Movies - Awards postsFriday February 22, 2013
38e cérémonie des César: Amour, Amour, Amour
The French held their Academy Awards today and it was all about Michael Haneke's “Amour,” which won best picture, director, actor, actress, and original screenplay. It did the “Cuckoo's Nest,” in other words.
The results en francaise:
- Meilleur film: Amour
- Meilleur réalisateur: Michael Haneke pour Amour
- Meilleur acteur: Jean-Louis Trintignant pour le rôle de Georges dans Amour
- Meilleur actrice: Emmanuelle Riva pour le rôle d'Anne dans Amour
- Meilleur acteur dans un second rôle: Guillaume de Tonquédec pour le rôle de Claude dans Le Prénom
- Meilleure actrice dans un second rôle: Valérie Benguigui pour le rôle d'Elisabeth dans Le Prénom
- Meilleur espoir masculin: Matthias Schoenaerts pour le rôle d'Ali dans De rouille et d'os
- Meilleur espoir feminine: Izïa Higelin pour le rôle de Louise dans Mauvaise Fille
- Meilleur scénario original: Amour – Michael Haneke
- Meilleure adaptation: De rouille et d'os – Jacques Audiard et Thomas Bidegain, adapté du recueil de nouvelles Rust and Bone de Craig Davidson
- Meilleur film étranger: Argo de Ben Affleck
- Kevin Costner pour l'ensemble de sa carrière.
Emmanuelle Riva won best actress in Michael Haneke's “Amour” at the 38th annual Cesars in Paris.
Bafflingly British BAFTAs Honor 'Argo,' 'Amour'
For many, the British Academy Awards, the BAFTAs, are simply harbingers of the Academy Awards, the proper awards, which are doled out in two weeks; but I'm kind of fascinated by the number of best pictures the Brits give out:
- Best Film
- Best Film Not in the English Language
- The Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year
The last one, mostly. Imagine if the Academy gave out a best film and a best American film: say, the Louis B. Mayer Award for Outstanding American Film of the Year. It's inconceivable, really.
The BAFTAs actually began this way—Best Film from Any Source and Best British Film—way back in 1948, but it dropped Best British Film in 1968 when four of its last six Best Films were also Best British Films: “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Tom Jones,” “Dr. Strangelove,” and “A Man for All Seasons.”
At the 1983 awards ceremony, “Best Foreign Language Film” was introduced, and by the end of the decade the language was amended to the politically correct phrase currently used. The best British film award, now named for Alexander Korda, started up again for some reason in 1993.
Immediately it was a bit odd. “The Crying Game” won the Brit award that year while the best film went to “Howard's End,” which is monumentally British. The BAFTAs keep doing this. Here's a list of BAFTA Best Films that didn't also win the Alexander Korda award for Best British Film—even though they're supremely British:
- “Four Weddings and a Funeral”
- “Sense and Sensibility”
- “The English Patient”
- “The Full Monty”
- “Shakespeare in Love”
- “The Queen”
The movies that win Best British Film seem to be smaller films, indies (“Shallow Grave,” “Secrets & Lies,” “Elizabeth,” “This is England”), so maybe that's the distinction. But you can be nominated for both: “Les Miserables,” for example, was nominated in both categories this year.
It won neither, by the way. Here are the winners at the 2012 BAFTAs:
- Best Film Argo
- Best British Film Skyfall
- Best Film Not in the English Language Amour
- Best Director Ben Affleck, Argo
- Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
- Best Actress Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
- Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
- Best Supporting Actress Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
- Best Original Screenplay Django Unchained
- Best Adapted Screenplay Silver Linings Playbook
- Best Animated Film Brave
- Best Documentary Searching for Sugar Man
- Best Editing William Goldenberg, Argo
- Best Costume Design Jacqueline Durran, Anna Karenina
- Best Cinematography Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi
- Best Original Music Thomas Newman, Skyfall
- Best Visual Effects Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer, Donald R. Elliott, Life of Pi
- Best Production Design Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson, Les Misérables
Don't get either screenplay award. Can't fault either lead actor award. Plus the Brits had the sense to nominate Marion Cotillard.
As for harbinger? BAFTA's best picture has been the Academy's best picture for the last four years (“The Artist,” “The King's Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” “Slumdog Millionaire”) but disagreed the previous four. So who knows? Even so, another win for “Argo,” my ninth-favorite movie of 2012.
How do you like me now, Academy?
Ben Affleck Wins DGA
The line from the Directors Guild of America Award for best director to the Oscar for best director to the Oscar for best picture has been fairly straight over the years.
In the 1990s, we had two stumbles: Ron Howard (“Apollo 13”) won the DGA but he wasn't nom'ed for the Oscar. As a result, the Oscar's best director and best picture went to Mel Gibson and “Braveheart” instead. Then in 1998, Steven Spielberg won both the DGA and the Oscar for best director but his picture, “Saving Private Ryan,” in one of the greatest upsets in Oscar history (engineered by Harvey Weinstein, of course), went to “Shakesepare in Love.” Blah.
In the first decade of the 21st century, we had even more stumbles. 2000 was all over the place: Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger”) got the DGA, Steve Soderbergh (“Traffic”) got the Oscar, but the best pic went to “Gladiator.” In 2002, Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) got the DGA, and his picture, “Chicago,” got the Oscar, but the best director Oscar went, deservedly to Roman Polanski (“The Pianist”). Then there was the mess of 2005: DGA and Oscar to Ang Lee for “Brokeback Mountain,” best pic to “Crash.” Don't get me started on that one.
Since? The line hasn't been broken.
This year it will be. The winner of the DGA tonight was Ben Affleck for “Argo”; and since he hasn't been nominated for an Oscar for best director, it's gotta go to someone else—most likely Steven Spielberg.
As for best picture then?
Well, the last time a director won the DGA and hadn't been nominated for an Oscar was Ron Howard in 1995. Mel Gibson and “Braveheart” were the beneficiaries that year. Could Spielberg and “Lincoln” be the beneficiaries this year? No pun intended on “ben.”
On the other hand, since the advent of the SAG-cast award in 1996, any movie that won all three of the guilds won the Oscar for best picture: “The King's Speech,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King,” “Chicago,” and “American Beauty.”
Here's the guild history:
|Year||DGA||PGA||SAG - CAST|
|2011||The Artist||The Artist||The Help|
|2010||The King's Speech||The King's Speech||The King's Speech|
|2009||The Hurt Locker||The Hurt Locker||Inglourious Bastards|
|2008||Slumdog Millionaire||Slumdog Millionaire||Slumdog Millionaire|
|2007||No Country for Old Men||No Country for Old Men||No Country for Old Men|
|2006||The Departed||Little Miss Sunshine||Little Miss Sunshine|
|2005||Brokeback Mountain||Brokeback Mountain||Crash|
|2004||Million Dollar Baby||The Aviator||Sideways|
|2003||Lord of the Rings||Lord of the Rings||Lord of the Rings|
|2001||A Beautiful Mind||Moulin Rouge!||Gosford Park|
|2000||Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon||Gladiator||Traffic|
|1999||American Beauty||American Beauty||American Beauty|
|1998||Saving Private Ryan||Saving Private Ryan||Shakespeare in Love|
|1997||Titanic||Titanic||The Full Monty|
|1996||The English Patient||The English Patient||The Birdcage|
|1995||Apollo 13||Apollo 13|
|1994||Forrest Gump||Forrest Gump|
|1993||Schindler's List||Schindler's List|
|1992||Unforgiven||The Crying Game|
|1991||Silence of the Lambs||The Silence of the Lambs|
|1990||Dances with Wolves||Dances with Wolves|
|1989||Born on the 4th of July||Driving Miss Daisy|
Elsewhere in the night, “Searching for Sugar Man” won the DGA for best documentary, Jay Roach won for best movie on television (“Game Change”), and Milos Forman won the lifetime achievement award.
My early bet is split vote: Spielberg and “Argo.” But what do I know? I'm in Seattle.
For the guilds, it's Argo, Argo, Argo.
Joaquin Phoenix Praises Film Crew, Gives Nod to 'Up-and-Comer' Daniel Day-Lewis
“I struggle with the idea of winning awards for acting. Stating I'm Best Actor for something as subjective as film seems strange to me. To the uninitiated it implies I'm solely responsible for the creation and implementation of the character. I am not. I suppose that's why we thank our colleagues. There are those who you all know such as Paul Thomas Anderson, to whom I am eternally grateful – a man who has persistently searched for the truth. I am fortunate to have been under his guidance. Philip Seymour Hoffman for his patience and advice. Amy Adams for being angry. Megan Ellison and everyone at Annapurna for their support of the film and ensuring that I was able to cover my mortgage. But there are many others who you do not know by name such as Mike Kenna, who I believe was the grip but he did 20 different jobs so I can't be sure; Adam Somner, the first assistant director; Karen Ramirez in the office; Tommy – I don't know your last name… there are too many to list. The truth is, you cannot separate my work from their's. We were a unit bolstered by the same goal: to do our part in helping Paul to achieve his vision. I view this award as recognition of all of our work. I am very cognisant of the fact that for me this award is an encouragement to continue my lifelong passion of being an actor. I will not squander this high regard. P.S. There's an up-and-coming actor named Daniel who's in a movie called 'Lincoln.' You should check it out.”
-- Joaquin Phoenix, a non-attendee, in a note of thanks for winning the London Critics' Circle Award for Actor of the Year. Very, very classy. In the same gathering, Jacques Audiard's “Rust and Bone” won best foreign language film. See it.
Freddie, by way of Joaquin, Paul, Philip, Amy, Megan, Mike, Karen, Tommy, et al.
SAG Cast Award Goes to 'Argo'
Well, that's two of the three guild awards for “Argo.”
I don't agree, given the options (“Lincoln” is an acting tour de force), but the bigger question, or actually the smaller question, is what this means for its chances for the Oscar.
Over the last few weeks, “Argo” has won the Golden Globe, the Producers Guild Award, and now the Screen Actors Guild cast award. Has any movie won all three and not won the Oscar for best picture? Here's a chart (Eventual Oscar winner for best picture in bold):
||PGA||SAG - CAST||GG - DRAMA||GG-COMEDY/MUSICAL|
|2011||The Artist||The Help||The Descendants||The Artist|
|2010||The King's Speech||The King's Speech||The Social Network||The Kids Are Alright|
|2009||The Hurt Locker||Inglourious Bastards||Avatar||The Hangover|
|2008||Slumdog Millionaire||Slumdog Millionaire||Slumdog Millionaire||Vicky Cristina Barcelona|
|2007||No Country for Old Men||No Country for Old Men||Atonement||Sweeney Todd|
|2006||Little Miss Sunshine||Little Miss Sunshine||Babel||Dreamgirls|
|2005||Brokeback Mountain||Crash||Brokeback Mountain||Walk the Line|
|2004||The Aviator||Sideways||The Aviator||Sideways|
|2003||Lord of the Rings||Lord of the Rings||Lord of the Rings||Lost in Translation|
|2001||Moulin Rouge!||Gosford Park||A Beautiful Mind||Moulin Rouge!|
|1999||American Beauty||American Beauty||American Beauty||Toy Story 2|
|1998||Saving Private Ryan||Shakespeare in Love||Saving Private Ryan||Shakespeare in Love|
|1997||Titanic||The Full Monty||Titanic||As Good As It Gets|
|1996||The English Patient||The Birdcage||The English Patient||Evita|
Since SAG started giving out the cast award in 1996, there have only been four years in which the Golden Globe, the SAG and the PGA all went to the same movie. In 2008, they all fell for “Slumdog Millionaire”; in 2003, they all sought out “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”; in 2002, they lusted after “Chicago”; and in 1999, they dropped dead for “American Beauty.”
All three won the Oscar for best picture.
On the other hand, the director of each film was nominated for and won an Oscar. Ben Affleck, director of “Argo,” was not and will not. Not sure how this changes things.
In other news that ain't much news, and that seems to presage how the Academy will vote, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Hathaway each won individual acting honors.
The big daddy, the DGA, is next week. But right now it's looking good for Ben Affleck.
Ben Affleck: looking good.
'Argo' Wins PGA
Tonight the Producers Guild of America awarded its best picture to “Argo.”
What does this mean? These are the PGAs best picture winners since 1989 (disagreements with the eventual Academy winnner in blue):
||PGA best picture
|2010||The King's Speech|
|2009||The Hurt Locker|
|2007||No Country for Old Men|
|2006||Little Miss Sunshine|
|2003||Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
|1998||Saving Private Ryan|
|1996||The English Patient|
|1992||The Crying Game|
|1991||The Silence of the Lambs|
|1990||Dances with Wolves|
|1989||Driving Miss Daisy|
So the PGA has agreed with the Academy every year for the last five years but disagreed with AMPAS the three years before that. (I like the PGA's choices better in those years, by the way. Particularly 2005).
Does the win tonight mean Oscar momentum for “Argo,” whose director, Ben Affleck, wasn't even nominated best director by the Academy?
Here's a question that's easier to answer: Has a film ever won the Golden Globe and the PGA and not won the Oscar for best picture? Yes. Four times since 1989:
|PGA||GG - DRAMA||GG-COMEDY/MUSICAL|
|The Artist||The Descendants||The Artist|
|The King's Speech||The Social Network||The Kids Are Alright|
|The Hurt Locker||Avatar||The Hangover|
|Slumdog Millionaire||Slumdog Millionaire||Vicky Cristina Barcelona|
|No Country for Old Men||Atonement||Sweeney Todd|
|Little Miss Sunshine||Babel||Dreamgirls|
|Brokeback Mountain||Brokeback Mountain||Walk the Line|
|The Aviator||The Aviator||Sideways|
|Lord of the Rings||Lord of the Rings||Lost in Translation|
|Moulin Rouge!||A Beautiful Mind||Moulin Rouge!|
|American Beauty||American Beauty||Toy Story 2|
|Saving Private Ryan||Saving Private Ryan||Shakespeare in Love|
|Titanic||Titanic||As Good As It Gets|
|The English Patient||The English Patient||Evita|
|Apollo 13||Sense and Sensibility||Babe|
|Forrest Gump||Forrest Gump||The Lion King|
|Schindler's List||Schindler's List||Mrs. Doubtfire|
|The Crying Game||Scent of a Woman||The Player|
|The Silence of the Lambs||Bugsy||Beauty and the Beast|
|Dances with Wolves||Dances with Wolves||Green Card|
|Driving Miss Daisy||Born on the 4th of July||Driving Miss Daisy|
Either way, it mixes things up a bit. “Argo” now feels like the frontrunner despite its lack of director nomination, supplanting “Lincoln.” In case you're wondering, the last time a picture won best picture without a nomination for its director was in 1989: “Driving Miss Daisy,” directed by Bruce Beresford.
In other news, “Searching for Sugar Man” won best documentary.
The SAG awards are tomorrow.
“If I'm going to make a fake movie, it's going to be a fake hit.” — Fake producer Lester Siegel, now honored by real producers.
Golden Globes Continue to Diverge from the Academy
The Golden Globes are always fun. Jodie Foster's speech wlll be dissected and celebrated for days to come. Daniel Day-Lewis' line to Tony Kushner was as eloquent as anything Kushner wrote in “Lincoln.” And “Argo.” Remember “Argo”? But what does it mean?
Nothing. At least it means nothing in terms of the Oscars.
Here are the Golden Globe winners for the last 20-odd years with matching Oscar winners in bold:
|Year||GG - DRAMA||GG-COMEDY/MUSICAL|
|2011||The Descendants||The Artist|
|2010||The Social Network||The Kids Are Alright|
|2008||Slumdog Millionaire||Vicky Cristina Barcelona|
|2005||Brokeback Mountain||Walk the Line|
|2003||Lord of the Rings||Lost in Translation|
|2001||A Beautiful Mind||Moulin Rouge|
|1999||American Beauty||Toy Story 2|
|1998||Saving Private Ryan||Shakespeare in Love|
|1997||Titanic||As Good As It Gets|
|1996||The English Patient||Evita|
|1995||Sense and Sensibility||Babe|
|1994||Forrest Gump||The Lion King|
|1993||Schindler's List||Mrs. Doubtfire|
|1992||Scent of a Woman||The Player|
|1991||Bugsy||Beauty and the Beast|
|1990||Dances with Wolves||Green Card|
|1989||Born on the 4th of July||Driving Miss Daisy|
The Globes and the Academy used to agree more often: 12 out of 15 times from 1989 to 2003. Since 2004? Twice in 8 years: “Slumdog” in 2008 and “The Artist” last year. I think it'll be twice in 9 years since I don't see either “Argo” or “Les Miserables,” neither of whose directors were nominated by the Academy, winning the big one.
And yes to “Girls.” But “Boardwalk Empire” needs to get a little more love. Not to mention “Bored to Death.”
But please invite back Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Please. Their opening monologue here.
The DGAs Are In: Affleck, Bigelow, Hooper, Lee, Spielberg
Today, the Directors Guild of America announced its nominees for outstanding direction in a feature film in 2012. Its nominees:
- Ben Affleck for “Argo”
- Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty”
- Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables”
- Ang Lee for “Life of Pi”
- Steven Spielberg for “Lincoln”
As mentioned before, whoever wins the DGA almost always wins best director; and whoever wins best director, their movie almost always wins best picture.
Since 1990, the line from the DGA's best director to the Oscar's best picture has been broken only four times: in 1995, 2000, 2002 and 2005.
As for a best picture coming from a director who wasn't even nominated for a DGA? That's only happened once since 1969.
In other words, “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Django Unchained” and “The Master”? SOL, dudes.
I think we're actually down to two films: “Lincoln” and “Argo.” I think the torture issue is sinking “Zero Dark Thirty.” (When you lie to us, Kathryn, we hurt you.) I think “Les Miz” isn't respected enough. I think “Life of Pi” is mostly forgotten.
The Academy roars Thursday morning. I'll be blogging early with reaction.
AFI's Top 10 Movies of 2012
Yesterday the American Film Institute released its list of the top 10 movies of 2012. It's a bit pedestrian since the organization is obviously limited to American film.
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- The Dark Knight Rises
- Django Unchained
- Les Miserables
- Life of Pi
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Zero Dark Thirty
Of the five I've seen (linked above), only two will probably make my top 10. Feel free to guess.
The surprise, of course, is “The Dark Knight Rises,” which has all sorts of problems but did well at the box office. If it's box office they're after, why not “The Avengers,” a better movie, which did better box office? Why not “Skyfall”? (Oh right, Brit.) Why not “Ice Age 3: Continental Drift”? (OK, now you're getting silly.) Why not “Chasing Ice”? Yeah, why not? Or doesn't AFI do docs? How about a “Ice Age 3”/“Chasing Ice” double feature?
For some reason, the year-end lists this year are depressing hell out of me. Maybe because there's no “Tree of Life” or “Un Prophete” or “Up” to choose from.
D.C., Boston, Choose ZERO DARK THIRTY for Best Film; LA Says AMOUR
More year-end critics awards were announced recently:
|Washington, D.C.||Boston||Los Angeles|
|Film||Zero Dark Thirty||Zero Dark Thirty||Amour|
|Director||Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
||Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty||Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master|
|Actor||Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln||Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln||Joaquin Phoenix, The Master|
|Actress||Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
||Emmanuelle Riva, Amour||Emmanuelle Riva, Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook|
|Supp. Actor||Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master||Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower||Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild|
|Supp. Actress||Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables||Sally Field, Lincoln||Amy Adams, The Master|
|Screenplay||Rian Johnson, Looper/ David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook||Tony Kushner, Lincoln||Chris Terrio, Argo|
|Documentary||Bully||How to Survive a Plague||The Gatekeepers|
|Cinematography||Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi||Mihai Malaimare Jr., The Master||Roger Deakins, Skyfall|
LA loves itself some “Master,” doesn't it?
Don't understand the “Looper” love. Wasn't a fan.
Missed out on “Amour” thus far — although it's Haneke, which isn't a good sign for me. Also missed out on most of the year's good documentaries. Did they come through town? If so, where was I?
Inspired choice: Ezra Miller for best supporting actor.
Meanwhile, controversy begins to haunt the frontrunner. Does “Zero Dark Thirty,” against all available evidence, suggest that waterboarding led to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden? Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal seem nonchalant about the matter in Dexter Filkins' New Yorker piece. A better defense, for them, is constructed by Spencer Ackerman in WIRED.
“The nuns taught us there were two ways through life: the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow.”
National Board of Review Names ZERO DARK THIRTY Best Film of 2012
Here's NBR's list:
- Best Film: ZERO DARK THIRTY
- Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, ZERO DARK THIRTY
- Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
- Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, ZERO DARK THIRTY
- Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, DJANGO UNCHAINED
- Best Supporting Actress: Ann Dowd, COMPLIANCE
- Best Original Screenplay: Rian Johnson, LOOPER
- Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
- Best Animated Feature: WRECK-IT RALPH
- Special Achievement in Filmmaking: Ben Affleck, ARGO
- Breakthrough Actor: Tom Holland, THE IMPOSSIBLE
- Breakthrough Actress: Quvenzhané Wallis BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
- Best Directorial Debut: Benh Zeitlin, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
- Best Foreign Language Film: AMOUR
- Best Documentary: SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN
- William K. Everson Film History Award: 50 YEARS OF BOND FILMS
- Best Ensemble: LES MISÉRABLES
- Spotlight Award: John Goodman (ARGO, FLIGHT, PARANORMAN, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE)
- NBR Freedom of Expression Award: CENTRAL PARK FIVE
- NBR Freedom of Expression Award: PROMISED LAND
(BTW, NBR, that should be “Sugar Man,” not “Sugarman.” FYI.)
The National Board of Review is less prestigious than the New York Film Critics Circle but an even poorer predictor of the Oscar race. Since 2000, they've chosen the same best picture as the Academy only twice: “No Country for Old Men” in 2007 and “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008. For the rest they went “Quills,” “Moulin Rouge!,” “The Hours,” “Mystic River,” “Finding Neverland,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Up in the Air,” “The Social Network,” “Hugo.” Some weak tea there.
As for when the NBR and the NYFCC agree on best picture? They rarely do: four times in the last 20 years. Well, five now. And it means nothing in terms of the Oscar race:
- 2010: The Social Network (NO)
- 2007: No Country for Old Men (YES)
- 1997: L.A. Confidential: (NO)
- 1993: Schindler's List: (YES)
“Lincoln,” interestingly, was shut out by the NBR. Even Danny Day-Lewis. That makes me smile, it's so absurd.
I'm sure he's fine. But he's no Danny Day-Lewis, despite the garbage bag.
Let the Awards Season Begin! NY Film Critics Circle Names ZERO DARK THIRTY Best Picture of 2012
Yes, the awards season has begun ... even though most of us haven't had the chance to see the movies yet. Or even hear of them. “The Deep Blue Sea” anyone?
None of that stopped the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) from, today, naming its best of the best of 2012. The winners:
- Picture: “Zero Dark Thirty”
- Director: Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty”
- Screenplay: Tony Kushner for “Lincoln”
- Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”
- Actress: Rachel Weisz for “The Deep Blue Sea”
- Supporting Actress: Sally Field for “Lincoln”
- Supporting Actor: Matthew McConaughey for “Bernie” and “Magic Mike”
- Cinematographer: Greig Fraser for “Zero Dark Thirty”
- Animated Feature: “Frankenweenie”
- Documentary Feature: “The Central Park Five”
- Foreign Film: “Amour”
- First Film: David France, “How to Survive a Plague”
Immediate reaction. I've seen “Lincoln” and that's it. Which is so typical of early December awards. But thus far I certainly agree with the NYFCC's actor and screenplay choices. Field, too, but less obviously. For some reason, apparently, some critics have disparaged her performance. Don't get that.
I'm glad for “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow's film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. As I said the other day, it looks fantastic. I have high hopes.
“Frankenweenie”? I think Jordy will object. I think he prefered “ParaNorman” and “Wreck-It Ralph.” I think this award was given to the more famous, more prestigious director, not the better animated movie. (Although I didn't think much of “Wreck-It Ralph.”)
“Amour” has been all over the place this year but I'm not much of a fan of Michael Haneke, either.
If you're curious how the NYFCC prefigures the Oscars, it's about a 50-50 proposition when it comes to best picture: 2011 yes, 2010 no (“Social Network” over “The King's Speech”), 2009 yes, 2008 no (“Milk” over “Slumdog Millionaire”), 2007 yes, 2006 no (“United 93” over “The Departed”). We're in an even year so it look like another disagreement with the Academy. When that happens, as with the aforementioned, I tend to agree with the New York Film Critics Circle.
PGAs: Four of Five
The PGAs, or Producers Guild of America nominees, which honors producers of both motion pictures and television, were announced a few days ago, and in the key category, motion picture of the year, the nominees were:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
First, it's nice the PGAs don't alphabetize the way Comcast does (yeah, I'm not letting go of that one), and, second, the list is the same list of best picture nominees EW predicted for the Oscars a few days earlier — not to mention the same list Jeff Wells (or an industry insider Friend Of Jeff Wells) mentioned in early December.
As far as EW and FOJW? Who knows. As far as the PGAs, if recent history has any meaning, it means we're down to four of the five. Since 2004, the PGAs and the Oscars have agreed on every picture but one — with the PGA going for, in order, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” over “Atonement” (2007), “Dreamgirls” over “Letters from Iwo Jima” (2006), “Walk the Line” over “Munich” (2005) and “The Incredibles” over “Ray” (2004). Before that, the PGA sometimes picked six nominees and it gets harder to calculate.
In other words, we're down to Agatha Christie territory. The five nominees should be looking at each other, wondering which one is going to get the axe. If, again, recent history has any meaning.
One thing is for sure: The days of “Doubt” and “Australia” being among the mix are long gone.
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