Is Danny Boyle related to someone in the New York Film Critics Online? I'm just asking because they practically
a) luckYou can see their whole list here. It's pretty standard stuff though I did love seeing Milk pick up an ensemble prize --good call. I'm glad they repeated the Sally Hawkins for Best Actress critical meme because then I could rework my NYFCC graphic likeso. Less work for Natty! And it's 12:30 AM and this post isn't even half over so I'm all about the concept of less work.
In other critics org news the Alliance of Women Film Journalists (hi, awkward title) also quivered under their bodices over that rags to riches tale of the game show orphan handing it both Picture and Director. Someone wake me when the Slumdog awards are over in March. Their entire list is here. They do have some special categories.
There's also the Chicago Film Critics nominations. At one point in my awards addiction I loved that this group did nominations before the winners, mixing the critics awards routine up a bit. But now, after years of overkill in precursors --too many groups and too little individuality to justify having 27 organizations instead of, say, 10 -- it feels like empty king of the mountain posturing. Just announce your winners like everyone else. That said they do have a best picture lineup (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, WALL-E) that would satisfy many and is also fairly representative of the film year rather than just hype/publicity for films that haven't opened yet: a trap that many other groups fall into each year, unable to think past the onslaught of wintry preordained Oscar Bait glut. Full list of nominations here.
Finally the AFI made their top ten announcement and I have to say the results are kind of a snore: Benjamin Button, The Dark Knight, Frost/Nixon, Frozen River, Gran Torino, Iron Man, Milk, WALL•E, Wendy & Lucy and The Wrestler. The only truly interesting move is putting Wendy & Lucy in there. It's annoying that it's 50% December releases but what can you do. Nobody who doesn't obsess on movies and keep excel spreadsheets all year long can remember a damn thing about what happened prior to Halloween in any given year... unless you're talking blockbusters. Everyone can remember those.
In the end, this list just reminds me that lists by committee are too bland to give a damn about. Unless by "list" you mean "shortlist" and by "shortlist" you mean "Oscar nominees" in which case: gimme! This is why I treasure "personal awards"... not just my own, mind you. I love hearing what one person thinks about what the best of the year is. Those lists have idiosyncratic flavor (unless that person hasn't developed their own aesthetic sensibility). When you get a whole group together it's almost impossible to avoid the flavorless.