Dec 162014
 

budapest

This morning the Critics’ Choice Award nominees were announced. One of the most reliable guides to the eventual Oscar nominees, along with the Golden Globes, the various Guilds and the BAFTAS. You can pretty much assume that 80% (or more) of the Oscar categories will be filled with nominees here. Also announced were the Online Film Critics Society Awards – thoughts on both after the jump.

Best Picture

Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Nightcrawler
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Unbroken
Whiplash

Looking very likely that 7,8,9 or even 10 of these films will be the eventual nominees for Best Picture. Sadly missing here is Foxcatcher, one heavily tipped to feature. You will see that it is largely absent from these nominees. Unbroken, Whiplash, Gone Girl and Nightcrawler the most likely to drop out? Very happy to see Nightcrawler featured, and as it gathers support in other categories it might sneak in. The winner: Boyhood or Birdman.

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

No Carrell for Foxcatcher. He was nominated at the Globes and the SAG. With HUGE support around for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fiennes could find himself in the final five, but he is facing a stacked crowd (with Spall in Mr Turner also in contention). Gyllenhaal again nominated for Nightcrawler. I did not expect this. Keaton the likely, and deserved favourite.

Best Actress

Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

The same five from the SAG and Golden Globe (Drama), plus Marion Cotillard, curiously absent there. I re-watched Gone Girl over the weekend and what struck me was the amount of screen time assigned to Pike. It is a questionable lead performance. I expect Moore to win this for Still Alice, though her toughest challengers are Cotillard and Jones.

Best Supporting Actor

Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

The same five from the SAG and the Globes, plus Josh Brolin for Inherent Vice.

Great to see some love for Anderson’s film, which is just opening in the U.S this week. Four of these men are locks, you would think. Ruffalo features as just one of two nominations for Foxcatcher. I don’t want to predict this category. I am just hoping that Ruffalo wins.

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

The same five nominees as the Globes, plus Tilda Swinton for Snowpiercer. Perhaps the most interesting nomination here.

Have these voters actually seen Streep in Into the Woods? She’s not that good. Arquette to win.

Best Young Actor/Actress

Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars
Mackenzie Foy, Interstellar
Jaeden Lieberher, St. Vincent
Tony Revolori, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Quvenzhane Wallis, Annie
Noah Wiseman, The Babadook

This will probably go to Coltrane, but I really enjoyed Jaeden Liberher in St Vincent.

Best Acting Ensemble

Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Selma

I still find it curious that Gone Girl has never appeared in this category and that Pike’s performance has always been singled out. I don’t care for the film that much, but the cast is excellent. Birdman to win.

Best Director

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava DuVernay, Selma
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman
Angelina Jolie, Unbroken
Richard Linklater, Boyhood

This is a wild category. We have had Morten Tyldum and Mike Leigh nominated here too in the past weeks. Fincher surprised with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Director, and follows it up here. This time it is Jolie that is the surprise. Reviews for Unbroken have not been good. A shame for Bennett Miller, who seems to be on the outside. Foxcatcher is his best film to date, in my opinion. Lets assume that DuVernay, Inarritu and Linklater are locks for the Oscar (no?). Linklater to win here.

Best Original Screenplay

Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash

The Oscar nominees? Lets see what the Writers Guild recognise. Birdman, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel to battle this one out. Birdman the standout.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson, Unbroken
Nick Hornby, Wild

Why are there six nominees here and five for Original? I haven’t seen a few of these yet, so hard to judge. I have to assume PTA had a much tougher job adapting Pynchon’s crazy novel than anyone else here. Flynn’s adaptation is ‘too faithful’, and her story goes a bit haywire anyway, while there is nothing particularly interesting about Wild or The Imitation Game.

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hoyte Van Hoytema, Interstellar
Dick Pope, Mr Turner
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

I recently read someone declare Unboken to be amongst Deakins’ best work. We’ll see. Lubezki should win two in a row, though I think Pope’s work in Mr Turner is exemplary.

Best Art Direction

Kevin Thompson/Production Designer, George DeTitta Jr./Set Decorator, Birdman
Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator, The Grand Budapest Hotel
David Crank/Production Designer, Amy Wells/Set Decorator, Inherent Vice
Nathan Crowley/Production Designer, Gary Fettis/Set Decorator, Interstellar
Dennis Gassner/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator, Into the Woods
Ondrej Nekvasil/Production Designer, Beatrice Brentnerova/Set Decorator, Snowpiercer

#1 Budapest, #2 Snowpiercer.

Best Editing

Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione, Birdman
Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Kirk Baxter, Gone Girl
Lee Smith, Interstellar
Tom Cross, Whiplash

With nominees ranging from savage and high tempo (Whiplash) to graceful and sparing (Birdman) this is an interesting group of nominees. I really like Baxter’s work in Gone Girl, too.

Best Costume Design

Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice
Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods
Anna B. Sheppard, Maleficent
Jacqueline Durran, Mr Turner

Best Hair & Makeup

Foxcatcher
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Into the Woods
Maleficent

Best Visual Effects

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Best Animated Feature

Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie

These seem to be the Oscar five. No The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, after several wins at Critics awards? The Lego Movie to win.

Best Foreign Language Film

Force Majeure
Ida
Leviathan
Two Days, One Night
Wild Tales

Notable absentees: Mommy and Winter Sleep.
These five could certainly be the five nominated for the Oscar. Though, Ida is perhaps the only lock.

Best Documentary Feature

Citizenfour
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Last Days in Vietnam
Life Itself
The Overnighters

Save for Glen Campbell, the other five nominees here are on the Oscar Short List. Citizen Four and Life Itself have cemented themselves as favourites. Not sure who is going to round out the field, but Last Days in Vietnam and The Overnighters have been well received.

Best Song

Big Eyes – Lana Del Rey, Big Eyes
Everything Is Awesome – Jo Li and the Lonely Island, The Lego Movie
Glory – Common/John Legend, Selma
Lost Stars – Keira Knightley, Begin Again
Yellow Flicker Beat – Lorde, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Cool, Begin Again. Two nominations for Keira Knightley. Lana Del Rey, Common/John Legend and Lorde have all been nominated in this category before.

Best Score

Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez, Birdman
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar

The same five nominees as the Globes, and still…boring.

And there are even more – I haven’t included some of the categories, like best action film, but should you wish to view them all, a full list of Critics Choice Award nominees can be viewed at Deadline.
 
Online Film Critics Society Winners

Also announced this morning. Not much to comment on, I thought these might have been a bit more adventurous. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a pleasant surprise as Best Picture.

Best Picture

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Animated Feature

The Lego Movie

Best Film Not in the English Language

Two Days, One Night

Best Documentary

Life Itself

Best Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Best Actor

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Best Actress

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Best Supporting Actor

Edward Norton, Birdman

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Original Screenplay

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Adapted Screenplay

Gone Girl

Best Editing

Birdman

Best Cinematography

The Grand Budapest Hotel

By Andrew Buckle

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