Sunday, January 03, 2010

NSFC: Painters, Bomb Squads and Foxholes

The National Society of Film Critics, typically the last critics group to announce, have finally done the deed. They've gone with the following...

Picture & Director: The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
Actress: Yolande Moreau, Seraphine
Actor: Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious
Supporting Actor (tie): Paul Schneider, Bright Star and Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

winners from California, Minnesota, North Carolina and Maryland

Foreign Film: Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)
Cinematography: The White Ribbon (Christian Bergen)
Production Design: Fantastic Mr. Fox (Nelson Lowry)
Screenplay:
A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen)
Documentary: The Beaches of Agnes (Agnes Varda)

The acclaim for certain pictures and performances continues. I knew about the Cesar award but it's strange that I remember hearing nothing from the critical community about Yolande Moreau until her two big awards (LAFCA and NSFC). But it's nice to see Bright Star getting a smidgeon of last minute acting attention. It's not so strange that Whishaw's pensive sensitivity was overlooked (that's not what voters go for in male actors, no matter how skilled they are at delivering it) but it was a mildly strange development that Abbie Cornish couldn't generate awards season traction at any point... though she did come in third with the NSFC.

Do you think Fantastic Mr. Fox could be the first animated film to win an Art Direction Oscar nomination or is that a pipe dream?
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18 comments:

Kait said...

No on Fox's art direction (what real traction does it have? if none of the Pixars could do it...), but it might be the first non-Pixar animated film in a while to get nominated for screenplay (and adapted screenplay, no less). It took a relatively empty field to make that a possibility.

I shudder in recognition that Shrek was the one other film in recent memory to do it.

Nat, have you seen Seraphine? Is Moreau really that good? If so, I feel like this perf should be among your best actress possibles. I was really hoping for Tilda but at least they were creative...

Kait said...

btw, I just saw A Single Man and I actually liked it quite a bit, but my bf had exactly the reaction that you and (to an even greater extent) Nick had. He thought it was just pretentious as hell (and didn't even find Nicholas Hoult attractive).

I liked Julianne Moore a LOT, but she was actually less impressive to me than all the men in the cast. Her character is something of a decoy, in the end. Maybe it's just that the guys were all hot, but I thought all the emotional/sexual tension between them was much more interesting than anything Moore was given to do. That laugh though... priceless.

Is her extended guffaw eligible for best line reading?

adam k. said...

Whoa, those first two comments were totally me. "Kait" apparently signed onto my computer when I wasn't here...

Yancey said...

"Seraphine" isn't on the Academy's eligibility list, so nada for Yolande Moreau at the Oscars.

Love the continued dominance of "The Hurt Locker", Kathryn Bigelow, Mo'Nique, and Christoph Waltz. I don't mind frontrunners and repeat winners when they're at this caliber and this strong. And go Jeremy Renner! Great for him.

Paul Schneider's the only head-scratcher, but it's something, even if it comes along too late to really make a difference for him. Really wish that Abbie Cornish could have won at least one critics win on her own this season.

Robert Hamer said...

I am completely surprised by how much I ended up loving Fantastic Mr. Fox. It's the best animated film of the year (don't jump down my throat, Up fans, I liked that one, too), my third favorite film of the year, may grow to be my favorite Wes Anderson film (though it'lll need repeated viewings to dethrone Tenenbaums) and totally deserves nominations for its screenplay and production design.


I don't hold out hope for it's success at the Oscars - it'll be lucky to manage a screenplay nod - but my faith in Anderson has been restored again and I strongly urge you to consider it when you publish your FiLM BiTCH Awards.

BrianZ said...

A shockingly good list of winners. Love the Beaches of Agnes pick, as well as Summer Hours.

Mike said...

Wow. What Robert Hamer said. Exactly.

Ryan said...

damn! i really thought they'd be the big group that recognized Swinton for "Julia"...

oh well, a Cesar and Online Film Critics nom (win?) is better than nothing i guess.

Stella said...

I know, it's so depressing. You would have thought that Abbie Cornish could have at least picked up a few critics' awards, seeing how much they raved about her. Praise and love aren't always simultaneous, I guess. Glad to see Paul Schneider though, if just to see a new name.

Anonymous said...

I just saw Bright Star in Australia today. I am SO DISAPPOINTED that Abbie Cornish has been ignored!!!!!! She was perfect - never over the top, always honest, with a flawless accent in place too. She held it all together seamlessly. She deserves awards!!!

THIS IS MADNESS.

Glenn Dunks said...

"Kait" aka Adam, while I think animated movies should always be considered for stuff like art direction (The Incredibles, Wall-E and Ratatouille being obvious examples), there's just the fact that it's computer generated and, thus, a lot of people don't think there's any craft in it.

A movie like Fantastic Mr Fox however at least involves built sets. Mary and Max was nominated for an AFI for production design and was a worthy nominee (it lost to Australia). I take this from Cinetology, but Mary and Max used "212 puppets, 133 sets, 475 miniature props, 147 costumes and – for just one shot – 808 miniature Earl Grey tea boxes. For the clincher, the production crew used 12 litres of sexual lubricant to create watery things such as tears and a jungle river." And anyone who has seen behind-the-scenes stuff will have seen the giant New York City set they used.

So, in conclusion, stop motion and claymation movies have a much better shot at nominations than computer generated animated titles. I wish the art direction branch would recognise that one of these days although I'd go with Mary and Max or Coraline over Fantastic Mr Fox (despite liking the latter more than the others).

Joe Reid said...

I agree with Glenn here. If any animated movie is going to break through to art direction, it would be Fox, if only because those "sets" still feel designed in the traditional way. Real hands on tactile materials and all that.

pomme said...

vive Yolande Moreau!!
and yes,she's great in "Séraphine" :touching,pure,beautiful,honest!

adam k. said...

Well if it didn't happen with any other stop motion titles... (not sure if it has; just trying to be realistic)

Also, isn't Mary & Max a 2009 release? Wasn't Australia released a while ago? Or wait, was it just last year? Seems like forever ago...

OtherRobert said...

So there is love for Coraline outside of Animated film? I'll take third place in Art Direction at a critics awards as a major victory. It's like when a horror performance gets nominated at one of these things: I whoop it up like there's not tomorrow.

As for Fantastic Mr. Fox: this group was biased toward animated films in Art Direction, seeing as how Coraline took third in the category. I'm not holding my breath.

NATHANIEL R said...

Mary & Max is awesome looking yes. Unfortunately it's not eligible for my awards since it did not get a theatrical release in NYC and never will (dvd time)

stupid distributors

Andrew R. said...

Yay! Mo'nique and Christoph Waltz are continuing domination!

And no on Fantastic Mr. Fox's Art Direction Oscar.

And will you please kick Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs off Best Animated and replace it with Ponyo? I don't care about the Globes snub, the Academy has nominated Miyazaki in the past and will again.

Jeff said...

Abbie Cornish getting third place suddenly ignites my faith again... am I being hopeless?? I hope she pulls a Keira Knightley(though Keira did get a few more critics mentions a globe nod but she surprisingly missed at the Baftas) though Emily Blunt is looking more likely than her to pull it.