In past years I have sort of enjoyed the slow trickle of critics organization announcements, but this year they all gushed through journalism's infrastructure so quickly I lost track immediately in the deluge. I'm also slightly suspicious that nobody cares this year (or am I projecting?) since it's about the fifth year in a row with a large degree of consensus. Some years consensus makes a great deal of sense. Others, not so much. Since this happens every year now, I think it's a sure sign that all we ever needed was a few big groups. I'm still a bit perplexed why all of these little groups don't merge to become something more awesomely super-sized.
But in case you do care (and because I have a photoshop problem) here's a few more chosen because these are cities or states where I've actually lived or visited frequently.
Chicago Film Critics
Picture & Director The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow) Actress & Most Promising Performer: Carey Mulligan, An Education Actor: Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon Animated Feature: Up Documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil Cinematography Barry Ackroyd, The Hurt Locker Original Score: Michael Giacchino, Up Most Promising Filmmaker: Neill Blomkamp, District 9
Utah Film Critics
I'm trying to arrange a Sundance trip this year. Yes, Sundance coverage right here if everything pans out. So crazy that we've never covered it considering how many festivals we have covered at this point. (Katey is going too. Woohoo. Fun in the snow. Wintry vidcasts!) Picture & Director Up in the Air (Jason Reitman) Actress: Carey Mulligan, An Education Actor: Viggo Mortensen, The Road Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious Supporting Actor: Christian McKay, Me and Orson Welles Screenplay: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach Fantastic Mr. Fox Foreign Language Film: Thirst Animated Feature: Fantastic Mr. Fox Documentary: The Cove
For what it's worth, Christian McKay (Utah, San Francisco) and Woody Harrelson (NBR) are the only men who've been able to snag a trophy away from Christoph Waltz in the Supporting Actor category. Waltz has now won 18 prizes for his wicked performance as Col. Hans Landa in Basterds... starting with that summer biggie: Cannes.
Detroit Film Critics
They actually did go their own way in Best Picture (gasp) so I had to make them an illustration, too. I'm not sure how many film critics are left in Detroit though what with the economy the way it is there. Even when I still lived there aeons ago, they were the two big papers were starting to merge. Detroit needs a little burst of color for a pick-me-up, so a house carried by balloons seems appropriately uplifting. Picture & Director: Up (Pete Docter) Actress & Breakthrough Performance: Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, Precious Actor: Colin Firth, A Single Man Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds Ensemble The Hangover
Let's see... how to cover everything else we've missed. Oh forget it. If I followed every group I'd get carpel tunnel merely typing "Christoph Waltz". Movie City News has a chart and a staff that has time for such a chart. Good on them. If you look it over you can quickly see that most every category has one clear consensus pick.
The most contentious of all categories in this year end hoopla is actually foreign film. Summer Hours and Sin Nombre have each won five prizes (neither of them are eligible in that Oscar race) with The White Ribbon trailing with three. What's interesting though is that a grand total of ten films have won this award which is way more honorees than in any other category, wherein the critics were mostly content to nod at each other agreeably. As for me I fall firmly into the Summer Hours camp in this three-way battle (see previous post). It's a quiet beauty, neither as obfuscating as The White Ribbon despite equally complex subject matter nor as reductively familiar as Sin Nombre despite its equally obvious "types". Not that all three films aren't very compelling cinema. See them!