Leos Carax in, Steven Spielberg out: Online Film Critics Awards
The Online Film Critics Society has announced its list of 2012 nominees; as usual, included are several unusual choices. Really, Leos Carax? Equally interesting are the omissions. (See further below the full, updated list of the Online Film Critics' nominations and winners.)
For starters, Carax's Cannes Film Festival entry Holy Motors is one of the Best Picture nominees – but Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, Tom Hooper's Les Misérables, Michael Haneke's Amour, Ang Lee's Life of Pi, and David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook aren't.
Jafar Panahi's This Is Not a Film and David Gelb's Jiro Dreams of Sushi are among the Best Documentary contenders, but not New York Film Critics winner The Central Park Five or U.S. critics' groups favorite Searching for Sugar Man.
In the Best Director category, Leos Carax is in; Steven Spielberg is out. Holy Motors' Denis Lavant is in the running for Best Actor, but Silver Linings Playbook's Bradley Cooper and Amour's Jean-Louis Trintignant are out.
More surprises: Leonardo DiCaprio out, 'The Cabin in the Woods' in
Dwight Henry is a Best Supporting Actor Online Film Critics Award contender for Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, but Leonardo DiCaprio failed to be shortlisted for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's original screenplay for the horror flick The Cabin in the Woods is another contender, but Michael Haneke's for Amour isn't – nor, for that matter, is Leos Carax's screenplay for his Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film nominee Holy Motors.
In the Best Adapted Screenplay category you'll find David Cronenberg for the relatively little-seen Robert Pattinson star vehicle Cosmopolis and Andy and Lana Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer for the costly Tom Hanks-Halle Berry box office misfire Cloud Atlas. But missing in action are David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, David Magee for Life of Pi, and, why not, Nanni Moretti for We Have a Pope.
The Online Film Critics winners will be announced on Jan. 17.
Mostly conventional winners
Update: Its handful of daring nominations notwithstanding – e.g., two top nods for Leos Carax's Holy Motors – this year's Online Film Critics winners were, as usual, mostly Hollywood-friendly fare. Argo, Ben Affleck's “imaginative” recreation of history, was selected as the year's Best Picture while Chris Terrio's work on the political thriller earned him the Best Adapted Screenplay mention.
Online Film Critics Society Awards: Winners & nominations
Zero Dark Thirty.
Best Foreign Language Film
Michael Haneke's Amour.
* Leos Carax's Holy Motors.
Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone.
Jafar Panahi's This Is Not a Film.
Béla Tarr & Agnes Hranitzky's The Turin Horse.
* Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln.
John Hawkes, The Sessions.
Denis Lavant, Holy Motors.
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master.
Denzel Washington, Flight.
Ben Affleck, Argo.
* Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master.
Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom.
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty.
Leos Carax, Holy Motors.
Best Original Screenplay
The Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard.
Looper, Rian Johnson.
The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson.
* Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola.
Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal.
Best Adapted Screenplay
* Argo, Chris Terrio.
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin.
Cloud Atlas, Andy and Lana Wachowski & Tom Tykwer.
Cosmopolis, David Cronenberg.
Lincoln, Tony Kushner.
Life of Pi, Claudio Miranda.
Lincoln, Janusz Kaminski.
The Master, Mihai Malaimare Jr.
Moonrise Kingdom, Robert D. Yeoman.
* Skyfall, Roger Deakins.
Argo, William Goldenberg.
* Cloud Atlas, Alexander Berner.
The Master, Leslie Jones & Peter McNulty.
Skyfall, Stuart Baird.
Zero Dark Thirty, William Goldenberg & Dylan Tichenor.
Best Animated Feature
The Secret World of Arrietty.
Mojtaba Mirtahmasb & Jafar Panahi's This Is Not a Film.
John Hawkes & Helen Hunt are Nevada Film Critics surprises
Ben Affleck's political thriller Argo, about the rescue of six would-be U.S. hostages in Iran in 1980, was chosen as the Best Film of 2012 by the Nevada Film Critics Society.
Affleck, who also stars in the film, had to share Best Director honors with the director of another political thriller pitting U.S. agents against Islamic radicals: Kathryn Bigelow, for the controversial Zero Dark Thirty, about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
Hawkes' co-star, Helen Hunt (Best Actress Oscar winner for As Good as It Gets, 1997), who has been usually shortlisted in the Best Supporting Actress category this awards season, shared Best Actress honors with Jennifer Lawrence for David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook.
'Lincoln' wins three acting awards – but Daniel Day-Lewis bypassed
In the supporting categories the winners were Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, which also won for Best Ensemble Cast.
Curiously, Lincoln's Daniel-Day Lewis, the North American film critics' overwhelming Best Actor choice to date, was not singled out. Other Lincoln cast members include Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, and Hal Holbrook.
Tom Holland was cited in the Best Youth Performance category for his work in Juan Antonio Bayona's The Impossible, starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. As it happens, the tsunami/family drama is by far Spain's biggest box office hit of 2012: $52.99 million vs. runner-up The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 with $27.95 million.
Curiously, the Nevada Film Critics, who began announcing their winners last year, have Best Visual Effects and Best Production Design categories, but not Best Screenplay or Best Foreign Language Film.
Nevada Film Critics winners
Best Film: Argo.
Best Actor: John Hawkes, The Sessions.
Best Actress (tie): Helen Hunt, The Sessions; Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook.
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln.
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field, Lincoln.
Best Director (tie): Ben Affleck, Argo; Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty.
Best Ensemble Cast: Lincoln.
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi.
Best Production Design: Les Misérables.
Best Animated Movie: Frankenweenie.
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi.
Best Youth Performance: Tom Holland, The Impossible.
Oscar voters must scramble to watch 'For Your Consideration' contenders
From Smashed to The Dark Knight Rises. According to a list compiled by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member Ken Rudolph, about 60 movies have been shipped to the 6,000-strong Academy members for Oscar 2013 consideration. Well, assuming that if Rudolph has been getting these DVDs, the other members have been getting theirs, too.
There are a few curiosities: Ang Lee's Life of Pi was received only on Christmas Eve. In other words, if Rudolph isn't an exception, then Academy members better watch that movie fast, as the last day of voting is Jan. 4 [Update: The Academy has announced a one-day extension.]
Rudolph's other late arrivals (after Dec. 15) were Dean Wright's For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada (Dec. 17), and two strong Oscar 2013 contenders: Django Unchained (Dec. 19) and Les Misérables (Dec. 21).
Even though they both opened on Dec. 21 in North America, Juan Antonio Bayona's The Impossible and Walter Salles' On the Road arrived in Rudolph's mailbox the previous month: The Impossible on Nov. 9; On the Road on Nov. 20.
Oscar 2013 blockbuster contenders
Strangely, Joss Whedon's The Avengers, the year's biggest blockbuster, is not on Rudolph's list. Nor is Bill Condon's The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 or Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man. But other big hits with Oscar chances in various categories are included:
Gary Ross' The Hunger Games.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence. Josh Hutcherson. Liam Hemsworth.
Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.
Cast: Christian Bale. Anne Hathaway. Marion Cotillard. Tom Hardy.
Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman.
Cast: Kristen Stewart. Chris Hemsworth. Charlize Theron.
Sam Mendes' Skyfall.
Cast: Daniel Craig. Javier Bardem.
Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Cast: Martin Freeman. Ian McKellen.
Also worth noting is that all the major Oscar contenders seem to be on the list. In addition to the aforementioned titles, there are:
- Ben Affleck's Argo.
Cast: Ben Affleck. Alan Arkin.
- Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty.
Cast: Jessica Chastain. Jason Clarke. Joel Edgerton. Chris Pratt. Jennifer Ehle.
- David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook.
Cast: Bradley Cooper. Jennifer Lawrence. Robert De Niro. Jacki Weaver.
- Steven Spielberg's Lincoln.
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis. Sally Field. Tommy Lee Jones.
- Michael Haneke's Amour.
Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant. Emmanuelle Riva. Isabelle Huppert.
- Robert Zemeckis' Flight.
Cast: Denzel Washington. Don Cheadle. Kelly Reilly.
- Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.
Cast: Edward Norton. Bruce Willis.
- John Madden's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Cast: Judi Dench. Maggie Smith. Tom Wilkinson. Penelope Wilton. Dev Patel. Bill Nighy. Celia Imrie.
- Ben Lewin's The Sessions.
Cast: John Hawkes. Helen Hunt.
- Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis. Dwight Henry.
Five Weinstein Company movies
Oscar savvy The Weinstein Company has five movies on the list. Besides Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained, in November/early December TWC sent out:
- Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano's The Intouchables.
Cast: Omar Sy. François Cluzet.
- Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix. Amy Adams. Philip Seymour Hoffman.
- Dustin Hoffman's Quartet.
Cast: Maggie Smith. Tom Courtenay. Pauline Collins.
Sony Pictures Classics has been no slacker, either: seven movies on the list. These are the aforementioned Amour and West of Memphis, in addition to:
- Woody Allen's To Rome with Love.
Cast: Woody Allen. Jesse Eisenberg. Penélope Cruz. Roberto Benigni. Judy Davis. Alessandro Tiberi.
- Lee Toland Krieger's Celeste & Jesse Forever.
Cast: Rashida Jones. Andy Samberg. Ari Graynor. Eric Christian Olsen.
- James Ponsoldt's Smashed.
Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Aaron Paul.
- Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone.
Cast: Marion Cotillard. Matthias Schoenaerts.
eOne Films: 'A Late Quartet' in, 'Cosmopolis' out
In case Rudolph's list is complete, then eOne Films made an interesting – and telling – choice. It sent out DVD copies of Yaron Zilberman's little-seen but well-received drama A Late Quartet, toplining Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christopher Walken, but not of David Cronenberg's Cannes Film Festival entry Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson.
A Late Quartet is a conventionally structured “inspirational” drama; Cosmopolis is neither conventionally structured nor inspirational. We all know Academy members would much rather be fed the former than the latter.
Anyhow, that surely would come as no surprise to David Cronenberg, who told Movieline:
“Every year I try to be as disconnected as possible [from the Academy Awards]. This year it's been very easy because we haven't been nominated for any awards. It's not sour grapes, it's not compensation; it's a relief. It's very easy to get caught up in it if you are nominated. The people who are releasing the movie get excited, they want you to do more, and you understand it because the awards can maybe get more people to see the film. This, on its face, is a good thing. However, it is all bullshit, it is all annoying and it is all very problematical.”
Oscar voters must scramble to watch 282 movies
In related Oscar 2013 news, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that 282 feature films are eligible for next year's Academy Awards in the Best Picture and other “regular” categories.
The Academy's 5,856 voting members (or those 1,000 or 2,000 or 3,000 or so who actually bother voting) can start casting their ballots – whether electronically or by mail – up until 5 p.m. PT, Thursday, Jan. 4 (following the Academy's one-day extension).
Since this marks the first time the Academy has set up electronic voting, it's providing “assisted voting stations” in Los Angeles, New York, and London, in addition to a 24-hour support call center during voting periods (the second round of voting will be for the winners).
The 2013 Oscar nominations will be announced on Jan. 10. The Oscarcast will take place on Feb. 24.
Online Film Critics Society website.
Nevada Film Critics Society website.
Image of Denis Lavant and Eva Mendes in Leos Carax's Holy Motors: Les Films du Losange.
John Hawkes and Helen Hunt The Sessions image: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead Smashed image: Sony Pictures Classics.
“Leos Carax Hallucination & John Hawkes' Virgin In + Leonardo DiCaprio & Steven Spielberg Out” last updated in July 2018.