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Sunday
Dec142014

Awards Roundup & Predictions: A Circus That Never Shuts Down!

I swear to you that I've been working my ass off of late but somehow TFE has fallen further and further behind. Let's blame the traffic nightmares in NYC of late (I normally subway it but with that fractured toe there were many cabs), that long Thanksgiving weekend, all the free food and drink consumed at various schmoozy Oscar campaign events and 1:1 interviews. These last are truly the Bermuda triangle of time-suckage. Interviews themselves generally last between 15-20 minutes but somehow they can consume entire days. I wish that I were exaggerating (since I love doing them) but I'm not what with travel time, scheduling negotiations, waiting time, rescheduling snafus, and then the only way those interviews gets to you: transcription time and article construction)

Wah Wah. I'll shut up. First world Oscar pundit problems! The inimitable Missi arrives soon (and while she's entertaining you we get caught up behind the scenes and update every single Oscar chart so comment on those right here )  After the jump all the stuff we haven't talked about yet (EFA Awards, Regional Critics Prizes + "Critics Choice" Predictions).

Can Unbroken start sprinting after a very rough week? Just how hot is Ida? Will the BFCA swarm around their fall favorite Gone Girl? 3...2...1... GO!

 

EUROPEAN FILM AWARDS
They took place in Latvia this year. I've always wanted to go there, no joke. To Latvia not the European Film Awards but those too. This year the EFA crowd hung with that contemplative Jewish nun, giving five prizes to your probable Oscar Foreign Film frontrunner, Poland's Ida. Just how hot is IDA leading into the Oscar nominations? Well, it keeps racking up one-off foreign film wins and it's definitely a film that's been seen. I recently attended a screening hosted by Maggie Gyllenhaal & Peter Sargaard (Jake showed up, too). You can safely ink it down for the foreign film nod but don't be surprise if it surprises with 1 or 2 additional nominations as well.

I was a little sad for Latvia's animated film Rocks in My Pockets, which didn't win the animated feature prize on its home turf.

Film Ida
Comedy The Mafia Only Kills in the Summer
Director Pawel Pawlikowski, Ida
Actor Timothy Spall, Mr Turner
Actress Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Screenwriter Pawel Pawlikowski & Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Ida
Cinematographer Ryszard Lenczewski & Lukasz Zal, Ida
Editor Justine Wright, Locke
Production Designer, Claus-Rudolf Amler, The Dark Valley
Costume Designer Natascha Curtius-Noss, The Dark Valley
Composer Mica Levi, Under the Skin  
Sound Design Joakin Sundstrom, Starred Up
Animated Feature The Art of Happiness
Documentary Master of the Universe
Short Film The Chicken
People's Choice Award Ida
Discovery (FIPRESCI Prize) The Tribe
Co-Production Award Ed Guiney
Achievement in World Cinema Steve McQueen
Lifetime Achievement Award Agnes Varda 

REGIONAL FILM CRITICS
With a lot of groups getting way too big for their britches with a multiple press release process involving nominations and then a week or two later winners (Do they think they're televised ceremonies and that their nominees are going to show up to their awards dinners months from now?) I find this more difficult to track then ever. I made a decision a couple of years ago to ignore the nomination process for the small regional groups as a result and I think most of them begin to announce their actual winners starting tomorrow. They need to just skip this first wave. If a standard announcement is good enough for the two oldest and most important groups (NYFCC & LAFCA) than it should be good enough for Detroit, Phoenix, San Diego, St Louis who have all now announced nominations and Chicago which soon will (NOPE. I'M NOT PAYING ATTENTION. THEY CAN'T MAKE ME!) ...but not winners even though in most cases those will end up being the same so why bother? I shudder to think which even smaller cities are still lying in await hoping to expand to a 4 or 5 step process with multiple press releases for each step in 2017, you know? It reminds me of this tweet which is a 1000% accurate:

So anyway, I thought i was just ages and ages behind when I sat down to write this this morning but it turns out I'm not and the only thing I missed posting was the Washington DC winners. LOL. So here they are:

WASHINGTON DC FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION

Film Boyhood
Director Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Actress Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Actor Michael Keaton, Birdman
Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Supporting Actor JK Simmons, Whiplash 
Ensemble Birdman
Youth Performance  Eller Coltrane, Boyhood
Adapted Screenplay Gone Girl
Original Screenplay Birdman
Animated The LEGO Movie
Documentary Life Itself
Foreign Language Force Majeure
Art Direction The Grand Budapest Hotel
Cinematography Birdman
Editing Birdman
Original Score Under the Skin
Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington DC Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The WAFCA got some heat from the internet for this last award since they nominated Selma but most of that heat was from people who hadn't seen Selma methinks. Selma is, for those who are unaware, the name of a city in Alabama. Most of the movie takes place in Alabama though MLK Jr (David Oyelowo) makes a few trips to D.C. to visit the President (Tom Wilkinson) in the Oval Office. But, no, D.C. isn't depicted much. D.C. and its landmarks are essential to Captain America's narrative though, so I think that's a really good choice. I love the idea of this award because regional critics organizations need to embrace their own region to give themselves specificity and purpose since they don't have much of a purpose otherwise since nearly every year in recent history they all pick the same film as "best" indicating that there's virtually nothing that distinguishes the critical bodies in one city from another 1000s of miles away. 

 

FINALLY...

Some predictions that will be fish-wrap tomorrow morning when the BFCA nominations come out. Here's what I'm guessing the "Critics Choice" nominations will hold. Katey and I are both members, as recently discussed on the podcast, though we both are often frustrated with the group as a whole given their weird insistence on trying to predict Oscars (at the very least we could shrink the fields down to 5 nominees per category so we don't look so obviously like we're trying to be right about Oscar lineups by giving ourselves a buffer!  

 

"CRITICS CHOICE PREDICTIONS"
Not my personal ballot, just what I think the group will come up with. The BFCA is composed mostly of television talking heads and journalists from all over the nation that cover film (the kind you'll often see on your nightly news doing milisecond reviews of whatever's just come out in your city), major newspaper critics, and a smattering of online journalists with substantial readership. 

I'm really throwing darts here because the categories they've chosen never have any guidelines in terms of eligibility which is why you see weird things like Leonardo DiCaprio and Wolf of Wall Street or Sandra Bullock in Gravity sort of considered part of certain genres and also not with mismatching nominations and wins. The specialty categories also have no "and musical" thing that the Globes have AND "action movie" is a different category than "sci-fi" even though most modern sci-fi movies are action films.

SO AGAIN... THROWING DARTS FOR PREDICTIONS

BEST PICTURE
American Sniper
Boyhood
Birdman
Gone Girl
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
Theory of Everything
Unbroken
Whiplash

I've left out possible contenders like Into the Woods, Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher from the AFI top ten and replaced them with Theory of Everything, Grand Budapest Hotel and Gone Girl respectively. If Gone Girl has any awards juice you'll see it happen at the BFCA since the film was so zeitgeisty and many members work in television and it involves tv journalism and people have been talking about it for months.  I also think Unbroken could surprise with a little revival. Remember the much-hated Nine scored 10 (TEN!!!) nominations with BFCA just in the moment where it was teetering between big Oscar expectations and the dawning realization that people didn't like it all that much.... which I figure is exactly where Unbroken is at right now, timing-wise.


BEST ACTOR
Carell
Cumberbatch
Gyllenhaal
Keaton
Oyelowo
Redmayne

BEST ACTRESS - name AND film
Aniston
Cotillard
Jones
Moore
Pike
Witherspoon

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - name AND film
Duvall
Hawke
Norton
Perry
Ruffalo
Simmons

It's super hard to call the fifth slotter here since people are still trying to catch up with Selma and there's been so little campaigning compared to the other acting categories so I'm just guessing Perry on a surprise Gone Girl whim

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS - name AND film
Arquette
Chastain
Dern
Russo
Stone
Streep

I'm going out on a limb with that Russo prediction -replacing Keira just because some category has got to have a surprise  -- but I could also see Carrie Coon happening - either choice would be so fun. Not that I want Keira dumped, mind you! 


BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS (Under 21) - name AND film
Anthony - Chef
Coltrane -Boyhood
Elgort - Fault in Our Stars
Foy - Interstellar
Revolori -Grand Budapest
Wallis - Annie

now that i'm looking back at this it's probably stupid to not predict the little boy from St. Vincent. 

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE 
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game
Selma

BEST DIRECTING - film
Chazelle
DuVernay
Fincher
Inaritu
Linklater
Tyldum

... though I could see Angelina Jolie popping up here. I really could. 

BEST SCREENWRITING (Original Screenplay)
Boyhood
Birdman
Grand Budapest Hotel
A Most Violent Year
Nightcrawler
Whiplash

BEST SCREENWRITING (Adapted Screenplay)
Gone Girl
Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The LEGO Movie
Theory of Everything
Wild

 

the BFCA seems to vacillate on number of nominations in the craft categories (i can't find any rules about why) so I'm just guessing 6 in each (though some will only have 4 or 5 nominees undoubtedly)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY 
Birdman
Ida
Interstellar
Selma
Unbroken
Wild

I'm guessing Mr Turner gets the snub which will be sad. Whatever one thinks of the movie as a whole, my god the cinematography is impressive. 

BEST ART DIRECTION
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Hobbit: Five Armies
Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Interstellar
Maleficent

 

... really hoping that the BFCA can finally give up their Hobbit obsession but also doubting it 

BEST EDITING 
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
Selma
Whiplash

BEST COSTUME DESIGN 
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Hobbit: Five Armies
Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Selma

 

this could go so many ways. I'm so curious... 

BEST MAKEUP 
Foxcatcher
Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of Galaxy
The Hobbit: Five Armies
Into the Woods
Maleficent


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS 
Dawn of Apes
Godzilla
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: Five Armies
Interstellar
Transformers 4

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Big Hero 6
Book of Life
Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The LEGO Movie
Tale of Princess Kaguya

BEST ACTION MOVIE
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Dawn of Apes
Guardians of Galaxy
Edge of Tomorrow
Interstellar
Snowpiercer

BEST ACTOR in an ACTION MOVIE - name AND film
Tom Cruise
Matthew McConaughey
Chris Evans
Chris Pratt
Andy Serkis

BEST ACTRESS in an ACTION MOVIE - name AND film
Emily Blunt
Anne Hathaway
Scarlett Johansson
Jennifer Lawrence

BEST COMEDY
22 Jump Street
Grand Budapest Hotel
Neighbors
Obvious Child
Pride
St Vincent

It's really tough to say any predictiveness about the BFCA specialty categories because no guidelines are ever given for voters and they also don't have the catch all "or musical" descriptive. and sometimes an actor will be considered part of a genre film abut the film won't be considered genre (wolf of wall street last year)

BEST ACTOR in a COMEDY 
Bill Hader
Bill Murray
Joaquin Phoenix
Chris Pratt
Channing Tatum
Zac Efron 

BEST ACTRESS in a COMEDY
Melissa McCarthy
Julianne Moore
Jenny Slate
Tessa Thompson
Kristen Wiig

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE
Dawn of the Apes
Godzilla
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
The Babadook
Under the Skin

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Force Majeure
Ida
Leviathan
Mommy
Two Days One Night
Wild Tales


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizen Four
Jodorowsky's Dune
Life Itself
Red Army
Virunga

BEST SONG (please list the song, artist and film)
Big Eyes
Glory
The Last Goodbye
Lost Stars
Mercy Is
I'm Not Going to Miss You


BEST SCORE 
Birdman
Dawn of the Apes
Fury
Imitation Game
Interstellar
Theory of Everything 

 

THOUGHTS? Have you been able to keep up this year? 

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Reader Comments (13)

You're not predicting Arquette in Supporting?

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChrisD

oh jesus! LOL. fixed. i'm typing as fast as i can. accidents will happen.

December 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm so bummed that no one seems to be paying attention to "Song of the Sea". It is a great year for animated features, but gosh I just adore that little movie. One of my favorites all year.

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

I think that there's no chance that Knightley doesn't get it. If someone is getting snubbed, it ain't her.

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Is the absence of Ralph Fiennes in Best Actor in a Comedy intentional? If so, depressing.

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Every time Mica Levi gets cited for that incredible Under the Skin score, an angel gets its wings.

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Do you really think Ida has a chance at Cinematography, even at the BFCA? I'd be thrilled if that happened but I wonder if ASC will have to chime in before people start considering.

December 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

denny -- or a space alien gets a new distingrating pool

December 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

suzanne -- i only left him out because since the BFCA doesn't make clear distinctions the way the Globes do (literally there's no division. you could nominate someone for both Best Actor categories) people get confused and depends on what theyr'e thinking of when they think "comedy"

margaret -- i concur BUT they really haven't done the work to promote it. Most animators I talk to (and they tend to like seeing animated films) hadn't seen it yet here in NYC. They don't seem to be pushing it very hard which is a bummer because for a long time I thought it could win.

December 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Since you mentioned the BFCA's tendency to pander to Oscar-predicting in its nominations... am I awful for assuming the December 12th BFCA ballot deadline (after the Globe and SAG nom announcements) was set as insurance that BFCA members wouldn't accidentally miss a real Oscar contender? Having it after the other announcements gives themselves a day to jump on the bandwagon for any surprise contenders that emerge.

I'm sure Jennifer Aniston, Robert Duvall, and Naomi Watts picked up some votes (in Watts' case, surely not enough to put her in the supporting category - but maybe actress in a comedy?). And I think Unbroken probably lost a few in light of its Globe/SAG shutout. I'm sure it will show up in more BFCA categories than it will at Oscar, but probably less than it would have if the ballot deadline had been December 9th.

December 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

No Amy Adams anywhere?
these people love her I suppose

December 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterfadhil

So where is Starred Up on any of these lists? From reading reviews, O'Connell and this film are fantastic.

And three of the ten films haven't even opened in Boston. In Boston!!!

December 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I have not seen Starred Up :(... ugh. every year i think i have seen everything i want to see until i hit pre-christmas and start panicking realizing all the gaps in viewing.

December 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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