Monday, December 14, 2009

NYFCC... Everybody Hurts

I'm late posting this -- hey, I can't be at the computer 24/7 -- but if you've somehow missed the latest round of critics prizes, here's the results from the NYFCC. They've been naming "bests" since 1935. How about that?

Picture The Hurt Locker
Director Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker
Screenplay In The Loop
Actress Meryl Streep Julie & Julia
Actor George Clooney Up In The Air and Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Anyone else find it a little odd that Clooney's honor is a double dip with voicework but Streep, who voice stars with him in Fox and anchors soon-to-be-big-hit It's Complicated is only cited for Julie & Julia?
Supporting Actress Mo'Nique Precious
Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz Inglourious Basterds
Cinematographer Christian Berger The White Ribbon
  • I knew he'd win at least a couple. Black and white work always take at least one critics prize. I'm not knocking Berger's work. I'm just sayin'.
Animated Film Fantastic Mr. Fox
Documentary Of Time and The City
Foreign Film Summer Hours
First Film Hunger by Steve McQueen
Special Prize Andrew Sarris, Film Critic
  • Some lovely choices there I think. Especially happy to see Hunger, which suffered in buzz momentum from one of those inane "it's a 2008 film for the west coast and a 2009 film for the east coast" release structures, remembered. But then NYFCC also had to wait a whole year to honor 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days so they tend to be patient. Good on them.
By now it's obvious that The Hurt Locker is the year's bonafide critics darling. Such a fine film. But in the Aughts it is a little disappointing that there always seems to be just one. Even Eternal Sunshine was cast aside in its year so that everyone could agree on Sideways. Most years contain more than one film that might stand the test of time so it'd be nice if there was a little more argument annually about which film that is.

It's also obvious that roughly 80% of planet earth is sick of waiting for Meryl's third Oscar. If I had to guess I'd say that the planet needs it more than Meryl does. Streep Addicts out there will already know that this is Meryl's fourth honor from the NYFCC. She won there in her Oscar years and also for 1988's A Cry in the Dark. She's also a four time recipient of the LAFCA though she lost this year. She won LA's top prize in her Oscar years as well as for The French Lieutenant's Woman and Out of Africa.


Alison Flynn said...

So it looks like Meryl is headed for her 3rd Oscar and Clooney is headed for his 2nd.

I like Clooney but I was hoping this would be Jeff Bridges' or Colin Firth's year. :(

amir_uk said...

Oh god, I hope Meryl wins! So excited that she's racking up the critics' prizes for Julie & f-ing Julia! I never thought I'd see it! If only LAFCA had awarded her too, I'd say she would've pushed right out ahead. But, as of now, I still think Mulligan will give a close race... I'm alright with Clooney winning too. Would be more than alright with it if he didn't already have one - and Firth and Bridges and Renner (his likely fellow nominees) do not.

Nathaniel, I think the reason why Meryl wasn't cited for Fantastic Mr. Fox is because her work is technically supporting - I'm sure NYFCC would be pedantic about such things.

DJ said...

I really, really hope Clooney doesn't win this thing. I'll turn his cocky a** on mute if he gets up to the podium.

Dude said...

Loved the post Nate! Totally agree, I guess everyone's tired of waiting. It's time.

I hate george clooney, always have. He's overrated as hell, and I haven't seen Up in the Air, but if he's as "good" as he was in Michael Clayton, I won't care. Problem is, he charms the sh*t out of a rock even. Still hoping Jeff Bridges nabs this one. I never though I'd say this, but thank god clooney already has an oscar for Syriana, it would've been a locked race by now.

Dude said...

Oh, and btw, THRILLED that Streep is racking the critic's. Boston and NY is huge, and she really deserves it. Magical, 200% feel good and inspiring performance like I haven't seen from her in a long, long time. Hers to loose, deservedly.

Rick said...

I like Clooney as actor and, of course, I am over elated that Streep took actress.. but I agree with amir-uk that her voice was not nearly as a main character in "Fox"
also I am hoping Bridges can win Oscar .. I admit I have not seen the movie, so I may change my mind... but I have always felt he is such a good actor that you never see him "acting".. hopefully, this is true in this film and he gets a long overdue Oscar.
I think Streep has a real shot at the Oscar because the critics seem to really like her performance.

As for me I think it was great ... I watched the movie again on DVD and she totally embodied Child... she was not impersonating... also I wish the story had just been Child's... that would have been fantastic... the Amy Adams section drug the movie down.

brandz said...

Nathaniel, I too found it odd that Streep was only cited for J&J and not Mr. Fox or It's Complicated. Wonder what's up with that? Anyway, it looks like Hurt Locker and Streep have alot of steam moving toward Oscar. The big unsettled question, at least to me, is Lead Actor. That one's a toss up.


I still think Jeff Bridges is going to win BEST ACTOR. Once the nominees are set it'll be clear that Clooney already has an Oscar and it's down to Bridges and Firth. Bridges reputation as one of the great American actors should help him snag it.

adam k. said...

I don't see Firth winning now that he's decided not the critical darling AND he's not exactly perceived as overdue for a win. The nom will be his reward. Maybe he'll win the indy spirit (isn't he up for that?).

Bridges will probably win. It's not like the critical faves usually go on to win oscars. In fact, that usually does not happen. And Clooney hasn't even been a consensus pick for critics (Bridges just won LAFCA). So I don't get where the "Clooney will win!" stuff is coming from.

That said, he deserves it. This is why it was f*cking stupid of them to give him an oscar for Syriana just because he also happened to have directed a very good film that year. Now he will have to lose for a far superior (I'd even say career-defining) perf.

That said, I normally don't even like George Clooney. I find him quite smug as a celebrity, and rather lacking in range as an actor. But he does have his niche. And this role hit it spot on. Spectacular perf. Deserves to win.

THAT said, I won't be sad at all if Bridges gets it as a career reward.

Oh, Oscar...

amir_uk said...

I don't know Nathaniel, I'd rather it be Bridges (though I haven't seen Crazy Heart, this is on the basis of his extraordinary body of work and Clooney's already-Oscared status) - but I think it's going to be a case of Kevin Spacey mach two ie. supporting actor win in 95/05, actor win in 99/09.

That mirroring occurred with Sally Field and Hilary Swank (though two decades apart as opposed to one).

It's just this weird thing Oscar does sometimes, I think. They obviously think 4 years is enough of a gap for a second statue - see Foster, Penn, aforementioned examples... And they've been all about the double-winner recently - again Swank, Penn, Day-Lewis. Hmm... I'd rather a first-time winner this year...

adam k. said...

Also, Streep was not cited for two films because:

A) her Mrs. Fox was not a lead role
B) the NYFCC probably didn't like It's Complicated
C) they also probably don't want to contribute to her splitting her votes elsewhere

Seems weird on the surface, but it's totally explainable.

And yay for Meryl! She'd better win. If we can't have Swinton or Cornish (and lord knows we can't), then give it to the Goddess of Cinema. If she can't win again in a year where she's in a biopic, she's actually the critical fave, and her main competition is a couple of unknown 20-somethings, then I give up.

Wayne B said...

Too bad that this whole "Meryl getting her 3rd Oscar" event could've been avoided by giving it to one of her more impactful performances ('02 or '06)

I hope the buzz can keep up for Christoph Waltz though.

emmanuel ramos barajas said...

If only Streep was as good in Julie & Julia as Swinton in Julia. I'm still pissed she's getting ignored while Bullock is getting some attention.

Jim T said...

Nathaniel, we are thinking too much alike. I am talking about Meryl not being mentioned for Fox And It's Complicated as well as for J&J and for the White Ribbon. I was trying to remember if I saw any beautiful images but I couldn't. It was beautiful throughout because of the black and white. Is that enough?

adam k, "they also probably don't want to contribute to her splitting her votes elsewhere"

I don't think they care.

And am I the only one who wants Meryl to lose? I mean, she lost for Adaptation but she might win for this? Alright, I confess, I didn't like the film and the lobster torture made it even worse but it's also the role. Too light!! I don't want to see her win for this. She will have the chance for a great role. Osage County or no Osage County.

KTibbs617 said...

As a diehard Streep fan I, too, would hate to see her win for J&J just because it's "time". I agree it's time, but there is no way this is her best performance! She should be trying for her 5th win (just to beat The Great Kate) or at the least her 4th.

Her Julia Child was perfection but, come on. She'll have two best actress awards for Sophie's Choice (A performance that, close to 30 years later, is still considered the best on film.) and Julie & Julia - a film that had she not been part of, would have been a most likely been a complete train wreck.

Sorry, I'm still bitter over Winslet winning for The Reader (I could have gotten behind her for Rev.Road easily). Rant over. :)

Michael B. said...

Well maybe Clooney got it for both because he received votes in both roles?

Seeking Amy said...

This might be beating a well heard drum around here now, but after finally catching Julia today on netflix i'm so dissapointed the NYFCC didn't pick Tilda! I was blown away by her performance, if people think Meryl is entertaining as Julia Child, they need to see Tilda as Julia Harris.

BUT, apparently she was runner-up, so her work is not going completely unnoticed.

adam k. said...

NSFC had better pick Swinton.

Mma said...

I am sick and tired of people saying "Lightweight movie","Leightweight performance","it is not her best performance","she is my favourite but she'd better win later"...When will Meryl's time come ? What she must do ? Did Katherine Hepburn give her best performances when she won ?

Unknown said...

It's a nice thing Meryl is getting all the attention, she deserves it, everyone knows she does, and hey, if Katharine Hepburn can loose for "A Long Day's Journey into Night" and win for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" + "On Golden Pond" YUKK!!!! Then Meryl absolutely deserves to win for Julie & Jilia ;) and Kate Winslet did not win for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but for The Reader?!?WTF, I mean if you look at it, so many absurd situations of such sort have happened in the past. It's also true that Iconic-wise her competition this year is non-existent, no Winslet, Kidman, Blanchett and you name it.
Oh! Mirren is supposed to get in for The Last Station, but they won't give the Oscar to her.

2009 is a BLOCKBUSTER year for Meryl and she's 60 and a woman and with two very good, solid performances, how can you not give her the Oscar?

Unknown said...

I love Tilda Swinton, but remember, Maggie Smith was not even nominated for The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, an act that can be described as impertinence on the highest possible level.

Gary said...

I guess I'm in that 20% then. I'm not waiting on Meryl to win anything, especially from someone that already has two Oscars. A third Oscar for "Julie & Julia" would be a big ole waste for one of Meryl's minor performances, and it's not like there's no abundance of other choices to honor instead that might actually benefit from the praise (Gabourey Sidibe, Carey Mulligan, Abbie Cornish, Emily Blunt, Saoirse Ronan, Sandra Bullock, etc.). Best actress is going to be really frustrating this year. It'll be just like Reese Witherspoon all over again.

Bryan said...

I highly doubt that Clooney will get another Oscar. AMPAS has two wonderful choices (Bridges and Firth), both of whom are greats who have never been Oscared, as well as a wealth of equally talented also-rans. Not only is Clooney's work not the best of the year, but I expect that it's perceived as too similar to himself to really garner much serious consideration (from AMPAS, at least).

Up in the Air will be a behemoth come awards time-- but not in Best Actor.

Glenn said...

If anybody should be getting cited for voice acting in Fox it should be Jason Schwartzmann. That's all.

John said...

If Streep wins for J&J it will easily go down as one of the worst Oscar winning performances of all time.

Dude said...

She was magnificent in J&J, IMHO. I don't see it as lightweight. It is one of the hardest performances she's given. She's inspiring, you fall in love with her and she's having a blast doing it. It's moving at times. I loved it, and being a die-hard Streep fan I rank her Julia Child up there with her finest work in Sophie's Choice and Kramer. And I'm one of the many Doubt detractors, I thought she was atrocious in that. But it's time to give her credit for this, she more than nailed it and seeing how nominations are probably gonna be (streep sidibe mulligan mirren cotillard/bullock) she more than deserves it. It's time people

Peggy Sue said...

I guess I'm also in the 20%
I'm sorry but I don't see the need of a third Oscar considering Close, Turner, Pfeiffer, Weaver, Winger, Allen, Davis, Richardson or Moore don't have one.

I love Jeff Bridges but Crazy Heart sounds like a Tender Mercies remake