Saturday, December 11, 2010

Critics Awards Cometh. Swan vs. Network?

Ballots were due today for the BFCA "Critics Choice Awards" so you can be sure I did my share of handwringing before I sent it in. My god, you think you know what you want to vote for and you stare at the ballot and it's just >gah< indecision! (It doesn't help that you can only vote for 3 items in each category, 5 for best picture). Those nominations will be announced on Monday.

Tomorrow we'll be hearing from the LAFCA (who will begin announcing at 12:30 PST) -- who have the Academy's ear by way of proximity and major representative outlets--  and the New York Film Critics Online (not to be confused with the the ancient NYFCC which votes on Monday) and then we're off. Neither the critics awards nor the top ten lists will let up thereafter for at least the next month. If you're curious about what I'm predicting you can check out Gold Derby's roundup of pundits here. Other than Best Picture (The Social Network -duh.), predicting critics awards can be a bit like throwing darts. We hope there are lots of fun surprises this year.

In the past decade critics prizes have become both more plentiful and repetitive, with one film always the obvious champ. Even in years where you'd think there'd be a battle royale (like 2007's No Country For Old Men vs. There Will Be Blood) it never really goes ten rounds before one film K.O.s the other. It's less about critical battles than it used to be and more about declaring your allegiance to the hivemind. Which, if you stop to think about it, is exactly what online movie culture is about, with off-consensus critics being (virtually) burned at the stake if they dare to dislike [insert popular movie here]. Which is all a long way of saying that you'll hear the title The Social Network over and over again this season. As often as you heard The Hurt Locker last year probably.

But both are great films so I don't mi---Oh no. I've been assimilated, too. Noooooooooooo



I'm guessing that if we see any challenge to Fincher's Networking this year it'll be Aronofsky & Team Swan (still all the rage at the specialty box office). But how much of a fight do those crazy ballerinas have in them?


Care to make any predictions?

24 comments:

Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryan said...

what?!? those lucky BFCA tallyers get to be privy to the Film Bitch nominees before us?!? ;)

I'm dying to know who ranked number 1 in Best Actress. Nathaniel, a few weeks ago i believe you said you had your Top 3 (female lead performances) decided but not ranked, correct? Has that changed since?

Bjork, Watts, Moore, Thurman, Bening, Allen, Streep, Christie, Hawkins, Swinton... WHO WILL JOIN THESE MAGNIFICENT WOMEN? i mean, it's been a pretty damn good year for the ladies

OtherRobert said...

I'm thinking Black Swan is going to rack up a bunch of real quick wins for picture, director, and actress, then start to fall behind The Social Network for picture on the big night. I just think Black Swan is peaking way too fast to win in the end. I doubt that a thriller based on and encompassing the world of ballet with major nods to self-injury, paranoia, and sexual exploration can lead the pack for very long. It's just so...beyond what's normally recognized. It's Requiem for a Dream all over again.

Ryan said...

As for the upcoming critics awards, I don’t see Portman winning (unfortunately). We all know how much the LAFCA and NYFCC heart Mike Leigh women and something tells me Lesley Manville’s gonna gulp down those babies easy.

In terms of Oscar momentum, this obviously won’t hurt Portman. She has the Golden Globe in-the-bag and, while it may be premature to say, I’m fairly confident the Oscar as well.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

So, people seem to be predicting a Social Network sweep...interesting. We'll see.

On another note, is it me or has the buzz for 127 Hours been experiencing this weird daily half-life decay ever since they announced Franco as one of the Oscar hosts?

sean said...

Does anybody else think ANNETTE BENING is--and should campaign as--supporting? I mean it’s not that much of stretch when you consider the kudos placement of both "Squid and the Whale" and "Little Miss Sunshine’s players… imo, all the actors in such familial ensemble dramedys have supporting roles. Here’s a link to interesting article re: Bening as supporting?

http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/10/14/oscar-annette-bening

Vaus said...

For the BFCA, do you rank the 3 nominees 1,2,3 or do you check 3 boxes? Do you write-in the names or are they printed on the ballot for you?
I find find voting systems interesting. What method is used to vote and to count can make a difference to who gets the last spot in a close field.

Dean said...

Depending on how many critics consider A Prophet a 2010 film, I think it could have a good showing with the groups.

DJM said...

I saw Black Swan last night and was blown away. The Social Network doesn't hold a candle to it, IMO, but I wager Aronofsky's beautiful nightmare is too divisive to pull off a Best Picture win.

I do hope, however, that Natalie Portman takes the Best Actress Oscar. Her performance is the heart and soul of a masterpiece, and deserves every ounce of acclaim that it receieves...Though for the time being I predict Annette Bening to Jessica Tandy Portman's Michelle Pfeiffer.

joe burns said...

I don't think that The Social Network will win.


Black Swan could swoop in, but it would need a lot of support...

NATHANIEL R said...

Vaus -- you rank them 1,2,3 and the order matters (i don't know how they do the points but it's obviously weighted because you're supposed to place them in the order of your preference.)

but then of course as we've seen, the BFCA gives 6 nominees even though everyone votes for only 3.

the hardest part for me in the BFCA voting is i always forget about the categories that Oscar AND my own awards don't have and then i have to think super fast about something i've forgotten about like "best young actor/actress (under 21)" that was tough to fill out.

I assume Chloe Moretz is going to win it with ease though i personally didn't vote for her.

Poppy said...

Where did all this Black Swan confidence come from? It hasn't proven to be a beast to be reckoned with, especially not in the The Social Network has. Natalie Portman isn't a lock to win either but obviously has a looot of strength as a nbest actress contender but let's not get ahead of ourselves. I honestly wish i had more confidence in Manville but she just seems so snub-able. she's got all the components of not being a potential hot young commodity, shes not famous, her film is widely seen especially in comparison with the other best actress contenders....she has critic support but its not like shes the only one. I feel her spot could be swallowed by the many other well knowns. Anyway, I'm pretty sure The Social Network's gonna Woop that track. but i want a surprise.

NATHANIEL R said...

Ryan -- it has been a great year for the ladies, yes. I'm still deciding on my best actress lineup. but i've got it narrowed down to like 10 women for spot #5 haha

Poppy -- i only mean for the critics awards. I don't think Black Swan will win major stuff but the individual critics citations? I could see it taking a few best pictures from The Social Network, can't you?

fig said...

here's to hoping Olivia Williams starts showing up on these lists.

Ibad said...

Some reviews have been really surprisingly harsh on Black Swan, and although there were a number of really glowing ones I think the negative ones will keep it from really gaining a lot of momentum for the major critics associations/circles.

Poppy said...

I honestly don't which is why I'm questioning. I understand the logic behind thinking it does, or atleast I think I do. I mean if you really look at a film with a critical eye and have naturally good, semi-pure standards and still love a movie yeah it's understandable to think that there'll be a good amount of people in the voting body that sees what you see. but this movie is not alone with The Social network, The Kings Speech and whatnot by its side. its facing critic faves and behemoths; Is Black Swan really that loved among critics to really have some dominance this precursor season? Also isnt this suppose to be a divisive film? but I'm confused how you could expect it to win minor awards and then be shaky in predicting big awards. It's either is a massive awards winner or its truly divisive. but, honestly, I'm not that experienced with the awards season as you are, so.....

badmofo said...

Just saw Black Swan and absolutely loved it! Portman's subtlety blew me away and, regardless of whether or not it is the best performance of a crazy-good year, an Oscar would be well-deserved. :-)

MRRIPLEY said...

That pic od portman scares me nat!!!

MRRIPLEY said...

I say Manville for best actress snub.

Alex in Movieland said...

people seem to believe Toy Story 3 is winning Los Angeles... and I agreed in my predictions for the awardsdaily contest... I just couln't go Social Network for both...

However, some think Winter's Bone is something of a sure thing for the LA... and I'm like: where did that come from?!, even looking at past winners.

Expect a freaky acting choice from Los Angeles, that's for sure. Something unusual. Something foreign. Something painfully unseen.

Alex in Movieland said...

So cool that you get to vote in something! :) I admire BFCA for including Viggo Mortensen for The Road, such an underrated performance.

But PLEASE when it comes time for voting the winner, PLEASE don't go for something Sandra-like!!! :P BFCA needs to redeem itself.

Danielle said...

When do you post your year-end awards? I hope you'll do Best Actress first. =)

Anonymous said...

Everyone is saying what a great year it is for best actress, but IMO I believe it is a great year for SUPPORTING actresses. To bad everyone this year is going under acting fraud, or else this year would be the best supporting actress caategory since the year Marissa Tomei won for My Cousin Vinny. If Annette Benning and Lesley Manville were being campaigned in the right category, we would have them including HBC, Melissa Leo, and Jackie Weaver. Now how great would that be? And how would win, since for a few of them you can make the case that some of them should have an oscar by now?

Amy said...

I hope Rabbit Hole gets a showing for Kidman, Eckhart, Wiest, Teller and RH. Kidman has been getting the attention but it will be great to see Eckhart up there.