Only a few of the many film critics organizations have sounded off as of now, but certain patterns are emerging: Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto and Gravity are thoroughly dominating Actress and Supporting Actor and Cinematography, respectively; 12 Years a Slave and Lupita Nyong’o are formidable in Best Picture and Supporting Actress though they don’t win every time; Actor, Production Design, Documentary, Ensemble? Flip a coin. Or, rather, roll the dice since there are a lot of achievements splitting critical passion which should make this a robust and competitive season up until Oscar night… unless, of course, the Globes, SAG and BFCA all march in lock step later this week. If that happens, things flatten out quickly.
WAFCA (Washington DC Area Film Critics Association) is the latest organization to sound off. They're now in their 12th year of prize-giving. Their full list of winners, which follows all these patterns, is after the jump with a couple more comments thrown in.
Film: 12 Years a Slave
Director: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Actress: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Supporting Actor: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Acting Ensemble: 12 Years a Slave
Youth Performance: Tye Sheridan (Mud)
Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)
Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze (Her)
12 Years a Slave is their clear champion with five prizes though we can safely assume that Gravity is the Picture runner up since it won three including Best Director. I am half assuming that this split is likely at the Oscars, too… though we’ve got a long way to go still to get there.
Animated Feature: Frozen
Foreign Language Film: The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
Art Direction: Production Designer: Catherine Martin, Set Decorator: Beverley Dunn (The Great Gatsby)
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, A.M.C. (Gravity)
Best Editing: Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger (Gravity)
Original Score: Hans Zimmer (12 Years a Slave)
The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC: Lee Daniels' The Butler
I hope the current enthusiasm for Broken Circle Breakdown, now in release in the US, convinces more foreign language film distributors to release Oscar hopefuls in that category DURING the calendar year.