Me and Manohla Sittin' In a Tree...
I'm beginning to enjoy the annual feature, “And the Nominees Should Be,” from the three movie critics at The New York Times, almost as much as all of the inevitable nitpicking and second-guessing when the nominees themselves are announced, this year, on Jan 25. It's fascinating to see where the three critics agree (if they do), and with whom I agree (if I do).
One thing for sure: they agree more this year than last. Last year, for the 45 slots in the eight categories (best pic, director, the four actings and the two writings), they agreed on only four: “The Hurt Locker” for best picture, Katherine Bigelow for best director, Mark Boal for best screenplay, and Colin Firth for best actor.
(Aside: Three of those four wound up winning Oscars. Maybe if you can get the three Times critics to agree, you can get the industry to agree.)
So who do they agree on this year?
For Best Picture, with 10 nominees each, just “Carlos,” a five-hour-long French film, which came to Seattle for one show for one weekend, and which I'm still smarting about not seeing. Bring it back!
Director? Nada. A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis both went Aronosky for “Black Swan,” and Dargis and Stephen Holden both went Olivier Assayas for “Carlos” and Fincher for “The Social Network,” but no threesies. Interestingly, Scott chose three female directors: Lisa Cholodenko for “The Kids Are Alight,” Sofia Coppola for “Somewhere,” and Debra Granlik for “Winter's Bone.” Dargis chose none.
Our threeway have their greatest agreement on Actor: They all went with Jesse Eisenberg for “The Social Network,” James Franco for “127 Hours,” and Edgar Ramirez for “Carlos.” Dargis, interestingly, went with three actors in French productions: Ramirez, Vincent Cassel in “Mesrine” (for which he won the Cesar two years ago) and Tahar Rahim in “Un Prophete” (for which he won the Cesar last year.) Don't know if I can fault her. Though I probably won't leave out Firth.
Actress? Just one agreement: Natalie Portman in “Black Swan.”
Supporting actor? Christian Bale in “The Fighter.” But two favorites whom I thought out of the running, Pierce Brosnan in “The Ghost Writer” and John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone,” wound up on both Scott's and Dargis's lists. Fingers crossed.
Nothing close to agreement on supporting actress. In fact, only two names wound up on more than one ballot: Greta Gerwig for “Greenberg” (Scott and Dargis) and Barbara Hershey for “Black Swan” (Dargis and Holden).
Screenplay? Only adapted had a threepeat: the Coens for “True Grit.”
As for which critic I most agreed with? Last year it was Dargis. This year it's ... Dargis. (You and me, Manohla!) I particularly like the sensibility behind her 10 films—four of which I haven't seen:
I hope to do my own “And The Nominees Should Be...” before Jan. 25.