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Entries in BFCA (42)

Monday
Jan182016

'Critics Choice' Winners List & Oscar-Calling Post-Mortem

the night doubled as a live tribute to Amy SchumerDespite the disdain many members of the media, including some within the BFCA, seem to hold for the HFPA, the organization that runs the Golden Globes, everyone seems to want to be them. The Critics Choice Awards, now in their 21st year, have had trouble emerging from that institution's shadow.

Though the CCMAs had seemed to be on a slight upswing around the turn of the decade (the Meryl Streep years of Doubt and Julie & Julia seemed to go well in terms of media interest, comparatively at least), things have been since trending downward and went truly haywire this year.  In addition to the "never take us seriously!" self-sabotage to change a nominee lineup after nominations had been announced, there are the strange impulses that can only come from not trusting the voting body such as the need to give Amy Schumer a special prize in the year when she's already going to win a normal prize.

Meanwhile the continued expansion of categories over the past several years has created a clusterf*** that requires that very few of them be televised live. Which is a pity because if they were they might be worth discussing. Mad Max Fury Road won 9 prizes but it didn't even remotely emerge from the night feeling like a big winner since only one of the nine was televised! [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan172016

CCMA Live Blog

08:00 I was going to boycott the show this year because of The Shark Jump Awakens but I'm an addict. Awards shows. Red Carpets... excuse me Blue carpets. So I watch. TJ Miller begins the show with an okay monologue without many jokes. The recurring joke is the physical gag of his "four dancing critics." In comedy theory this is one fo those jokes that gets funnier and funnier as it goes from the sheer commitment and silliness but it's probably too early in the evening (read: everyone is too sober) to pull this off just yet.

Suddenly picturing a team of 4 puppets typing with me. Enjoying the fantasy.

08:03 There are approximately 1000 reaction shots of Matt Damon already. Which is weird since there are so many celebrities to choose from in the house. 

Netflix and Chill. I'd rather HBO Go Down on Someone."

08:05 That's a joke I laughed at. I am only human.

08:07 At some point critics are called "professional sifters"? Which hmmm. Semantic comedy? There's also an aside about Oscar Isaac that I didn't get. Miller also congratulates everyone in the room

All of you are in here. You're in the room. You already did it. you won.

I lost, I guess. I'm not in the room this year. But Kirsten Dunst and Rachel McAdams are. [More after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec222015

Critics Choice Wars Episode XXI: A Shark Jump

As you have undoubtedly heard the Broadcast Film Critics Association yelled "do over" this weekend, seeing the response to Star Wars: The Force Awakens from both audiences (with those record breaking numbers) and critics. The organization had voted before the film screened as had literally all of major Oscar precursors. Instead of accepting that deadlines are deadlines -- which all other organizations did because who the hell doesn't? -- they asked members to vote on whether it should be added into the Best Picture lineup after the fact.

Some of us were angry to even be asked. The question was surely rhetorical for after it was asked it was clear that by even asking the BFCA would add the picture, breaking all semblance of standard operating procedure and sound voting practices. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec142015

Critics Choice Nominations: "Fury Road" Leads and Category Fraud Refuses to Die.

Furiosa is coming to devour your Critics Choice AwardsThough I am a member of the BFCA, the organization behind the Critics Choice Awards, I can't say I'm often too pleased with their choices. Their penchant for attempting to predict the Oscars rather than voting based on earlier reviews continues to be the source of endless frustration. For example: everyone thought the SAG nominations were insane when they were announced but just a week later, the BFCA is repeating them despite lukewarm reviews (at best) for films like Trumbo. And though the reviews for Joy have been anything but great they gave it two major nominations, surely based on a year of Oscar expectations for it. Their difficulty in looking past mainstream pictures even in categories ripe for invasion from indies is also truly unfortunate (Tangerine and What We Do in the Shadows for example have 96% and 97% approval ratings from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and NONE of the BFCA's nominees for Best Comedy come anywhere close to those scores. Hell, Joy is currently at only 56% which is not good. And BFCA members are part of the Tomatometer so what does that tell you?

Unfortunately the members also embraced all the Category Fraud contenders in their studio preferred categories despite the BFCA endorsing a lead vote for Rooney Mara before voting began and somewhat suggesting that maybe Alicia Vikander didn't belong in supporting either. I understand from voting members of the OFCS that this exact situation preceded their vote. It's tough to root out Category Fraud when people have been so conditioned by the studios to believe that anything goes.

The complete list of nominees for film and television (with commentary is after the jump)

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec132015

35 Days Until the Critics Choice Awards. Nominations Tomorrow.

Actor/comedian TJ Miller (Silicon Valley and "Tuffnot Thorston" in the How to Train Your Dragon franchise) is hosting. Though I usually attend funds are low this year so I haven't yet made the travel decision. (It will be tough to beat last year's experience with Jessica Chastain at any rate.)

Do you think these films will get the boost they need tomorrow?The nominations for the 21st annual Critics Choice Awards will be announced tomorrow. Since there are six nominees in each acting category (which you'll know annoys the purists like me and probably many of you -- the correct number is always FIVE) you can safely bet that most of the Oscar frontrunners will be accounted for so what's interesting is the fifth and sixth free-for-all spots in each lineup. I'm perhaps most curious to see how films on the bubble perform  (like Steve Jobs, Bridge of Spies, and Creed) or whether films that risk being forgotten (like Sicario) come roaring back to life. This is the second to last clue in precursor season about which films and performances are well loved as we approach Oscar nominations (the last clue being the various guild nominations to come).

I shan't predict these BFCA "Critics Choice" nominations since I vote but rest assured that I did my part for Carol, Mad Max, Room and the other movies we've showered love on here. But how about you? Any predictions.

Monday
Dec072015

FYC: Critics Choice Best Young Performer

Last year I began a tradition to help my fellow BFCA members choose more wisely when it comes to the "Young Performer" category by sharing an eligibility list. My belief is they often choose poorly because this category gets no pre-voting discussion whatsoever and it can be difficult to even think of who is eligible. That said, you can safely expect to see Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation) and Jacob Tremblay (Room) nominated because they have leading roles in films that have been discussed. But who else should or could be nominated?

Ballots go out to the BFCA at any moment so here's a cheat sheet to help them vote. The category is UNDER 21... (but it should obviously be adjusted to 17 and under. Remember that year when the winner came from the sexually explicit Blue is the Warmest Color? That's what you get when you have a category with adults in it that is ostensibly a child star prize)

Please FYC your favorites in the comments. Give voters some options to truly consider:

ELIGIBLE "YOUNG PERFORMERS" IN 2015 FILMS
(if we've missed any key players - make sure to shout them out in the comments)

GIRLS
Oona Laurence (13) as "Leila Hope" in Southpaw
Günes Sensoy as "Lale" in Mustang
Raffey Cassidy (13) as "Athena" in Tomorrowland
Isabella Crovetti-Cramp (?) as "Young Joy" in Joy
Willow Shields (15) as "Primrose Everdeen" in Hunger Games - Mockingjay Pt 2
Elle Fanning
 (17) as "Niki Trumbo" in Trumbo
Hailee Steinfeld
 (19) as "Emily" in Pitch Perfect 2
Joey King (16) as "Phoebe" in Stonewall
Ashley Aufderheide (?) as "Faith" in Infinitely Polar Bear
Imogene Wolodarsky (?) as "Amelia" in Infinitely Polar Bear
Mackenzie Moss (?) as "Lisa (age 5)" in Steve Jobs
Ripley Sobo (?) as "Lisa (age 9)" in Steve Jobs
Perla Haney-Jardine (18) as "Lisa (age 19) in Steve Jobs

BOYS
Forrest Goodluck (17) as "Hawk" in The Revenant
Levi Miller (13) as "Peter" in Pan
Tony Revolori (19) as "Jib" in Dope
Shameik Moore (20) as "Malcom" in Dope
Russell Posner (?) as "Zach" in The D Train
Alex Henderson (?) as "Young Adonis" in Creed
RJ Cyler (20) as "Earl" in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Josh Wiggins (17) as "Justin Wincott" in Max
Pierce Gagnon (10) as "Nate" in Tomorrowland
Ty Simpkins (14) as "Gray" in Jurassic World
Nick Robinson (20) as "Zach" in Jurassic World
Luke Ryan (8) as "Douglas Cyr" in Black Mass
Jacob Lofland (19) as "Aris Jones" in Maze Runner: Scorch Trials
Kodi Smit-McPhee (19) as "Jay Cavendish" in Slow West
Abraham Attah (15) as "Agu" in Beasts of No Nation
Jacob Tremblay (9) as "Jack" in Room
Tom Holland (19) as "Young Thomas Nickerson" in In the Heart of the Sea
Milo Parker (?) as "" in Mr Holmes

WHICH YOUNG THESPIANS WOULD MAKE YOUR BALLOT?
I hope you'll FYC your favorites in the comments and give the Broadcast Film Critic voters some options to truly consider rather than making this the annual 'which young actor is most famous' list.

Friday
Oct022015

Something Link-ed This Way Comes

The Movies
• How does The Intern stack up to previous Nancy Meyers releases at the box office? It's a bit too early to tell but I totally didn't know and was a bit surprised to realize that they were nearly all bigger hits overseas than in the US [Box Office Mojo]
• Sasha Stone comes up with a new sneaky way to define leading roles as supporting. She's calling them "anchors" as in "anchors to the lead," not "the other lead." Hee. Of course she doesn't mean Anchor as Category Fraud but a rose by any other name... [Awards Daily]
• Singing the praises of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and their upcoming slate for cinema-voracious New Yorkers. And really, sing these praises at full volume. [MNPP]
• Not everyone loves the new Macbeth [Shadowplay
• "The people behind [Sicario] understand that what makes a great thriller is not the abundance of shootings, murders or jump scares and plot twists - it's the fear that something horrible can happen at any moment." [Cinematic Corner

Off Screen
• Oh god. File under totally depressing: If even Meryl Streep doesn't understand what feminism is, the earth is doomed. One of the most successful things conservative thinkers ever did is fooling progressives (and women of any political stripe) into thinking it was a bad word [Refinery 29]
• I mean... Keira Knightley is awesome but shouting marriage proposals at her while she's trying to make her Broadway debut last night. Not cool, drunk stalker! [Playbill]
• "Homophobia unites people of different Christian faiths" - Dan Savage, hero, on the Pope/Kim Davis mishegoss [MSNBC]
• I missed this report last week but The Tony Awards might be leaving their regular home - considering different theaters [NYT]
• "The last time I saw Madonna was on September 6th, 1989, during the live telecast of the MTV Video Music Awards. I was in my parents basement with my mother..."  Love these personal essays about stars when people can pull them off. Must Read. [The Hairpin]

Scream Queens
• Is Nick Jonas too into queerbaiting his fans? [Towleroad]
• Are any of you watching? It's such a mess, strains for laughs and (worst of all) revels in its misogyny (Murphy and his writers really need to stop putting words like "gash" into the girls mouths to demean other girls) to the point where you know it's not parody but just actual feeling disguised as parody. I'm only in it for Jamie Lee Curtis (fun but she's been better) and recent Emmy nominee Niecy Nash (making the very very very most of a small role - what a gift she is!). This quote from Towleroad's recap of the third episode made me LOL:

“Chainsaw” ...crammed in so many obvious red herrings, I think it qualifies as an aquarium.

Image of the Day
Michael Fassbender as MacBeth. I will never for the life of me understand what is taking so long with this movie (remember how long ago we saw the first images -- I swear it was 2013 -- or even why they're going to distribute it like a poor stepchild movie. (sigh).

click to embiggen

"Critics Choice" Ch-ch-changes
It's worth noting that the BFCA, of which I am a member -- yes, I'm still bragging about sitting with Jessica Chastain last year --  is making a major change. They're fusing their fairly new TV arm (which currently holds their ceremony in May each year) with their cinema body for one conjoined show starting in January that's 3 hours long. I don't understand what that will mean for current TV shows (two awards for their favorites in just a seven-month span?) but this will obviously make the Critics Choice Awards far more like their sworn enemy* the Golden Globes. Obviously to make this successful the BFCA will have to axe some of their odder categories from their ever-expanding roster but that was okay because things were getting seriously weird there in their attempts to cover everything but NOT officially categorize anything (resulting in weird 'it's an action movie but it's not... it's a comedy but it's not... it's a drama but... no, scratch that we don't say "drama" about anything --that's the default!') 

I have to admit that it seems odd to have two separate organizations do one event together. Just let us vote on both, and not have to be part of two organizations! Just change the name to Broadcast Critics Choice Awards, dropping the pesky film or tv separations. 

* I'm kidding though for all the heat the Golden Globe take from US journalists, it's perpetually hilarious that US journalists always want to be more like them.