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NSFC and Friends: Hordes of Awards

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"The best film of 2050" - a friend of mine who's seen this something like 6 times (Source)

“The best film of 2050” – a friend of mine who’s seen this something like 6 times (Source)

I always love it when an awards group does something crazy-awesome. And the National Society of Film Critics did something crazy awesome. Crazy, crazy awesome.

The National Society of Film Critics (vote totals after the title):

Picture: Goodbye to Language (25)

  • Boyhood (24)
  • Birdman (10)
  • Mr. Turner (10)

Hell. Motherfuckin’. Yes.

I love how obviously they didn’t want to give this to Boyhood. I love that they picked a hyper-experimental Godard film (55 years and still cranking them out!) rather than something “respectable”. I’ll be finding out just how good it is in two weeks, but for now, I’m going to bask in the glow of official approval.

Also, they gave this award to Melancholia in 2011. So they’ve got a spot in my heart.

Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood (36)

  • Jean-Luc Godard, Goodbye to Language (17)
  • Mike Leigh, Mr. Turner (12)

Well, you can’t have everything.

Also, side note: I’ve heard some disturbing allegations about Mr. Turner‘s depiction of women. It’ll be another month before I can see it, but that is something I’ll be keeping an eye out for.

Actor: Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner (31)

  • Tom Hardy, Locke (10)
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice (9)
  • Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel (9)

What, not the dog from Goodbye to Language?

Also, glad Joaquin got some attention.

Actress: Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night/The Immigrant (80)

  • Julianne Moore, Still Alice (35)
  • Scarlett Johansson, Lucy/Under the Skin (21)

Damn. I really thought that was a typo. But Cotillard won in a damned landslide. How, I’m not entirely sure, but there you have it.

I just love that Lucy was cited for Johansson’s nomination this year. NSFC nominee Lucy.

Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (24)

  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher (21)
  • Edward Norton, Birdman (16)

A bit surprised this wasn’t more of a Simmons/Norton tie.

Also, have you seen Mark Schultz’ anti-Foxcatcher tirades? Holy shit.

Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood (26)

  • Agata Kulesza, Ida (18)
  • Rene Russo, Nightcrawler (9)

Yeah, I suppose she’s got the Oscar in the bag.

I guess whenever I do my Supporting Actress category I should consider Kulesza (hitherto I’d considered her a lead).

Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel (24)

  • Inherent Vice (15)
  • Birdman (15)

Really need to see this again. I’ve probably said that a bunch of times, but fuck it.

Surprised it hasn’t cropped up more in the other races, though.

Cinematography: Mr. Turner (33)

  • The Immigrant (27)
  • Goodbye to Language (9)

Only 9 votes to Godard going 3D? Shame.

And where exactly is Birdman?

Non-Fiction Film: CITIZENFOUR (56)

  • National Gallery (19)
  • The Overnighters (17)

Makes sense. Really anxious to see National Gallery, though.

And no Life Itself.

Is it in trouble? Or is this just a hiccup on the road to the Oscars? (Source)

Is it in trouble? Or is this just a hiccup on the road to the Oscars? (Source)

The Producer’s Guild (PGA) announced their nominees this morning. So let’s see what’s on the list:

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Nightcrawler
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

So what does this mean for the Best Picture race?

Selma is a troubling omission, but the word going around seems to be that the guild voters didn’t get their screeners in time. I can’t see it not getting the Oscar nominations–especially not with the Globes giving it Picture and Director nods, and the glowing critical reception–but we’ll see what its chances of winning are like.

Now, the PGA usually syncs up about 80% with the Oscars. Last year, they had 8 of the 9 nominees (all but Philomena) and also had Blue Jasmine and Saving Mr. Banks (they had 11, and 12 Years a Slave and Gravity tied).

The year before, 8 of the 9, plus Moonrise Kingdom and Skyfall (we could’ve had a Bond up for Best Picture. Come on, guys).

In 2011, 7 of the 9, plus Bridesmaids, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and The Ides of March. (So glad the Oscars went with The Tree of Life over The Ides of March.)

In 2010, 9 of the 10 (plus The Town). In 2009, 8 of the 10, plus Invictus and Star Trek.

Now, which of the 10 above will get Best Picture nominations? Birdman, Boyhood, The Imitation Game (which I saw last night–it’s okay. Not Best Picture worthy)and The Theory of Everything are in. The Grand Budapest Hotel is most likely in, and Gone Girl is looking pretty safe. That’s 6 likely candidates.

Now, Foxcatcher has been hit and miss this season. It has Globe love, but the recent turmoil surrounding it, and the somewhat mixed reviews…I could see it missing. Nightcrawler and Whiplash are both smaller films, and while I think one of them will make the Oscar list, I’m not ready to predict both will. I’m going to go out on a limb and give Nightcrawler the edge there. Whiplash seems to be mostly about J.K. Simmons. It might still get on, but it’s not a sure thing.

Is it bound for a nomination? Or is this as far as it'll go? (Source)

Is it bound for a nomination? Or is this as far as it’ll go? (Source)

And that leaves American Sniper. Some have said it’s a return to form for Eastwood. Some have said it’s not. The reviews have been good, but not across-the-board great. The NBR liked it, but they love Eastwood. The Globes didn’t touch it. Worse, Bradley Cooper hasn’t really been able to build any traction in the Best Actor race (though he’s apparently really fucking good in the movie). And if it were to be an Oscar contender, he’d really need to be a factor. So I don’t think it’s happening.

So, assuming American Sniper and Whiplash are the ones to miss (though, who really knows?), what would take their place? I’m thinking Selma. Unbroken is probably done for, and while I’d love to see Interstellar or A Most Violent Year make a play for it, I think those boats have long since sailed. So here are my guesses for Best Picture as of now:

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Nightcrawler
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything

Central Ohio Film Critics Association:


  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • A Most Violent Year
  • Nightcrawler
  • Selma
  • Snowpiercer
  • Whiplash

Can you guess why this list makes me happy?


  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Ava DuVernay, Selma
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Richard Linklater, Boyhood


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

You nominate Imitation Game for Picture and not Actor? That makes sense.


  • Essie Davis, The Babadook
  • Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin
  • Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Always glad to see Davis. Surprised they went with Johansson over Julianne Moore, though.

Supporting Actor:

  • Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Supporting Actress:

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
  • Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

Oh, Tilda, Tilda, Tilda.

I’m really surprised Knightley has been such a consistent nominee this year. She was fine, but…really?


  • Birdman
  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

Surprised they didn’t go with Into the Woods here. Especially they picked Foxcatcher.

Original Screenplay:

  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • A Most Violent Year
  • Selma
  • Whiplash

Apparently the Academy decided Whiplash was Adapted, and it’s causing a good deal of confusion and might cost it a nomination. That’s about all I’ve got here (though it’s good to see Selma here. I figured that was going to get overlooked for Screenplay).

Adapted Screenplay:

  • Gone Girl
  • The Imitation Game
  • Inherent Vice
  • Snowpiercer
  • Wild

3/5 of this list makes me very happy. The other 2…yawn.


  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Interstellar
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Under the Skin

4 of these make sense. Theory doesn’t.


  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • Selma
  • Whiplash


  • Birdman
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Interstellar
  • The Theory of Everything

They don’t nominate Under the Skin here? Weird.


  • Dinosaur 13
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune
  • Life Itself

Foreign Language Film:

  • Force Majeure
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • Ida
  • Two Days, One Night
  • We Are the Best!

Fuck yeah, A Girl Walks Home!

Animated Film:

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

I’d give the Academy props if they skipped this category and just gave The Lego Movie the Oscar.

Actor of the Year:

  • Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Interstellar, Miss Julie, A Most Violent Year)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Imitation Game)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal (Enemy, Nightcrawler)
  • Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lego Movie)
  • Tilda Swinton (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Only Lovers Left Alive, Snowpiercer, The Zero Theorem)

Much as I’d love to vote for Swinton, Gyllenhaal headlined two **** films and was excellent in both. He’d probably be my vote.

Breakthrough Film Artist:

  • Damien Chazelle
  • Ava DuVernay
  • Jennifer Kent
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw
  • Justin Simien

Ooh…it’s a real close race between Mbatha-Raw and Simien. She was amazing in two separate films, but he made possibly the best film of the year. Good thing I don’t have to choose.

Overlooked Film:

  • The Babadook
  • Blue Ruin
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Enemy
  • Locke

Recently rewatched Edge. It’s really good. A really fun film. But even if it underperformed, it made $100 million in theaters. So no.

Southeastern Film Critics:

Picture: The Grand Budapest Hotel

A bold choice, certainly.

Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Runner-up: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Not quite.

Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman
Runner-up: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Runner-up: Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Oh, Still Alice. When was the last time a film was nominated this much, but in just one category? Maybe The Iron Lady?

Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Runner-up: Edward Norton, Birdman

Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Runner-up: Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer


Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Runner-up: Birdman

Adapted Screenplay: Gone Girl
Runner-up: Wild

Is the script for Wild really anything special? I need to see it one of these days, I know, I just got so sick of the trailer that I don’t really want to.

Animated Film: The Lego Movie
Runner-up: Big Hero 6

“Runner-up.” Ha ha.

Foreign Language Film: Force Majeure
Runner-up: Ida

So the Oscar race will probably effectively come down to these two.

Documentary: Life Itself


Ensemble: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Gene Wyatt Award (“for a film that best evokes the spirit of the South”): Selma
Runner-up: Cold in July

No comment.

Top 10:

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Nightcrawler
  • Snowpiercer
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash


I’ll be expanding this article in the coming days with the following:

  • Houston Film Critics (who got a bit outside the box)
  • London Film Critics (certainly interesting)
  • Toronto Film Critics (pretty much business as usual)
  • Nevada Film Critics (I can dig them)
  • Florida Film Critics (a couple of interesting picks)



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