BFCA Critics Choice Awards

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:59 pm

I don't like the BFCA much, and if he were just talking about the BFCA, I wouldn't have a problem. However, he said "blogging collectives." BFCA is largely a group filled with on-air media personalities (radio and TV). While they have been expanding to online critics, they are still largely made up of non-critics whose job it is to sell movies to the public. If I'm wrong about his reference to other, regional critics groups, then I apologize. However, I think he's referring to anyone outside of the NBR/NYFCC/LAFCA/NSFC bloc.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:14 pm

OscarGuy, I didn't interpret Mister Tee's comment as a suggestion that legitimate film critics couldn't be found online. For instance, I think most of us here would view the folks at Slant Magazine as being among the best current writers about film around (and collectively, that group just named Mad Max the top movie of the year), and I think there's a lot of good film writing over at Indiewire, and plenty of individual film blogs. (And here, truly.)

But I do think it's fair to say that the Broadcast Film Critics are basically whores. (And again, I'm not saying EVERY member, some of whom can be insightful and entertaining writers, but collectively.) As usual, there's no way to look at their list and view it as anything other than a desperate attempt to fall in lockstop with precursor thinking -- they even moved their nominations until after HFPA/SAG announced to make sure that those candidates that weren't on anybody's radar (hello, Michael Shannon!) made their list. (Their Ensemble lineup is particularly laughable simply because it's virtually inconceivable that Straight Outta Compton and Trumbo would have been cited had it not been for the widely-seen-as-jaw-dropping SAG nominations last week.) I find them essentially useless even for precursor value -- say what you will about the Globes and Guild prizes, but I think it's pretty clear those voters picked what they liked, and their taste can often suggest what Oscar might like too (though Oscar, also, tends to throw some of its own surprises in the mix too.) The Broadcasters just basically rubber-stamp collective wisdom about who is doing well at the literal moment they vote -- I didn't feel like I learned a thing about the awards race from looking at their set of nominees.

The one precedent that still has me really questioning George Miller's Oscar chances is Christopher Nolan/Inception. Here was a director widely seen as overdue whose omission two years prior caused so much hubbub the Academy changed its rules, directing a film with huge worldwide grosses (more than double Fury Road's), from a non-franchise original script, with Golden Globe and DGA nominations in tow. And he STILL couldn't get a Director nomination from the Academy. (One advantage Miller has, though, is a year that doesn't have as much competition from famed auteurs at the top of their game as Nolan had in 2010.)

The broader question at this point -- now that all of the holiday movies have been screened -- is does Spotlight hold on to its front-runner status, which I agree seems pretty soft? Or does it fall to one of its competitors, most of which still seem inconceivable to me as Best Picture winners?

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:30 pm

Precious Doll wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:I found Fury Road's endless, repetitive exploration of the barren Australian outback mindless, soulless and just plain stupid.


Actually it was shoot in the Namib Desert in Namibia and not Australia.


OK, I guess it was just the early torture scenes that were shot in and around the Fox Studios in Sydney.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Dec 15, 2015 3:23 pm

Big Magilla wrote:I didn't hate Out of Africa or Crash, I just found them uneven and unworthy of Best Picture nominations, let alone wins. There were performances in both that I actually liked, Meryl Streep and Klaus Maria Brandaur in the former and Matt Dillon and Thandie Newton in the latter. I did hate Braveheart, albeit for the opposite reason that I hated Mad Max: Fury Road. Braveheart had too much plot, most of it stupid and silly. Fury Road had too little.

I don't care what the majority of critics think about it. I found Fury Road's endless, repetitive exploration of the barren Australian outback mindless, soulless and just plain stupid. As the old saying goes, if everyone else jumps off the bridge it doesn't mean I have to. Happily, I'm not the only one who thinks that.


Actually it was shoot in the Namib Desert in Namibia and not Australia.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby CalWilliam » Tue Dec 15, 2015 2:08 pm

Charlize Theron was the only dignified aspect of that ludicrous movie I hate. I'm sorry for being reiterative, but my annoyance and astonishment on how any sensible mind could consider it among the best of the year, let alone the winner, surpasses rational explanations, as so must have happened in their minds, probably due to shared Red Bull overdose. As for best actress, she definitely could make it, if the Academy plays THIS game unto its last consequence, which will be Mad Max winning Best Picture and Director, Stallone winning Supporting Actor, a leading actress winning in Supporting, and DiCaprio at last terminating with that Internet fever. A nice outcome, definitely. Maybe it's Mad Max turn after all: ten years ago Brokeback Mountain lost and Carol must stand in for that honor, legacy-wise.

And let's face it: The Greatest Show on Earth will always be a better film than Mad Max, or perhaps I'm Mad William, who knows.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:59 pm

Wow, Tee. I don't think I, or any of the other respected and thoughtful film critics out there, would appreciate your comment "talking about real critics -- not those blogging collectives that live to monkey see/monkey do the online narrative." Every member of the OFCS takes their jobs seriously and it's not like we let every doofus with a blog in. We'll get 100-200 applications each year and let in maybe 10-20 at most. Some groups have been around since long before the online trend boomed at the turn of the century, so dismissing them just because you disagree with them is almost spiteful.

I sometimes wonder why so many of you still follow the Oscars if they are abandoning all that you once loved about them. The Academy is diversifying and is still a representation of the Hollywood elite, just like it always was. They just happen to be embracing the modernization of filmmaking, not sequestering itself in the past. I will admit that some need to be educated on the films of the past better than they are, but let's also remember that the Academy gave The Greatest Show on Earth Best Picture. Claiming that they are somehow the arbiters of taste and only the critics groups of ages past could possibly still be adequately prepared to judge the best of the year. Just because your primary outlet is print doesn't mean you are a better film critic than someone whose primary outlet is the internet. I can name any number of former print critics who are now writing solely on the internet. Have they suddenly lost their luster because they are now a "blogger?"
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:49 pm

flipp525 wrote:What if that fifth spot in Best Actress (you know, the one that is left if Vikander misses out on a Best Actress nod for The Danish Girl and gets into Supporting Actress for Ex-Machina instead while Rooney Mara goes co-lead with Blanchett) goes to Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) instead one of the women from the Tomlin/Smith/Danner/Rampling senior group?


It wouldn't surprise me the way things are going.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby flipp525 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:38 pm

What if that fifth spot in Best Actress (you know, the one that is left if Vikander misses out on a Best Actress nod for The Danish Girl and gets into Supporting Actress for Ex-Machina instead while Rooney Mara goes co-lead with Blanchett) goes to Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) instead one of the women from the Tomlin/Smith/Danner/Rampling senior group?

Her possible nomination was discussed very early on (not sure if that qualifies as a "bird in the hand" situation).
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:28 pm

anonymous1980 wrote:In a field of five, I *think* many will predict George Miller to be a Lone Director nominee while Mad Max will fight for that last spot with Room. The other four candidates being Carol, The Martian, The Revenant and Spotlight.

I think everybody's underestimating The Big Short.

Fury Road is doing somewhat better than Dark Knight did with critics (talking about real critics -- not those blogging collectives that live to monkey see/monkey do the online narrative), but it could still meet the same fate at the Academy, especially in the directors' branch. How in god's name does Fury Road meet the lone director criterion? Generally, that's a critical favorite that's too esoteric/not enough a money-maker for the Academy at large (with special bias toward foreign directors). An action spectacular is almost the antithesis. It's possible of course that the hive-mind will work on the directors' branch the way it has on all these other groups, but they are in general the least push-able awards-giving group around, so they may still resist.

One odd precedent for a Miller nomination: a guy who's been around (and gone) a long while and comes back to make a surprisingly praised commercial hit. Charles Crichton, A Fish Called Wanda.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:07 pm

In a field of five, I *think* many will predict George Miller to be a Lone Director nominee while Mad Max will fight for that last spot with Room. The other four candidates being Carol, The Martian, The Revenant and Spotlight.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Sabin » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:03 pm

I'm a big fan of Mad Max: Fury Road but I can absolutely understand how someone can dislike it. It is one stunt-driven set piece after another and if you don't find it sublime then you're going to find it tedious.

Right now, it has to be considered a front-runner for a nomination but I still have to wonder in a field of five would any of us feel so certain that it will be nominated? It's doing better with the critics than The Dark Knight, sure, but it's not like that was what kept it from being nominated. I'm still wondering if elderly voters are going to respond to it.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:48 am

I have gone into detail both in my review and here on the UAADB refuting the "vacuous" or "limited plot" defenses that have been put forward. Just because you didn't like the film doesn't mean that it won't be well regarded in the future. I detest A.I., but my opinion does not match the critical flow. I wont ever stop disliking that film, but I recognize that I'm going to remain in the minority. I'm ok with that.

That said, by trying to position Mad Max as comparative to Crash, Out of Africa or Braveheart, you're ignoring the critical consensus in favor of a narrative that suits your opinion. That's why I'm having such an issue with the statements you've made. You cannot equate the four when evidence and general opinion, both critics and non-critics, is entirely different with regard to Mad Max. Crash, Out of Africa and Braveheart weren't highly acclaimed, though Out of Africa is probably the best received of the three. Mad Max is universally loved even if not by everyone here. It won't be remembered as you've stated and I find it to be akin to future revisionism, which seems to be rather pointless.

I also don't think Mad Max is going to win, so all this hemming and hawing is for naught. In the end, I think Spotlight will still come out on top, though George Miller could be named Best Director, an outcome that has been common this precursor season. You guys take Sasha Stone and her ilk to task for trying to creative narratives and drive outcomes by sheer force of will, then actively engage in the same kind of discourse.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:06 am

I didn't hate Out of Africa or Crash, I just found them uneven and unworthy of Best Picture nominations, let alone wins. There were performances in both that I actually liked, Meryl Streep and Klaus Maria Brandaur in the former and Matt Dillon and Thandie Newton in the latter. I did hate Braveheart, albeit for the opposite reason that I hated Mad Max: Fury Road. Braveheart had too much plot, most of it stupid and silly. Fury Road had too little.

I don't care what the majority of critics think about it. I found Fury Road's endless, repetitive exploration of the barren Australian outback mindless, soulless and just plain stupid. As the old saying goes, if everyone else jumps off the bridge it doesn't mean I have to. Happily, I'm not the only one who thinks that.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Greg » Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:00 am

Unless Theron pulls in a surprise Best Actress nomination, Mad Max will not have any acting nomination; and, it will not get a screenplay nomination. So, if it wins Best Picture, would it not be the first Best Picture winner without an acting or writing nomination since Grand Hotel?
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:50 am

CalWilliam wrote:
OscarGuy wrote:
Mad Max isn't my favorite film of the year, but it would easily be a better winner than Braveheart, Crash or Out of Africa.




That's such a wrong statement, I'm sorry. If Mad Max wins, and I think Big Magilla will agree with me on this (as well as many other people), it'll be the worst best picture winner ever. It's the most stupid, borderline laughable and vacuous film I've seen in time.


You two will be in a vocal minority though. It's 98% on RottenTomatoes, high '80s in Metacritic, it's ranked highly in Sight & Sound, Cahiers du Cinema and Film Comment. It's #1 in Slant Magazine. That is of course in addition to all the accolades it's been getting from various critics and awards groups.


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