BFCA Critics Choice Awards

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:11 pm

Are you sure? I heard the board voted NOT to amend the Best Picture slate.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Okri » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:54 pm

Eh, the BFCA award to Cast Away strikes me as something similar to the stunt ensemble SAG nod for All is Lost - a joke. This turns the organization into a joke. I'm now, for the first time in my life, rooting for Star Wars to win because that would be awesomely humiliating for the organization.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:49 pm

I still think it's ridiculous, but to be fair, this is allegedly not without precedent. In 2000 they allegedly elected to do the same for Cast Away which they also gave a Special Award for "Best Inanimate Object" to Wilson the Volleyball. I say allegedly because there is no record of nominees, only winners, prior to the 2001 awards.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby anonymous1980 » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:45 pm

Oddly enough, this is actually the second time they did something like this. The last time was Cast Away.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Okri » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:34 pm

Star Wars has been added as the 11th best picture nominee.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Greg » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:31 pm

Okri wrote:c) Tee, Miller as a lone director actually makes some sense to me. It’s an action spectacle, but one that didn’t get to blockbuster grosses (it will probably not make the top twenty box office wise).


Boxofficemojo has Mad Max right at 20, with Star Wars already at 7 and no other money maker still to be released this calendar year.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Okri » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:38 pm

So much stuff to talk about.

a) When Tee first started mentioning how much he disliked the regional critics groups, I sorta disagreed. I liked the regional groups. You could find weirder choices there. Often these groups were smaller, so you could see the more individualist picks. I don't actually echo Tee in that the big groups are somehow more unique - they didn't go for The Experimenter or Phoenix or The End of the Tour as there was some hope - there was Kristin Stewart, but when your big shock is going for an almost-lead Hollywood starlet, you don’t get too much credit for it anyway. They went for people firmly in the middle of the oscar race across the board in New York. National Society gives us people on the margins, absolutely, but they also went for Jamie Foxx in 2004. Los Angelos actually seems to have an identity, but I think their voting methods are a little too restrictive (and intriguingly, they are actually younger than a group like Kansas City). And when you hear exactly how capricious the awards process can actually be (see American Hustle winning New York by one vote in the 8th round) and it sorta becomes a wash. I think the echo-chamber is perhaps my least favourite part of the Oscar race and the smaller groups definitely have a hand in perpetuating that. Does Texas really need four critics groups? In the end, it's best to focus on the interesting picks and ignore the rest (in terms of indicators of quality). Honestly, I find the Film Comment/Indiewire/Sight and Sound/Village Voice polls so much more worthwhile now, especially since they've broadened it past just film to include performances. The critics groups, as a rule, narrow the conversation, not broaden it. Honesty should be the bare minimum we expect, not the bar.

b) But this is beyond ridiculous, of course. If you want the chance to include all films, schedule your votes until you can frickin’ see all the films. I am fascinated, though, at the sheer desperation in such an act. What happens if the voters say no? How many treat it as a locked extra vote for a film vs an actual replacement? The television side of the equation is just so good too that it shines a light on the shit show that is this organization.

c) Tee, Miller as a lone director actually makes some sense to me. It’s an action spectacle, but one that didn’t get to blockbuster grosses (it will probably not make the top twenty box office wise). It’s a sequel/remake, but by the original directing mind, so it doesn’t have that “cash-grab” feeling. It feels very much like a director’s vision in general – much more so than any other film up for the main prizes this year, save probably Carol. If this was a five wide race for best picture, I wouldn’t be predicting it at all for a main prize. I have to admit that after the 2012 and 2013 oscar races going the way they did despite AMPAS history telling us otherwise, I’m more comfortable predicting Miller. And yeah, if AMPAS goes for something milquetoast instead, I’ll be hugely disappointed. But I feel more confident in this than I did say Nolan in 2010.

d) You know, I wish I posted predictions for SAG because I would have predicted Straight Outta Compton. An ensemble dramatic hit? Makes sense to me and there is certainly precedent (American Gangster, for example). Especially this year, when so many of the acclaimed films seem to feature small-ish casts.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby ITALIANO » Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:23 am

I think - and I've been on this board for years now - that this is a very American thing. Can you imagine this happening in France - or in Italy? This desperate need of being part of the majority, of "agreeing", at any cost (even to the point of re-voting!), with the "prevalent thought"... It's something that I first experienced here - the hard way - but at least here the level has always been quite high: even when it was a whole group I was fighting against, it wasn't a stupid group (otherwise I wouldn't even have bothered). But my God, these internet critics are unbelievable..!

It's partly, I guess, a sign of insecurity - voting for what others vote for (or what they think others will vote for) is probably a way of feeling safer, of thinking that they are REALLY film critics (most of them, too obviously, aren't). What these groups don't understand is that they'd become individually more known (and more respected) if they made unexpected, original choices, if they went against the stream. And by doing so, they could also have more influence on the Academy too - some of their picks could materialize into Oscar nominations. This way, they are just indistinguishable from each other.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:32 pm

I've never denied the BFCA's whorey nature, but this takes it to an entirely new level. Can anyone really take this group seriously after this? This also sets a dangerous precedent in that studios may refuse to screen and then beg them to reconsider afterwards. That's bull crap.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby The Original BJ » Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:00 pm

The next step will be re-voting on awards for all previous years to make sure any Oscar category they didn't predict correctly in real time is rectified.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby flipp525 » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:55 pm

Have all those little podunk critics' associations announced their awards yet? I'm sure there's still enough time to award Best Supporting Actor to Harrison Ford.
Last edited by flipp525 on Fri Dec 18, 2015 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:49 pm

That's hilarious. Maybe all the organizations that have already announced their nominees or winners this year would like to reconvene to be sure to be on the right side of cinema history.

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:28 pm

For anyone who doubted the complete whoriness of the Broadcasters:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/c ... add-850162

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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby FilmFan720 » Thu Dec 17, 2015 10:27 am

I'm staying out of the blogger/OFCS debate, except I will say that I think Mister Tee misused the term blogger here. I think he was talking more about the low-level local organizations that keep popping up, and then also about the Oscar bloggers who create unnecessary narratives early and won't budge on them.

As for the Mad Max: Fury Road flux of awards (I was disappointed to see my Chicago critics follow suit last night), I fall in the middle on the movie (I gave it 3 1/2 stars on Letterboxd) but can see where this is coming from. I'm not voting for it for anything. This seems to be a year in which there aren't a lot of movies people passionately love. I know for myself, there is a lot of stuff I've seen that I liked a lot, but I haven't found my horse in the game yet. Nothing I'm jumping up and down over. In those years, right or wrong, people can vote to make a statement. Like it or not, Mad Max: Fury Road is a rarity among big-budget studio films. As studios are slowly shutting down their mid-budget programming, and as their tentpole movies look more and more the same each year, there is something refreshing that Warner Brothers would put this much money into a film that is so clearly the auteurist vision of one man. Fury Road looks like no other action movie I can think of, at least not of recent ilk or of this scope, and so giving the award also gives the message that there is an appreciation for studios taking this much of a risk with a singular vision. It says "hey, you should keep giving directors money like this and let them make the films they want to make, regardless of formulas or testing or even known quantities." Not sure it will work, but this is a little more than "the guys on poles were cool" voting.
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Re: BFCA Critics Choice Awards

Postby OscarGuy » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:37 am

Tee, there are only THREE groups comprised of online film critics only: OFCS (the original), NYFCO (because Harvey Karten got dumped from OFCS) and BOFCA (I'm not sure how they came about). I'm not saying anything about internet groups being the champions of independent cinema. Though, if you look at the OFCS history, you'll see a nice smattering of small films that no one else respected, at least not enough to mention elsewhere. For all its idiosyncrasies, OFCS has a distinction to it. (BTW, the OFCS was also the first to nominate Ex Machina, Ian McKellen, Oscar Isaac, Mistress America in Original Screenplay and a few others. We're also the first to award Oscar Isaac for that role. Since then, I've seen more groups go in all these directions.)

What I'm saying is that you lump all regional critics groups into the blogging narrative and while each group has some, they also have members who aren't publishing for small local affairs.

I will freely admit there are members in all groups (even NYFCC, LAFCA, etc.) who believe its their duty to champion a film that needs Oscar attention, while others genuinely vote for the best films of the year. You're always going to have that dynamic in a critics group. That's because the studios treat these groups as precursors to the Oscars (then again, so do I, but that's because they are). They get screeners (which have suggested category placement) of only specific films, so if they don't have the location or the resources to watch every movie that releases, then yeah there is going to be some consensus, a lot of it.

I've been in the OFCS for nearly 20 years (we hit that milestone in 2016), so it isn't as if we're a neophyte group. I'm a member of the Governing Committee, so yeah, I'm a bit irritated to have my group constantly derided. I've helped develop the certain awards system, tweaking it heavily from year to year because of ease of tabulation or what not.

Smaller groups, composed of say 10-20 people (NYFCC is certainly that kind of group), have a tendency to allow more unusual choices come through. It's not because they are better groups, but because the size does matter. OFCS is just over 250 members and a goodly number of them are international critics, which means they DON'T get access to all the year-end films, just the ones sent by screeners. In a group that size, certainly consensus is going to build over certain nominees, especially the most populist, because idiosyncratic choices need a large level of support to make it to the final bake sale.

As for the category fraud issue, I am entirely ANTI fraud. I think Mara should be lead and it's heterosexist to think otherwise (if she were a man, she would be pushed for a Best Actor nomination without hesitation). There are four types of people who vote for Mara - those who believe she's lead will put her in that category whether she can get nominated or not; those who vote for Mara in support because there's less competition and they want her to get the award, so they try to avoid her getting cannibalized by Blanchett; those who believe the studios know what they're talking about and vote wherever they are told to put a performance; and those who genuinely believe Mara is supporting.

This last subset is a bizarre group. I had a conversation with one guy when I tried to push the OFCS members to consider Mara in lead and not support (a task that was complicated by the fact that I'd made the push too late in the voting process and a significant number of people had voted already). This guy had some very bizarre notions as to why he thought Mara was support. They were ludicrous, he used the defense of the title being "Carol," he argued that it's Blanchett's story because she's the dominant character, and so on. I was incensed that someone would be so stupid. I and others pointed out films like Julia where the title character isn't the lead character. Hell, I even went so far as to compare the relationship in Fifty Shades of Grey to his argument saying that by his rational the female lead in that film would be considered support and drew on all of his arguments and applied them to Fifty Shades. Yes, I felt dirty doing it, but it was so stupid on the face of it, I had to go there. However, you can't reason with that kind of person.

I also spoke with someone else who changed his vote BECAUSE I had made the case against. He and others genuinely thought that it was where he was supposed to put it. No matter how you try, people don't read the instructions, especially the ones that say "you, not the studio or publicists, determine category placement."

Long story short, there are too many variables involved to put everyone into the same category and deride an entire group of people because consensus or a small-minded group of idiots make headway.

I think if I had made my case earlier in the process, I might have convinced enough people to switch her to lead that she'd have been nominated there rather than in support. Unfortunately, it was too late by that point.

And you really want to get your blood pressure up? Variety ran an article suggesting that category fraud was a good thing and not to worry about it. It was their senior film reporter (Tim something?) who wrote it. So, don't think for a minute that there isn't a general perception across the industry that category fraud isn't the right thing to do. Some people do it knowing full well that they shouldn't, but if it means a choice between their favorites getting nominated and winning and not getting recognized or losing, they'll make the choice to get them the recognition.
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