Thursday, December 15, 2011

A few more Critics awards to hold you over...

I'll be posting the nominees for BFCA, SAG and the Globes in a bit...but here are some more critics awards to hold you over until then!

Phoenix Film Critics Society

TOP TEN FILMS OF 2011
"The Artist"
"The Descendants"
"Drive"
"The Help"
"Hugo"
"Midnight in Paris"
"Moneyball"
"My Week With Marilyn"
"Super 8"
"The Tree of Life"

BEST DIRECTOR
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
Tate Taylor, "The Help"

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Jean Dujardin, "The Artist
Michael Fassbender, “Shame”
Gary Oldman, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"
Brad Pitt, "Moneyball"

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs"
Viola Davis, "The Help"
Elizabeth Olsen, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Meryl Streep, "The Iron Lady"
Michelle Williams, "My Week with Marilyn"

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Kenneth Branagh, "My Week with Marilyn"
Albert Brooks, "Drive"
John Hawkes, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Jonah Hill, "Moneyball"
Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Berenice Bejo, "The Artist"
Bryce Dallas Howard, "The Help"
Jessica Chastain, "The Help"
Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

BEST ENSEMBLE ACTING
"Bridesmaids"
"Contagion"
"Margin Call"
"Midnight in Paris"
"Super 8"

BEST SCREENPLAY - ORIGINAL
"The Artist"
"Beginners"
"Midnight in Paris"

BEST SCREENPLAY - ADAPTATION
"Descendants"
"The Help"
"Hugo"

BEST LIVE ACTION FAMILY FILM
"Dolphin Tale"
"Hugo"
"The Muppets"
"We Bought a Zoo"

THE OVERLOOKED FILM OF THE YEAR
"A Better Life"
"The Conspirator"
"Texas Killing Fields"

BEST ANIMATED FILM
"The Adventures of Tintin"
"Rango"
"Winnie the Pooh"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
"Incendies"
"Point Blank"
"The Skin I Live In"

BEST DOCUMENTARY
"African Cats"
"The Greatest Movie Ever Sold"
"Page One: Inside the New York Times"
"Project Nim"

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
I Believe In You, "Johnny English Reborn"
Life's a Happy Song, "The Muppets"
The Living Proof, "The Help"
Star Spangled Man, "Captain America"

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
"The Artist"
"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
"Moneyball"
"Super 8"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
"The Artist"
"Hugo"
"Tree of Life"

BEST FILM EDITING
"The Artist"
"Super 8"
"Tree of Life"

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
"The Artist"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
"The Artist"
"Hugo"
"Jane Eyre"

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
"Hugo"
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

BEST STUNTS
"Drive"
"Fast Five"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE ON CAMERA
Elle Fanning, "Super 8"
Thomas Horn, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Elizabeth Olsen, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Shailene Woodley, "The Descendants"

BREAKTROUGH PERFORMANCE BEHIND THE CAMERA
Sean Durkin, "Martha Marcy May Marlene"
Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Tate Taylor, "The Help"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH IN A LEAD OR SUPPORTING ROLE – MALE
Asa Butterfield, Hugo"
Joel Courtney, "Super 8"
Thomas Horn, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH IN A LEAD OR SUPPORTING ROLE – FEMALE
Elle Fanning, "Super 8"
Amara Miller, "The Descendants"
Chloe Grace Moretz, "Hugo"
Saoirse Ronan, "Hanna"

These guys have a lot of categories.  They really loved The Help, and yet again; it missed Ensemble, which makes zero sense here.  Fassbender continues to show up nearly everywhere, but no Swinton (substituted for Olsen here) and Hill begins to make his dent. 


Las Vegas Film Critics Society

LVFCS 2011 Top 10 List

The Artist
Hugo
Moneyball
The Descendents
Drive
The Help
50/50
Midnight in Paris
Shame
Warrior

Best Picture
“The Artist”

Best Actor
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”

Best Actress
Michelle Williams, “My Week with Marilyn”

Best Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks, “Drive”

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”

Best Director
Nicholas Winding Refn, “Drive”

Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
Steven Zaillian & Aaron Sorkin, “Moneyball”

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Tree of Life”

Best Film Editing
Thelma Schoonmaker, “Hugo”

Best Score
Ludovic Bource, “The Artist”

Best Song
“Man or Muppet” – Written by Bret McKenzie

Best Family Film
“Hugo”

Best Documentary
“Project NIM”

Best Animated Film
“Rango”

Best Foreign Film
“13 Assassins”

Best Costume Design
Mark Bridges, “The Artist”

Best Art Direction
Gregory S. Hooper, “The Artist”

Best Visual Effects
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

Youth in Film
Asa Butterfield, “Hugo”

I really hope that Winding Refn can turn all of these critics wins into an actual nomination come Oscar time, and I called it the minute I was through with Moneyball; that screenplay is a major contender!  Other than that, we see a pattern with wins here.  The Artist continues to dominate, and Michelle Williams is heading for an Oscar!


San Diego Film Critics

BEST FILM –
DRIVE
HUGO
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
THE ARTIST*
THE TREE OF LIFE

BEST DIRECTOR –
Martin Scorsese, HUGO
Michel Hazanavicius, THE ARTIST
Nicolas Winding Refn, DRIVE*
Terrence Malick, THE TREE OF LIFE
Woody Allen, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS


BEST ACTRESS –
Brit Marling, ANOTHER EARTH*
Elizabeth Olsen, MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
Michelle Williams, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
Tilda Swinton, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Viola Davis, THE HELP

BEST ACTOR –
Brad Pitt, MONEYBALL
Brendan Gleeson, THE GUARD
George Clooney, THE DESCENDANTS
Jean Dejardin, THE ARTIST
Michael Shannon, TAKE SHELTER*

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS –
Bérénice Bejo, THE ARTIST
Carey Mulligan, SHAME
Jessica Chastain, THE HELP
Mélanie Laurent, BEGINNERS
Shailene Woodley, THE DESCENDANTS*

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR –
Albert Brooks, DRIVE
Andy Serkis, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Christopher Plummer, BEGINNERS
Max von Sydow, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
Nick Nolte, WARRIOR*

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY –
Michel Hazanavicius, THE ARTIST
Mike Mills, BEGINNERS
Thomas McCarthy, WIN WIN
Will Reiser, 50/50
Woody Allen, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS*

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY –
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, THE DESCENDANTS
Hossein Amini, DRIVE
John Logan, HUGO
Steve Kloves, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2
Steve Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, MONEYBALL*

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM –
A SOMEWHAT GENTLE MAN
HAPPY HAPPY
LE QUATTRO VOLTE*
OF GODS AND MEN
THE DOUBLE HOUR

BEST DOCUMENTARY –
BUCK
CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS
INTO THE ABYSS
PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES
PROJECT NIM*

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY –
Adam Stone, TAKE SHELTER
Emmanuel Lubezki, THE TREE OF LIFE*
Guillaume Schiffman, THE ARTIST
Newton Thomas Sigel, DRIVE
Robert Richardson, HUGO

BEST ANIMATED FILM –
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS*
HAPPY FEET TWO
KUNG FU PANDA 2
RANGO
WINNIE THE POOH

BEST EDITING –
Anne-Sophie Bion & Michel Hazanavicius, THE ARTIST
Hank Corwin, Jay Rabinowitz, Daniel Rezende, Billy Weber, & Mark Yoshikawa, THE TREE OF LIFE
Mat Newman, DRIVE
Oliver Bugge Coutté, BEGINNERS*
Thelma Schoonmaker, HUGO

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN –
Anne Seibel, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
Dante Ferretti, HUGO*
Jack Fisk, THE TREE OF LIFE
Laurence Bennett, THE ARTIST
Stuart Craig, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2

BEST SCORE –
Alexandre Desplat, EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
Alexandre Desplat, HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2*
Alexandre Desplat, THE TREE OF LIFE
Howard Shore, HUGO
Ludovic Bource, THE ARTIST

BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE –
CARNAGE
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2*
MARGIN CALL
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
THE HELP

The just love the editing win for Beginners here, and I wish that Laurent had won (she was AMAZING).  Another win for Refn, which I think makes a major case for his eventual nomination (he’ll never win the Oscar, but a nomination would be awesome).  The Marling win means nothing since she’s shown up nowhere else, but Shannon could be inching out Fassbender if he works hard enough (considering that Oldman isn’t making a serious dent either) and Nick Nolte is looking REALLY good for a nomination.  It may come down to Plummer, Brooks and Nolte for the win, which would be rather exciting considering that they are veteran legends who have yet to win an Oscar!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bring it on St. Louis!!

SLFC Awards Nominees

Best Film
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
My Week With Marilyn
Tree of Life

Best Director
David Fincher for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Terrence Malick for Tree of Life
Alexander Payne for The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive

Best Actor
George Clooney for The Descendants
Jean Dujardin for The Artist
Michael Fassbender for Shame
Ryan Gosling for Drive
Gary Oldman for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt for Moneyball

Best Actress
Viola Davis for The Help
Rooney Mara for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene
Saoirse Ronan for Hanna
Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams for My Week With Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks for Drive
John Goodman for The Artist
John Hawkes for Martha Marcy May Marlene
Jonah Hill for Moneyball
Alan Rickman for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo for The Artist
Cate Blanchett for Hanna
Jessica Chastain for Tree Of Life
Octavia Spencer for The Help
Shailene Woodley for The Descendants

Best Original Screenplay
Will Reiser for 50/50
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Seth Lochhead and David Farr for Hanna
Woody Allen for Midnight In Paris
Terrence Malick for Tree Of Life
Thomas McCarthy and Joe Tiboni for Win Win

Best Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash and Kaui Hart Hemmings (novel) for The Descendants
Hossein Amini and James Sallis (book) for Drive
Tate Taylor and Kathryn Stockett (novel) for The Help
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Stan Chervin and Michael Lewis (book) for Moneyball
Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller and Jim Henson (characters) for The Muppets

Best Cinematography
Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist
Newton Thomas Sigel for Drive
Jeff Cronenweth for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Emmanuel Lubezki for Tree Of Life
Janusz Kaminski for War Horse

Best Visual Effects
Captain America
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Super 8
Tree Of Life

Best Music
The Artist
Drive
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Muppets
Tree of Life

Best Foreign-Language Film
13 Assassins
Point Blank
I Saw The Devil
Trollhunter
Winter in Wartime

Best Documentary
Being Elmo
Buck
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
The Interrupters
Tabloid

Best Comedy
Bridesmaids
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Midnight In Paris
The Muppets
Paul
Rango

Best Animated Film
The Adventures of Tin Tin
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss In Boots
Rango
Rio

Best Art-House or Festival Film
Beginners
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Tucker and Dale vs Evil
We Need To Talk About Kevin
Win Win

FINALLY, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo makes a showing (and a strong one at that) and Hugo is shut out completely!  Also, Hanna gets a lot of love (I heart that movie so much) but Blanchett was kind of terrible in it so she really shouldn’t have received any attention here.  I’m sad to see Mulligan miss out, but I’m loving that Drive continues to make a splash.  50/50 is SOOO happening in screenplay, and it looks like Elizabeth Olsen has been having a few of those nails retracted from her coffin! 

A slew of weekend awards, and my thoughts!

LAFCA (Los Angeles Film Critics Association):
Best Picture: The Descendants
Best Director: Malick/The Tree of Life
Lead Actor: Fassbender/A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre, Shame & X-Men: First Class
Lead Actress: Jung-Hee/Poetry
Supporting Actor: Plummer/Beginners
Supporting Actress: Chastain/Coriolanus, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, Texas Killing Fields, The Tree of Life
Screenplay: A Separation
Cinematography: The Tree of Life
Production Design: Hugo
Score: Hanna
Foreign Film: The City of Life and death
Documentary: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Animated Film: Rango
New Generation Award: Martha Marcy May Marlene
Douglas Edwards (Experimental Independent Film) Award: Spark of Being

The Descendants takes top honors here, and gets a boost, as does Chastain who is looking VERY good for an Oscar nomination now.  I’m still not sure for which film (most likely The Help or Take Shelter) but she’s won both NY and now LA, so she’s sitting pretty at this point.  Fassbender finally took one home too.  I think he’s going to make it, or he’ll be that surprise snub that everyone should have seen coming (so naked, so vulnerable).  A Separation taking Screenplay is big here.  I think it may even play for a Best Picture nomination in the end. 

Things we can take away from this are that Plummer is the one to beat in Supporting Actor, Jessica Chastain is probably going to get an Oscar nomination and The Cave of Forgotten Dreams is taking home Documentary.

LOL, and Tin Tin isn’t the sure thing we all thought it was going to be in the Animated category!

Detroit Film Critics Society:
Best Picture:
The Artist
The Descendants
Hugo
Take Shelter
The Tree of Life

Premature Predicted Winner: The Artist

Best Director:

Hazanavicius/The Artist
Malick/The Tree of Life
Nichols/Take Shelter
Scorsese/Hugo
Winding Refn/Drive

Premature Predicted Winner:  Hazanavicius

Best Actor

Clooney/The Descendants
Dujardin/The Artist
Fassbender/Shame
Pitt/Moneyball
Shannon/Take Shelter

Premature Predicted Winner:  Pitt

Best Actress:

Davis/The Help
Jones/Like Crazy
Streep/The Iron Lady
Theron/Young Adult
Williams/My Week with Marilyn

Premature Predicted Winner:  Davis

Best Supporting Actor:

Branagh/My Week with Marilyn
Brooks/Drive
Gosling/Crazy, Stupid, Love
Oswalt/Young Adult
Plummer/Beginners

Premature Predicted Winner:  Plummer

Best Supporting Actress:

Bejo/The Artist
Chastain/Take Shelter
Mulligan/Shame
Redgrave/Coriolanus
Spencer/The Help

Premature Predicted Winner:  Redgrave

Best Ensemble:

Carnage
Cedar Rapids
Crazy, Stupid, Love
The Help
Margin Call
Win Win

Premature Predicted Winner:  The Help

Breakthrough Performance:

Chastain/The Help, Take Shelter & The Tree of Life
Jones/Like Crazy
McCarthy/Bridesmaids
Olsen/Martha Marcy May Marlene
Woodley/The Descendants

Premature Predicted Winner:  Chastain

Best Screenplay:

50/50
The Artist
Beginners
Moneyball
Take Shelter

Premature Predicted Winner:  Take Shelter

Best Documentary:

Into Eternity
Into the Abyss
Marwencol
Tabloid
We Were Here

Premature Predicted Winner:  Tabloid

50/50 keeps popping up in Screenplay, and I’m beginning to think that it could really make a go at an Oscar nomination there.  Other than that, this is a solid mix of ‘sure to be Oscar nominated’ and ‘black horse’ contenders.  I would not be surprised if Oscar’s exact Supporting Actress lineup is shown here.  I want to say that I LOVE the Gosling mention, since his work in Crazy, Stupid, Love was hilariously inspired. 

All in all these are great nominees!

San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards:
Best Picture
“The Tree of Life”

Best Director
Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life”

Best Original Screenplay
J.C. Chandor for “Margin Call”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Actor
Gary Oldman for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Actress
Tilda Swinton for “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Best Supporting Actor
Albert Brooks for “Drive”

Best Supporting Actress
Vanessa Redgrave for “Coriolanus”

Best Animated Feature
“Rango”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Certified Copy”

Best Documentary
“Tabloid”

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki for “The Tree of Life”

Another win for Rango and Swinton here.  Rango may be the one to beat come Oscar time, and it could possibly be time to take Tilda Swinton seriously in the Best Actress Category, although I think the nature of her film may hinder her in the end.  She seems to have the same problem as Fassbender this year.  Redgrave grabs a win, as does Oldman. 

The Tree of Life is so winning Cinematography this year!

Indiana Film Journalist Awards:
Best Film of the Year
Winner: “The Artist”
Runner-up: “The Descendants”
Other Finalists: “Coriolanus,” “Drive,” “Hugo,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” “The Muppets,” “The Skin I Live In,” “Super 8,” “The Tree of Life.”

Best Animated Film
Winner: “Rango”
Runner-up: “Winnie the Pooh”

Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: “The Skin I Live In”
Runner-up: “13 Assassins”

Best Documentary
Winner: “Project Nim”
Runner-up: “Into the Abyss”

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Thomas McCarthy, “Win Win”
Runner-up: J.C. Chandor, “Margin Call”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
Runner-up: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, “Moneyball”

Best Director
Winner: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Runner-up: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

Best Actress
Winner: Elizabeth Olsen, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Runner-up: Tilda Swinton, “We Need To Talk About Kevin”

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Viola Davis, “The Help”
Runner-up: Amy Ryan, “Win Win”

Best Actor
Winner: Paul Giamatti, “Win Win”
Runner-up: Ralph Fiennes, “Coriolanus”

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Runner-up: Albert Brooks, “Drive”

Best Musical Score
Winner: Ludovic Bource, “The Artist”
Runner-up: Howard Shore, “Hugo”

Original Vision Award
Winner: “The Tree of Life”
Runner-up: “The Artist”

The Hoosier Award
Winner: Lindsay Goffman, producer of “Dumbstruck”

It’s weird to see Davis in supporting.  It means nothing in the end (since she’s locked up in lead) but it’s still a win under her belt, which can only be a good thing at this point.  Another win for The Artist with more love shown to The Descendants make this a three horse race at this point, with The Artist, The Descendants and Hugo battling it out for top honors.  I wonder if this embargo is really damaging The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or if it’s going to blaze a trail to glory once that pesky thing is lifted.  More mention of Swinton and another Rango win, but how telling can these be if they rewarded Giamatti (who isn’t even in contention for a nomination) and listen The Muppets as one of the best of the year.  Granted, that is totally awesome (on the Muppet front) but seriously, they get points for creativity; not prognostication.

Boston Society of Film Critics Awards:
BEST PICTURE
The Artist
Runners-up: Hugo & Margaret

BEST DIRECTOR
Martin Scorsese - Hugo
Runner-up: Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist

BEST ACTRESS
Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn
Runner-up: Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady

BEST ACTOR
Brad Pitt - Moneyball
Runners-up: George Clooney - The Descendants & Michael Fassbender - Shame

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melissa McCarthy - Bridesmaids
Runner-up: Jeannie Berlin - Margaret

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Albert Brooks - Drive

BEST SCREENPLAY
Moneyball
Runner-up: Margaret

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Incendies
Runners-up: A Separation & Poetry

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Project Nim
Runner-up: Bill Cunningham New York

BEST ENSEMBLE
Carnage
Runner-up: Margaret

BEST NEW FILMMAKER
Sean Durkin - Martha Marcy May Marlene
Runner-up: J.C. Chandor - Margin Call

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Tree of Life
Runner-up: Hugo

BEST EDITING AWARD
Christian Marclay - The Clock
Runner-up: Hugo

BEST USE OF MUSIC
The Artist & Drive (tie)
Runner-up: The Descendants

I was excited when the first three awards out the gate awarded three different films in Best Picture, but it’s not becoming a monotonous battle between three films that, while certainly interesting in their own rights, seem awfully light.  Margaret also gets its only mentions of the Awards Season (assumption, I know) and Williams snags another win (she may take it all, honestly).  I still hate to see my Dragon obsession go empty handed, but I’m biding my time for it to take over.

Oh, and McCarthy is NOT getting an Oscar nomination…just saying.

New York (Online) Film Critics:
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE: JESSICA CHASTAIN - The Tree of Life, The Help, The Debt, Take Shelter, Texas Killing Fields, Coriolanus
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – MELISSA MCCARTHY for Bridesmaids
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR - ALBERT BROOKS for Drive
BEST SCREENPLAY - ALEXANDER PAYNE, NAT FAXON, JIM RASH for The Descendants
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - EMMANUEL LUBEZKI for The Tree of Life
BEST USE OF MUSIC - LUDOVIC BOURCE for The Artist
BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR - JOE CORNISH for Attack the Block
BEST DIRECTOR - MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS for The Artist
BEST ACTRESS - MERYL STREEP for "The Iron Lady"
BEST ACTOR - MICHAEL SHANNON for Take Shelter
BEST ENSEMBLE CAST – BRIDESMAIDS
BEST PICTURE – The Artist
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - A SEPARATION
BEST DOCUMENTARY - CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE - THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN

Chastain snags another breakthrough win for everything she’s done this year (seriously, come off it) and Brooks and Streep inch closer to Oscar nominations (and potential spoilers to Williams and Plummer).  Shannon is a real contender now, which I didn’t see coming.  I thought all along he had potential for a nomination, but I thought it would be more or less a surprise nomination, not one solidified by Critical reception.

Houston Film Critics Society:
Best Picture

The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
Take Shelter
The Tree of Life
War Horse
Win Win

Premature Predicted Winner:  The Artist

Best Director

Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Premature Predicted Winner:  Winding Refn

Best Actor

Brad Pitt, Moneyball
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Premature Predicted Winner:  Fassbender

Best Actress

Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
Viola Davis, The Help

Premature Predicted Winner:  Williams

Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks, Drive
Alex Shaffer, Win Win
Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Premature Predicted Winner:  Brooks

Supporting Actress

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Premature Predicted Winner:  Woodley

Best Screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Foxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Tom McCarthy, Win Win
Will Reiser, 50/50
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Premature Predicted Winner:  50/50

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life
Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist
Janusz Kaminski, War Horse
Robert Richardson, Hugo
Thomas Newton Segel, Drive

Premature Predicted Winner:  The Tree of Life

Best Song

“Lay Your Head Down,” from Albert Nobbs, music & lyrics by B. Bryne & G. Close
“Life’s a Happy Song,” from The Muppets, music & lyrics by Bret McKenzie
“Star-Spangled Man,” from Captain America, music & lyrics by Alan Menken
“The Living Proof,” from The Help, music & lyrics by Mary J. Blige
“Think You Can Wait,” from Win Win, music & lyrics by The National

Premature Predicted Winner:  Star Spangled Man

Best Score

Alexandre Desplat, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Harry Escott, Shame
John Williams, The Adventures of Tin-Tin
John Williams, War Horse
Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Premature Predicted Winner:  The Artist

Best Foreign Film

13 Assassins, Magnet Releasing
Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, New Video
I Saw the Devil, Magnet Releasing
The Artist, The Weinstein Company
The Skin I Live In, Sony Pictures Classics

Premature Predicted Winner:  13 Assassins

Best Documentary

Buck, Sundance Selects
Cave of Forgotten Dreams, IFC Films
Project Nim, Lionsgate
The Elephant in the Living Room, NightFly Entertainment
Undefeated, The Weinstein Company

Premature Predicted Winner:  Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Best Animated

Adventures of Tin-Tin
Happy Feet Two
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango
Winnie the Pooh

Premature Predicted Winner:  Adventures of Tin Tin

Worst Film of the Year

Jack and Jill, Columbia
Red Riding Hood, Warner Bros.
The Sitter, 20th Century Fox
The Smurfs, Columbia
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, Summit Entertainment
Your Highness, Universal

Premature Predicted Winner:  Jack and Jill

I love their supporting actor category because outside of the two frontrunners they just randomly chose actors who have NO SHOT at an Oscar nomination at this point.  Still, the categories are certainly starting to week themselves now.  We can see a clear 6-8 potential names in each category now, and so it’s getting easier and easier to imagine whose names are going to be called come Nomination Morning.  All in all, this looks to be a pretty impressive year!