Monday, December 9, 2013

Online Film Critics Society Nominations

Well, they are coming fast and furious now.  These minor critics are all trying to chime in with their picks for the best of the best, and here we go with some interesting choices.  In fact, these are pretty damn good, and while I haven't seen all of the contenders, it's nice to see a critics group willing to think outside of the box and not predict the Oscars.

Here we go:

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Before Midnight
Blue is the Warmest Color
Drug War
Inside Llewyn Davis
Short Term 12
The Wind Rises

Thoughts:  It's nice to see an awards body willing to include documentaries and animated films and foreign films in their Best Picture category despite having separate categories for them.  They are all films, and if they are the best they deserve to be regarded as such.  Also, 'Before Midnight' and 'Short Term 12' show up here, which is pretty neat.  'Before Midnight' needs a giant push if it wants to make a play for Best Picture (which I still think could happen) and it has some passion already (it is slaying with Screenplay wins).  Maybe I should watch 'Drug War'.  It's available on Netflix Instant right now.

The Coen Brothers / Inside Llewyn Davis
Alfonso Cuaron / Gravity
Spike Jonze / Her
Steve McQueen / 12 Years a Slave
Hayao Miyazaki / The Wind Rises

Thoughts:  I've been very vocal about not entirely understanding how you direct an animated film, and so I have never nominated a director for one, even when they land on my Best Picture ballot, but this is pretty cool to see (since it rarely ever happens anywhere).  I also think that Spike Jonze is going to happen at the Oscars.  In fact, Cuaron, Jonze and McQueen all seem rather unstoppable at this point.

Chiwetel Ejiofor / 12 Years a Slave
Tom Hanks / Captain Phillips
Oscar Isaac / Inside Llewyn Davis
Mads Mikkelsen / The Hunt
Joaquin Phoenix / Her

Thoughts:  Well, Hanks is in and McConaughey is out (although not entirely) and I think it's pretty clear that they are the two weak links in a very tight race.  DiCaprio isn't here, but 'The Wolf of Wall Street' isn't anywhere here so I doubt they saw it.  Mikkelsen is a nice sight, and I should be seeing 'The Hunt' this week so YAY!  I'm thinking that Phoenix could be a serious contender.  GOD, I wish I had stuck to my guns when I predicted 'Her' everywhere after the trailer was dropped!

Amy Adams / American Hustle
Cate Blanchett / Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy / Before Midnight
Adele Exarchopoulos / Blue is the Warmest Color
Brie Larson / Short Term 12

Thoughts:  Wouldn't it be amazing if this is what Oscar looked like?  I mean, in a year where the category seems overstuffed with Oscar winners, these guys go out of their way to nominate the performances that actually have the reviews to back up their nominations!  I still think that Exarchopoulos can happen, but Adams could take her spot, even if someone like Thompson and Streep fails to secure a nomination.

Barkhad Abdi / Captain Phillips
Michael Fassbender / 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto / Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaughey / Mud
Sam Rockwell / The Way Way Back

Thoughts:  This category is so all over the place and I love it!  Yes, Fassbender and Leto are locked up, but after that it really could go any which way, and that is so fucking cool.  Rockwell doesn't have a prayer at Oscar, but it's nice to see him  noticed here, since he's really good in the film.  I'm wondering if they passed on McConaughey in Lead because they nominate him here, and if so...could that really happen with Oscar?  I doubt it, but it has been considered by others.

Sally Hawkins / Blue Jasmine
Scarlett Johansson / Her
Jennifer Lawrence / American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o / 12 Years a Slave
Lea Seydoux / Blue is the Warmest Color

Thoughts:  I think people are severely underestimating Scarlett Johansson.  These are boundary breaking reviews, career re-defining, and I really think that the passion behind 'Her' will push her to a nomination, which is really freaking cool!  Lawrence and Nyong'o are locked at this point, and while it's strange to see the lack of attention given to Oprah, I still think she's winning the Oscar.  Otherwise, all I have to say is that this lineup is awesome!

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Inside Llewyn Davis
Museum Hours

Thoughts:  Four of these are going to the Oscars.  Guess which ones.

12 Years a Slave
Before Midnight
In the House
Short Term 12
The Wind Rises

Thoughts:  Wait, 'In the House' is adapted?  Did I know that?  I swear that it was original.  I really think that the Oscar is between '12 Years a Slave' and 'Before Midnight'.  I kind of hope 'Before Midnight' pulls it off, not because I prefer it (I haven't even seen '12 Years a Slave' yet) but because it would be a great way to reward to whole trilogy.

Despicable Me 2
From Up on Poppy Hill
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

Thoughts:  All I have to say is that I really hope 'Despicable Me 2' really happens.

Blue is the Warmest Color
Drug War
Museum Hours
The Wind Rises

Thoughts:  They really love 'The Wind Rises'.  It's placed in three 'Picture' categories, so it's bound to win at least one.  'Wadjda' could actually win the Oscar.

56 Up
The Act of Killing
At Berkeley
Stories We Tell

Thoughts:  Now, why didn't 'Drug War' catch a break here?  That baffles me a little, especially since they showered 'The Wind Rises' despite it factoring into their Top Ten.  I really hope that 'Stories We Tell' wins this.

12 Years a Slave
Drug War
Inside Llewyn Davis

Thoughts:  I just want to address the sudden 'Gravity' wins here.  Yes, the film is brisk and the action stays focused and so, in a way, the film is properly edited...but there are only like ten scenes in the whole film so I'm left wondering...what was actually edited?  See, there is such a thing as LOVING a film yet staying balanced, and I think a lot of these awards bodies feel that if you love a film you should nominate it everywhere, even if it doesn't really deserve it.  I love 'Gravity'.  It's currently in my top three films of the year, and I foresee it staying there, but even I wouldn't nominate it for Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction of Supporting Actor because...IT DOESN'T DESERVE TO BE!!!

End rant.

12 Years a Slave
The Grandmaster
The Great Beauty
Inside Llewyn Davis

Thoughts:  At this point, I think that '12 Years a Slave', 'Gravity' and 'Inside Llewyn Davis' are locked up for Oscar nominations.  The only real question is whether or not 'Inside Llewyn Davis' can actually beat 'Gravity'?


  1. I'd love to see Before Midnight in Best Picture, but I've given up on it. I can't see the Academy overlooking Streep, but I think she's in fifth place. Like you said, Adams might be the one to displace her. I prefer McConaughey in Mud, so I'm glad he showed up here.

    Oh, I saw In the House and loved it by the way. It's in my top 10 right now.

    1. It's stupid to bet against Streep, and yet that is what I'm doing right now. I'm also strangely starting to doubt Dench...