organization in the country, provided us with a surprise bang this morning. Like Jennifer Lawrence playing with her "science oven" in American Hustle their announcement leaves visible scorch marks, as if awards season has just blasted off like a rocket. 

Whether or not these prizes have a lasting impact is yet to be determined. Some will say that the one-two punch of the Gotham Awards and  NYFCC not awarding 12 Years a Slave with their best feature is a sign. But it may well just be a coincidence and could even be good for the film; it's better to be a wildly special underdog than a frontrunner with heavy baggage when you have three whole months left to carry oneself across the finish line. 

Picture American Hustle
Director Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Actress Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Actor Robert Redford, All is Lost
Supporting Actress Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Supporting Actor Jared Leto, Dallas Buyer’s Club

Critics prizes, even the once holy trinity (NYFCC, LAFCA, and NSFC) don't mean as much as the internet likes to pretend. With roughly 30 other critics organizations handing out prizes each year now, and those same critics groups often behaving like Oscar pundits instead of critics, I'd argue that the value of critics prizes has greatly depreciated from market saturation and loss of identity. The thing that constitutes bragging rights these days seems to be domination (who can win the most?) rather than key victories. 

Screenplay American Hustle
Foreign Film Blue is the Warmest Color
Animated Film Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises
Non Fiction Film Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell
First Film Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station
Cinematography Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis
Special Award Frederick Wiseman, documentarian

Do you think they did the "special award" for Frederick Wiseman solely because they didn't give him best documentary for At Berkeley? And, referencing the most recent podcast, am I the only person who isn't wild for the cinematography in Inside Llewyn Davis?

For what it's worth, American Hustle (which is under critical embargo until tomorrow), is very entertaining and also very fresh in the minds of voters having been screened just this past weekend. And Jennifer Lawrence is also very fresh (and entertaining) in it. 

[More on their voting and runners up here]

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Reader Comments (59)

I keep wanting to throttle tastemakers and say "STOP TRYING TO MAKE JENNIFER LAWRENCE HAPPEN" although it's way too late because she's as happenin' as it happens. I'm just exhausted.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

If anyone has any problems with the winners, just remember that Peter Travers and Rex Reed vote on these, and they only have to be as important as you think they are.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada


December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy


If this were the 80's/90's and the internet existed, you'd be saying the same thing about Meryl Streep. The internet age has made it impossible for even the best actresses to be universally loved, because online dwellers always have to have the last snark.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermma

Wowza... that's a major score for Jennifer.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Best Actor is Robert Redford

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Super-stoked for Jared Leto!!!! (Hope he doesn't go the way of Mila Kunis in Black Swan or Andrew Garfield in The Social Network) for the Oscars!!!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Love the title. Careful though. Jennifer might blow up your microwave, or if the odds REALLY aren't in your favor, watch for flying arrows.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

As much as I hope Blanchett doesn't steamroll her way through awards season (although it'd be hard to argue against her winning the Oscar this year), it is kind of fun to have her back in the Best Actress race, especially with such a worthy performance.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

And there are your Oscar Winners... See you all next year 😔

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I guess they will go with Cate, but I'm curious. After all, they went from the awfulness of The Iron Lady to the fascinating Deep Blue Sea.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

NYFCC has been very populist the last couple of years. They have been very safe with their picks and their choices have been around the buzzed names to win the Oscar.

The winners might be worthy but so so safe.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

And..... Americann Hustle wins Best Picture. Did not see that coming. Apparently David O.Russell is on a role, awards-wise (haven't seen the film, though I'm excited to see it now).....

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

I apologize for the lack of updates my computer has been crashing all day more later

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Im sorry to say that Jared Leto will probably loose the Oscar since I am soooooo rooting for him & that's what ALWAYS happen to the ones I love!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

I can live in a world where Redford is not a Best Actor winner. Just saying...

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I doubt that's the Oscar line-up, even though it's a plausible one. There are many plausible Oscar line-ups, including some where the only overlap with these picks are Director and Actress.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Redford! I love you New York Film Critics Circle.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Oh no to Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle. A ridiculous, hammy unconvincing performance with truly inconsistent (and just plain bad) accent work. I mean, it's entertaining enough but it's not good. It's just like I was saying the other day, so clear she's acting and giving a performance. Her character doesn't even seem like a real person, she is a caricature. You don't really believe her at all even if you laugh at her once in a while. It's shtick basically.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiles

It seems more populist this year. I mean last year was Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty, and Rachel Weisz winning for The Deep Blue Sea. I know, I know, ZDT was the perceived front-runner at the time but it's not a populist movie.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Eh, I was hoping Best Picture would go to something that has already come out. I really hate this time of year, mostly because the hype and counter hype and backlashes and counter-backlashes from bloggers ruin any and all hopes of going into a movie and just experiencing it. And that's while trying to avoid most specific articles about the big remaining 2013 releases!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Every time just when I thought I would like to re-evaluate my feeling towards Jennifer Lawrence after a Hunger Games movie, the award circles always have to ruin it for me by showering her with awards in a performance that is so overrated. Last year was like that, looks like it's happening again this year. I haven't seen American Hustle, but I'm not a big fan of DOR, especially after Silver Linings. So sick of all the love for that movie. I suspected JLaw will be the same giving a "look at me, I'm trying too hard, give me the award" performance in the movie.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

lol at the j-law hate!
I really need streep and her in one movie.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

and that sasha person is crazy, but it's not awards season without her breakdowns.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

Sony has a great track record with NYFCC. 3/4 Best Film winners were distributed by them. The problem is, the last two, ZDT and The Social Network, each took it hard on the chin during campaign season (though in widening veracity) and lost their front-runner status losing to inferior films (my opinion). Having not seen American Hustle, I can't judge it but I do know the movie is having a real whispering campaign in LA and David O. Russell's personal run-ins with actors and his personal life would be easy targets. So Sony better be prepared this time.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

----I agree, PJ,
Jennifer Lawrence is pretty damn good in The Hunger Games movies, but her performance in "Silver Linings... " was/is/will always be ridiculously overrated. But the Academy, which consists of thousands of horny and middleaged/old men do like their young actresses; at least a handful of them have been overrated; Julie Christie in Darling, awful. Natalie Portman in Black Swan, awful. Hilary Swank, awful times two. Charlize Theron, Monstrously overrated performance. Reese Witherspoon, Walk The line. Kate Winslet, the Reader. Penelope Cruz wonderful actress, bad performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona. And Jennifer Lawrence in "Silver Linings...".

Which means, off course, J-Law will win again next year. But there will come a time, not long from now when she's not young and exciting anymore and
The Academy moves on to the next
young and pretty actress.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich


December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I'm curious to see if Cate Blanchett can in fact steamroll in Best Actress, which I've always doubted (just a hunch). I'm happy to be wrong because I loved her in Blue Jasmine, but it never struck me as the type of performance that was going to steamroll...if that makes sense.

Also, I'm about 85% sure that "Miles" is June Squibb. I'm about to blow this whole thing wide open. I'll say more when I know more.

Went into American Hustle anxious about the Lawrence performance's buzz; was very impressed with her in it.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

Ulrich, most on your list I can agree with. But Charlize? She was spectacular. And Julie? Awful? Uh, Nooooo. She was sublime.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

we can pick and choose the times the academy voted with their heads and the times they voted with their dicks? and this is fighting sexism I suppose? saying some actress won because of her tits, ass, whatever?

I can't with all of this, sasha's gospel is spreading.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

Marcelo, let's blow up the Internet:

Jennifer Lawrence, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway together in one movie and hammin' it up big time!

Oh I can only imagine the insults...

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay

anti-climactic in that this feels like the beginning of the steamroll for Blanchett and Redford. Oh well.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

Very buzzy choices for NYFCC, which is no surprise since apart from one or two odd choices they always go for the big names every year.

If more prizes follow for American Hustle, I think it's time we give up: it'll be David O. Russell's moment. But since I like J-Law, I hope (nay, I pray) that she doesn't get a coast-along win (2 wins and only 23 years old? the criticism will be worse than Streep's)...

I don't mind a Redford win but for the sake of competitity AND the overall quality of the contenders, I hope Best Actor prizes get spread around like last year with Supporting Actor.

On the other side, I may grow bored of it but I'm so looking forward for a Blanchett sweep. It's long due. She stalled her career a bit after 2007's I'm Not There but I'm glad she returned big time.

Kate Winslet, you're next! Stop playing around and get back to the major championship ;)

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Take Nicole Kidman off your list, she is not hammy. She rarely goes for the scenery chewing even when given the opportunity. The rest will eat a damn scene like they hadn't had foods in months.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGenie

everyone -- JLaw may have won for SLP because she's young and hot but she's *way* better in American Hustle and if she hadn't just won, she'd win now for a much better performance (sigh).

if she wins again (i'm doubtful) it'll be because she's one of the most magnetic movie stars to have arrived in years and years. I am not even a huge fan but iit would be stupid to deny that she's got IT and muches of IT.

December 3, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I think I will make peace with my Jennifer Lawrence-fatigue (for now, but only until she wins another 3 awards). To me, she is a smart girl and she only does what everyone of us will do to propel our career.

After gaining success and award attention for The Winter's Bones, she became calculative, carefully plan her every move and shape her choices of films into two: award baity and box office baity. Nothing in between. No risky project or "I do it because it's damn fun" or "I know this movie might be panned but I'm still going to do it" type of movie. I just wish she can be more like Saoirse Ronan, doing more "Hanna" (risky but eventually gaining good review) or "Byzantium" and "How I Live Now". Maybe even "The Host" (Yes it is bad, that's my point. Not everyone will have 100% fresh review, even Meryl Streep starred in that Lemony Snicket movie). Even her dress-malfunction and falling at the stairs in award season seemed less adorable to me as it feels not genuine anymore if it happened too frequently it became like a calculative move to shape her into becoming a cute and funny girl (though I'm 100% sure those incidents were really accidental and she did not plan it). She is young she should be able to do more fun things that young actresses should do without too much of award baggage on her shoulder.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

We're just going to agree to disagree on Jennifer Lawrence having anything special. I don't see it. I'd like to see her carry a film on her own though. Not a franchise with a huge built in fanbase, not a DOR ensemble piece and not a small indie that nobody saw but really have to carry a film on her own shoulders by herself.

She's sort of all media hype. I think her PR people are certainly good, but she's not really charming (her interviews are rather cringeworthy and crude) nor does she have that magnetic it factor onscreen IMO. She chooses great projects though, I will give her that.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMiles

If JLaw had starred in a lame rom com after winning the Oscar everyone would be saying "THIS is what you do after the Oscar?" instead she stars in a HUGE blockbuster that's actually good and delivers yet another great performance, and what appears to be yet another critical darling with American Hustle...and yet people complain. I do get that some people are getting tired of her or don't like that she seems to win every award out there but let's think for a minute...we, as an audience, could do a lot worse. Imagine if it was Kirsten Stewart or even worse, Megan Fox. Lawrence may not be the perfect actress but she is a damn good one and she's still so young. I find her incredibly refreshing and real, even if - like it was said in the film experience podcast - her publicist is taking advantage of that side of her now. There's a reason almost everyone LOVES her, there are tons of good looking actresses out there, not all of them get this popular and huge. Even the ones that become famous for a particular role in a particular franchise are ignored elsewhere, Lawrence is not.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man


LOL there's not much left, is there? And that small indie nobody saw got her an Oscar nomination before she became this huge celebrity who instead of making crap movies and taking huge paychecks picks interesting projects where she plays interesting characters even if the movies are super mainstream.

And what you consider cringe-worthy and crude I see as fresh, charming and funny. I'd pick someone like her over some pretentious actress or a no brain actress. I think she's in a nice middle ground. It's nice to see someone not taking the Hollywood game so seriously.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

I'm saving all my venom this season for McConaughey. Bitches are boring. Man-hating is the new black.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I don't know why Jennifer has to prove anything by carrying a film. She's smart about her choices and she is, outside of X-Men and Hunger Games, primarily an actress who appears in prestige films that happen to do well. Even before the hype, she was more of a dramatic actress in smaller movies.

I don't think she'll ever do a rom-com -- she's not in that same America's Sweetheart box that Reese, Julia and Sandra, etc... found themselves in. I think it was even Nathaniel that wrote she is way too salty to be in that category. I think it's because of this that there is no backlash -- at this point, people know this girl's nutty personality and a majority likes it.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Jennifer Lawrence is ridiculously overrated. As an actress, as a beauty, and as a personality. I can't believe that no one has called her out on her sexist, homophobic, and transphobic comments. What others praise as refreshing honesty I see as ignorance.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLynn

please, you know you're not alone, your post is basically a copy + paste of j-law's haters 'rational' reasons for hating her... "she named her dog chaz bono! she wished she had jesse eisenberg's quirks but he has a social disease! she said she was 'dikey' growing up!".

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

And getting over this Jennifer Lawrence fixation from her haters, more than those who vouch for her acting, let's talk about BITWC. Could Adele happen? Also, is it possible that BITWC sweeps all the precursors in foreign language film leaving the category it could not qualify for due to deadlines quite open for any other film?

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Well, I don't hate Jennifer Lawrence, but I do agree that she makes some extremely ignorant comments and can be rather insufferable with the constant talk about her bodily functions and fluids. I also find her to be unintelligent in interviews. She's doing well for herself now so good for her.

Lou Lumenick broke down how the NYFCC decided the winners (and is it just me or does it seem like members of the NYFCC have now taken to Twitter to try to justify or explain their terrible decisions):

Lupita lost by one vote (after winning the first round handidly - don't understand that).

12 Years A Slave lost because apparently some members got sick of the back and forth and left and weren't there for the tiebreaker

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Sigh...and so the Jennifer Lawrence backlash begins -- I was hoping she would lose all the precursors, not because I dislike her, but because of the way the internet and the media work (and also because I'm rooting for Lupita Nyong'o). I knew that it would happen sooner or later, but I was hoping this trend that happens with actresses who haven't done anything terrible experiencing horrific backlash for their acting accomplishments would miraculously stop. Considering just how massive Jennifer Lawrence has become, I shudder to imagine the backlash headed her way -- it will make the vicious Anne Hathaway one seem like a peace rally because Hathaway, for whatever reason, wasn't considered as likable as Lawrence is now.

I can already see the groups foaming at the mouth: the ones who never got her and resent never getting her, the ones who think she's ridiculously overrated as an actress and "stole" from Emmanuelle Riva and potentially Nyong'o, the ones who think she's ugly and fat, the ones who think everything she does is calculated and planned, the ones she has genuinely offended with her offhanded remarks landing the wrong way (the only ones with real justification) and of course, the ones who'll join in because it's fun to bash women who have become very successful. Run, Jennifer! Run for the hills, at least for a little bit. I know you're obligated to do press, but convince your PR people that there's a anti-Hathaway style mob coming. That mob is vicious!

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFlickah

and not a small indie that nobody saw but really have to carry a film on her own shoulders by herself.

How does carrying Winter's Bone not count just because it was a smaller film (that was nominated for Best Picture)?

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

I'm not really stanning for anyone in the Supporting Actress race (well, I'd vote for Sarah Paulson or Emma Watson but realistically neither of those are happening), but it seems awful that Lupita could have led on the second ballot and still lose the prize. I hope she wins at NBR or LAFCA later this week.

Also, I'm a bit surprised that Lumenick released those numbers... but anger can lead people to do risky things, I guess.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Jennifer Lawrence is what 23, I'm sorry I wasn't perfect at that age and probably said some ignorant stuff too.

December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

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